Juniorette is a precocious seven years old. Here’s her rendition of Leonard Cohen’s 1984 song “Hallelujah”, with the Swedish lyrics by Py Bäckman. The performance is influenced to a certain degree by another young Swedish singer’s version, Molly Sandén’s on her 2009 album Samma himmel.
While Cohen’s beautiful lyrics deal mainly with broken love affairs through biblical allusions (compare the Pixies’ “Dead” and “Gouge Away“!), Bäckman’s lyrics are a bit too churchy for my taste. “[The song] has something that takes hold of you / And leads you from night to day / And suddenly you want to sing ‘Hallelujah'”.
Did you know, Dear Reader, that “Hallelujah” is a formulaic Hebrew expression meaning “praise / sing praises to JHWH”?
Juniorette is not churchy. On Saturday I drove her and a friend home from a birthday party for a classmate whose dad is a Swedish Church minister and a really nice guy. (Junior has a steady babysitting gig there.) Juniorette’s friend commented that though Nora’s dad isn’t the parish shepherd proper, he’s usually the one officiating at church. “Does your family believe in God!?”, asked my daughter incredulously. “Yeah, but we don’t go to church often”, said her friend. “I’ve been, like, maybe five times?”.
I’ve written before about the casual godlessness common among modern Scandinavians.