Month: December 2008

December 19, 2008
Following my earlier post, I found myself inspired to write this.


I heard there was a secret song
That Cohen wrote and we sung along
But it seems you never listen to it, do you?
For if you did it might sink in
It’s a song of passion, not a hymn
But all you ever hear is Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Well if there ever was a song
That as a Christmas hit was wrong
You would agree that this one was, now do you?
But just because that blessed word’s
Right at the end of every verse
All anybody hears is Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Just like that girl who won the show
With Cowell, Walsh, Cole and Minogue
But then you never watch that programme, do you?
She sang it proud with Factor X
But skipped each verse that mentioned sex
A broken and an empty Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

And take the case of Katherine J,
Mezzo soprano of our day,
You’d think that she’d know better than this, do you.
But in picking tracks for her CD
Of “Sacred Arias” to be
She made the choice of singing Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Now nationwide, it is a fad
We’ve all gone Hallelujah mad
I’d hoped it was a thing that had outgrew you
But choirmasters think it cool
From churches down to primary schools
To sing a verse or two of Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I’ll stop before this gets too long,
Please understand, don’t get me wrong
I used to love this song before I knew you
But it’s a song of lust and love
And not of angels up above
A secular and worldly Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

December 17, 2008
I am becoming increasingly amused and irritated – in roughly equal parts – by the number of people who seem to think Leonard Cohen’s "Hallelujah" is some kind of religious hymn, and particularly suitable for Christmas.

Most recently, this has been evidenced by all the contestants of the X-Factor performing it, with the idea that the winner would release it as a "certain" Christmas Number One. However, at the moment, it seems that X-Factor’s winner Alexandra Burke may be edged out by campaigns to promote Cohen’s original, or the extremely popular Jeff Buckley interpretation.

December 7, 2008
This morning I finished reading The Count of Monte Cristo. I was quite familiar with the overall story, having seen at least two movie adaptations, and also having read Tiger! Tiger! by Alfred Bester, which is very much a retelling of the tale, against a science fiction background.

However, I had never read the original novel before, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, even though it took me over 2 months to finish it.

Here was something that was unusual for me. Normally, although I may dip in and out of non-fiction, when reading fiction, I tend to read only one book at a time. If I happen to put a book down, and start something else, I usually find it difficult to pick it up again, unless I leave it for a while, and then start again from the beginning.

But with The Count of Monte Cristo, I found it very easy to put it down and pick it up again. A week may go by without reading, and yet when I resumed the novel, I could pick it up from where I had left off with no problem whatsoever. Part of this must be due to the great story, but I think it significant that the book was originally written as a serial, in 18 parts. Thus some aspects of the plot are recapped throughout the book, although I found this was done in a subtle way, that didn’t feel like a great deal of repetition.

The only difficulty I had at all was remembering who everybody was – this book has a large number of characters, compounded by many of them changing their names (either due to achieving position and title, or through subterfuge) throughout the course of the book. But a couple of notes in the front of the book took care of that.

All in all, an excellent read. Many years ago, I read The Three Muskateers, and I will probably re-read that soon.

December 5, 2008
I have just deleted my Plaxo profile, which was actually the original reason for my changing my web page to a blog.

Back in July, I was invited into Plaxo by Brenda, and I had a look and it seemed interesting. I liked the way it could apparently be linked into from various places, so it didn’t matter if you were on LiveJournal, Blogger or whatever, Plaxo would summarise your posts for your friends, and link back to your source material.

However, I quickly found that the link between Blogger and Plaxo, using RSS, was incredibly unreliable. My posts usually took a couple of days to make it to Plaxo, which for a live feed is virtually useless.

As a result, I have decided to drop the Plaxo feed, and just continue here. If anyone is interested in what I am doing, they know where to find me.

December 5, 2008
…keeping this blog active, but then going on holiday interrupted the flow, and the thing kind of stalled after that.

So here I am, starting it up again, and seeing if I can remember to update it from now on.

Alas, the dieting has also been somewhat on hold over the same period, and I have done very little in the garden, so I have quite a bit to catch up on.