Found the video:
I still think it was a strange choice for the Olympics, but it is a gorgeous song, and lang’s performance was absolutely jaw-dropping. So I guess it fit simply as a representation of Canadian excellence or something.
In case you have trouble with the video above, here’s k.d. singing “Hallelujah” in 2005, in a performance so moving it brought the audience to its feet:
Fun reclusive fact: the first compact disc I ever purchased was a k.d. lang album. I worship that woman’s voice.
22 Responses to “k.d. lang singing “Hallelujah” at the Opening Ceremony”
She does indeed have a wonderful voice. Best version I ever heard of “Crying” is by her.
I think you’re right – they wanted k.d. lang because she’s an amazing Canadian, and here she sings a song by another amazing Canadian, Leonard Cohen, and does such an astounding version as well. Not very “Olympic,” true, but I don’t care, I don’t care one jot. It’s almost like it’s too brilliant to not have it?
I’ve been listening to the various YouTubes of her performing this song and I can’t come up with words sufficient to describe the beauty and mastery of combining k. d. lang and leonard cohen. I don’t ever want to hear anyone else sing this song. I’ve always loved k. d. lang but amazingly, I had never heard her perform this song until the Olympics. I wish I could sing like her, but I’ll settle for the divine pleasure of listening to her.
I was blown away by her performance! I’ve never been tuned into k. d. lang before, but now I can’t seem to stop listening…most inspirational song and performance I’ve ever heard–bravo!
I do love her to. I agree it was an odd choice but singing doesn’t get any better than that. She does a lot of interesting covers. I lover her versions of Help Me and The Joker. Fortunately I’ve been taught how to rip videos on youtube and turn them into Mp3s so I can put them on my Ipod. This is on it’s way. But again a very strange choice of songs.
If I know those hippies in VanCity, the point of the song was a) YES, “Hallelujah” was written by national treasure Canadian Leonard Cohen, not Jeff Buckley, and b) sung by national treasure kd lang, who just happens to be a lesbian, and who will wear a pantsuit with no makeup and still be effing awesome, thanks very much. :)
I don’t think it was such a strange choice. Canada’s national treasures were on display to the world and I would rank k. d. lang and leonard cohen at the top of the list.
Sheryl Robinson says:
The national treasure thing is right, I think. I mean, they played a song by Joni Mitchell, even though she’s sworn she’ll never perform live again.
She owns ‘Bird on a Wire’ too.
I love the concert version you posted, listen to it every couple of weeks. Her Olympics version is a magnificent paean. But in this concert version she wrestles with the song feelings, prowling about the stage. I love it
janicen, I’m like you – I could have written your comment myself. Truly, lang doing Cohen is some kind of perfect gift.
AM, thanks for the link. Own it indeed! I wonder if I can buy a DVD of that concert? *goes to search*
Am I the only one that is shocked at the way NBC shot this? I have never watched a performance where you practically never saw the performer! The majority of the shots are of the audience, and almost all of the shots of her are from the distance, or from behind with only about two brief close-ups of her face, or even her upper body and face. It was like NBC didn’t want to have a fat butch lesbian on screen if they could help it :(
The first time I ever heard k.d. lang sing was at the opening ceremonies of the Calgary Summer Olympics. Then, as now, she was stunning.
Crowfoot, I honestly don’t think the camera angles were related to lang’s persona. I didn’t think they did well with the other singers, either. All of them were lip-syncing so there may have been a decision to not get too close, too often.
Ah. I watched the opening ceremonies on CTV not NBC, so I wasn’t sure if the latter did that to everyone. It was just weird – I’ve never seen so little of a performer when they were performing!
“Am I the only one that is shocked at the way NBC shot this? I have never watched a performance where you practically never saw the performer!”
Here is a link to an NBC video that features k.d. lang much more than the audience. You just have to get past an ad for Visa:
I really felt that the bittersweet nature of this song meshed well with the mix of emotions that I, for one, felt watching the Opening Ceremony after the Georgian athlete died at the luge track just a few hours earlier. And it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. She’s amazing.
The part with the doves was really beautiful…
oh wonders of modern technology.
Crowfoot, I’ve been bookmarking amazing live performances by women of well known songs. Two of my favorites are:
Mary Black, singing “Song for Ireland” and looking like she was about to levitate a couple of times:
Nina Hagen, German goth punk rocker, singing Schubert’s “Ave Maria” at an Afghanistan aid concert:
She recorded “Ave Maria” in the late ’70s and sings it at probably all her concerts.
Nancy Tice says:
kd lang’s renditon of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujia at the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympic Games was an absolute grand slam out of the stadium, and around the world. Not only is she the epitome of the brilliance and artistry of the Canadian nation, but now the entire world knows it too! Her performance was absolutely breathtaking!! Hers is the definitive version in my mind, forever after. I am buying the sheet music for my church choir to sing later this year. We will try to do it justice! I cannot get the haunting tune out of my mind. Bravo!!!!
Damien Leith, the winner of Australian Idol sung this song. He did a pretty good version.
Laurie Stromgren says:
She sang this beautifully, and the funny thing was, I loved this song when I heard it by Justin Timberlake on the night of the televised Haiti relief effort. All of a sudden I am thinking….it’s THAT SONG! Was funny to hear it again so soon…KD Lang only heard about the death of the Luge Olympian moments before she was to go on, and I think the camera angles were because of the whole arena with lights and the effects and all…((for goodness sakes…ELLEN has her own show on NBC) It all came together so beautifully to create a moment that was memorable.
I think her version of Hallelujah is the most moving I have ever heard.
I have never felt so moved by anyone musically before.
I was brought to tears during the actual performance at the Opening ceremony. I am sure that the fact that no close up shots were taken of her or any of the other performers was to keep focus on the Olympics NOT each performer.
I really wished they would have shown her more.
Bravo to K D Lang.
Shannon Jones says:
I have always been of fan of Miss Lang, but this song has just made me fall in love with her. She has a spirituality when she sings. Thank you so much K.D. for your voice and the humble way you handle yourself. I think you are beautiful.