Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen

A tribute to Faizel Lagan – why I’m covering Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen

A few years ago a close family friend, Feizal ‘Mike’ Lagan, asked me to play this Leonard Cohen song at his funeral. Naturally I said of course I would, not expecting to be called on for a long time.

Unfortunately, Feizal passed away earlier this week and due to restrictions still in place, I’m highly unlikely to be able to fulfil my promise to him – so this is the best I can do for the moment.

Jeff Buckley’s influence

Hallelujah was a pivotal song for me when learning the guitar as a teenager. Jeff Buckley’s version helped spark my fascination with fingerstyle guitar (as did Bert Jansch’s playing) and I first bought a capo so I could play this like Jeff. It was a favourite of Faizel’s and he shared an appreciation of Leonard Cohen with another close family friend, Jan, who’s funeral I played this at some years ago. I won’t lie – funerals of friends and family are the toughest gigs, but I’m very sorry not to be able to play this one.

Feizal, this is for you to try and go some way to saying how much you will be missed.