Singer-songwriter Kelley Mooney’s lyrical adaptation of the Leonard Cohen classic Hallelujah is enjoying renewed success three years after its initial release.
As of this week the song, recorded for Mooney’s 2011 album Tomorrow, sits in the No. 3 slot on Billboard Magazine’s Christian digital downloads chart.
The song is also charting at No. 12 on the Hot Christian Songs chart.
Mooney said when she first got a request for information from Billboard she didn’t quite know what to make of it.
But because they weren’t really asking any really personal questions, she complied.
Later that night, her husband went to Billboard’s website, looked up the charts and found her version of Hallelujah sitting there at number 3.
“I almost fell off the couch,” Mooney said.
Word of the song’s download success comes just days after a video for her adaptation of Hallelujah went viral again after being posted to GodTube, a Christian website that posts music videos, inspirational videos and movies, sermons and ministry videos.
According to GodTube, the video has been viewed 7,117,300 times as of 5 p.m. Tuesday. It was posted on Holy Thursday.
Of those who viewed the video, more than two million hit the like button.
The video got so many hits on GodTube that it crashed the server for the web hosting company that maintains her website.
On YouTube, where the video was first posted in 2010, it has been viewed 1,575,942 times.
Mooney has received emails and comments from people around the world telling her how much they like the song and what it means to then.
Mooney said it’s been a wonderful couple of days, with several requests for interviews and a lot of congratulatory messages.
“People are so kind!”
In an interview this week, she said the renewed interest in her adaptation of the song has already generated invitations to perform the song live at a couple of different places in the U.S.
“I also got a couple of offers from people who wanted to manage me,” Mooney said. “It’s really been kind of overwhelming.”
The story behind Mooney’s version of Hallelujah began in 2006 when her parish priest in Iona asked her to perform Cohen’s Hallelujah at the church’s Easter service.
She initially said she would but after looking up the lyrics decided it might not be appropriate.
So she rewrote the lyrics using the Easter passage from The Bible and the account of Christ’s journey to the cross.
Wherever she performed her version of Hallelujah, people asked where they could buy it.
She could not record the song however because it was not hers.
So in November of 2008 she applied to Cohen’s publishers for the legal right to record the song. She was granted the mechanical rights and recorded the song for her 2011 record Tomorrow.