I frequently see Saint Ralph on the crappy movie channels that come with my cable package. It’s an incredibly sentimental Canadian film about a 14-year-old who tries to win the Boston marathon. During the climactic race, the soundtrack features Gordon Downie (the lead singer of the Tragically Hip) singing a pretty gorgeous version of Leonard Cohen’s seminal “Hallelujah'”.
Ever since hearing Downie’s version, I’ve been looking for the song online. I eventually got it from Mike, who explains:
There seemed to be only one way to get this version of the song in MP3 and that’s to create an MP3 from the audio output of “Saint Ralph”. Sophie, a Hip fan from Germany, saw my comment on the site sharing the Downie covers and offerred to help. She rented the DVD, created an MP3 and emailed it to me early this morning. Hallelujah!
This will tide me over nicely until Downie releases something official. I know a lot of people have been trying to locate this song as I’ve heard your empathetic pleas since I first wrote about the cover last August.
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of film audio over the track, but it’s worth a listen.
I think Downie’s version rivals the most famous cover of the song by the late Jeff Buckley. You can hear Buckley’s version, along with 33 others, on My Old Kentucky Blog.
UPDATE: After eight years, a guy named Alex kindly sent me the studio recording of this song. You can download it here.