You may have never heard of Cloverton. In fact, chances are, you have not… unless you know me, then you have heard of them because I have probably raved about them. Cloverton is a Christian band that formed in Manhattan, Kansas. I first came across their music in December of 2012 when someone I know shared the music video below. This is one of those songs you don’t just listen to once, or twice, you put it on repeat and listen to it until your batteries die.
UPDATE: Video marked as private and is no longer available. Scroll to bottom of post to watch.
Wasn’t that awesome! I’m assuming you listened to it so if you didn’t, do it now! 🙂 Since I first heard the original lyrics by Leonard Cohen (I must admit I was probably introduced to that song via watching the movie Shrek) I’ve always loved the melody. Some of the lyrics I connected with, some I just thought were weird. But not the Cloverton version. I just love it all the way around. The music, the melody, the lyrics, even the xylophone. So when I found out the video was made in a doughnut shop and not a coffee shop, it made it that much cooler.
So, there is a bit of a mystery surrounding this song. Cloverton kind of made a big deal out of it when they announced it on their Facebook page. They announced it about 2 weeks before Christmas and by Christmas Day they had something like 30,000 views and by New Year’s Day they had like 100,000 views. Also, shortly after they released the video, the song was available on iTunes, then like a week later it was released on Amazon.com and within a couple days it became the #1 top selling Christian single on Amazon.com. It was getting major airplay time on K-LOVE and other Christian radio stations. K-Love even did a feature on it and played it constantly during the month of December and into the first week of January.
Then something weird happened… sometime in mid-January I went to show somebody the video on YouTube and I couldn’t find it. I had searched for it dozens of times showing it to different people so I thought it strange when I couldn’t find it. I went to show the same person how they could buy it on iTunes or Amazon.com… and it was gone. All reference to it on their Facebook page had been taken down. The feature article on K-LOVE and that song were gone. Luckily, I had already purchased the song and downloaded it, so i could listen to it whenever I wanted.
My only guess is that somebody threatened them with a lawsuit for using the Hallelujah tune by Leonard Cohen and completely changing the lyrics. Legal threats is the only reason I can think of that they would remove such a wildly popular song from the web with no mention as to why they removed it. But that doesn’t make much sense either because this song has been done and re-done by so many artists, you would think that one more version by Cloverton wouldn’t make a difference (except, for the most part, the previous artists didn’t change the lyrics).
So you might be wondering why it is still on YouTube… I’m really not sure, but if you search for it on YouTube you won’t find it. However, lucky for you, I had a link to it so I was able to still get to it because it was only removed from search results, not completely removed.
If you are interested in some of the history of the song check out this article. It talks about the rise in popularity of the song and has YouTube videos of all the most popular versions of the song.
Jan 2nd, 2014 UPDATE: Cloverton started answering people’s questions on their FB page earlier this week with the following message,
Unfortunately, because of licensing issues, A Hallelujah Christmas is currently unavailable for purchase. We are in ongoing discussions with Sony and if anything changes we will definitely let everyone know. Have a great day!
So, Cloverton marked the YouTube video as private… but you can still watch it here: