American singer-songwriter Nathaniel Rateliff, released a rendition of “There Is A War,” originally performed by Leonard Cohen, with the help of Kevin Morby and Sam Cohen. However, this isn’t the only recent instance where Cohen’s music has been revisited. His song “Hallelujah” was used twice by The Republican National Convention and Donald Trump during the conventional finale.
Cohen originally released the track in 1974 where it was featured on his album New Skin For The Old Ceremony. “There Is A War” is a track that finds itself relevant to what is occurring across the country today. “There is a war between the rich and poor/ A war between the man and the woman/ There is a war between the left and right/ A war between the black and white/ A war between the odd and the even.” While the lyrics are pretty straight forward, they are a reminder of the main issues the United States is facing right now.
Rateliff, Morby and Cohen’s wonderful execution of Cohen’s track has given the original a more dynamic feel. The louder, more vibrant vocals are accompanied by the perfect amount of instrumental to allow the iconic song to have a funky rock-like vibe.
Cohen passed away on November 7, 2016 after battling leukemia. The artist passed a little over two weeks after releasing You Want It Darker. His son, Adam Cohen, announced in September of 2018 that his father’s posthumous album was in the works.
While Rateliff, Morby and Cohen all chimed in to create this rendition of “There Is A War,” it hasn’t taken away from the fact that all three artists have been busy with their own music. Indie artist Morby released Sundowner in mid October of this year. Morby’s album was debuted on a livestream shortly after. Cohen released The Future’s Still Ringing In My Ears in May of 2019. Rateliff released his most recent album, And It’s Still Alright, this past March. Prior to that, Rateliff released two albums as a group effort with the Night Sweats, which landed in the Top 20 on US charts.
Photo Credit: Stephen Hoffmeister