Kate McKinnon has been parodying Hillary Clinton during the 2016 US Presidential Election, together with Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump on SNL (Saturday Night Live).
So when the cold open of the first SNL episode after the election, featured her performing the famed lament of Leonard Cohen, I thought, “How clever, a uniquely SNL eulogy to two recent painful losses.”
Kate in her Hillary guise, played the piano and sang “Hallelujah” with a touch of her usual levity, making faces, tossing back her head and winking at the audience.
She related the story of a boy who gained favour with his song. Through his setbacks and victories, the boy who was musician before being warrior or king, continued with his resonate tunes.
The words and poignant undercurrent start setting in as she continued with, “I’ve been here before, I’ve seen this room and I’ve walked this floor…I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch and love is not a victory march, it’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah.”
Suddenly it did not feel like a eulogy anymore, it felt like a fierce love song. A song about a lover she has not gotten over.
It felt like Hillary’s many years of public service, flawed and wrought with scandal, were a series of love letters to America. Running for President was the ultimate declaration of love, she tried twice and was bitterly rejected both times.
I did my best, it wasn’t much…I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
Kate’s voice cracked at those words, thick with heartache and weariness. The desolation is almost palpable but the music continues and though it all went wrong, all lovers stand before the Lord of Song with nothing but Hallelujah.