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PAYSON — A Payson mom retooled the lyrics of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" for a mom-centric version of the song, and it's gone viral.
Shannon Abbott, 29, rewrote the lyrics for this year's talent show held during Payson's Golden Onion Days. The song choice was serendipitous after Abbott's 3-year-old daughter, Paige, accidentally clicked on a karaoke version of "Hallelujah" on YouTube as Abbott was perusing possible song choices.
"It's a beautiful song, but the original lyrics are kind of weird, so I thought, 'Maybe I'll just change it.'" she said. "It just kind of came to fit my own life about being a mommy and all the crazy, awesome, hard things that happen when you're at home with your ‘crazies.'"
Abbott recorded the song (with her 5-month-old, Adam, in frame) after the talent show to share it with her grandma and a few friends who couldn't be there. She posted it on her Facebook page, but of course she had no idea how much the song would resonate with other moms in Utah and around the world.
I don't really feel like 'Oh, I'm so awesome.' But if it can make them smile and feel happy or feel something, then I think that's great, and I think that's why God blessed me to be able to sing — it was for other people.
"I am still shocked with how it just caught fire and so many mommies can just relate," Abbott said. "It's seriously amazing to me. ... I just never thought a silly song about mommies could touch so many people."
She has received messages from people in Germany, Italy, England and more, with positive reactions and messages of her how the song made them cry. Some are also asking if she'll pursue a professional career on the heels of her viral video, which will almost certainly hit 2 million views by the time this article posts.
Abbott said that she wished growing up that she could've had voice lessons, but instead she just kept singing in church choirs, talent shows and whenever people asked her to sing.
"It's never been something I've actively pursued, but it's something that I really enjoy. And whenever I have done it, it's always been really positive," she said. "I'm just glad that it can make other people happy. I don't really feel like ‘Oh, I'm so awesome.' But if it can make them smile and feel happy or feel something, then I think that's great, and I think that's why God blessed me to be able to sing — it was for other people."
Wherever this exposure leads, Abbott said she's just happy to be bringing something positive into the world right now.
"Whether this is a flash in the pan or my 15 minutes, or whether this brings something long term, I just want to use whatever time — whatever exposure this is — to really be positive and be an influence for good. Because there's too much junk, and I think the world needs a little more smiles."
To see more of Abbott, visit her YouTube channel.