As my wife and I watched the in memoriam segment of the Emmys, complete with Tori Kelly’s rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” we both thought the same thing: “ANOTHER version of this song? Is the world intent on beating it to death?”
Listen, there was nothing wrong with Kelly’s performance. But the endless recycling of a beautiful song is getting to be a bit much.
And we aren’t alone. The New York Times had this to say in an article called “How Pop Culture Wore Out Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah'”:
Leonard Cohen’s ballad “Hallelujah” has become so inescapable that the songwriter once asked for a break from his own track. “I think it’s a good song, but too many people sing it,” he told The Guardian in 2009, agreeing with a critic for The New York Times who asked for a moratorium on “Hallelujah” in movies.
It appears that the producers of Sunday night’s Emmy Awards were unaware of the unofficial ban. When the In Memoriam segment began, it was accompanied by Tori Kelly’s gentle acoustic guitar strumming as she started its first verse: “Well, I heard there was a secret chord.”
The reaction on Twitter was less cryptic: Another “Hallelujah” moment?