Re: Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” – ENOUGH ALREADY

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?

Keep reading.

 

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

7 thoughts on “Re: Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” – ENOUGH ALREADY

  • September 22, 2016 at 10:51 am
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    I really think LC is the ONLY person who should EVER sing this song. No one in my mind will ever make a version that comes close to the original.

    Reply
    • September 22, 2016 at 10:58 am
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      You haven’t heard my version. It’s pretty good 😉

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      • September 22, 2016 at 11:02 am
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        Not saying it isn’t and not saying I have not heard good versions of it…but none will ever be as good as LC’s.

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        • September 22, 2016 at 2:51 pm
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          I hear ya. I was just being cheeky btw.

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          • September 22, 2016 at 3:02 pm
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            I figured…

  • September 22, 2016 at 12:38 pm
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    You do hear this song a lot. My old friend Ron Sexsmith has been performing it for years, and long before it became an “in” thing to do. I thought of learning it myself, but then I thought, “Nah!”

    Years ago I took part in a local Christmas album. When it was released, I was shocked to find a rendition of “Amazing Grace” on it??? “Amazing Grace” is not a Christmas song! It is a spiritual, written by a man ashamed of his former life as a sea captain of slave vessels, and in doing so, trying to atone for his sins. The young lady who sang it did a good job, but really she chose the song because it showed off her chops as a singer, rather than something that had anything to do with Christmas. The people organizing the album shouldn’t have included it, but they did.

    Reply
  • September 22, 2016 at 1:10 pm
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    It’s sooo hard being a single mom. When you have no kids and are a male teenager.

    Reply

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