Why Covers of Leonard’s Cohen’s “Hallelujah” Are On Every Soundtrack, Ever


SOTC contributor and pal Maura Johnston explains: “Watching performances of “Hallelujah” by people who aren’t Cohen–whose original take has an archness that’s wiped away by the clear-eyed sincerity offered up by his successors–you see one common thread: each singer really feels the song, closing their eyes at least once in every performance to properly communicate that what they are singing is Serious Business.” Hence the song’s popularity on everything from American Idol and X Factor to the Haiti telethon to that excruciating sex scene in Watchmen, which even Cohen himself identified as more parody than homage. You will not be surprised to learn that this is all Shrek‘s fault. [VF]

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 26, 2010

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