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My Leonard Cohen channel popped above the fold on my iCurrent front page today and got me playing Hallelujah.  I’d created my Cohen channel to follow him on tour a year ago when an article on the use of Hallelujah in the sex scene of the Watchmen movie hit my Allison Crowe channel.    All this resonates for me with the lively topics of serendipity and discovery and the secret life of interests.

Hallelujah has been covered 200 times [Wikipedia].  In an April 2009 interview, Cohen says this is “ironic and amusing” given Sony rejected the album it was on. He continues (at 35:20):

I was just reading a review of a movie called Watchmen that uses it and the reviewer said – ‘Can we please have a moratorium on Hallelujah in movies and television shows?’ And I kind of feel the same way …

The whole interview is worthwhile listening, a wise and humble man for sure (see background on the interview). Reminds me of the finest people I know.

There is a reason why this song is covered so much. Sheer lyrical brilliance that works for fine singer after fine singer. I picked him on his tour and four other takes here. Which do you like?

Pick your favorite of the four below or tell me a different one:

5 Responses to “Hallelujah for Leonard Cohen”

  1. terry mcfadden Says:

    Something in Allison Crowe’s vibrato conveys energy, urgency, and empathy that makes her version a winner for me.

  2. Adrian Says:

    You’re quite right – the brilliance of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” shines through a great diversity of performances. As one who serves Allison Crowe (as personable manager), the linkages and serendipity to which you refer is highly enjoyable. In accord with Terry, Allison’s ability to communicate emotions is very special, and, when someone creates a song such as Cohen has with “Hallelujah”, it’s a joy for artist and audience alike ( :

  3. DrHGuy Says:

    The chain of serendipity leading to “Hallelujah for Leonard Cohen” is actually a bit longer. Those posts about the sex scene in the Watchmen were entries on my Heck Of A Guy blog – http://1heckofaguy.com – and were based on an email conversation I had with Adrian du Plessis (the Adrian in the preceding comment), who is, as he notes, Allison’s personable manager (a typo someone committed in describing him that was so fitting it has evolved into his title). I originally came to know Adrian when I quoted from (and quipped about the flowery language used in) a press release he wrote about a Leonard Cohen tribute album sponsored by MOJO on which Allison covered “Joan Of Arc.” Adrian responded and an email correspondence between us began. Six months later we exchanged views on the internet response to the use of “Hallelujah” in the Watchmen movie (initially, Allison’s cover was to be used in the soundtrack; Zack Snyder, the Director of Watchmen, finally decided to used Leonard Cohen’s own rendition), and those emails transformed into the post that popped up in the iCurrent Cohen channel.

    For the record, Allison’s cover of “Hallelujah” remains my favorite although I’m also inordinately fond of the version by K.D. Lang.

  4. Adrian Says:

    Aye, it’s as the good Dr. H describes. And through this serendipitous chain we’re fortunate to be introduced to his “1 Heck of a Guy” blog, written by a psychiatrist, and “rife with Leonard Cohen-based hilarity, essays on broomcorn, and proposals for a county seal featuring Dick Tracy”. Such are life’s joys ( :

  5. Witty Jester Says:

    truly an amazing piece of composition…..it is one of the most covered numbers in the history of music

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