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Friday, July 10, 2009

Hallelujah! Would You Please Shut Up

It seemed inevitable to me but news today confirmed that poet-singer-songwriter-author-ladies man-monk Leonard Cohen has asked for a brief respite from new versions of his classic “Hallelujah,” arguing the large number of artists covering the song and its frequent appearance on soundtracks amounts to overkill.

“I was 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,” Cohen told the Guardian . “I think it’s a good song, but too many people sing it.”

I had posted earlier this year about the ubiquity of "Hallelujah" Most recently the song provided the soundtrack for the sex scene in Watchmen and actually employed Cohen’s own version of the song, one of the few times Cohen’s original has been used in recent years. Since Jeff Buckley covered the song on his 1994 album Grace “Hallelujah” has taken on near mythical status. Helping out as well were renditions by the U.K.’s X Factor winner Alexandra Burke and American Idol Season Seven finalist Jason Castro. Kate Voegele, k.d. lang and Rufus Wainwright have also covered the song in the years since its original 1984 release.

Can you say over-saturation dear readers? Cohen could not be any more correct, it really is time to give this one a rest. Then again, Cohen can’t be complaining about the extra royalties that have been begotten from “Hallelujah”, especially considering he was forced to tour after a lengthy hiatus because his former manager made off with most of his assets.

What are your thoughts? Any other songs deserved of moratorium status?


Barbara Bruederlin said...

You know that as long as people keep having Leonard Cohen dance parties, someone will keep singing Hallelujah. But yes, it has gotten to the point where the song has pretty much lost its edge, so overdone has it become.

Rather than answer your question directly, I think I had better compile of list of songs that need a moratorium declared upon them. There's a handful.

Blair Whatmore said...

I once threatened to quit a band when the prospect of a Hallelujah cover came up. Luckily, I didn't have to quit and the band just broke up a few weeks later anyways.

It truly has lost its touch over the past decade and a half, which is a shame, as it's nothing short of a masterful song.

Now... I must brainstorm other moratorium worthy songs.

Gifted Typist said...

He's right - the song will be beaten to a pulp until it no longer has any meaning to anyone.