Please Stop Covering 'Hallelujah': Leonard Cohen

After 181 recorded versions, singer-songwriter thinks its time for a break
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2009 3:01 PM CDT
Leonard Cohen performs at the Beacon Theatre, his first concert in New York in 15 years, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2008.   (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)
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(Newser) – Leonard Cohen is tired of people covering “Hallelujah.” “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 said in a recent CBC interview. The song, from his 1984 album Various Positions, is a go-to tune for tearjerkers and other dramas.

Cohen’s concerns are justified, Rolling Stone reports—besides Watchmen, various versions of "Hallelujah" have cropped up on Scrubs, The West Wing, Everwood, and The O.C. One hundred eighty-one versions of the song have been recorded, according to Still, all the “Hallelujah” overkill gives Cohen a certain satisfaction: “Sony wouldn’t put out” Various Positions, he said. “They didn’t think it was good enough. So there was a mild sense of revenge that arose in my heart.”