Leonard Cohen's Estate 'Exploring Legal Options' Against RNC

Singer's estate is decidedly unhappy GOP used 'Hallelujah' against its wishes
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2020 8:20 AM CDT
Leonard Cohen's Estate: We Turned Down the RNC
In this April 17, 2009, file photo, Leonard Cohen performs during the first day of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, Calif.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)

The Republican National Convention trotted out Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," not once but twice after President Trump accepted his party's nomination—and the late singer's estate would like you to know that it definitely did not approve that message. As Vulture reports, the RNC used the song after the estate denied it permission. "We are surprised and dismayed that the RNC would proceed knowing that the Cohen Estate had specifically declined the RNC’s use request, and their rather brazen attempt to politicize and exploit in such an egregious manner ‘Hallelujah,’ one of the most important songs in the Cohen song catalogue,” the estate's lawyer says. "We are exploring our legal options."

But, ahem, "Had the RNC requested another song, ‘You Want it Darker,’ we might have considered approval of that song." Over at Mother Jones, Abigail Weinberg points out that "the song isn't the Christian hymn Republicans seem to think it is," and wants to know, "Do Republicans Know 'Hallelujah' Is About Sex?" (More Leonard Cohen stories.)

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