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Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' Turns 30

Canadian poet-songwriter Leonard Cohen performs at the Auditorium Stravinski during the 47nd edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival on July 5, 2013. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)
Canadian poet-songwriter Leonard Cohen performs at the Auditorium Stravinski during the 47nd edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival on July 5, 2013. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

Newsweek has ranked the top 60 versions of Leonard Cohen’s famous song “Hallelujah,” which he performed for the first time 30 years ago, on Jan 31, 1985.

At that time the song didn’t get much of a reception, but today there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of versions, and on YouTube the song has millions of views. So what is this song’s appeal?

Author Alan Light joined Here & Now’s Robin Young back in December 2012 to discuss the famous hit. We revisit that conversation


[Youtube]

Newsweek’s Top 5 Versions Of ‘Hallelujah’

5. k.d. lang (Hymns of the 49th Parallel, 2004)

[Youtube]

4. Regina Spektor (concert for the Jewish Heritage Festival, 2005)

[Youtube]

3. Rufus Wainwright (Shrek: Music from the Original Motion Picture, 2001)

[Youtube]

2. Jeff Buckley (Grace, 1994)

[Youtube]

1. John Cale (I’m Your Fan, 1991)

[Youtube]

Guest

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