Book traces odd journey of Cohen's song
It's hard to think of any song that has taken a stranger journey through popular culture than Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."
Recorded in 1984, it was on the only Cohen album rejected by his record company. Virtually no one noticed when the song did come out on an independent label. Since then, through dozens of cover versions, high-profile performances and appearances on TV or movie soundtracks, "Hallelujah" has become a modern standard.
Author Alan Light reflected upon that while at Yom Kippur services in Manhattan two years ago, as he saw congregants in tears when the choir sang "Hallelujah." His curiosity led him to write "The Holy or the Broken," about the song's trajectory, about Cohen and about its most celebrated singer, the late Jeff Buckley. The book is out Tuesday.
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