Why Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" almost didn't get released
Leonard Cohen performs on stage during his concert on Sept. 28, 2012, at the Olympia concert hall in Paris. / Getty
Leonard Cohen's iconic song "Hallelujah" almost didn't get released, according to "The Holy or the Broken," a book by Alan Light that is being published today.
In the work, which has the blessing but the not the participation of the 78-year-old Canadian singer-songwriter, Light says "Hallelujah" originally appeared on a Cohen album that his record company rejected, and it was ignored when Cohen released it on an indie label.
Covers by John Cale and Jeff Buckley gave the song a wider audience, and since then it's been covered in dozens of languages by hundreds of artists, including Bob Dylan, Justin Timberlake, Rufus Wainwright, k.d. lang, U2, Susan Boyle and dozens of singing competition contestants.
Found in the soundtracks of many TV shows and movies, Cohen's "Hallelujah" also was the subject of a BBC radio documentary.
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