Bono makes the claim in a new book by Alan Light, called The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, and the Unlikely Ascent of ‘Hallelujah’.
Other artists make their love of the track known in the book, with Regina Spektor saying: “This song is pretty much indestructible.” Patrick Stump of the Fall Out Boy adds of the oft-covered track: “The song keeps coming up, and every time it’s like it’s brand new. It sounds new every time you hear it.”
Of his book, Light has written in Hollywood Reporter:
I attempt to explore the unprecedented path of this song – a protracted snowball effect that, over the course of several decades, has turned ‘Hallelujah’ into one of the most loved, most performed, and most misunderstood compositions of all time.
He adds: “Cohen’s simple, indelible melody and striking, ambiguous words – a mesmerizing synthesis of prayer and sexuality – combined with the irresistible force of that universal, one-word chorus add up to a song that is able to serve as a celebration and a lament, a versatile symbol of triumph and sorrow, heartbreak and wisdom.”
Comedian Adam Sandler recently performed a spoof version of the song at the 12-12-12 Hurricane Sandy benefit gig in New York.
Earlier this year, Cohen said that people have asked him for a moratorium on the usage of covers of his classic song, ‘Hallelujah’.
The track, from his 1984 album ‘Various Positions’, has been covered by a host of artists including the late Jeff Buckley, Bono, Willie Nelson, Rufus Wainwright, k.d. lang and The X Factor winner Alexandra Burke.
Of its popularity, Cohen told The Guardian: “There’s been a couple of times when other people have said can we have a moratorium please on ‘Hallelujah’? Must we have it at the end of every single drama and every single Idol? And once or twice I’ve felt maybe I should lend my voice to silencing it but on second thought no, I’m very happy that it’s being sung.”
Leonard Cohen is to return to the UK in 2013 with a one-off show at London’s O2 Arena on June 21.