One of the most re-recorded songs and with a strong presence on movie and series tracks, at parties or even at funeral ceremonies, "Hallelujah" was written by Canadian singer Leonard Cohen and released on his 1984 album Various Positions.
The song only started to gain popularity in 1991, when the former The Velvet Underground John Cale re-recorded it for the I'm Your Fan: The Songs of Leonard Cohen tribute album, which also had names like R.E.M. ("First We Take Manhattan"), Pixies ("I Can't Forget"), Lloyd Cole ("Chelsea Hotel") and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds ("Tower of Song"). However, it was the version recorded by Jeff Buckley on his album Grace (1994), which "Hallelujah" took on a greater dimension in the world of popular music.
Grace was not successful at the time of its release. But, over the years, with growing critical acclaim, the American singer 's only studio album that died in 1997 started to appear on lists of best albums of all time, with "Hallelujah" as one of the reference tracks.
"Hallelujah" apppeared in the film "Shrek" (2001) in the voice of Jonh Cale and was used as a tribute to the victims of the September 11 attack in the United States in the voice of Buckley. Two moments that gave great visibility to the song at the beginning of century.
In the story of "Hallelujah" it is said that Leonard Cohen needed two years to write the song, which generated about 80 verses drafts. The singer himself used to change verses in live performances. The artists who re-recorded it also made changes that generate different interpretations for the song. With several biblical references, "Hallelujah" in its different versions can be seen as a religious, romantic theme or a song with sexual innuendo. Its imprecise verses leave it between the sacred and the profane.