It’s not a sacred song, although it’s rife with Biblical references. It’s not a love song, although it mentions what love is not. It might be the only song that describes its own chord progressions (“the fourth, the fifth, the minor fall, the major lift.”) You’ve heard it covered by John Cale, k.d. lang, My Chemical Romance, and it has appeared in countless TV shows and films, including Shrek and Watchmen.
Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” may have the strangest back story of any title we’ve published this year, yet it is haunting, singable, and engaging. Adam Scott’s arrangement features its hypnotic, pulsing rhythm and lyrical soaring melody. Shoot, you ought to buy it just for the Tony DeRosa learning track.