8 Best Uses of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah

Sometimes embracing haunting emotions of anguish and heartbreak becomes more comfortable when you lend your ears and heart to the melancholic yet soul-stirring libretto of Leonard Cohen’s  ‘Hallelujah‘.A gentle tug at the sentimental chords of one’s heart,  the tunes of Hallelujah remains a kaleidoscopic journey revolving around forlorn anticipation with a transcending ray of hope to light up the world. However, in the past few decades, it has been considered a perfect complementary soundtrack to the last inevitable moments of grief, a significant transition in serendipity. As I write this article on the top use of the ‘Hallelujah’ soundtrack in Hollywood culture, I thought it would be befitting to incline an ear intently to the original piece:

8. SNL: Trip down the lane of controversy:

SNL: Trip down the lane of controversy:
Kate McKannon dressed as Hillary Clinton singing ‘Hallelujah’ in SNL Cold Open 2016

The 2016 Presidential Elections made headlines with the wrenching defeat of Hilary Clinton and the Democrats. Along the same time, the world bade a tearful farewell to the legendary Maestro, Leonardo Cohen himself.  Some considered the SNL Cold open with Kate McKinnon dressed as Hilary Clinton playing the tunes of Hallelujah as a somber and solemn pun on the election event. Others took it to be a humiliating and distasteful mark of arrogance on the Canadian Songwriter’s career. Hence with its controversy-ridden wings, we list it at number 8.

 7. ER:

Parminder Nagre as Neela Rasgotra in ‘ER’ Season 13

Unlike Scrubs (which will be mentioned later) ER is an uncompromised rendition of devastation and the ultimate inevitability. Hence, season 13, the finale episode, rings to the haunting notes of Jeff Buckley’s cover of Hallelujah as Parminder Nagre’s Neela joins the anti-war rally only to ultimately befall at the behest of the forlorn.



Melissa Benoist as Kara-Zor-El in ‘Supergirl’

Amongst all the different uses of the rendition, Supergirl actually pays homage to the spiritual conviction of the lyrics. A beautiful connotation of  religious sanctity  overlapped with words of compassion, togetherness and soulful love for the children of Rao.

Watch the heart-wrenching moment on

5. Watchmen:

Nite Owl II and Silk Spectre II in the ‘Watchmen’

After Nite Owl II and Silk Spectre II heroically risk their own lives in order to aid and redeem civilians from an intrinsic situation of fire borne miseries, the chords of romantic intimacy builds between the involved protagonists against the profound and emotional notes of Hallelujah with a deeply mystical touch of harmony.

 4. Scrubs:

JD and Mrs Tanner in Scrubs Episode: My Old Lady

Sometimes an embrace can go a long way into building patience and anticipation of goodwill for a job that continually observes gut-wrenching pain and indignities of life. And somehow, ‘Hallelujah’ brings that ray of hope for welfare as JD. and the other doctors try to come to terms with the harsh inescapable end of life in Scrubs.

 3. Shrek:

Shrek walking down the forest road as ‘Hallelujah’ plays on

The humor and joyful moments see a sudden end as Shrek and Princess Fiona part ways for her settled marriage to the small prince. A spur of harsh words to the Donkey as Shrek begins to walk on the path of aloneness has a well-suited companion in the rings of Rufus Wainwright’s cover of Hallelujah as moments of regret and loneliness dominates the animated characters


2. The West Wing:

The West Wing
CJ breaks down after the untimely death of Simon Donovan

The calm before the storm hits is precisely how the gunshots screamed through the air during the armed robbery as Special Agent Donovan is shot and killed. As Jeff Buckley’s cover of Hallelujah plays through the air, it remains unable to cut through the deep air of miseries until the ever strong CJ gives up and starts crying for her love as the chaotic and bustling roads of Times Square gives her company

  1. The OC

The OC
Ryan carries Marissa out from the car-wreck

Although the Hallelujah soundtrack has been used several times throughout the OC, the final moments of season 3 efficiently increase the profound impact of the lyrics as Ryan carries the almost lifeless body of Marissa from the car wreck in an effort to pull her from the untimely abyss. As she murmurs her last words to Ryan, every viewer around the world teared up to see an end to their little romance.

 Hallelujah is a beautiful song with its waves of emotions pulling the listeners into a world of magic, and every show has tried to do this song justice. However, we certainly want to see it being used more, so do tell us.

But before that, go and listen to the magic come alive once again.

Sources: Nerdist, The New York Times



Subons Staff
Subons Staff

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