RELIGION
05/28/2010 01:21 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

A Cold And Broken 'Hallelujah': Leonard Cohen's Song, Baptized By American Idol

You don't really care for music, do you?

That's the question put to a brokenhearted lover in the first verse of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah.' This week, on the occasion of another American Idol season finale, it's a fitting question for the show itself. 'Hallelujah' has been performed on television's most-watched show four times in the last few seasons, which is but part of the song's recent surge in popularity. In 2008, it was turned into a hit single in the United Kingdom by Alexandra Burke, the winner of The X Factor (another reality show produced by Idol-creator Simon Cowell). Versions of the song have been used in everything from Shrek to episodes of The West Wing and The OC. But it was not until last week's much-ballyhooed performance by American Idol finalist Lee DeWyze that it became clear just how much the show is managing to corrupt Cohen's complicated song.

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