Behold: Pop Culture’s Most Overplayed Song

Watch a compilation of the myriad versions of “Hallelujah” that have wafted through movies and TV shows incessantly, lo these many years.

Behold: Pop Culture’s Most Overplayed Song
The song has a heavy presence on singing competitions like, "America's Got Talent"

WHAT: “How Pop Culture Overplayed ‘Hallelujah,’” a supercut revealing just how often this song has been used in movies and shows.

WHO: The video fanatics at Fandor Keyframe.

WHY WE CARE: Every now and then, a song becomes culturally omnipresent. You can’t escape it. There was a moment about a decade ago when no matter what network drama or movie trailer was on, you were guaranteed to get an earful of The Fray’s “How To Save A Life.” Well, that was just a moment and the thing about moments is they end. “Hallelujah,” on the other hand, has had way more than a moment; it’s had a tyrannical domination over tender moments for years and years. No matter whether it’s the Jeff Buckley version or Tom Waits, the song has by now become cinematic shorthand for goopy sentimentality, to the point where all that’s being communicated is a director’s laziness, rather than the emotionality of a scene. This video provides a tour of the seemingly endless array of “Hallelujah” covers, and the films and shows they’ve been thrust upon, to demonstrate how desensitized we should all be to it. If those slow chords still stir anything in your heart by the end of it, congratulations–you’re the reason this is still happening as recently as last week’s Emmys.

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. He has also written for The Awl, Rolling Stone, McSweeney's, and Salon.