Hallelujah …it’s Jeff Buckley

December 15th, 2008 by Rob Brown

A titanic struggle between new and old media is emerging in the battle for the Christmas number 1 single.   In one corner stands the mighty Simon Cowell, the man that holds Saturday night prime time television in the palm of his hand, in the other a motley crew of Facebook users and music aficionados.

Cowell, X-Factor godfather and impresario has decreed that this year the best selling single at Christmas will be a cover of Leonard Cohen’s climactic masterpiece Hallelujah.   With the power of millions of ITV Saturday night viewers behind him he has also pronounced that it will be sung by the X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke.  

Music lovers across the nation have decided that this song is too important to join the lyrical list lining the already chock-full pockets of Mr C.  It is a commonly held view that the definitive version of Hallelujah was recorded by the late Jeff Buckley and a Facebook group has sprung up called ‘Jeff Buckley for Xmas no 1’ .  The membership is growing by more than 10,000 a day. 

The people formerly known as the audience, who also had John Sargeant so cruelly snatched from the Strictly Come Dancing strut-off, are fighting back.  The downloads are at fever pitch at iTunes and the newly minted MP3 market at Amazon (use the former if you want to be counted for the official chart).   If they succeed in putting the Buckley version at the top of 2009’s Christmas chart they will have pulled of a victory in the manner of David’s over Goliath.

About Rob Brown

Rob Brown has worked in PR for over 20 years and for over fifteen years held senior PR positions within three major global advertising networks; Euro RSCG, McCann and TBWA. He launched his own business ‘Rule 5’ in MediaCityUK, Manchester in November 2012. Rob is the author of ‘Public Relations and the Social Web’ (2009), blogs for The Huffington Post and is joint editor of 'Share This Too' (2013).

11 Responses to “Hallelujah …it’s Jeff Buckley”


  1. Ginnie Oram Says:

    Well thank the Lord is all I can say to that news.


  2. Stephen Smith Says:

    I’ve got nothing against the girl that won X Factor and I haven’t heard her version, I’m sure it sounds very nice.

    But good god this song has been over used on so many crap TV programmes and inappropriate films…. where will it end??

    If this raises the profile of Buckley and Cohen then I’m all for it – I may even break my vow and buy something off iTunes!!!


  3. How to shoot down someone who outdrew ya | FreakyTrigger Says:

    […] “Hallelujah” will be the Christmas #1. But which version? PR Media Blog reports on a Facebook campaign to put Jeff Buckley’s version at #1 instead of the version by X-Factor winner Alexandra […]


  4. Marita Says:

    For one reason or another Buckley’s version is one of the songs many people feel very passionate about, including me.

    It took me about 1min to join the Facebook group and send an invitation to all my friends – hardly a big effort, but as the group grows and people like Christian O’Connell start backing the idea, it’s bound to get tougher for Mr Cowell & Alexandra..

    I say bring it on!


  5. Catherine Breckwoldt Says:

    The Jeff Buckley version of this song is definitely the most poignant version and for personal reasons I find it very moving.

    I feel the X-Factor cover has lost the emotion of the original and I hope Buckley’s version is number this week.

    It would be great to see that smug smile wiped of Cowell’s face!


  6. matt Says:

    great blog it’s good to see someone using a blog for what it is actually meant for look forward to seeing further comments.


  7. Rob Brown Says:

    I’ll take that as a compliment matt – although I’m not entirely sure I know what you mean!


  8. Roger, Online PR Agency, C&M Says:

    GO JEFF GO!!! : )


  9. Buckley’s our Christmas No.1 » pr-media-blog.co.uk Says:

    […] the runaway hit on PR Media Blog this month was a post about the social media driven assault on the Christmas pop chart and the attempt to get […]


  10. stuart alexander Says:

    i will be buried to this song , as was my dad, That important. raw and emotional


  11. Cage Against The Machine For Xmas No1 « PR and the Social Web Says:

    […] was  foursquare behind the struggle to have Jeff Buckley’s cover of Leonard Cohen’s clim… on the top spot ahead of the X-Factor version, but the public was split and that allowed the Burke […]

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