However, the most famous - and, according to Cohen, definitive - version of 'Hallelujah' is by the late Jeff Buckley. Appearing on his only complete studio album, Grace, it ditched Cohen's chintzy eighties production and replaced it with sparse, ethereal-sounding guitar work and Buckley's angelic, idiosyncratic vocals. It wasn't the American's finest moment, but it is his best-remembered.
Consequently, it wasn't surprising that followers of the Californian were up in arms when they heard Simon Cowell had picked the track for his latest X Factor victor. Although the line "you don't really care for music, do you?" may seem strangely appropriate for the reality show judge, many fans declared it musical blasphemy that the likes of Eoghan Quigg could end up releasing a song which Buckley believed to be about the "hallelujah of an orgasm".
While the Facebook campaigners and Buckley obsessives may not succeed in trumping Burke for the Christmas number one spot, they shouldn't consider their efforts a total failure. Cowell Towers may have won the chart battle, but it is Cohen and the late Buckley who are the real winners, with millions of young fans hearing a great song performed by a great singer for the very first time.