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Jeff Buckley — Hallelujah
Album: Grace
Avg rating:
8.2

Your rating:
Total ratings: 5993









Released: 1994
Length: 6:44
Plays (last 30 days): 4
Well, I heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do ya?

Well, it goes like this: the fourth, the fifth,
The minor fall and the major lift,
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Well, your faith was strong, but you needed proof,
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew ya

And she tied you to her kitchen chair,
And she broke your throne and she cut your hair,
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Well, baby, I've been here before,
I've seen this room and I've walked this floor
You know, I used to live alone before I knew ya

And I've seen your flag on the marble arch
And love is not a victory march,
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Well, there was a time when you let me know
What's really going on below,
But now you never show that to me, do ya?

But remember when I moved in you,
And the holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Well, maybe there is a God above
But all I've ever learned from love,
Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew ya

And it's not a cry that you hear at night
It's not somebody who's seen the light,
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah
Comments (1368)add comment
The way he holds that note at the end is pretty incredible.
 ColdMiser wrote:
"And she tied you to her kitchen chair,
And she broke your throne and she cut your hair,
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah"

that will be me when i finally get my hair cut after the lockdown is over
 
why bow to the tyranny, just follow the market where it moved to and you will get a haircut no problemo - stop complying
enough already....
"And she tied you to her kitchen chair,
And she broke your throne and she cut your hair,
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah"

that will be me when i finally get my hair cut after the lockdown is over
 mach-hog wrote:
Leonard! This is very, very good. Rufus’s is the best of the covers though.
Interesting. I'm a fan of Rufus, but cannot stand his version. The phrasing is weak, as if he is just trying to rush through the song, and it is far too whiny.  I agree with another post that perhaps there are enough covers of this song!
I used to love this song but it is simply too overplayed.  I loved Jeff Buckley's version though.   I don't hear much of his other work?
Leonard! This is very, very good. Rufus’s is the best of the covers though.
Lyrics are hardly sweet, which is why Leonard Cohen's elder voice is so perfect for them. And remains the best version - wish it was played more than this thin voiced one.
I just ordered this album on vinyl, magnificent.
A big hallelujah on this one The lyrics are sweet too
This never gets old for me. The best version ever of this tune. Especially poignant given how Tim left us. 
I would guess this would be the music played in Dr. Kevorkians office
Any chance of John Cale's version which was the original of THIS arrangement?

Although Rufus Wainwright's version of the song "Hallelujah" appeared on the Shrek soundtrack album, it was John Cale's arrangement that appeared in the film. Wainwright was an artist for DreamWorks and John Cale was not, thus licensing issues prohibited Cale's version from appearing on the soundtrack album.
 Stetsonman wrote:
this is one song that needs to be unwritten and deleted from the musical record.
i wish that were possible.
it is drivel and from the start i wish it to end. but like a bad disease it just keeps going

hey my first post, i signed up to give this a MINUS TEN
 
Replace the first 4 words of your post with, "this is one post" and it fits my sentiments precisely. 
I'll happily acknowledge that this is one of the greatest covers of a great song ever made.
KDL's version is great as is John Cale's also. Seen LC do it live.
But please...let me never hear it again. By anybody.
 Ag3nt0rang3 wrote:
Beinte wrote:
You have a point ... may surprise you but my disgust is indeed merely superficially warranted, firstly by the repetitiously howled word hallelujah, which reminds me of my christian youth :pray: secondly by the sucking melody. :twisted:
Well you'll be comforted to know that this isn't a religious song, it's a song about the end of a relationship, about falling out of love. It's certainly not a Christian song. Your disgust for the melody is your own, and I won't debate you on that.
 
Or as Ms. Anderson would say "Hallelujah, Yo Da Lady Who"...
Much as I like this song have heard it too much
Sung as if he had stared it right in the face, as if he had written it, as if it was exactly what he went through.
I can't listen to this song without stopping whatever I'm doing, closing my eyes, and just <listening>.   <feeling>. Three shivers down my spine in this listening. I don't know of any other song that goes as straight to the soul
A masterpiece of a cover tune. And perhaps the best solo vocal with solo electric guitar accompaniment ever recorded.
The more I here this, the more I love it.
Seems there are some nasty comments to this song. Seems some people are so full of it they need two holes to let it out. I pity the poor bastids.
So far, no one has topped K. D. Lang's version.
It is a lovely song, but unfortunately it brings back negative memories that can not be ignored.  Why I will not rate it.  Sad but music is about emotion. 
 sqqqrly wrote:
The history of this song is pretty amazing.   Listen to the podcast http://revisionisthistory.com/episodes/07-hallelujah

It took Leonard Cohen and others many years to get the song "right".

Cohen spend 5 years writing it, and recorded it in 1984 where it flopped.   Buckley recorded his version in 1994.  The original album went gold posthumously in 2002 and gold as a single in 2008!
 
Good observation.  Cohen is Canada's greatest poet, IMHO, but we have better musical treatments  for some of  his works. Teddy Thompson's "Tonight Will be Fine" or "The Future" are other examples of improved musical renditions of Cohen's orignal wordsmithing. A superb transformation is also found in Billy Joel's "Light as the Breeze". 
The history of this song is pretty amazing.   Listen to the podcast http://revisionisthistory.com/episodes/07-hallelujah

It took Leonard Cohen and others many years to get the song "right".

Cohen spend 5 years writing it, and recorded it in 1984 where it flopped.   Buckley recorded his version in 1994.  The original album went gold posthumously in 2002 and gold as a single in 2008!
Þetta er bara gott. Punktur.
BLEUGH
Stop this.
THIS SONG SUCKS
 jas1776 wrote:
Brilliant lyrics, especially:

Well, maybe there is a God above 
But all I've ever learned from love, 
Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew ya 
 

Of course, Cohen was a superb poet. He knew things. 
was overplayed at a certain point in my life.  but haven't heard it in a long time.  and it hit me today, similar to the way it did when it was released.  when I'm in Memphis I always think of Jeff and look at the river and try to understand.  i'm sure the blues got bluer that day.  
For the first few chords I always think this is King Crimson, soon I realize I am wrong and am very disappointed.
Favorite version by far but overplayed and now I'm numb.  
Probably the best cover ever
Anyone else out here in RP-world crying along with C.J., mourning Simon Donovan's untimely death, whenever you hear this?
+20 for a total of 30.
this is one song that needs to be unwritten and deleted from the musical record.
i wish that were possible.
it is drivel and from the start i wish it to end. but like a bad disease it just keeps going

hey my first post, i signed up to give this a MINUS TEN
 phlattop wrote:
 

Ohmigosh!  I wish it was still in that set.  

This is the first song I heard the first time I tuned into RP, 15 years ago.  I had never heard it before.  It took my breath away.  

Still does.
 Ihatethissong wrote:
I heard the observation that singing for Jeff Buckley was effortless.
 
Angels require no effort to sing.
I heard the observation that singing for Jeff Buckley was effortless.
 Ag3nt0rang3 wrote:
Beinte wrote:
You have a point ... may surprise you but my disgust is indeed merely superficially warranted, firstly by the repetitiously howled word hallelujah, which reminds me of my christian youth :pray: secondly by the sucking melody. :twisted:
Well you'll be comforted to know that this isn't a religious song, it's a song about the end of a relationship, about falling out of love. It's certainly not a Christian song. Your disgust for the melody is your own, and I won't debate you on that.
 While not religious, this tune is far more spiritual to me than the countless renditions  of Handel's "Messiah" that are equally repetitious and presented de rigueur at venues supported by organized religion. Maybe Beiente disagrees...

Marvelous.
The music is sublime but Leonard Cohen had quite a  dry take on love
Love that song.

Almost as if the out-of-tune intro brings all the rest into sync on more planes than just the musical. It does give the sense of something unique and "accidental"

I've always thought (not always, but since I first had that experience) that sex can (should?) be divine. A trinity of sorts when something that goes beyond and soars above emerges (no pun intended, but language is funny!)

I once heard a guy say that most people thought of having sex as going to a pub, and it's actually more like going to church (or whichever place is that of your cult) and I agree with that.

Anyway, this song always gets me. Thank you Mr Buckley. 
 jp33442 wrote:
Love any version of this song
 
Hallelujah!  For all the "this version is better than that one" comments, yours shines through and makes me say AGREED....I just went 8 to 9 on THIS version....Long Live RP!!

And as usual, BillG's pairing of this after Sad Lisa by Cat Stevens was perfection!!
 bruceandjenna wrote:
Nah.  Only familiar with Cohen and Wainright's versions, both superior to this.

5 for effort.
 
Boo hiss. Wainwright's version is crap compared to this.
 drwhy wrote:
Indeed the BEST version of this song.  I cannot stand the version by Rufus Wainwright in the movie Shrek.  Once you hear Jeff Buckley's version every other version pales in comparison.
 
Agreed. Wainwright's version just lacks depth and emotion. I think the Wainwright version is my least favorite. 
This whole album is fabulous....{#Clap}
Love any version of this song
 cinco5 wrote:
stunningly beautiful. it's all his own.
 
Let us also honor the writer. Taking nothing from this Wonderfull version.
The only version better is from the original writer, Leonard Cohen. That deep voice brings a haunting desperation to the song.
I had the great fortune of seeing Jeff Buckley play in a small club, c '94-95. What a stunning talent. I was grief-stricken when the news broke that he died. Still one of my favorite albums of all time. 
I can't help but wonder if this song was played at his funeral, and how it would have surely brought everyone to tears. Especially his heartbroken mother who raised him alone after his equally brilliant father Tim left them both when Jeff was a baby to pursue his own amazing musical story before dying of a drug overdose at an equally tragic young age. A Greek-like tragedy all around. Worth Googling it and watching the documentary if you haven't heard the story.
Whole album is a 10

RIP Jeff
Indeed the BEST version of this song.  I cannot stand the version by Rufus Wainwright in the movie Shrek.  Once you hear Jeff Buckley's version every other version pales in comparison.
I'm so proud that this song was written by a fellow Canadian, Leonard Cohen. Even after 1000 time, this song is always wonderful.
 k-man wrote:
When I saw this was a Russian band, I found I loved it. Like, WTF... OK!
 
Uh oh.  Musta posted during a song transition.  Just heard that Russian song prior.  Chalk on a blackboard...in my head.
Man definitely nailed it. And then he took a swim.
Nah.  Only familiar with Cohen and Wainright's versions, both superior to this.

5 for effort.
 xray38 wrote:
 Ummm, Cohen wrote the music as well.  K.D. Lang did it first, many years ago.  My idea of the perfect interpretation is by Allison Crowe, alone on piano. It's brilliant. (not to be confused with Allison Krauss)
 

cely wrote:
What's "godlike" is that he turned Cohen's spoken word into the standard it has now become.  And clearly not with that intention.
 


 

thank you. I needed this today.
Bill that's 3 times this week!
How about the K.D. Lang or Leonard's own version for comparison and see what comments we get?
 misterbearbaby wrote:
This song is confusing and stupid. But I thought that about Paul Simon's Duncan the first ten-dozen times I heard it too... Maybe I have something to learn. But, for example, when I contrast this song with Ted Nugent's "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang" from Cat Scratch Fever  I am at more-or-less a total loss.
 
From the song "But you don't really care for music, do ya?
Well, it goes like this: the fourth, the fifth,
The minor fall and the major lift"

NOT A CHRISTMAS SONG.
No-one tops K.D. Lang's version
For me, this is THE superlative version.
 Ummm, Cohen wrote the music as well.  K.D. Lang did it first, many years ago.  My idea of the perfect interpretation is by Allison Crowe, alone on piano. It's brilliant. (not to be confused with Allison Krauss)
 

cely wrote:
What's "godlike" is that he turned Cohen's spoken word into the standard it has now become.  And clearly not with that intention.
 

I heard this song for the first time on RP in 2003 and it made me fall in love both with the song and with Jeff Buckley. 

And with RP.  
This song is confusing and stupid. But I thought that about Paul Simon's Duncan the first ten-dozen times I heard it too... Maybe I have something to learn. But, for example, when I contrast this song with Ted Nugent's "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang" from Cat Scratch Fever  I am at more-or-less a total loss.
Brilliant lyrics, especially:

Well, maybe there is a God above 
But all I've ever learned from love, 
Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew ya 
{#Sleep}
What's "godlike" is that he turned Cohen's spoken word into the standard it has now become.  And clearly not with that intention.
I remember the first time I heard this, and had to stop what I was doing and listen more closely.  I had never heard of Leonard Cohen before this, and have come to appreciate what a great songwriter he was. 
This song is perfect and will last forever, like "Yesterday."
 gbt wrote:
I have to stop every time I hear this, gives me shivers. Not many that do this, sublime, magnificent.
 
I do too. But for the first time, tonight, I stopped completely and paid full attention, and pulled up the lyrics here on RP and followed along. And my reaction tonight is the same as yours. No matter the overplay, the use in commercialized ventures, the covers... this song, performed by Jeff, is indeed sublime, magnificent.
I have to stop every time I hear this, gives me shivers. Not many that do this, sublime, magnificent.
 maclochness wrote:
 Stephen - by "killing it," you meant butchering, I assume, and not nailing it righteously, the way sometimes "killing" is used?  This seems to be one of those words that can have two opposite meanings!

Stephen_Phillips wrote:
Last week I heard a female busker covering this song in Oxford, England.

I instantly recognised it among all the hustle and bustle (it was Graduation Day for many Oxford Colleges) and I said out loud to anybody that could hear me... "She's killing that song".

Some Japanese tourists turned around and stared at me - I am not sure if they disagreed or they were surprised that somebody should speak out loud in public (they are very discrete and quietly spoken). 

For me, Jeff is forever identified with this song, even if he did not write it.

Sorry lady busker,  you might have a nice voice but you picked the wrong song to cover. 
 



Yes I meant butchering it. And to other commentators... I don't think Jeff's version is OTT.
IMHO he overdoes it.

Rgds. from Shropshire.
 Stephen - by "killing it," you meant butchering, I assume, and not nailing it righteously, the way sometimes "killing" is used?  This seems to be one of those words that can have two opposite meanings!

Stephen_Phillips wrote:
Last week I heard a female busker covering this song in Oxford, England.

I instantly recognised it among all the hustle and bustle (it was Graduation Day for many Oxford Colleges) and I said out loud to anybody that could hear me... "She's killing that song".

Some Japanese tourists turned around and stared at me - I am not sure if they disagreed or they were surprised that somebody should speak out loud in public (they are very discrete and quietly spoken). 

For me, Jeff is forever identified with this song, even if he did not write it.

Sorry lady busker,  you might have a nice voice but you picked the wrong song to cover. 


 

When I saw this was a Russian band, I found I loved it. Like, WTF... OK!
PSD>> got me Dandy Warhols GODLESS. Yikes!!
Tonight in the workshop, Jeff is going on, full blast. Damn.
c.
Last week I heard a female busker covering this song in Oxford, England.

I instantly recognised it among all the hustle and bustle (it was Graduation Day for many Oxford Colleges) and I said out loud to anybody that could hear me... "She's killing that song".

Some Japanese tourists turned around and stared at me - I am not sure if they disagreed or they were surprised that somebody should speak out loud in public (they are very discrete and quietly spoken). 

For me, Jeff is forever identified with this song, even if he did not write it.

Sorry lady busker,  you might have a nice voice but you picked the wrong song to cover. 

What a version of this song.  I was walking out of the room when it started, I had to return and turn it up.  I just ordered the CD that this song came from and yes, I used the RP connection to do so.
there are so many great versions of this song but Jeff Buckley's cover gets a "10-Godlike" ranking from me.  If you haven't heard it, Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History Podcast covers the story of how Jeff Buckley discovered and transformed this song.
https://revisionisthistory.com/episodes/07-hallelujah  
Great but kd Lang is better
stunningly beautiful. it's all his own.
so soulful
The absolute best cover I've ever heard of this song. Jeff made it his own. Still missing him after all these years. 
 folkrocker wrote:
My favorite version of this song. Jeff Buckley owns it.

 
Yeah, he totally Hendrix'd it.
Still missing this great artist.
Ahhhh...nothing like some Hallelujah to soothe my work day. My favourite cover by far! Still missing Jeff after all these years.
10.

10 10 10 10 10 10 10.
This issue (UNCUT June 2013) is worth looking for if you're into reading some in-depth info. on Mr. J. Buckley.


There are so many covers of songs where the cover artist is just reading the words. Every now and then you hear a cover where you feel the artist really gets the song and adds something that was subtly missing from the original. I think this is one of the latter - he's really feeling it. Though I confess I've never really understood the lyrics.
Sublime.  Wonderful version of this song.  10
also good
{#Daisy}
motoboy145 wrote:
One of the most beautiful musicians to ever grace this planet.  one of the best songs ever.

 
my hatesong number one!

...and I have just one...
My favorite version of this song. Jeff Buckley owns it.
Echoes of Back to the Old House by The Smiths in the guitar.

Thank you  Jeff Buckley
  for  Hallelujah

 

For me 8- Most Exellent


 stargazer1 wrote:
I guess people like it. I don't know why. It has me diving for the PSD button. 

 
agree
I guess people like it. I don't know why. It has me diving for the PSD button. 
 ciarataylor wrote:
Done to death.  
Sorry Leonard Cohen, you should receive apologies.  
This version of your lovely song is worse than...{#Frustrated}

-10 out of 10.  It's that bad.

 
I disagree.... one of my favorite versions.
 
Done to death.  
Sorry Leonard Cohen, you should receive apologies.  
This version of your lovely song is worse than...{#Frustrated}

-10 out of 10.  It's that bad.
Just so many of my favourite songs this morning.  Loving it.
One of top music kitsch. I gave neutral 5 for it.
I rather prefer same rated Harrison's ecumenical Hallelujah (My Sweet Lord). :)
 msymmes wrote:
This piece has lots of ratings and comments!   Not sure I have seen the numbers this high for any other track on RP.  Wow !

And did I hear that it took Cohen many, many years to compose this to completion ?
 

 
Five years, apparently. The writing of it had him banging his head against the floor. Then this youngster Buckley comes along and covers it to another level. That's life. And hallelujah to that.
This piece has lots of ratings and comments!   Not sure I have seen the numbers this high for any other track on RP.  Wow !

And did I hear that it took Cohen many, many years to compose this to completion ?
 
Beautiful song!  Lenny's version still reigns supreme (IMHO)
Nice but I'd love to hear both the Leonard Cohen and Rufus Wainwright version. They are magnificent!
 
 Bert7 wrote:
Keep it going Bill....

 
what he said. this set this morning has been godlike. 
Keep it going Bill....
Oh Bill!
I can not stop the tears now..........Beauty!
This is my favourite cover of Leonard's beautiful song.
Thank you!
Saw him perform in the basement of a London skateshop when none of the 20 odd people listening didn't have the faintest clue who he was...was immediately electrified by his passionate performance (regardless of the venue)...never ever witnessed anything remotely like it again. Such a pity he's no longer with us...Instant classic.
Should add kd lang to the list of great cover versions of this song. 
His best.  Period.
 Skydog wrote:


 

That's Funny
Oh yes!  Perfect!
 

Such a beautiful melody.  I don't think I've ever heard a cover I didn't like.
Beautiful