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Jeff Buckley — Hallelujah
Album: Grace
Avg rating:
8.2

Your rating:
Total ratings: 7162









Released: 1994
Length: 6:44
Plays (last 30 days): 5
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 (1435)add comment
Hey BillG its Tim Buckleys son!!! Stetsonman - you need some love in your life. we dont care what you hate. Hope you get the attention and love you need.
i hate this fucking song
Jeff took this anthem to new heights. Goosebumps!
it's TRITE.

and also shite
Ok. That ending really broke me. Sublime
 dmcanany wrote:


Out of curiosity, just how many covers of this song are there? 

Recorded as in an album:

John Cale
Jeff Buckley
Rufus Wainwright
k.d. lang
Alexandra Burke
Pentatonix

and then 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...(Leonard_Cohen_song)#Other_cover_versions

Also give this a listen:
https://www.wnycstudios.org/po...





 cavemanleong wrote:

The absolute best cover I've ever heard of this song. Jeff made it his own. Still missing him after all these years. 



Out of curiosity, just how many covers of this song are there? 
much preferred Tim
He should still be singing that's for sure.
love this song--prefer the original by Leonard Cohen....
So well done. I especially like the guitar work.

BUT...
It is so overplayed. everywhere. Takes the magic away.
 hellsgardener wrote:


Always makes me smile to see choirs singing this with their best devout faces on - if only they knew 



I think with Leonard Cohen there's not much space between spirituality and sensuality. I'm with you that some folks singing this might not catch both aspects of it. Leonard Cohen is like that though. That's why I enjoy his music.
 I felt Sleepy
Terrific. 
LC must have been very proud when he heard this version.
 chicago_mies wrote:

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  




I know that very many RPeeps love Buckley's rendition.  I hear a whiny kid going over the top.
Cohen did a great on his song during his later tours.
Sick of this song.  So many other awesome songs by Jeff.  Please stop playing it...
 firefly6 wrote:

Inappropriately performed as a spiritual song so many times...



Always makes me smile to see choirs singing this with their best devout faces on - if only they knew 
Like father like son, tragic and talented...
 ace-marc wrote:


Yeah, of all the versions this is the worst.


Pffff.  We're all taking you very seriously.
 wmrhendry wrote:


Check out KD Lang from the 2020 olympics, 


kd's was very good...I remember being stunned... but Jeff's version is better.
 cavemanleong wrote:

The absolute best cover I've ever heard of this song. Jeff made it his own. Still missing him after all these years. 



Check out KD Lang from the 2010 olympics, 
I just need to say, this song hits deep today.  In the wake of the Derek Chauvin verdict yesterday, this song's lyric, "it's a cold and broken Hallelujah", is how the Twin Cities feels today, at least for me.  I feel like we just survived a wildfire or a deadly storm.  We emerge from our shelters, see the incredible destruction around us, and yet we're still alive, and yet it could have been so much worse.  This time, we will build back with more justice, and humanity.  Thank you for your music, Jeff Buckley.  RIP and Hallelujah.  Hallelujah, Everyone.  
 ebanzai wrote:

I dunno, I like this well enough, but I'd much rather hear  Cohen's version.



Yeah, of all the versions this is the worst.
Time to change it up Bill - getting stale around here.
I think I liked this song perhaps the first 800 times. 
Like the birthday song, it has gotten really, really, old and annoying.
Never, ever need to hear it again. Will likely hear it hundreds more times.

Overly dramatic, sap-fest of saccharhine.
The genius of Leonard Cohen and the brilliance of Jeff Buckley.....  
A marriage made in heaven ?
The best cover ever made?
Inappropriately performed as a spiritual song so many times...
 cavemanleong wrote:
The absolute best cover I've ever heard of this song. Jeff made it his own. Still missing him after all these years. 
 

I agree it is outstanding. I still feel like the version of Rufus Wainwright, that he played on (I think) an irish channel is a bit better, because it carries more emotion, sadness.
 serban.popadiuc wrote:
Have to say, it's a bit disappointing that from all his songs only this cover is being played, which is still a 10 for me, but i think JB is an absolute treasure and should be played more. Grace is a masterpiece. 
 Agreed. Every song on it is a gem, and as extraordinary this one is, there are better (at the very least, less worn). I'd like to hear Last Goodbye more often.
10
 acolt wrote:
When Johnny Cash covered "Hurt," Trent Reznor acknowledged, somewhat begrudgingly, that the song was no longer his, it was Cash's. 

I feel pretty comfortable in saying that this song is no longer Leonard Cohen's, it's Jeff Buckley's. And that's fine. Cohen has a whole bunch of songs that are still his. Let Jeff have this one.
 
I have to disagree. Buckley has made it his song, but it is a different song than Cohen's. There is something a little too sweet about Buckley's version for my taste. Cohen's version has more depth to it.
Johnny Cash took Trent Reznor's song and made it more.
Still one of my favorite albums.  This song is ethereal.
I dunno, I like this well enough, but I'd much rather hear  Cohen's version.
Props to the wondrous songsmith - Cohen's works are beautiful indeed.
LLRP!!
 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
 
Hey One Post Wonder - thanks for sharing your ignorance with us


 dwlangham wrote:
I liked this song. Once. Then it got to be a bit much, in part because it has become overused as a quasi-religious secular anthem.  
 
WTF is a "quasi-religious secular anthem"?


When Johnny Cash covered "Hurt," Trent Reznor acknowledged, somewhat begrudgingly, that the song was no longer his, it was Cash's. 

I feel pretty comfortable in saying that this song is no longer Leonard Cohen's, it's Jeff Buckley's. And that's fine. Cohen has a whole bunch of songs that are still his. Let Jeff have this one.
Have to say, it's a bit disappointing that from all his songs only this cover is being played, which is still a 10 for me, but i think JB is an absolute treasure and should be played more. Grace is a masterpiece. 
my favorite rendition of this track, although watching Cohen perform it live at his last show in Milwaukee was pretty cool
This song takes me far, far away from here.
 forge wrote:
Nobody else should have ever tried to cover this track, the only valid versions are this one and Leonard's. So say we all.
 

Apart from John Cale.
Amen to the haircut.....
Nobody else should have ever tried to cover this track, the only valid versions are this one and Leonard's. So say we all.
<sees political discussion> <gets antsy>

Um, oh look, Jeff Buckley! He's awesome!
"Dumb enough to be an American"?  "Catastrophic  fail"?  Really?  Politics aside, and apologies to the even less locked down Sweden,  I assumed a large portion of your audience is American.  A large number of them suffering from...politically selective lockdowns.   radioparadise9 wrote:

"Why bow to the tyranny" - don't bow to no stinking virus!
Dumb enough to be an American 

Are you tired of winning yet?
World leading infection rate ... and total deaths
.... totally out of control

Covid poses a cultural IQ test .... the USA is a catastrophic FAIL




 
There should be a law that the only versions of this song allowed are Jeff Buckleys, and of course Leonards, and maybe Adam Sandlers.
 DrMacDaddy wrote:

Angels require no effort to sing.
 
Got a video of angels singing ... or eating pizza ... ?


 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
 
How's that lockdown working out?
The USA never locked down ... and has paid a terrible price, with plenty more to come

Greetings from a place with no community transmission since April 2020






 richgoose wrote:

why bow to the tyranny, just follow the market where it moved to and you will get a haircut no problemo - stop complying
 
"Why bow to the tyranny" - don't bow to no stinking virus!
Dumb enough to be an American 

Are you tired of winning yet?
World leading infection rate ... and total deaths
.... totally out of control

Covid poses a cultural IQ test .... the USA is a catastrophic FAIL




 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
 

Oh come now, tell us how you really feel!

Though I don't share your sentiments, I do appreciate the passion in your comment. It definitely made me laugh!
Thank God he left us this before he left us.
Thank you, Bill, for playing this a few minutes after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the election. Couldn't agree more.
 chicago_mies wrote:
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  
 I agree, however, KD Lang's live version is quite spectacular as well.

 flyboy wrote:
The way he holds that note at the end is pretty incredible.
 

28 seconds - if I am prepared, I can hold that note for that long, but it won't be that pretty with a quivering vibrato. The part that kills me is that he goes right back into another beautiful 12+ second run right after that with no gasping breath; I'd be sucking wind right then.
 skyhigh_71 wrote:
For me, this is THE superlative version.
 

i immediately went and played Cohen's  right after  Buckley's version of this song, while reading some of the comments here...
Re maxvonevil wrote:
Gave it a chance, but hard Nope. This kid can't hold a candle to Alex Burke's performing this song on X-factor back in 2008:

 Edweirdo wrote:

I have to assume that you're trolling, because the alternative is too horrible to contemplate.
The lesson that less can be (and usually is) more than enough is not alas a current trend! Simplicity and class wins over raw effort.
I liked this song. Once. Then it got to be a bit much, in part because it has become overused as a quasi-religious secular anthem.  
So much for productivity today, now I'm just gonna be sad.
Leonard Cohen,  Jeff Buckley.........the world is a poorer place for their absence.
Best-ever version of this song is by Kurt Nilsen, Espen Lind, Askil Holm and Alejandro Fuentes. Absolutely beautiful 
 maxvonevil wrote:
Gave it a chance, but hard Nope. This kid can't hold a candle to Alex Burke's performing this song on X-factor back in 2008: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaWLsgxDzuw
 
I have to assume that you're trolling, because the alternative is too horrible to contemplate.
 chicago_mies wrote:
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  
Fantastic story of which Jeff Buckley is a part .  

https://revisionisthistory.com/episodes/07-hallelujah



Gave it a chance, but hard Nope. This kid can't hold a candle to Alex Burke's performing this song on X-factor back in 2008: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaWLsgxDzuw
This never gets old for me!
I love this version, but I prefer the version by John Cale. 
Can I give tihis another 10?
I can't remember who posted this, years ago, but this best explains the intent Of Leonard Cohen's lyrics: 

"The song begins with David, one of God's most devout servants, who spoils that relationship in his adulterous passion for Bathsheba. In the line "she cut your hair" he probably thinks of Samson, whose bond to God as a Nazarite (symbolized by his uncut hair) was likewise broken when his passion for Delilah blinded him to her betrayal.

In the lyrics that grow out of those two stories, Cohen rejects the idea that romantic love is discovery, victory, or revelation. Rather, it is urgent and painful, it seems to have happened against the will of the singer himself, and it has left him broken. Yet though he is broken, he cries out Hallelujah—the ultimate cry of praise—to a love so emotionally overwhelming it's like worship." 

Beautiful...
 buddy wrote:
This never gets old for me. The best version ever of this tune. Especially poignant given how Tim left us. 
 

Actually, When you think about all the other versions, this would be the worst.
 justin4kick wrote:
That was truly magnificent. Still I wouldn't mind not hearing the song for the next 5 years or so.
 
LOL {#Roflol}
That was truly magnificent. Still I wouldn't mind not hearing the song for the next 5 years or so.
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}