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Leonard Cohen — Hallelujah
Album: Leonard Cohen Live
Avg rating:
6.5

Your rating:
Total ratings: 386








Released: 2009
Length: 6:47
Plays (last 30 days): 0
Now I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this the fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light in every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Comments (87)add comment
The lyrics don't match what he is singing...
My new favorite version

https://globalnews.ca/news/1260714/watch-irish-priest-belts-out-hallelujah-at-wedding/

 
 mrgus wrote:
Why are the lyrics totally different from his previous version? Shouldn't it be "Hallelujah II"?

Well, he wrote the song. He can change it as he wishes as he also did with A Thousand Kisses Deep.  Some versions are changed, but not all. I like this rendition compared to the covers.  Seems like he was trying to reclaim his song.  I have another live rendition LC does that is superior, imo, to this.



Spine tingling!
 Biscobret wrote:
The real question is why is Leonard Cohen covering a Jeff Buckley song?
 
Um, you know Jeff covered Leonard, right?  But I must agree with the comments below that this version is a snoozer loser, jeez it's a dirge.  Nothing like his original version and Jeff's soaring cover.
Some guy recently wrote a book ABOUT THIS SONG!  Ended with its use during the memorial services for the Sandy Hook tragedy.

How's Vashon?  I lived in Bainbridge Island for 3 years back in the post-grunge days.
This song is a perfect example of how covers can improve on the original.
The real question is why is Leonard Cohen covering a Jeff Buckley song?
LC is a cool dude... 
Why are the lyrics totally different from his previous version? Shouldn't it be "Hallelujah II"?
okay, here's the deal....I will say it again for everyone with negative things to say....As with Joni and others, it's the POETRY.  Leonard's voice is sometimes hard to listen to (esp. his later, older voice) but it's the WORDS that make the song.  That is why he gets so much airplay on RP.

Now, I will say, if you've never heard his ORIGINAL recording of this song, it deserves a listen.  This live 2009 version is somewhat painful.

Yes, this song's covers are WAY overplayed but the original deserves to be listened to with "new ears" because conviction and emotion is his strong suit.

Tori Amos just did Famous Blue Raincoat and, I'm sorry, but some songs are just never meant to be covered....Such a personal event in Mr. Cohen's life could NEVER be conveyed better than his original, heart-breaking version.

 
for God's sake, I am sick of Hallelujah! {#Eek} 
enough
enough
 missyanneb wrote:
Sigh.
I am kind of sick to death of this song.

I hear it everywhere.
 
And here on RP there are ten, count 'em, ten versions!
Preach it, brother!
This song gets waaayyy too much air time. There are other Leonard Cohen songs that deserve more play.
this is so lounge
This rendition is inferior to the the song on the album to which it is credited.  On the "real" live rendition, Cohen reclaimed his song quite successfully. 
How Leonard Cohen has built such a following, and how he gets so much airplay on R.P. escapes me.
I've known a long time Leonard had done this, and this is actually the first time I ever heard it.
Iprefer Jeff or K.D. on this one
 FlatCat wrote:
Leonard Cohen is whom the word lugubrious was invented for.
 
I'll always associate lugubrious with Joseph Conrad, since I first encountered the word reading Heart of Darkness.


Wow, talk about a bad version. Make it stop, please. {#Yawn}
It's true, Jeff Buckley slays this, and Leonard snoozes it.
I have to agree, this is a very mediocre, sleepy version of a *fabulous* song by a *genius* artist.  I'd far rather hear the Rufus Wainwright or Jeff Buckley versions than this.  Please take it out of rotation.  Leonard Cohen is too good for this...
{#Sleep}
Even asleep, i'm wondering if i'll wake up from this anytime soon...
Really horrible!   
 FlatCat wrote:
Leonard Cohen is whom the word lugubrious was invented for.
 

Leonard Cohen is whom the word lugubrious was invented for.
 ginger wrote:
Wow, one of my favorite songs done in a rendition that I can only rate "Sucko-Barfo". Please make it stop...or at least play the Jeff Buckley version as a follow-up to make up for this. {#Puke}

 
Exactly.  This version is a snoozer.{#Sleep} And I'm SO glad are lovely emoticons reappeared!{#Jump}

Please end soon. This is horrible and never ending. 

 


absolutely marvelous...

and Jeff Buckley's cover is incredible...  miss him...




note to self: PM  Bill and ask him  WHY?........I know I know   because it's his radio staion and he likes it....nevermind.

Wow, one of my favorite songs done in a rendition that I can only rate "Sucko-Barfo". Please make it stop...or at least play the Jeff Buckley version as a follow-up to make up for this. {#Puke}

One of my least favorite recordings of this song. Ugh, the cheap keyboards - what was he thinking?
I'd like it better without the backup singers.
No question at all. This is maudlin.
I suppose an artist has the license to rework his songs as he sees fit, but in this case the results are questionable at best.
 aaronm wrote:
No disrespect to Cohen, as he is the author of the song, but I prefer several covers — particularly, those by Jeff Buckley and Rufus Wainwright — by a country mile.
 
This is the first time I've heard Cohen sing it, and I agree with you, aaronm.

He reclaimed this wonderful song he wrote with his performance on his most recent tour, imo.

Jamus I meant that it was the first time I'd heard the song sung by its composer.

 
Jamus wrote:
What do you mean "original?" Leonard has sung this song that he wrote several different ways - as with the first time I listened to his sung poetry in 1968, he is legend, one if not the best of modern composers.
 
raulman1 wrote:
This is the first time I've heard the original (the first version I heard was Jeff Buckley's cover and I thought it was an amazing song & performance) — and I wholeheartedly agree with everything Cynaera says here.  There are depths and strengths to this version that are lacking in any of the covers I've heard.

 
Cynaera wrote:
FINALLY - the ORIGINAL.  Praise be to Mr. Cohen for writing this song. I've heard several versions of it, and I like a few of them, but this is the holy grail - the man who wrote the song, performed by the man who wrote the song.

Love it or hate it, it's an original in every form.  It set the bar for every other artist who undertook the challenge of performing this song in a manner worthy of the writer.

I still love Leonard Cohen's rendition the best - I'm a purist.     
 
 
 


 yodasan_magoo wrote:

Good song with a somewhat eerie presentation.  Cover versions are much better.


 

Any version is not good when it gets overplayed....
ponderous

Good song with a somewhat eerie presentation.  Cover versions are much better.


How many versions of this do we really need?  A quick check shows that Bono, Burning Spear, Jeff Buckley, K.D. Lang, Leonard Cohen (2x), Martin Sexton, Rufus Wainwright, and Ryan Adams are all in the RP library under the title, Hallelujah.  Methinks this might be a tad bit too much coverage of Cohen's song. . . IMHO, of course. . . 
I give this one only 9, just to keep The Partisan at one point over it.
 missyanneb wrote:
Sigh.
I am kind of sick to death of this song.

I hear it everywhere.
 
bump
 sunybuny wrote:

Only because idiot music procurement people hear the word Hallelujah and don't bother reading the lyrics. Or think the listeners of their application will not know the lyrics. 

I cracked up eharing KD sing it at the Olympics.... left out the 'down below' lines - gee, wonder why?? Family viewing, maybe?? 
 
They are an interesting read.

 missyanneb wrote:
I am kind of sick to death of this song.

I hear it everywhere.
 
Yup.

 missyanneb wrote:
Sigh.
I am kind of sick to death of this song.

I hear it everywhere.
 
Only because idiot music procurement people hear the word Hallelujah and don't bother reading the lyrics. Or think the listeners of their application will not know the lyrics. 

I cracked up hearing KD sing it at the Olympics.... left out the 'down below' lines - gee, wonder why?? Family viewing, maybe?? 

No disrespect to Cohen, as he is the author of the song, but I prefer several covers — particularly, those by Jeff Buckley and Rufus Wainwright — by a country mile.
Sigh.
I am kind of sick to death of this song.

I hear it everywhere.
From the author, live......Hallelujah!!!!!!!!!
 handyrae wrote:

I agree — although I don't like Buckley's version much either.
 
tff
 
Balm for my ears after "Gajdarsko Oro"...
 Randomax wrote:


Please, all of you consider that this is LC singing in 2009!!  In his 2009 voice....he's like 80....so give him a break.... 
 
Good point, Randomax.  I'd dearly love to see Mr. Cohen in concert before one of us is gone.  This is slow, solemn, and reverent - somehow, that lends added poignancy to the whole performance. He's a genius.{#Notworthy}
What version is this? This is definitely not from the Live in London album.  
Baby I have been here before
I know this room, I've walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I've seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah sound something pretty familiar....... good tune

What a man.
What a fantastic song that it can be interpreted by so many in so many different ways. Although I've heard, like everyone else, many other versions that carry different value (if maybe greater?) this version is a special interpretation that carries the weight and burden of the meaning of the words from he who wrote them.

Leonard, of course, is not intended to be a singer but a poet.

K.D. Lang's version has more soul, to me, but I can fully appreciate what's here in Leonard's own.

BTW - I heard a rumour that there are so many covers of this out there that a) there were six different covers on the British charts at the same time and b) that Leonard makes seven digit royalties each year off this one song. Not sure how true that is but certainly it's been successful. 
 electronicthroat wrote:
Jeff Buckley's version is far superior.
 
I agree — although I don't like Buckley's version much either.
 electronicthroat wrote:
Jeff Buckley's version is far superior.
 

Please, all of you consider that this is LC singing in 2009!!  In his 2009 voice....he's like 80....so give him a break.  Go back and try to find his original version and see what ya think....yes, he's hard to listen to but I've always thought that's what makes you listen to the poetry.
btw, I do think JB's version is the best there is...he comes very close to the emotion LC 1st intended.
Bleeeeeech.

{#Stop}
I must have heard this song 250 times, but this is the first time I heard it by Cohen.
Is it finished yet? Yes? 

Hallelujah!

Now..this is how it's done. {#Snooty}
 electronicthroat wrote:
Jeff Buckley's version is far superior.
 
Often times, cover versions are superior.  One example to me is Hendrix' "All Along the Watchtower."


certainly makes me appreciate Jeff Buckley's version more...because the song that Leonard wrote and performed is LIFELESS.
Having given a 1 to the Buckley version, I'm wanting a negative scale now.  (The exact opposite of turning it up to 11)
 electronicthroat wrote:
Jeff Buckley's version is far superior.

Agreed. But this is still the real deal from LC. 


Wait, *Tim* Buckley also covered this song?  Somehow I thought Tim Buckley had written it and Jeff Buckley covered it?

So, Leonard Cohen wrote it...

Neil
What do you mean "original?" Leonard has sung this song that he wrote several different ways - as with the first time I listened to his sung poetry in 1968, he is legend, one if not the best of modern composers.
 
raulman1 wrote:
This is the first time I've heard the original (the first version I heard was Jeff Buckley's cover and I thought it was an amazing song & performance) — and I wholeheartedly agree with everything Cynaera says here.  There are depths and strengths to this version that are lacking in any of the covers I've heard.

 
Cynaera wrote:
FINALLY - the ORIGINAL.  Praise be to Mr. Cohen for writing this song. I've heard several versions of it, and I like a few of them, but this is the holy grail - the man who wrote the song, performed by the man who wrote the song.

Love it or hate it, it's an original in every form.  It set the bar for every other artist who undertook the challenge of performing this song in a manner worthy of the writer.

I still love Leonard Cohen's rendition the best - I'm a purist.     
 
 


I don't know if this is true or not, but a knowledgeable friend once said to me, "Judy Collins is the person who convinced Leonard Cohen to sing his own songs - and I'm still trying to forgive her for that."  ;)

Seriously, though, it's interesting to finally hear the original version of this song.
 electronicthroat wrote:
Jeff Buckley's version is far superior.
 
Totally agree.

Jeff Buckley's version is far superior.
What a brilliant song.  RP is the first place I ever heard the original. 
Buckley is still my favorite vocalist for this song, but this song is great period so I could never tire of it. 
This is the first time I've heard the original (the first version I heard was Jeff Buckley's cover and I thought it was an amazing song & performance) — and I wholeheartedly agree with everything Cynaera says here.  There are depths and strengths to this version that are lacking in any of the covers I've heard.

 
Cynaera wrote:
FINALLY - the ORIGINAL.  Praise be to Mr. Cohen for writing this song. I've heard several versions of it, and I like a few of them, but this is the holy grail - the man who wrote the song, performed by the man who wrote the song.

Love it or hate it, it's an original in every form.  It set the bar for every other artist who undertook the challenge of performing this song in a manner worthy of the writer.

I still love Leonard Cohen's rendition the best - I'm a purist.     
 


 jam5ie76 wrote:
This isnt a song i have been exposed to much, nor an artist.  I can say that the lyrics are profound and Mr Cohens treatment of them soulful, and for that i'm grateful.  A solid 7

 
What kind of music have you been exposed to on Mars?  {#Crown}
FINALLY - the ORIGINAL.  Praise be to Mr. Cohen for writing this song. I've heard several versions of it, and I like a few of them, but this is the holy grail - the man who wrote the song, performed by the man who wrote the song.

Love it or hate it, it's an original in every form.  It set the bar for every other artist who undertook the challenge of performing this song in a manner worthy of the writer.

I still love Leonard Cohen's rendition the best - I'm a purist.     
 revolver wrote:
Bill must really love Hallelujah, I think he plays more covers of it than any other song.

Except, revolver, this is not a cover. Leonard Cohen wrote this song.  Although, I guess you could say a live version of the song is a cover of himself.
{#Smile}


Reminds me of "Watchmen". Just because of that it worth at least 7/10
This isnt a song i have been exposed to much, nor an artist.  I can say that the lyrics are profound and Mr Cohens treatment of them soulful, and for that i'm grateful.  A solid 7

 revolver wrote:
Bill must really love Hallelujah, I think he plays more covers of it than any other song.
 
I was thinking the same thing.
Bill must really love Hallelujah, I think he plays more covers of it than any other song.
I... I may not recover. Pandora (sorry) started putting every version of this song in my playlists. Except this one. They ruined it for me pretty much but this version really put the nail in the coffin.
Oh my god, this is soooooo slooooooow.  It's gonna take forever.  I like the song, but not at this speed.
Sorry but I find almost every cover version of this song to be better than the original...by far.
Leonard Cohen is one of those artists who often sound better when they're covered by someone else. Great songwriting, but the delivery isn't always ideal. Just my opinion... feel free to flame me or call me a philistine or whatever.
very cool version...{#Cool}

I'll stand here before the lord of songs with nothing on my tongue but hallelujah...
This sounded so odd my first thought was "is this a cover of... oh wait..."