Hallelujah Lyrics

The “Hallelujah” song by Leonard Cohen is one of the all time song favorites, for both artists and their followers. It appeals to a wide range of people, for different reasons. It was also a feature in the popular animated movie “Shrek” in 2001.

Enjoy This Video of Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen

Lyrics are below the video – song sing along if you like, or just enjoy

Hallelujah Lyrics

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
She broke your throne and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah…

(Yeah but) 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



Maybe there’s 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 Hallelu…
Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelu…
Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah


Some Interesting Facts About Hallelujah Lyrics and Leonard Cohen

“Hallelujah” is a song by Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen originally released on his 1984 studio album Various Positions. A live recording of the song from 1988, containing additional lyrics, appears on the 1994 album, Cohen Live. While “Suzanne” is his most covered work to date, “Hallelujah” has experienced great popularity more recently and has now been recorded more than 170 times for release and has been featured in the soundtracks of numerous movies and television shows.

“Hallelujah” was originally written and composed over the course of a year, and is said to have been a frustrating and difficult process for Cohen. Cohen says he wrote at least eighty verses, discarding most of them in the process of crafting the song. Cohen is quoted as saying:

I filled two notebooks and I remember being in the Royalton Hotel (in New York), on the carpet in my underwear, banging my head on the floor and saying, ‘I can’t finish this song.’

Cohen first recorded the song at Quadrasonic Sound, New York in June 1984, working with producer John Lissauer. The next recording of this song by Leonard Cohen was captured live in Austin, Texas on October 31, 1988 with production by Leanne Ungar and Bob Metzger.

Understanding the Lyrics

The original recording is noted for containing biblical references in the lyrics, alluding to David’s harp-playing used to soothe King Saul (I Sam 16:23), and his later affair with Bathsheba after watching her bathe from his roof (2 Sam 11:2). The line “she broke your throne and she cut your hair” is a reference to the source of Samson’s strength from the Book of Judges chapter 16.

The third verse mentions “the name” (Tetragrammaton). In these instances, the lyrics are overtly sexual. Jeff Buckley called his own rendition of the song a homage to “the hallelujah of the orgasm”.

In 1994, Cohen released a substantially different version on the 1994 live album Cohen Live, retaining only the final verse from the original recording. In this version, the lyrics became more sexual, and the song’s structure was slightly reworked.

Since his original studio album version, live performances by Leonard Cohen almost invariably include the final song verses not performed by Cale and many others. Many cover artists mix lyrics from both versions, and occasionally make direct lyric changes such as Rufus Wainwright singing “holy dark” and Allison Crowe singing “Holy Ghost” rather than “holy dove”.

Although individual words do change among various versions, apart from such examples of clear revision by interpreters, any variation may be due to selection from Cohen’s complete lyrics rather than alterations by the cover artist.

Other Versions

American singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley recorded one of the best-known covers of “Hallelujah” for his 1994 studio album, Grace. Buckley, not wholly satisfied with any one take, recorded the song more than twenty times. Grammy Award-winning music studio engineer Andy Wallace took three of these recordings to create a single track. The result is a sparse-sounding production of vocals and electric guitar, influenced by Cale’s version.

Reflecting a broadening populist appreciation of the song, reaching mass numbers since its inclusion in the 2001 animated film Shrek, in recent years “Hallelujah” has been performed by a large number, and broad range, of artists, both, on recordings, and, in concert.




Add a Comment
  1. When Bon Jovi sings this song it touches my soul. I can hardly move because I feel it so deep in my soul. Thank you for the inspirational song. Leonard you wrote with your heart. Keep it up.

  2. This song at the end of Without a Trace was too much, and the tears did not stop for a long time. Written at a time when it was rejected, today it is a timely as if written yesterday. Certain parts of it I don’t quite understand, but if Cohen did so be it. It is simply beautiful. Damien Rice I think has the best version of how it should be sung, but each to their own. Leonard Cohen you wrote a wonderful song. Don’t let it grow stale. It is beautiful.

  3. Is that the song from shrek

  4. k.d.lang’s version does it for us Canadians!

  5. When Il Divo sings this song, I have trouble taking a breath, it is so beautiful.

  6. Love the original song. I have it recorded as a piano instrumental. I could listen to it all day.

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