Sunday, January 24, 2010

Top 20 versions of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah

This is probably one of the best songs ever written, and one of the most covered. Depending on the take of the performer, it could either be very sexual or very religious, which, in my book makes this one hell of song. So, maybe there's a God above, and all I have learned from love is how to shoot at someone who outdrew you... These are my top 20 versions of Hallelujah!

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

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
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

There was a time you let me know what's really going on below
But now you never show it to me, do you?
And remember when I moved in you
The holy dark was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Maybe there's a God above,
And all I ever learned from love was
How to shoot at someone who outdrew you

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

The original by Leonard Cohen

1. Rufus Wainwright (From "Shrek")

2. Jeff Buckley

3. Jason Castro

4. Sheryl Crow

5. Allison Crowe

6. Il Divo

6. Damien Rice

7. kd lang

8. Imogen Heap

9. John Cale

1o. Justin Timberlake

11. Bon Jovi

12. Amanda Jenssen

13. Kate Voegele

14. Alexandra Burke

15. Rea Garvey

16. Jeff Anderson

17. Over the Rhine

18. Katherine Jenkins

20. Kurt Nielsen, Alejandro Fuentes, Askil Holm


  1. Love this song in all its versions. Especially Allison Crowe. Thanks for posting these!! It is a brilliant song.

  2. I dont see how you can put anyone ahead of buckley but other than that good lis

  3. I've loved Leonard Cohen's songs since the first album in '67, but he screwed up with this piece of horse manure. It's quickly becoming the Amazing Grace (Barf) of the new milennium, and Rufus Wainright's version is the most nerve wrecking. Exposure to the playing of all these versions should be considered as psychological abuse.