Name that artist!
November 6, 2005 8:14 AM   Subscribe

Who wrote/sang the original version of Hallelujah?

I have many versions of this song, but I don't know who the original artist is.

Just to be clear, this is the Hallelujah that starts with the lyrics:
"I've heard there was a sercret chord/that David played and it pleased the Lord/but you don't really care for music, do you"
posted by piratebowling to Media & Arts (12 answers total)
Leonard Cohen
posted by nylon at 8:15 AM on November 6, 2005

I thought that might be it, thank you.
posted by piratebowling at 8:16 AM on November 6, 2005

Who else does that song? I have two versions of the Cohen one. . I love it. .

Just curious.
posted by Danf at 9:15 AM on November 6, 2005

Jeff Buckley - It was used in the movie Shrek, and became extremely popular after that, to the point that even my dad downloaded it.
posted by hoborg at 9:18 AM on November 6, 2005

Who else does that song? I have two versions of the Cohen one. . I love it. .

Just curious.

Read CunningLinguists's link.
posted by the cuban at 9:21 AM on November 6, 2005

Rufus Wainwright's version is on the Shrek soundtrack, but they used John Cale's version in the actual movie. Sheryl Crow did a live cover on a Vh1 show, I think.

The Covers Project has a list.
posted by amarynth at 9:24 AM on November 6, 2005

I had the most depressing encounter recently with a teenage indie kid who corrected me when I referred to 'Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen' by saying with a smug sneer, 'Uh, I don't know who Leonard Cohen is, but I think you'll find that song is by Jeff Buckley.' I actually started banging my head on the table.

Er, anyway, I'm off to track down the k.d. lang version.
posted by jack_mo at 9:50 AM on November 6, 2005

Rufus Wainwright did "Hallelujah" as the next-to-last encore at the Beacon here in NYC on Wednesday night. His voice had become a bit ragged (the Wed show was added on after Tuesday sold out) but they turned up his mike and he sang quietly and beautifully in more of the Jeff Buckley style. He traded verses with his backup singers, one of whom, Joan Wasser, was Buckley's long-time and last girlfriend - I wondered how she felt and who else there knew the connection.
posted by nicwolff at 9:59 AM on November 6, 2005

They use his songs in movies a lot, and sometimes you don't recognize them because the voice and arrangement is so different, but you always know it's a Leonard Cohen song by the lyrics.
posted by Hildago at 11:22 AM on November 6, 2005

Gov't Mule recently performed it on 10/23/2005 in Santa Barbara. Very nice version, Warren sings it like he means it. After hearing this I found various sets of different lyrics, only four verses on the Ohen version I found. It made me wonder if Cale or Buckley had added lyrics of their own, or if they were singing lyrics of Cohen's that did not appear on an official release.
posted by bephillips at 12:40 PM on November 7, 2005

I love John Cale's version of 'Hallelujah' from his live album Fragments of a Rainy Season.
posted by ND¢ at 2:00 PM on November 7, 2005

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