Cohen’s Hallelujah by Buckley and Many Others

It’s Hallelujah 3 times over for Leonard Cohen song:

Canadian artist Leonard Cohen is about to have a chart topper in Britain with a song he first released in 1984.
Hallelujah is set to make music history with three places on the U.K. singles charts, including No. 1 and No. 2.

The top two versions are from folks I never heard, one of them being Jeff Buckley, who I just read died in the 90s. His version IS nice. Here are a couple places you can listen to it:
MP3 of Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah
Youtube version of Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah (no video)

The 3rd version making the charts in Britain is the original from Cohen, found at MOKB Covers Project : Hallelujah Repost, along with dozens of other versions, including those by Bob Dylan, K.D. Lang, John Cale.

As Steel White Table has previously reported, it IS the Best Song Ever Written by a Canadian.

Best Song Ever Written by a Canadian

L CohenHallelujah, by Leonard Cohen.

I recently heard this song in the film Saint Ralph (sung by Gordon Downie of the Tragically Hip). A few days ago I saw a live performance of it sung by a women who I believe might be an opera singer (she could really belt it out). And in both instances, the audience seemed to slip into a state of awe.

So I went home and tried to play the song on my cheap, always-out-tune classical guitar. Once I got the tune right, I wrote out all the lyrics and gave it a go. I discovered that even when played badly, it’s an impressive tune. That’s what I call a good song. Try it yourself and see what happens…

UPDATE (Sept. 19/06): Darren Barefoot recently wrote about this song and pointed me to this site where you can listen to 33 different versions of the song.

    Now I’ve {G} heard there was a {Em} secret chord
    That {G} David played, and it {Em} pleased the Lord
    But {C} you don’t really {D} care for music, {G} do ya? {D}
    It {G} goes like this: the {C} fourth, the {D} fifth
    The {Em} minor fall, the {C} major {D} lift
    The {D} baffled king composing Halle{Em}lujah

    Halle{C}lujah, Halle{Em}lujah, Halle{C}lujah, Halle{G}lu{D}u{G}jah

    Your {G} faith was strong but you {Em} needed proof
    You {G} saw her bathing {Em} on the roof
    Her {C} beauty and the {D} moonlight over{G}threw ya {D}
    She {G} tied you to a {C} kitchen {D} chair
    She {Em} broke your throne, and she {C} cut your {D} hair
    And {D} from your lips she drew the Halle{Em}lujah

    Halle{C}lujah, Halle{Em}lujah, Halle{C}lujah, Halle{G}lu{D}u{G}jah

    You {G} say I took the {Em} name in vain
    {G} I don’t even {Em} know the name
    But {C} if I did, well {D} really, what’s it {G} to ya? {D}
    There’s a {G} blaze of light in {C} every {D} word
    It {Em} doesn’t matter {C} which you {D} heard
    The {D} holy or the broken Halle{Em}lujah

    Halle{C}lujah, Halle{Em}lujah, Halle{C}lujah, Halle{G}lu{D}u{G}jah

    I {G} did my best, it {Em} wasn’t much
    I {G} couldn’t feel, so I {Em} tried to touch
    I’ve {C} told the truth, I {D} didn’t come to {G} fool ya {D}
    {G} And even though it {C} all went {D} wrong
    I’ll {Em} stand before the {C} Lord of {D} Song
    With {D} nothing on my tongue but Halle{Em}lujah

    Halle{C}lujah, Halle{Em}lujah, Halle{C}lujah, Halle{G}lu{D}u{G}jah…

Note: The D at the end of each verse seems to hang, beginning with: “The {D} baffled king composing Halle{Em}lujah.” From what I can tell, there’s no chord between the D and the Em. Definitely what you’d call a dramatic pause. It does the job. And sorry I couldn’t post a recording of the song as a guide, but if you already know the song, you shouldn’t have any trouble following my transcription. Enjoy.