I am astounded by this song; it seems like everyone is these days.

I can’t say exactly why. Maybe its because it makes you think about your own worries in a movie-montage way. Like we are just 20 minutes and a few plot developments from everything being resolved and striding away better, stronger, and happier. It is sad, but not a permanent sad. At least that is what goes on in my head when I hear it.

A lot has been written about it. Here is a pretty awesome history of the song and its development.

There are dozens of covers, first composed and recorded by bizarre performer Leonard Cohen. Here is his version:

Not so pretty, right? But others have been pretty. Here is a ranking of my (current) top 3 versions of this song…in descending order…


Rufus Wainright. This is the first version I heard. It sticks with you.


Imogen Heap. Very simple. Spooky.


k.d. lang. I’m blown away by the emotion. She is enveloped by it. A knockout. To be honest, I haven’t heard anything even close to as good as this. Absolutely amazing.

You have favorites?

10 thoughts on “Hallelujah

  1. Jeff Buckley has a version that I’ve always liked. It’s got the sadness in it but something else too … cynicism? I’m not sure, but it’s pretty good.

  2. Oh yes, the article on the song mentions how Buckley was actually the one who brought the song into superstardom.

    Speaking of Jeff Buckley, how did he die again? Some bizarro drowning in the Mississippi River thing?

  3. Al, as always you take me down a peg. Yes, I first heard the song from Shrek…like everyone else. I’m not on the cutting edge of music, so shoot me. 🙂

    That’s so underground…

  4. I couldn’t find some I like just now, but I’m all about ukuleles, and after that “somewhere over the rainbow” w/ a ukulele came out like 10 years ago, I heard a bunch of versions “hallelujah” played with them. Maybe cuz it’s summertime I’m all about the hawaiian sound too, but still. If you can find a ukulele version, I bet you’d like that too.

  5. I know exactly the ukulele song you are talking about. Isn’t it a combo somewhere over the rainbow & what a wonderful world? I’ll try to find it.

    I like the Hawaiian song thing. Have you heard that song from an episode of LOST called “Wash Away?” It’s a great tropical, easy-going song.

  6. I really enjoyed both Over the rainbow but Hallelujah was very emotional for. I can see why you likedthem

  7. i find the jeff buckley version to be quite superior, if not overplayed a bit. but, i’m a huge jeff buckley fan and in your spirit of reading lots this summer, i’d love to loan you an awesome book about jeff buckley…which looks at his death quite closely.

  8. It’s songs like this (and watching the Tony awards tonight…) that make me wish I could sing.

    For real.

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