MOKB Covers Project : Hallelujah Repost

The original MOKB Covers Project post of Hallelujah has been dead for many moons, but it is still one of the most commented on, linked up and talked about posts we’ve put together here at MOKB. I’ve promised many a reader that I would one day re-host all the files for everyone to enjoy. We revisited the song and found a plethora of new versions since last we posted it. There are even more we saw but couldn’t find. As always, if you have a version we don’t, please email it to me : dodge77(at)gmail(dot)com

Song info from our original post: Leonard Cohen is a Canadian poet, novelist, and singer-songwriter. He is regarded as one of the English language’s most distinguished and influential songwriters of the twentieth century. His musical career has largely overshadowed his prior work as a poet and novelist, although he has continued to publish poetry sporadically after his breakthrough in the music industry.

In 1984, Cohen released Various Positions which features this often-covered song. Columbia declined to release the album in the United States, where Cohen’s popularity had declined. (Throughout his career, Cohen’s music has sold better in Europe and Canada than in the U.S.)

The song deals with ambiguous topics and there is much debate over Cohen’s intentions or messages. Religious themes and sexual lyrics imply that the track deals with the dynamic of a relationship by using a spiritual metaphor, and the tone is often described as depressive or sorrowful. (source)

Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah
Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah (Live)

New Additions:

David Bazan – Hallelujah (live)
Beriut – Hallelujah (Black Sessions)
Regina Spektor – Hallelujah
I Am The Lost Sea – Hallelujah
Karen Ann – Hallelujah
Susana and the Magic Orchestra – Hallelujah
Gordon Downie – Hallelujah
Noam Pelled – הללויה (Hallelujah)

Brandi Carlile – Hallelujah (.mp4 live on KCRW)

The Reposts:

We got burned last time, so this time we’ll let you find your Jeff Buckley versions via the Hype Machine.

Rufus Wainright – Hallelujah
Bob Dylan – Hallelujah (Live)
Bono (U2) – Hallelujah
Dresden Dolls – Hallelujah (Live)
K.D. Lang – Hallelujah
Damien Rice – Hallelujah (Live)
Damien Rice – Cannonball/Hallelujah (Live)
Sheryl Crow – Hallelujah (Live Radio)
The Junebugs – Hallelujah (Live)
Tony Lucca – Hallelujah (Live)
Elisa – Hallelujah
Chris Botti – Hallelujah
Clare Bowditch – Hallelujah
Eric Beverly – Hallelujah
Erik Flaa – Hallelujah
Euan Morton & Denise Summers – Hallelujah (Live)
Arooj Aftab – Hallelujah
Allison Crowe – Hallelujah
Gavin DeGraw – Hallelujah
Jack Lukeman – Hallelujah
John Cale – Hallelujah (Live)
John Jerome – Hallelujah
Kate Noson – Hallelujah
Katheryn Williams – Hallelujah
K’s Choice – Hallelujah (Live)
Late Tuesday – Hallelujah (Live)
Lucky Jim – Hallelujah
Macbrolan – Hallelujah
Ari Hest – Hallelujah (Live)
Imogen Heap – Hallelujah
Street To Nowhere – Hallelujah


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  • mjovi1

    February 27, 2008 [ 6:02 am ]

    Thank you thank you thank you!Hallelujah is quite possibly my favorite song ever. It’s my birthday next week and I feel that you’ve just given me the greatest present.

  • Anonymous

    February 27, 2008 [ 8:26 am ]

    I’m surprise you don’t have Jeff Buckley’s rendition of the song. I know its a popular version but he did change that song into something else, even Damien Rice acknowledges (in his live shows) how remarkable Jeff’s interpretation of that song is. Actually Damien sung it the way Jeff did, the only difference is his Irish accent. oh well, nice to hear how some of these musicians interpretation don’t stand close to Jeff’s version.

  • Anonymous

    February 27, 2008 [ 8:29 am ]

    oh crap, sorry, just saw what you wrote about jeff buckley’s version. oh i’m embarrassed.

  • Dodge

    February 27, 2008 [ 12:31 pm ]

    no worries…MOKB’s file hosting was shut down for a bit the last time we tried to post Buckley’s version…so we’re pointing you elsewhere for it.

  • Jesse Atkinson

    February 27, 2008 [ 3:29 pm ]

    Wow. I feel really uneducated. The first version of this I ever heard was from Shrek (Rufus version). Then I heard what I thought was the “original” Jeff Buckley version. Then I heard the Damien Rice version and thought to myself, “Man, this song is good and all, but it’s covered a lot.” I had no idea it was originally by Lenoard Cohen. I had no idea that the verse lyrics were completely different until Jeff Buckley. It’s been quite educational. That’s why I love MOKB.

  • Craig

    February 27, 2008 [ 5:23 pm ]

    This is the only song I know where the majority of the covers are far better than the original. I never liked Cohen’s version much.Apparently there are 15 verses to this song but i’ve only ever found the lyrics to 7.

  • Anonymous

    February 27, 2008 [ 9:29 pm ]

    The Ryan Adams song is NOT a cover of Leonard Cohen’s song, it’s a totally different song, with the same title, that Adams wrote. I love Cohen’s song, but I am a huge Adams fan, and I love his song, too. Nobody must’ve listened to it, to realize it wasn’t the same song.

  • Dodge

    February 27, 2008 [ 9:34 pm ]

    Right on Anon…apologies…not sure how that got thrown in…maybe when I was uploading. I wasn’t in the original post, but I had it in this one under files from that original. Mistake on my part.

  • Anonymous

    February 28, 2008 [ 1:58 am ]

    Loving Allison Crowe’s interpretation ever more. Thanks for reposting!

  • Anonymous

    February 28, 2008 [ 8:25 am ]

    Leonard Cohen, basically, recorded two versions and the shorter (studio) version is the one most popularized. John Cale was the first, I believe, then, Jeff Buckley and most everyone since sings those same verses as chosen by Cale. The longer (live) version, with the “blaze of light”, “lord of song” etc. lyrics is also of Cohen’s origin.Beautiful, beautiful, song.

  • Anonymous

    March 5, 2008 [ 3:36 pm ]

    I was watching American Idol with my daughter last night and one of the contestants sang “Hallelujah”. Randy Jackson commented that it was a Leonard Cohen song, and both Jackson and Simon Cowell said how much they loved Jeff Buckley’s version. A small ray of hope for me. If I have to watch American Idol, I may as well hear a good song.

  • Dodge

    March 5, 2008 [ 6:22 pm ]

    Hilariously, this post saw a huge spike in traffic after American Idol last night. I missed it, and was like, “what the hell is going on!” Then I found out that it was sung on Idol.

  • Anonymous

    March 6, 2008 [ 5:52 pm ]

    I, too, heard this on Idol Tuesday night, but the reason I came to this site is I’d heard the song before (many times I’m sure) and always was amazed. I never knew who wrote or sung it and just wanted to find out. I, personally, prefer Leonard Cohen’s version to any of the others I’ve heard…it literally brings me to tears everytime I listen to it and I can’t even say why! Also, surprisingly perhaps, k.d. Lang’s version is, so far, my second favorite. Thanks for putting all the multitude of versions in one place. Great site!

  • Paul

    March 6, 2008 [ 10:11 pm ]

    Impressive post. There is an interesting article about the history of the song and its covers here:

  • Anonymous

    March 7, 2008 [ 12:47 am ]

    Leonard Cohen’s original version and the Allison Crowe recording are the two I go back to again. Not sure about the video versions, I prefer the audio only. Great to have all these links, thanks.I think the song was on Canadian Idol last year and now American Idol.

  • Ken

    March 7, 2008 [ 8:39 pm ]

    Here is another version by Bon Jovi from an Unplugged concert… best I have heard, IMHO

  • Peter

    March 8, 2008 [ 2:44 am ]

    In my efforts to clean up the ID3 Tags I noticed you’ve labelled נועם פלד/No’am Peled’s version as “Noam Pelled”.

  • Anonymous

    March 9, 2008 [ 6:44 pm ]

    There is a really good discussion of how this song works, and who is actually covering who amongst the covers (e.g., Buckley covered Cale, not Cohen). Highly recommended!

  • Anonymous

    March 10, 2008 [ 11:18 pm ]

    Thank you! What a surprise! The song is great…thanks for the great post!

  • boyhowdy

    March 11, 2008 [ 5:13 am ]

    Of course, after tonight’s Hall of fame induction ceremony, we can now add Damien Jurado’s version to the list. Definitely a cover of Buckley covering Cale covering Cohen, which was a disappointment; I love the song, but as I wrote about here, given the complications of the Buckley/Cale’s versions, I had hoped they would pick a different cover to honor Cohen with. That said, though the Brandi Carlile version is great, Cale’s will ever be my favorite cover.

  • boyhowdy

    March 11, 2008 [ 12:37 pm ]

    Whoops — meant Damien RICE in the above comment. Mea Culpa.

  • Anonymous

    March 20, 2008 [ 7:22 am ]

    Thank you so much, This song is the key of my unforgetable memory….Thann you,

  • Anonymous

    March 21, 2008 [ 3:36 pm ]

    HiHopefully this isn’t an insensitive question but does anyone know why Sony is shutting down all of Brandi Carlile’s posted Hallelujah covers? They are removing all the YouTube videos and on other official media sites as well. Sony cites copyright infringement but they seem to be leaving all the other covers. Too bad especially since Brandi just said it was the greatest song ever written and her version is the best other than Leonard’s IMHO.

  • Anonymous

    April 1, 2008 [ 5:23 am ]

    When you sign to a major label they own you. It’s sorta the old be careful what you wish for… Maybe she can get out of her contract with Sony, or, hang in until it expires and then she’s a free musician again.There’s so many amazing versions of Hallelujah. A truly great song. Thanks for these links!!

  • Alexis

    April 1, 2008 [ 1:23 pm ]

    Hello,Great article, but all the links seem to be broken… Could it be possible to fix it ?

  • Anonymous

    June 1, 2008 [ 2:38 pm ]

    This version is by British singer/songwriter Naomi Hates Humans –

  • Anonymous

    June 6, 2008 [ 9:27 pm ]

    Can you re-upload the Bob Dylan Version? It doesn’t work. =(Thanks!

  • Sean

    June 20, 2008 [ 3:09 am ]

    Hey, this is Sean, from the lost sea (one of the artists) – just wanted to say thanks for including me. We have a new EP out now – check it out at again.

  • fathima

    July 17, 2008 [ 5:02 am ]

    god i love this. thank you

  • laptop battery

    July 23, 2008 [ 7:30 am ]


  • Zachariah Wiedeman

    September 7, 2008 [ 10:12 pm ]

    Here is my version of the song:Zachariah – HallelujahI recorded the main melody, then layered on a cappella as I listened to it again – with no retakes. You like?I have more recordings on my MySpace page.I’m currently arranging a cappella songs for a group I’m in – no recordings yet, though…

  • Muriel

    September 22, 2008 [ 1:26 am ]

    Thank you for this list. I love this song and to hear all of these interpretations is lovely. I went through each one and downloaded my favorites.Thanks again!

  • Anonymous

    October 20, 2008 [ 8:16 pm ]

    Slightly drunken version by Australian comedians. Sound quality is a bit off, but it is a good one.

  • Adrian

    November 6, 2008 [ 3:09 am ]

    BBC Radio 2 has just broadcast a terrific documentary that explores the many-faceted nature of “Hallelujah”. It’s from All Out Productions, with Guy Garvey of Elbow as host. The Fourth, The Fifth, The Minor Fall is available online for several more days (until about November 8, 2008).Garvey sums things up by saying Leonard Cohen has “brought a beautiful song into this world and ‘let her go’ “. Contributors include Helen Walford, Kathryn Williams, John Lissauer (Leonard Cohen Producer), Andy Wallace (Jeff Buckley Producer), Allison Crowe, Imogen Heap, Alex Patsavas, The Bishop of Croydon, Brandi Carlile, Jim Devlin, Christine Collister and John Walsh (Starsailor).Dedicated Cohen blogger 1 Heck of a Guy, advises: “Warning: Listening to this sampling of artists, critics, and other commentators talk about their perspectives on Hallelujah may put ones preconceived notions about the song at risk.”

  • ericbkk

    November 7, 2008 [ 8:33 am ]

    Recording of BBC Radio 2 Hallelujah documentary,The Fourth, The Fifth, The Minor Fall. min. @ 64 Kbps.Elbow’s Guy Garvey examines the Leonard Cohen classic Hallelujah by talking to the artists who have covered it; a celebration of Hallelujah to mark the 25th anniversary of its first recording.Thanks for the interesting blog.

  • Anonymous

    December 3, 2008 [ 5:04 am ]

    INCREDIBLE! Thank you SOOO much. This is a great Christmas present to myself 😀

  • Anonymous

    December 16, 2008 [ 3:26 pm ]

    Christine Collister has an amazing version on her Love album

  • hypersausage

    December 20, 2008 [ 4:08 pm ]

    The link to Bob Dylan and Bono do not exist. Will you be reposting them? Thanks.

  • ericbkk

    December 23, 2008 [ 11:02 am ]

    Bob Dylan – Hallelujah x 2 (1988)Montreal, 8 July,’88LA, 4 August,’88The only 2 BD performances of the song.It can’t be a coincidence that LC was born in Montreal, and resides in LA, and suggests that BD holds LC in high esteem. Cohen quoted in Telegraph 41, p. 30 . . .”He said, I like this song you wrote called Hallelujah. In fact, he started doing it in concert. He said, How long did that take you to write? And I said, Oh, the best part of two years. He said, Two years? Kinda shocked. And then we started talking about a song of his called I And I from Infidels. I said, How long did you take to write that. He said, Ohh, 15 minutes. I almost fell off my chair. Bob just laughed.”Cheers.

  • ericbkk

    January 7, 2009 [ 9:39 am ]

    It was a Hallelujah Xmas in the UK after Alexandra Burke won the X Factor reality show with a Whitney Houston-esque rendition of the song.This enraged the old guard who srarted muttering about how much better Jeff Buckley's version was, thus creating interest in JB's version,and it was neck and neck between the two over which would land the coveted Xmas No. 1 spot.Justice was not done, and AB's version was No. 1, the first time that the same song had been at No. 1 and No. 2 in the charts since Tommy Steele and Guy Mitchell with Singing the Blues in 1957. And even LC limped into the charts at 36 with a version of the song, although it appears that he sold the rights to the song years ago.Alexandra Burke – Hallelujah Candyman Without You BBC Radio 4 LC feature:Leonard & Marianne:The story of the love affair between poet and singer Leonard Cohen and Marianne Ihlen, the beautiful wife of a Norwegian novelist. The two met on the Greek island of Hydra in 1960. Their romance and eventual separation is immortalised in one of Cohen's earliest and best known songs, So Long, Marianne.Now 45 years later, Cohen has talked to Norwegian Radio about the song, and earlier this year Marianne spoke for the first time in English about her role as muse. min.Try this:Do you know your Hallelujahs? to MOKB I got 6/8.Cheers.

  • ericbkk

    January 7, 2009 [ 9:46 am ]

    Hallelujah! One haunting ballad has been the soundtrack to many lives recently. But why? Bryan Appleyard on Leonard Cohen’s uber-song. :~ From Times Online,January 9, 2005

  • Anonymous

    January 8, 2009 [ 6:20 am ]

    Not coincidentally, the Sony label markets all three of the versions that made the UK charts for Christmas.At the very least it’s no longer possible to claim there is a “best” version of Hallelujah. There’s many covers of this brilliant song and whichever you enjoy that’s what matters.

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    February 3, 2009 [ 3:43 am ]

    welcome to the wow power leveling cheap wow power leveling service site, buy cheap wow gold,wotlk gold,world of warcraft power leveling buy wow gold

  • ericbkk

    April 27, 2009 [ 10:41 am ]

    Leonard Cohen at Coachella 2009: Hallelujah

  • Gold Guide for World of Warcraft

    May 7, 2009 [ 8:29 pm ]

    good post :)

  • __ashram

    May 27, 2009 [ 12:44 am ]

    Thank you so much for this.

  • Anonymous

    June 16, 2009 [ 6:14 am ]

    Katherine Jenkins made a lovely cover of this song, too. Could you please add it? :)

  • ericbkk

    July 28, 2009 [ 11:14 am ]

    Hallelujah x 50 – VAMost of these come from MOKB, but I might have picked up a few from elsewhere along the way. Album in parentheses.01. Leonard Cohen (The Essential Leonard Cohen)02. Jeff Buckley (Grace)03. Rufus Wainwright (Shrek OST)04. Dresden Dolls (Providence, 1/10/04)05. k.d. lang 9 (Hymns of 49th Parallel)06. Damien Rice (Live, Henry Fonda Theatre'02)07. Damien Rice (Unknown – Cannonball/Hallelujah))08. Sheryl Crow (Unknown)09. Junebugs (Unknown)10. Elisa (Lotus)11. Chris Botti (December)12. Clare Bowditch (Like a Version – Triple J)13. Eric Beverly (Unknown)14. Erik Flaa (Unknown)15. Euan Morton & Denise Rutherford (Euan at Joe's Pub 30/5/04)16. Aroof Aftab (Unknown)17. Allison Crowe (Tidings)18. Gavin Degraw (Unknown)19. Jack Lukeman (Jack L)20. John Cale (Fragments of a Rainy Season)21. John Jerome (Unknown)22. Kate Noson (Demo)23. Kathryn Williams (Relations)24. K's Choice (Paradiso, Amsterdam 1/3/99)25. Late Tuesday (Unknown)26. Lucky Jim (Die Fetten Jahren Sind Vorbei)27. Macbrolan (Veranda)28. Ari Hest (Live Zig's Bar 5/12/02)29. Imogen Heap (Unknown)30. Street to Nowhere (S/T)31. Bono (Unknown)32. Daniele Pascal (Dance Me to the End of Love)33. Susanna & the Magical Orchestra (Melody Mountain)34. Jennifer Terran (Live from Painted Cave)35. Ari Hest (10/11/05 Cornell U)36. Gordon Downie (Unknown)37. Leonard Cohen (Unknown)38. Bob Dylan (LA 4/8/88)39. Bob Dylan (Montreal 8/7/88)40. Willie Nelson (Unknown)41. Beirut (Live Black Session)42. David Bazan (Unknown)43. Regina Spektor (Unknown)44. Karen Ann (Le Fou du Roi)45. I am the Lost sea (Unknown)46. Noam Pelled (Unknown)47. Brandi Carlile (KCRW – Morning Becomes Eclectic)48. Alexandra Burke (Hallelujah CDS)49. Naomi Hates Humans (The Covers EP)50. Zachariah (Enduring)

  • Sunny69

    January 27, 2010 [ 5:16 pm ]

    Anthony Michael Hall's beautiful version of Hallelujah can be heard on Youtube at is on The Dead Zone original soudtgrack album (music from season one) at Dead Zone used a lot of great music, including Jeff Buckley's New Years Prayer as it's credit sequence music for 4 years. Love it.

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