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k.d. lang — Hallelujah
Album: Hymns of the 49th Parallel
Avg rating:
6.9

Your rating:
Total ratings: 2139









Released: 2004
Length: 4:54
Plays (last 30 days): 2
I heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
You don't really care for music, do ya?
Well it goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Well your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew ya
Well she tied you to her kitchen chair
She broke your throne and cut your hair
And from your lips she drew Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Baby I've been here before
I've seen this room and I've walked the floor
Used to live alone before I knew ya
But I've seen your flag on the marble arch
Our love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Maybe there's a God above
But all I've ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew ya
It's not a cry that you hear at night
It's not someone who's seen the light
It's a cold and broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah...
Comments (342)add comment
painfully bad. one reaches a point where hearing this is torture. same goes for Buckley's overwrought hysterical version. 
 smartn1 wrote:

Hard to mess this one up 


She did!!
 sunybuny wrote:

Second best version of this song. Buckley is always No.1.


LC’s version is number one!
A serious travesty and dishonor to LC!
KD is the one of the best. 
Brilliant soulful interpretation of a beautiful song. One Canadian pays homage to another. Transported to a transcendent, sacred space. Hallelujah indeed! 
I can't remember who posted this, years ago, but this best explains the intent of Leonard Cohen's lyrics.

"The song begins with David, one of God's most devout servants, who spoils that relationship in his adulterous passion for Bathsheba. In the line "she cut your hair" he probably thinks of Samson, whose bond to God as a Nazarite (symbolized by his uncut hair) was likewise broken when his passion for Delilah blinded him to her betrayal.

In the lyrics that grow out of those two stories, Cohen rejects the idea that romantic love is discovery, victory, or revelation. Rather, it is urgent and painful, it seems to have happened against the will of the singer himself, and it has left him broken. Yet though he is broken, he cries out Hallelujah—the ultimate cry of praise—to a love so emotionally overwhelming it's like worship."
blech
This is magnificent, no argument. However, I stumbled across another  lesser known artist's rendition that deserves your attention. Allison Crowe (not Krauss)


Allison Crowe – Hallelujah – live-in-the-studio - Bing video

Second best version of this song. Buckley is always No.1.
 ExpatLarry wrote:

Just when you think you're tired of a song...
I was puttering around in the kitchen and found myself just leaning and listening and thinking 'God, what a voice.'



Her duet with Tony Bennet 
Good cover of an overrated song (my 2 cents)
Jeff Buckley version is much better, even better than the original...
I don't like Leonard Cohen, but this song, is, amazing.
Voice of an angel
 talexb wrote:

k d lang performed this number at the closing ceremonies of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, and it was astonishingly good .. I always knew she had a great voice, but that performance was amazing.


I think of that performance every time I hear the song, regardless of who's singing. It was absolutely profound in the moment.
 talexb wrote:

k d lang performed this number at the closing ceremonies of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, and it was astonishingly good .. I always knew she had a great voice, but that performance was amazing.


Totally agree, I also really enjoyed seeing Neil Young play Long may you Run
 junebaby65 wrote:

You must be a Pink Floyd fan, then.


What, wait. PF did a cover of Hallelujah?
My favorite cover of this Leonard Cohen song has always been the one done by Jeff Buckley. . . until I just listened to this  k.d. lang version.  Now it's a toss up.

And just to spite the naysayers who think this song gets overplayed on rp I'm going to add it to by workshop playlist, so I can listen to all 3 versions, and . . . send them out into the cosmos to counter the times they hit the psd button.  

So, there!
 smartn1 wrote:

Hard to mess this one up 


And there have been plenty of chances for that. 
Is there anyone who's been around a while who hasn't covered it? Almost like a rite of passage or something. 


Hard to mess this one up 
I get the approvals for this version, but its just a bit bland for me I'm afraid. 
PSD'ing - one of the great things about RP is that we have the choice :)
Yawn
Living in Canada, I sure am tired of this song.
However, I will still rate this an 8 because it is a great version.
K.D. manages to make every cover sound identical. 
There are songs, where you have to open the RP tab, just to check, if you already rated it. Of course it is rated. 8 at the moment. Still checking, every time the song is played. Probably I remember great music much better than my rating history.
overplayed in any version - I don´t want to hear this song no more.

Greatings from Bavaria to all the listeners outside.
 tinypriest wrote:

k.d kicks this out of the park, sorry.

It was never meant to be the dirge that Jeff made it into, as pretty as his version was, made more poignant after his terrible end.


This is more of a dirge than Jeff Buckley's.
Ten for the song. Five for the cover. I'm fed up with hearing K. D. Lang cover versions.
 tinypriest wrote:

k.d kicks this out of the park, sorry.

It was never meant to be the dirge that Jeff made it into, as pretty as his version was, made more poignant after his terrible end.

But k.d. delivers the line, "How to shoot someone who out-drew ya", the way it was meant; matter-of-factly. After all, it's not a Christmas song. The word 'Hellelujah' is meant ironically.

"You saw her bathing on the roof /
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew ya /
Well she tied you to her kitchen chair /
She broke your throne and cut your hair /
And from your lips she drew Hallelujah."

Irony.


That's all well and good but it doesn't change the fact that hers is not the best version. Hits it out of the park? I would call it a double to left field.
 paul28 wrote:

Best version of this song. Great album wish she’d do another one.



Perhaps you should listen to the other versions again.
N O O O O O O o o o o o o o o o 


Growing pretty tired of this song. It seems everyone is  covering it. Ah, what's this button do?
Best version of this song. Great album wish she’d do another one.
 sunybuny wrote:

k.d. tries but she just can do what Buckley and Wainwright did/do.


k.d kicks this out of the park, sorry.

It was never meant to be the dirge that Jeff made it into, as pretty as his version was, made more poignant after his terrible end.

But k.d. delivers the line, "How to shoot someone who out-drew ya", the way it was meant; matter-of-factly. After all, it's not a Christmas song. The word 'Hellelujah' is meant ironically.

"You saw her bathing on the roof /
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew ya /
Well she tied you to her kitchen chair /
She broke your throne and cut your hair /
And from your lips she drew Hallelujah."

Irony.
 mememu wrote:

May you live long in your songs, Mr. Cohen...




Yup, immortality even I'd say - viz: 'Bird on the Wire'!
Second best cover to Jeff Buckley's.  Stunning. How does it STANDS OUT comparing to all those, crap, cheesy ones by majority of other singers!


 expatlar wrote:
Just when you think you're tired of a song...
I was puttering around in the kitchen and found myself just leaning and listening and thinking 'God, what a voice.'
 
k d lang performed this number at the closing ceremonies of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, and it was astonishingly good .. I always knew she had a great voice, but that performance was amazing.
My first reaction was oh no, who is covering this now but it was a pleasant and unexpected surprise..
 thewiseking wrote:

You rarely see stupid comments out here but when you do they will emanate from the Pink Floyd fans

 
You must be a Pink Floyd fan, then.
A bloodless version. Why did she bother?
k.d. tries but she just can do what Buckley and Wainwright did/do.
The world's most overworked song. This doesn't add anything. 
Just when you think you're tired of a song...
I was puttering around in the kitchen and found myself just leaning and listening and thinking 'God, what a voice.'
Check out the Hillary Clinton version.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BG-_ZDrypec
 
amazing cover of Cohen's classic.  Gives me shivers.  Now all I need is to hear Mary J Blige and Bono's version of One—don't believe it's on the RP playlist, but it should definitely be.  Cue the goosebumps...
Leonard Cohen (R.I.P.)
Saw him do this Live 5-6 years ago. So moving his version was. 

https://youtu.be/2FpwjQLZTTs 
Great version of this song.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BG-_ZDrypec

 
 olivertwist wrote:
There's a longer, more recently recorded version of this song on her greatest hits album that really soars at the end - very moving. It's much better than this version.

 
Yes indeed. She sang it, on many occasions, much better than this version. She gets my vote for the best rendition of Hallelujah ever (at the opening of the 2010 Winter Olympics, for example) -- although Buckley and Cale's are more popular. I'd like to hear her "Greatest Hits" version played on RP. Bill?
There's a longer, more recently recorded version of this song on her greatest hits album that really soars at the end - very moving. It's much better than this version.
gosh, I miss kd lang!
 skuzzfud wrote:
I'm in the camp that has this song being too overcooked. For so many years now it has gradually crept from high exhaltation to being a bit under my skin. Having said that, I prefer John Cale's version. He gives it a good raw bellowing! And yes, I saw Lenny do it live.

 
Jeff Buckley's version is also quite good. And I also am fortunate that I saw Lenny live - he will be missed.
I'm in the camp that has this song being too overcooked. For so many years now it has gradually crept from high exhaltation to being a bit under my skin. Having said that, I prefer John Cale's version. He gives it a good raw bellowing! And yes, I saw Lenny do it live.
 Biscobret wrote:
 johnjconn wrote:

wtf

this song is terrible, no mater who sings it.




I am just so glad that I am not you.  I don't even mean that as an insult — but I am oh so glad.

 
You rarely see stupid comments out here but when you do they will emanate from the Pink Floyd fans
May you live long in your songs, Mr. Cohen...
 johnjconn wrote:

wtf

this song is terrible, no mater who sings it.




I am just so glad that I am not you.  I don't even mean that as an insult -- but I am oh so glad.
 coachc wrote:
One of my least favorite versions. She relies on her singing talent instead of just trusting the power of the song.

 
Huh.  I wish more "artists" had actual singing talent.  K.D. certainly does.

I understand the comment, but find it ironic that talent should be a detraction.

Beautifully sad song. 


One of my least favorite versions. She relies on her singing talent instead of just trusting the power of the song.

The Atlantic just covered this song — check out How Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' Became Everybody's 'Hallelujah'.

And they mention there's a book on the way out: The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, and the Unlikely Ascent of "Hallelujah".

Cover of book from Goodreads.com


 foothillfreak wrote:
Hearing any version of this song just makes me want to listen to Jeff Buckley's.
 
Much agreed ...  Jeff Buckley reaches deep and channels it out on record .. unbelievable .. the high's, the lows, just brilliant!
Which reminds me, my tires are due for replacement.
PLEEEEEEEEEEEEASE do not play this song again ever. PLEEEEEEEEEEEEASE. Thank you.
+While I love this version, there are others that K.D. has done that I think surpass it. Her most popular rendition is likely the one she sang at the 2005 Canadian Juno Awards:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_NpxTWbovE

My personal favourite, though, is when she sang it with Cohen in the audience on the occasion of his induction into the Canadian Songwriters' Hall of Fame in 2006.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYiMJ2bC65A

On hearing that version, Cohen's partner, Anjani Thomas, said that she and Cohen looked at each other and said: "well, I think we can lay that song to rest now! It's really been done to its ultimate blissful state of perfection." 
 tuttle99 wrote:
Could not Click off this one fast enough!  Seriously Love this song, but Waaay to many versions now....and Waay overplayed! 

This is supposed to be one of those special songs that you play once in a blue moon, when the mood is right, not just in the middle of a workday!
 
You nailed it. Great tune, one of the best...but too much of a great thing...
Hearing any version of this song just makes me want to listen to Jeff Buckley's.
Wow. I don't care for this song, but I found myself drawn into her rendition. Will have to check out this K.D. Lang.
I saw her perform last week in a small theater, and this song was the highlight of the concert.  She had great power when it came to the refrain. 
Could not Click off this one fast enough!  Seriously Love this song, but Waaay to many versions now....and Waay overplayed! 

This is supposed to be one of those special songs that you play once in a blue moon, when the mood is right, not just in the middle of a workday!
 ziakut wrote:
Love k.d. lang's voice and much of her work. My opinion is just that it's almost too perfect...too buttery and smooth. It lacks the raw emotion of Jeff Buckley or even Rufus Wainwright. This song needs to feel as if there is angst. Lang's voice is too perfect and controlled for my tastes with this cover song.
 
Well said.
Love k.d. lang's voice and much of her work. My opinion is just that it's almost too perfect...too buttery and smooth. It lacks the raw emotion of Jeff Buckley or even Rufus Wainwright. This song needs to feel as if there is angst. Lang's voice is too perfect and controlled for my tastes with this cover song.
JB please. Straight.
Pure.   Beautiful.   Awestruck.   What more can you say.
No question her's is the best, but not this recording. The live version from the 2010 Olympics opening ceremonies.
Well I don't understand the negative comments about K.D.'s rendition of this song.  She has an amazing voice and I think she does a great job on this.  Love Leonard's original version too!
This has got to be the very best version of this song to date! How can you not enjoy any song sung with such perfection? Pure Buttah.
 MediaGrrl wrote:
I really like k.d. (that voice, it's like buttah!) but I'm at the tipping point with this song.
 
This.  It's a beautiful song, and there are many amazing renditions.  But do we have to hear them all?

 MediaGrrl wrote:
I really like k.d. (that voice, it's like buttah!) but I'm at the tipping point with this song.
 

I was at the tipping point a loooong time ago...
I really like k.d. (that voice, it's like buttah!) but I'm at the tipping point with this song.
 rednred wrote:
I have been listening to RP for about 5 years now and I am constantly impressed not only by the eclectic variety of good music played, but by the high level of the musical taste and knowledge of RP listeners in the comments I read. That said sometimes I am baffled by how a great song, such as Hallelujah in this case, can get such a low rating, such as this 6.3. To me a great song is great no matter how many times I hear it, and how many good versions of it I hear. Leonard Cohen is the only one I have seen perform Hallelujah live, and it was beautiful to hear his version of his song, but I also love the various versions I have heard by Jeff Buckley, Rufus Wainwright, KD Lang, and others. 
 
Agree 100%.
 Shesdifferent wrote:


Totally agreed! Like nails on a chalkboard!
 

I like k.d. but thought the same thing. :(
I have been listening to RP for about 5 years now and I am constantly impressed not only by the eclectic variety of good music played, but by the high level of the musical taste and knowledge of RP listeners in the comments I read. That said sometimes I am baffled by how a great song, such as Hallelujah in this case, can get such a low rating, such as this 6.3. To me a great song is great no matter how many times I hear it, and how many good versions of it I hear. Leonard Cohen is the only one I have seen perform Hallelujah live, and it was beautiful to hear his version of his song, but I also love the various versions I have heard by Jeff Buckley, Rufus Wainwright, KD Lang, and others. In fact if you want to add one more to the list here, check out Brandi Carlile's performance on her Live at Benaroya Hall with the Seattle Symphony CD. I recently saw her open for Ray LaMontagne at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley and she has a great voice and is a kick ass performer in concert.
 Randomax wrote:
anyone remember her doing this at the closing ceremonies of the Olympics?  Quite impressive live...there's no debate she has a fantastic voice...there's room for countless versions of all songs....I like this but my vote is Mr. Cohen's for original spirit and Mr. Buckley's for best interpretation of the original spirit of the song. 

 


THE difinitive version for me
Is it me, or are we hearing some version of this every day?  Almost as bad as AM radio used to be. 
What's great about this version is that at least k.d. can sing - and very well. That itself makes it worth a 9. The other popular versions are also sung with emotion but certainly not sung well.

Her live version at the Vancouver Olympics was very moving. 
 a_genuine_find wrote:


simon

 
If you don't like this song fine; but don't ever, ever use the above P.O.S. again in any context whatsoever.  If you like a song, don't show a picture of this d-bag with his thumb up; if you just had a baby with him, don't show a picture of him holding it.

Scratch that, you loose any and all privileges to ever comment on a song again because of this egregious breaking of the rules.

 Jelani wrote:
I can't stand this song regardless of who is singing it.
 

Word.
The various covers played on RP of this song all work, as far as I'm concerned.  Props to L.C. for this and other great tunes!
 jadewahoo wrote:
What a soulless rendition of a wondrously soulful song.
 

Totally agreed! Like nails on a chalkboard!
 jadewahoo wrote:
What a soulless rendition of a wondrously soulful song.
 
Funny, I was just thinking the exact opposite. I've always thought Jeff Buckley was trying to sound soulful (instead of actually being soulful) and trying much too hard at that.
anyone remember her doing this at the closing ceremonies of the Olympics?  Quite impressive live...there's no debate she has a fantastic voice...there's room for countless versions of all songs....I like this but my vote is Mr. Cohen's for original spirit and Mr. Buckley's for best interpretation of the original spirit of the song. 

I can't stand this song regardless of who is singing it.
 geege wrote:

I agree! His version is remarkable...RIP J.B.
 

words out of my mouth.. that's why i love RP!

 flapser wrote:
There is only on artist that can sing this song:

Jeff Buckley
 
I agree! His version is remarkable...RIP J.B.


Beautiful cover.  A sweet interpretation.{#Meditate}
If I hear this song one more time I'm gonna yak! Of all the excellent tunes KD sings, why is this all you play?
 xenothaulus wrote:
{#No}
 

simon

And it keeps rolling with the best version of this song!
You know, it wasn't THAT long ago that really good songs became standards that were passed around and recorded by many a crooner and songstress. Royalties were paid to the song's writer and fans of different artists got to hear these standards in different forms on different LPs. And nobody griped about it.

Fast forward to 2011 and for some reason a debate rages on, NOT over WHO recorded the best version of Hallelujah, but whether anyone OTHER than the the song's creator should have recorded a different version in the first place. Ridiculous.

If Mr. Cohen was anything other than overjoyed for the opportunity to make some extra scratch and share his music with other artists (that he no doubt respects) he probably would have weighed in by now.

That said, K.D. Lang has a much better voice than Mr. Cohen and I like her version better. Suck it.

I absolutely ADORE kd's version of this!  She has such an amazing verse! 
What a soulless rendition of a wondrously soulful song.
I like Warren Haynes version.
 bronorb wrote:

Are you kidding?
This is an amazing song covered by many, many artists.
Don't reduce music to numbers.

 
just because it's covered by "artists" doesn't mean it's good. I'll reduce it to numbers if the song is that bad and the repetition is what's annoying.


Hallelujah it's over.

 warderblu wrote:

——-Superior Version——
 
Leonard Coehn Hallelujah

Far superior version!


There is only on artist that can sing this song:

Jeff Buckley
I use to think that this song fell into the 'artist proof' catagory until I heard this.  Shame since I am a k.d. fan
{#No}
While this album version is not as good as Buckley's, when KD did it live at the opening ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympics, she slayed it!  It was the highlight of the show, which is pretty good considering the other talent in the show.

Her phrasing, range and power of the song came through much better!  But I may be a little biased as a Canadian and resident of Vancouver.  see the link or search it on Youtube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVq0L4kkpKM&feature=related 

I have been a fan of RP for many years!  Keep up the great music and brilliant mixing.

Mike 
 warderblu wrote:

——-Superior Version——
 
Agree!

 ltbluesoda wrote:
seriously... who sings the same same word 15 times in row??

I was so annoyed I went and got the lyrics because I couldn't believe my ears... my very first negative post on RP in over 6 years of listenting.

Maybe there's a God above,
But all iv'e ever learnt from love,
Is how to shoot somebody who outdrew ya,
It's not a cry that u hear at night,
It's not someone whos seen the light,
It's a cold and broken hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah


 
Are you kidding?
This is an amazing song covered by many, many artists.
Don't reduce music to numbers.


——-Superior Version——
seriously... who sings the same same word 15 times in row??

I was so annoyed I went and got the lyrics because I couldn't believe my ears... my very first negative post on RP in over 6 years of listenting.

Maybe there's a God above,
But all iv'e ever learnt from love,
Is how to shoot somebody who outdrew ya,
It's not a cry that u hear at night,
It's not someone whos seen the light,
It's a cold and broken hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah


 Tosko wrote:
Anyone heard John Cale's version?  I think it's one of the better ones, but must admit I have not heard all the versions mentioned here.
 
John Cale was the first person to cover this song, for the I'm Your Fan tribute album. He had seen Cohen perform it live and asked him for the lyrics. Cohen faxed him 15 pages (!), from which Cale selected the verses that have been used in later versions by Buckely etc.


I don't understand how ANYONE can like this song... repeating the same word over and over for 4 minutes is mind numbing. Just awful.
My husband and I both work from home (!!) and he just made me turn off RP. I kind of agree... love the song but not this version. And I like k.d. well enough, but this is just so... well... sleepy!! I actually prefer Jason Dreadlocks Whatshisname from American Idol's version to this one! Of course Jeff B. does it best... although I like Leonard Cohen's original as well. {#Ask}


L.C.  .
Super song... so-so rendition...