Hallelujah has now been recorded more than 180 times for release and has been featured in the soundtracks of numerous movies and television shows
"Hallelujah" was originally written and composed over the course of a year, and is said to have been a frustrating and difficult process for Cohen. Cohen says he wrote at least eighty verses, filling two notebooks - discarding most of the verses in the process of crafting the song.
Cohen first recorded the song at Quadrasonic Sound, New York in June 1984, working with producer John Lissauer. The next recording of this song by Leonard Cohen was captured live in Austin, Texas on October 31, 1988 with production by Leanne Ungar and Bob Metzger.
"Hallelujah", in its original studio version, is a 4 minute 39 second song in C major. The released live version, with its different lyrical content, clocks in at 6:54. On the song's melody, Rufus Wainwright has commented that "It's an easy song to sing. The music never pummels the words. The melody is almost liturgical and conjures up religious feelings. It's purifying." In the section of the lyrics "the fourth, the fifth, the minor fall, the major lift", the chords move as described in the lyrics as follows: F ("the fourth", in the tonality of C major), G ("the fifth"), Am ("the minor fall"), F ("the major lift").
The Original - Leonard Cohen
Remarkable - Jeff Buckley (audio only)
Excellent - K.D. Lang