author - malyfred / 2005-10-29


Music and lyrics are both written by famous Canadian songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen but Jeff Buckley has proven that cover version can beat the original completely.

Jeff Buckley (Copyright 2005 . Independent Film Society of Boston)

Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah.mp3

This song even has it's own article in Wikipedia!


  1. ggwu 2005-11-19 / 6.15 pm

    I heard this song from the TV set: The O.C.
    Yes, especially fit to that situation.
    Merrica leaves from Ryan.

  2. Nina 2005-11-25 / 6.55 pm

    I also think Jeff Buckley’s version of this song is better than the original. It really touched me.

  3. Camilla 2005-12-02 / 4.12 pm

    I just love this song.. I also heard it from the O.C

  4. Ben 2005-12-05 / 3.02 am

    This is a great song. Anyone know what CD the version played on this website is from?????

  5. malyfred 2005-12-06 / 1.00 am

    Ben> “Grace”. (there is a sample) another useful link

  6. Nathan 2005-12-28 / 6.29 am

    This song moved me. I have never heard a song, and broken down into tears. I am a 8 year, and counting US Marine, and a combat vet, and I have never had my emotions crash upon me, like a wave.

  7. matt 2006-01-02 / 11.39 pm

    i only young but i lyk vis song yay im the 1st of 2006

  8. chelle 2006-01-06 / 5.04 pm

    it’s an amazing song i first heard it on shrek then on the o.c. it’s jest amazing! :)

  9. max 2006-01-12 / 4.47 am

    hearing this song was like walking into a wall. to think i almost gave up on the healing power of music.

  10. Martin 2006-01-14 / 9.53 am

    God is good!

  11. Hywel 2006-01-22 / 10.15 pm

    This song crushed me, I listened to it on repeat for almost 6 months during a serious bout of depression and I think it was the only thing that helped me hold on.

  12. R Mutt 2006-02-06 / 10.11 pm

    Buckley’s version is NOT the best version of this song.

    The definitive version of this song to date is the version recorded by John Cale — one time member of the Velvet Underground

    Cale’s version was first released on a 1991 Tribute album to Leonard Cohen entitled, I’m Your Fan

    Apparently it was also the version used in the movie, Shrek, which introduced the song to the masses. Though , for reasons unknown to me, was replaced on the soundtrack by a version by Rufus Wainwright.

    Cale also does a killer cover of Heartbreak Hotel, for those interested in exploring more quality music.

    If you are interested in quality art of any kind, it is important to keep the following in mind: the best artists almost never get the money, fame or recognition they deserve and they are usually ripped off or otherwise imitated by many of the less talented artists who do get the fame, money, etc. Furthermore, the majority of people are incapable of distinguishing quality in art, primarily because the world is run by weasels who tell them what to think.

    If you react in a strongly negative fashion to the above statements, you are likely one of the duped masses or you are an aspiring weasel — a fully realized weasel knows these things to be true and manipulates them to his/her own gains.

  13. malyfred 2006-02-07 / 1.54 pm

    R Mutt:: Your comment is very offensive. This is my web and I can write here whatever I want and nobody forces you to read it.

    I think that John Cale is quite average artist as far as I know his songs and Hallelujah is a good example of this. He is “just singing” as every second street-singer and his voice could be confused with five other singers… so what’s that special about his version?

  14. Patricia 2006-02-17 / 7.51 pm

    Esta cancion me encanta!!Es preciosa!!Soy española y tambien la escuche a traves de la serie The OC.Incluso a veces lloro…

    This song..really I love it!!It’s beautiful!!I’m a spanish girl and also I listened it by The OC at TV.It’s so hard…that sometimes…I cry…

  15. sian 2006-02-20 / 3.54 pm

    what are you all on? ritalin? if u were happy this song makes u sad, and if u were sad already, it makes u more. go an take some pills instead

  16. alex 2006-03-08 / 6.09 pm

    RIP Jeff Buckley…

    I really like this man…this voice!!! the most beautiful I ever heard…

    All his songs are great, and hallelujah…it’s…THE song!

  17. Brandon 2006-03-30 / 2.46 am

    I feel that the original is much better than this version. The suprisingly deep voice of Leonard Cohen sounds almost sinister at times during the song, making it all the more mysterious. Also, John Cale’s version nearly brought me to tears, not an easy thing to do, especially by a song! I think it was the soft piano juxtaposed against the power of John Cale’s passionate voice. I’m not saying Jeff’s version was bad at all. I only think that the other versions I mentioned were much more powerful and I personally would get more emotional over a song like that than Mr. Buckley’s quieter version. An artist cannot go bad by covering this song.

  18. malyfred 2006-03-30 / 2.58 pm

    Brandon:: I love Leonard Cohen. His songs, his poems, his voice I do love all of these but he is losing his sense for good music since the late 70ties (~since he uses the synthesizers?).

    Compare So long Marianne (compilation of songs from 1968-1974) with his recent Dear Heather (2004). The difference is obvious – in 60ties and 70ties he was not just great author but also great musician.

    Hallelujah (1984) unfortunately has the first marks of this decline – and it cannot be saved by his wonderful voice.

  19. Elizabeth Lapicola 2006-05-08 / 3.28 am

    Before Jeff Buckley music was borning and still is borning
    without Jeff Buckley ‘s music here ! No, artists that I wear out a cd and buy 2 million times over again after I wrapped a cd ! No artists in the histroy of Music that donated to the World Trade Center Fund after 911 in 2001 !
    August 23 , 1970 when my adopted parents get married in Yonkers , NewYork ! Reconnected again now !

  20. Stephen Frew 2006-05-26 / 1.45 pm

    I’d say Cale’s musical arrangement with Buckley’s voice would be the best ever version of this song. What all this shows is that Cohen is the one of the greatest songwriters of all time.

    Also, John Cale can never be described as average. The Velvet Underground is one of the greatest and most innovative bands of all time. Without VU we’d not have modern rock.

  21. R L 2006-06-07 / 6.57 am

    I think the debate between Buckley and Cale is purely based on aesthetic, whether you prefer simple piano or reverberated guitar. I, being a guitarist, favor the guitar sound over the piano sound, and thus i enjoy Buckley’s version far better than Cale’s. I could see how somebody who enjoyed piano sound better could enjoy the Cale version better. That and jeff buckleys long Hallelujah at the end of the song, where he holds the note for like 30 seconds and harmonizes on guitar under it. Yeah. Wow.

  22. David 2006-06-08 / 4.53 pm


    I heard Myles Kennedy, the singer with Alter Bridge, sing this at their gig on Tuesday evening at the Astoria in London as a tribute to Jeff Buckley – he said he heard this version on the TV and it moved him so much. His version was good, he had the whole audience singing one chorus along with him, it was damn good! :-)

  23. Wiebke and Karen 2006-07-14 / 5.00 pm

    We love this song! We heard it from the O.C. and we both cried. It was so sad and emotional! We listen to that song sometimes on this hompage and we like it a lot – like i just said. If someone knows how to download this song for free, please, tell us! Write an e-mail at ! Thanks a lot! With best wishes
    Karen and Wiebke

  24. Atz 2006-07-17 / 1.13 am

    There’s so many great renditions of this song. My favorite is by Allison Crowe.

    Hail Leonard Cohen!

  25. hanna 2006-08-03 / 4.36 pm

    das is der mit abstand großartigste song den es überhaupt gibt damit ist er auch unsterblich allein diese stimme trägt das lied auf handen und als ich es bei o.c hörte hätte ich beinahe geweint es rührt mich so wie kein anderes es hat so eine engergie die unbeschreiblich ist und diesen ohrwurm hab ich immer gern :)

  26. sarah johnson 2006-09-07 / 5.44 pm

    Hallelujah for Jeff Buckley

  27. sarah johnson 2006-09-07 / 5.46 pm

    He’s an Artist and i Adore his Creations Masterpieces Works of Art!

  28. kiki 2006-09-10 / 5.33 pm

    I heard this song in a german movie called “Barfuss”, in english “barefoot”. I loved this movie and this song!

  29. Marina 2006-09-12 / 8.40 am

    Jeff Buckley is quite possible one of the most amazing artists of all time. If you love his cover of Hallelujah, buy his album Grace and see just how amazing his own music is. I honestly find it hard to believe that anyone could be disappointed with it, especially the tracks Forget Her, Mojo Pin, and Grace.

  30. mark 2006-09-23 / 12.47 am

    Replying to Mr Mutt’s much earlier comment. I own (having purchased them} 5 different versions of this song and I rate Jeff Buckley’s as the best. Not just for it’s softness but for it’s pure emotion. As for the sweping generalisation that you laid down, do you not like , maybe, a different baseball team to me? So where would be a problem with differing musical tastes. You are the only person trying to browbeat people with a point of view or maybe you are just trolling?!? Either way, keep it to yourself, you don’t look so ridiculous that way.

  31. Sarah 2006-09-30 / 2.38 pm

    I love this but it makes me cry that dude at the top spelt marissa wrong he put a c instead of an s anyway it makes me cry because marissa sied to it i love her soo much :( xxx bye marissa xxx

  32. Djibe 2006-10-24 / 6.23 pm

    for me jeff buckley is more expressive and communicate a very deep broken heart,I think john cale a better sensitive and artistic version. but finally please don’t forget the material it is a leonard cohen’s song perhaps not a very good singer but one of the better poet and song-writer of the XX century!!
    (sorry for my english i’m french)

  33. kaggsy 2006-11-08 / 6.22 pm

    The Cale version is the definitive one. Much as I love the Buckley version it simply copies the arrangement Cale used. What JC did with the song took it into another realm and his singing has a depth and intensity no-one else has brought to this song. Cale made Hallelujah his own.

  34. katherine 2006-11-09 / 6.56 pm

    its hearbreakingly beautiful.

  35. Nádia Manson 2006-11-10 / 8.20 pm

    Oi,sou brasileira,e definitivamente Jeff Buckley é um DEUS!!!!Quando ouvi HALLELUJAH,em um documentario sobre Jeff buckley sabia que dali não seria +a mesma…

  36. Phillip 2006-11-14 / 1.59 pm

    I have to agree with Nathan, the marine combat veteran who was moved by this song. I heard it on The OC when my 19 year old daughter borrowed the first season on DVD from her friend, and I got interested in the show, and watched the full set. I am a middle aged man, but the song brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it. I downloaded it from the internet just so I could hear it, but I went out the next day and ordered a copy of “Grace” from the music store. I had never even heard of Jeff Buckley until I heard this song and I looked him up too, only to find he died nine years ago. A man is only mortal, but this man left such a beautiful thing behind, and that will live on.

  37. Nathalie 2006-11-16 / 10.40 am

    The second time in my life I heard this song was in a train… I was praying and the joung man on the seat near mee saw that I was praying… He was listening this song.
    He offered me to listen it with him… It was a wonderful moment of sharing and hope. Together, we have spoken about life, God and humanity. He doesn’t believe in God. I do believe in Him. I do think that singer like Jeff Buckley are Worker of Peace…
    All the best and peace to all of you.

  38. Emma 2006-11-22 / 7.51 am

    The remake seems to be so much more emotional! The OC really made a new meaning to this song and now i have a passion for it!
    Breaking down to the lyrics means so much as most songs never do that to me!
    Great version Great song…and hope that one maybe someone else will make a good enough remake!!
    God bless.

  39. Sajid Hussain 2006-11-25 / 6.49 am

    I heard this song on the soundtrack of “the lord of the war”; and i was compelled to search for its lyrics. Thanx for putting this song here. I have enjoyed listening to it again and again. I also loved the movie. Great script and a great insight into arms dealing and life in West Africa.

  40. Lizzy 2006-12-08 / 3.22 pm

    My gosh! why dus evry1 hav to hear it from th OC or shrek!?!?! it kills me wen a gr8 song gets tied to movies and shows it becomes an add on insted of a song! i luv this song so much! and its so much less…morbid…than leonard cohen’s original! go jeff buckley! i luv u!

  41. christa 2006-12-14 / 8.43 pm

    i think it is just a beutiful song!!
    there are now other words!!!

  42. Jamie 2006-12-15 / 12.57 pm

    “Furthermore, the majority of people are incapable of distinguishing quality in art, primarily because the world is run by weasels who tell them what to think.”

    RMutt is a dick – anyone who is capable of writing such pretentious wank is need of a good dose of reality.

    Jeff Buckly’s version is beautiful in it’s own right and this does not detract from any other version. Music is about interpretation and therefore all works are valid and should be judged on their own merit – you twat.

  43. Anders 2006-12-22 / 5.19 am

    Amazing cover version made by Jeff and respect to Leonard Cohen for writing this wonderful tune. I would like to encourage all the readers here, who doesn´t know Jeff Buckley that well, to check out his all of his other music. My favorites songs of his are:
    Last Goodbye
    Eternal Life
    Forget her
    and of course not to forget Hallelujah ;-)

  44. katuska 2007-01-11 / 1.53 am

    Hi! I hear this one in much more films and scenes but I have the best memories on this song while geting together with my boyfriend.. I really enjoy listening to this song almost daily with my boyfrien and sing the every word that is so true and gives the sense to the song. That´s why I want to point to Leonard Cohen, for lyrics and to each of artists who remade the song for making the song still alive… Kate Slovakia

  45. sarah macready 2007-02-02 / 9.48 am

    jeff buckley is a beautiful, inspirational song writer.. and his version of ‘hallelujah’ is amazing. You cant get a better song then that song in general, i dont care who wrote it..the words are just beautiful.

  46. Nick 2007-02-10 / 8.16 am

    Where can I find John Cale’s version to purchase?

  47. Zifco 2007-02-15 / 4.41 pm

    i first heard it on shrek then on the´s a best song for situation like this, when friends a lovers was divorced!!autor hit black

  48. Sergey 2007-02-18 / 1.09 pm

    Great thanks from Russia. I heard this song about 10 years ago, maybe, from radio, I don’t remember. It was as an bless.. yesterday, when I heard this voice of Jeff… No words, feels only. Thank you for this link. Can I find Jeff’s songs anywhere else? Sorry for my English.

  49. deb 2007-03-29 / 5.22 pm

    I heard it for the first time on an episode of “Cold Case”…

  50. RonMan 2007-04-07 / 1.13 am

    Like deb i heard it at the end of the last episode of Cold Case series 3. I read it was the Cale version. Like it better then the one here. Both are emotional but i like piano.

  51. manda 2007-04-24 / 2.58 pm

    I do love this song and even i cried,though i never do.
    where can iget the song for free? i wish i could listen to it every day v.v

  52. Lisa 2007-04-29 / 6.01 am

    The first time I hear this song was from the West Wing. I LOVE this song. It’s AWESOME

  53. Rachel Torrance 2007-04-29 / 5.34 pm

    All of the music that he created is beutiful in every way. His soul has touched me so much. peace

  54. williew 2007-05-16 / 9.49 am

    What a great song! This is truly the best version! I have been looking for this version for a long time – glad I found it!! To the people that do not like it, too bad, go listen to whatever you like. Fact still remains that plenty of people love this song to bits. Eventhough this is a sad song, it is excellent!!!

  55. Brian Andersen (Denmark) 2007-05-17 / 1.23 pm

    I just lost a friend in Iraq. And his last wish was to be carried by his friends to this song, because he lived by it. I miss him som much

  56. Matheus 2007-05-21 / 5.01 pm

    I also heard it from The O.C. Thats what i calling a sceen, sad sceen.

    When i hear this song its like he explain everything to me, how my life is, how it should be and how to get it better. But actually he says Hallelujah…
    I also think about when i was in Australia. I miss it so much that im getting crazy. I liked everything with Australia apart from that city “Paramata City”.

    Anyway thanks alot for share this to all us.

  57. Bill 2007-05-21 / 5.19 pm

    I am new to Jeff. Are any of his other songs as poignant as this? Fantastic presentation

  58. Holly 2007-05-29 / 11.11 am

    Hallelujah is a sublimely beautiful song. I agree it is a very personal and subjective choice which version is your favorite.

    Mine is this 2003 recording by Allison Crowe:

    There’s a great listing of different covers at

    (I think almost all of the Hallelujah versions have been posted, including Jeff Buckley and John Cale’s recordings and, of course, Leonard Cohen’s original.)

    Thanks for posting about this amazing song!

  59. Alan 2007-05-29 / 2.16 pm

    Today is exactly 10 years since Jeff Buckley drowned in Memphis. I will play Hallelujah and remember him with thanks for his talent and a bit more sadness than usual.

  60. Cody 2007-06-06 / 7.25 am

    This is one of my favorite songs of all time, and Jeff’s cover is the best ever recorded. The musicality of his guitarwork sets the mood and effectively underscores the lyrics, while his voice sweetly delivers the haunting, plaintive words of loss, sorrow, and transition like a gentle yet drenching rainfall. Cohen, wrote the song, but even he said he likes it better when other people do his songs. Forget Wainwright, who plows through each verse at the same speed, with no thought to dynamics or personality, with his buzzy voice and garbled diction. And I’m not dissing Cale, his cover is my third favorite, behind Jeff Buckley and Brandi Carlile. After that, it’s kd lang, Cohen, Wainwright, and Imogen Heap.

  61. ... 2007-07-19 / 3.56 am

    I cant belive how many people say, here and on every other website, that Jeff Buckley Does the best cover version of hallelujah, i have a few different versions (including Buckleys)and by far, my favorite is k.d.lang’s, any one who has heard it will belive me.

  62. mike kelly 2007-07-23 / 7.59 am

    did marc cohn cover this song?
    email me if you know where I can find it?

  63. George 2007-08-14 / 8.22 pm

    Perhaps others might appreciate K. D. Lang’s version sung live in front of Leonard Cohen at his induction into the Canadian Songwriters Hall Of Fame on February 5 2006 in Toronto. A corkscrew to my heart …

  64. Lisa 2007-08-18 / 6.25 am

    I heard this song from West Wing.I love this song.
    It is soooooooooooo intense.

  65. Lisa 2007-08-18 / 6.27 am

    I hear this song from WEST WING the show w/Martin Sheen.
    I love this song. It is so INTENSE

  66. Jesper 2007-09-04 / 2.29 pm

    Leonard Cohens version > all.

  67. Niall 2007-09-12 / 2.35 am

    You must listen to Allison Crowe’s version it will blow your mind. K.D. Laing also does a great version but Allison’s is tops!

  68. rouge 2007-09-20 / 9.08 pm

    thanks to my prep school teacher. one day she make us listen jeff’s hallelujah. as the first i felt,i feel smt that i cannot explain it with just words whenever i listen him. i listened almost all of the covers. jeff is the best..

  69. lndyhpgrl 2007-10-24 / 6.28 pm

    Gordon Downey of the Hip also does a very heartbreaking version of it. Unfortunately it’s only been released in a film so there’s film audio covering the song, but besides that it’s pretty gorgeous.


  70. lndyhpgrl 2007-10-24 / 6.36 pm

    My bad on the spelling of his name: Downie. Sorry all Hip fans. :)

  71. Carole Copeland 2007-12-02 / 11.05 pm

    I still dont know how to get the download of the song Hallelujah Can somebody help please

  72. Pilla 2007-12-04 / 10.31 pm

    this is the most emotional song i’ve ever heard. i cry everytime i hear it. i sob like a dog and i can’t find out why i’m really crying.. this is what this song does to soo many people.. what i’m wondering is… how can a song move you in such way?? it’s so weird thinking about it. well..much love to all of you who feel as i do for this song.

  73. Munkus 2007-12-12 / 9.49 am

    I heard this on House M.D. and I was quite touched by this version. The serenity in style is beautiful. Anyway, people wanting to get free version should try torrents ;)

  74. stephanie 2007-12-18 / 11.26 pm

    it breaks my heart and tears me apart
    it really does. but in a beautiful way, even though it makes me quite sad.

    carole, up there where it says “Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah.mp3” you just need to left-click and then save file or save target or something. that’s it. hope it helps!

  75. Eve V 2007-12-27 / 3.04 am

    Leonard & Jeffery, Many blessings wherever you guys are! This song was a beautiful moment for me! As I felt highly connected to our creator of love! I had chills & goose bumps as my eyes teared up! Tanks, both of you so very much!!!

  76. tamara 2008-03-10 / 11.51 am

    this song is realy great.when I heard this song,oh! my god,I was crazy.I love this song.and I love jeff buckley.:)

  77. Steve J 2008-03-18 / 7.13 pm

    Interesting to read all the comments! And I was amazed at the different versions! Buckley’s took me and I got the MP# for only $.99! From Amazon! Have been playing it on my computer ad nauseum! Figured out the chord arrangement and then looked for tablature and that helped me a bit more, but no one, that posts tablature plays it the way I heard it and fingered it! And there are a lot of people that have it out there! Buckley does some overtone (or undertone) subtleties that give it, along with his voice, the richness thios song does! For guitar players it is relatively simple, but the sublteties is what makes it! I plan on covering it (with harmonica) soon and I’m pretty sure it will be one of those “stop and listen” ones that I know will be in my repertoire for a long long time! Shame, that I read that Bucley died, some 9 years ago?? He was a young, guy, wasn’t he?

  78. Lisandra 2008-04-05 / 8.16 am

    The first time I hear this song was in the show WEST WING. Then in ER and Jason Castro sang it at American Idol.
    It was so beautiful

  79. A french girl 2008-05-21 / 1.45 pm

    I’ve never heard the Jeff Buckley’s version, but I’ve already heard.. 4 versions of this song Allelujah, the best version I’ve heard : !
    I’m going to listen to the Jeff Buckley’s version, and I can say I love his voice very very very much ! And Allelujah is the best song I’ve ever heard, I listen to her all the day !
    Kiss from France ! Forgive me for my bad english !^^

  80. Kira-rain 2008-06-16 / 3.29 pm

    jeff buckley…you will always be remembered.
    your voice and your music will live on forever.

  81. musik 2008-12-14 / 12.55 am

    I think that Bow Jenkins Version is the best!
    far better than this I think, I just discovered her:

  82. Charlotte 2008-12-14 / 2.09 am

    It’s is difficult to find a bad version of this song. It is so beautifully written. Cohen was a genius and both Buckley and Cale have the most amazing voices. I am a huge Buckley fan and adore his voice which never fails to move me. But I still find it difficult to dismiss the Cale version which I find equally breathtaking

  83. Greg 2009-06-10 / 10.22 pm

    Personally I find John’s Cale version the best but that’s purely my opinion. If you “strongly” disagree and feel “offended” by this then, pfft……

  84. Laurie Collier 2009-08-14 / 4.52 am

    R.Mutt is the facist, I live next to San Francisco and the worst facists are the art snobs they consider everyone beneath them until proven otherwise. Just so you know Mutt your wrong, people should not be told what they have to like by anybody. My kids and I have an unbelievably diverse collection of music none of it found by TV or radio, some popular some you’ve never heard of. I bet if you like something popular YOU LIE and say you don’t.

  85. lucca 2009-08-14 / 5.12 am

    Oh yes, master! I shall immediately forgoe all my favorite music in favor of your own, even though you are undoubtably just some stupid jackass sitting in front of a computer trying to look sophisticated! (in response to R.Mutt)

  86. bloodspot 2009-10-15 / 8.41 pm

    Buckley’s is the best cover. The 2 or 3 emotional high points, where Cohen is most poetic,are where Buckley sings at his emotional expressive peak.

  87. Midnight 2010-02-02 / 11.33 pm

    I agree!!!!!!!!!:)Jeff’s voice is perfect for this song…and not only for this one

  88. tristan 2010-02-27 / 3.07 pm

    Leonard Cohen was quoted as saying his favourite cover of this song was by Bon Jovi…

  89. mercymatlo 2010-05-11 / 3.18 am

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