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Song

Hallelujah

Leonard Cohen

Album Various Positions

“Hallelujah” is the 1984 folk rock song from the iconic Canadian singer, songwriter and musician Leonard Cohen that was released through Columbia Records on his seventh studio album titled “Various Positions”. Initially, the song failed to gain much attention or success, however thanks to many other artists such as American singer and guitarist Jeff Buckley and John Cale, the original version ended up becoming a firm favourite for many Cohen fans.

It is believed that Cohen wrote around 80 draft verses for “Hallelujah”, with one of his writing sessions being at the Royalton Hotel in New York, where he sat on the floor in his underwear while supposedly banging his head on the floor. The song has many interpretations and Cohen often sung different versions of the song live. For many, some see the song as Cohen having a conversation with God, for some it is deemed to be a song about spirituality and human desire, and the two fighting one another. Cohen has never revealed or stated his own interpretation or meaning of the song. The song also gained popularity again in 2001, thanks to it featuring in the successful 2001 animated film “Shrek”.

There is no music video for “Hallelujah”, however there are videos available on Leonard Cohen’s official YouTube channel where Cohen performs the song live in London (which has over 188.4 million views and over 908 thousand likes since its upload in October 2009), and an official audio upload of the song, which has a total of 16.8 million views and 118 thousand likes.

“Hallelujah” is certified Gold in Australia.

Read the lyrics to “Hallelujah” from Leonard Cohen here.

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Release Date

December 1984

Songwriter/s

Leonard Cohen

Producers/s

John Lissauer

Label/s

Columbia

Chart Rankings

- #59 in Australia - #13 in Austria - #17 in Canada - #65 in the Czech Republic - #4 in Finland - #1 in France - #27 in Germany - #55 in Ireland - #66 in Italy - #27 in the Netherlands - #1 in New Zealand - #69 in Portugal - #30 in Scotland - #58 in Slovakia - #3 in Spain - #16 in Sweden - #2 in Switzerland - #36 in the UK - #59 on the US Billboard Hot 100 - #20 on the US Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Song

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