Songnotes

the hand-crafted music library of @davidpots

 

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Hallelujah

Leonard Cohen

from the album Various Positions released in 1984

jump to: lyrics / notes & tabs / videos / chord progressions / song info

Lyrics

Intro

C ..... Am ..... C ..... Am .....

Verse, pt1

C Am I've heard there was a secret chord C Am That David played, and it pleased the Lord F G C G But you don't really care for music, do you?

Verse, pt2

C F G It goes like this... the fourth, the fifth Am F The minor fall, the major lift G E Am The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Chorus

F Am Hallelujah, Hallelujah F C G C G Hallelujah, Hallelu--------jah Your faith was strong but you needed proof You saw her bathing on the roof Her beauty in the moonlight overthrew you She tied you to her kitchen chair She broke your throne, and she cut your hair And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah Hallelujah, Hallelujah Hallelujah, Hallelujah Baby, I have been here before I know this room, I've walked this floor I used to live alone before I knew you. I've seen your flag on the marble arch Love is not a victory march It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah Hallelujah, Hallelujah Hallelujah, Hallelujah There was a time when you let me know What's really going on below But now you never show it to me, do you? And remember when I moved in you The holy dove was moving too And every breath we drew was Hallelujah Hallelujah, Hallelujah Hallelujah, Hallelujah Maybe there's a God above But all I've ever learned from love Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you It's not a cry you can hear at night It's not somebody who has seen the light It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah Hallelujah, Hallelujah Hallelujah, Hallelujah You say I took the name in vain I don't even know the name But if I did, well, really... what's it to you? There's a blaze of light in every word It doesn't matter which you heard The holy or the broken Hallelujah Hallelujah, Hallelujah Hallelujah, Hallelujah I did my best, it wasn't much I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you And even though it all went wrong I'll stand before the Lord of Song With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah Hallelujah, Hallelujah Hallelujah, Hallelujah (repeat chorus as desired, end)

Notes & Tabs

Standard Tuning, No Capo

Let me note that I'm approaching this song in the key of C, to match the tone of the Leonard Cohen original, as well as the Rufus Wainwright cover. Other lessons out there instruct you to play this in the key of G with a capo. I won't be doing that, sorry!

Guitar Chords Used

Here is how to play the guitar chords used in this song.

e-|---0----0----1----3----0----
B-|---1----1----1----0----0----
G-|---0----2----2----0----1----
D-|---2----2----3----0----2----
A-|---3----0----3----2----2----
E-|-------------1----3----0----
      C    Am   F    G    E 

Optional Intro Tab

Here is an approximate tab of how I like to play the intro on solo acoustic guitar. This focuses on the notes I play between the C and Am chords -- I'm assuming you'll fill in the rhythmic gaps with whatever strumming / picking pattern you prefer.

e-|-----0---------0---------0--------------0---- 
B-|-----1---------1---------1--------------1---- 
G-|-----0---------2---------0--------------2---- 
D-|-----2---------2---------2------0--2----2----  ...with desired strum pattern
A-|---3------2--0------2--3--------------0------ 
E-|--------------------------------------------- 
      C         Am        C              Am 

End of Chorus Turnaround

Here is a fun little riff to transition from the G to C chords at the end of each chorus. This is optional as well. At the simplest, you can do this simple bass run up to the G chord:

e-|----0------------3---
B-|----1------------0---
G-|----0------------0---
D-|----2------------0---
A-|----3------------2---
E-|---------0--1--3-----
       C          G 

And if you want to take it further, I like adding this little riff with my pinky to the C and G chords that come before the tab shown directly above.

e-|------------------------------------------
B-|---1---------------------1----------------
G-|---0----------0----------0------------0---
D-|---2--3--2----0----------2------------0---
A-|---3----------2--3--2----3------------2---
E-|--------------3---------------0--1--3-----
      C          G          C          G 

On the Order of the Verses

One last note: I admit I am not an expert or a scholar on what the canonical number of (or, order of) verses in this song. Cohen's studio version has different verses from many of the covers, and sometimes the order of verses is different. Above, I've included all the verses I've heard before in the order I prefer -- and I'll let you do with them what you will.

Videos

Songnotes Guitar Lesson

Here is a video I made showing how to play this song, using the chords and tabs shown on this page. If this is helpful, subscribe to the Songnotes YouTube channel for more tutorials and lessons like this.



Leonard Cohen Studio Version

If you want to hear the original Leonard Cohen version of this song, listen here. Note, if you're looking for a stripped-down guitar version, check out any of the versions below (this one is quite heavy on backup singers, etc).



Recommended Cover Version

There are too many notable covers of this song to include here (search for yourself). I'll include my favorite: the Rufus Wainwright version. His vocals are the best for my money.



Chord Progressions

Intro

| C . . . . . | Am . . . . . | C . . . . . | Am . . . . . |

Verse, pt1

"I've heard there was a secret chord..."
| C . . . . . | Am . . . . . | C . . . . . | Am . . . . . |
| F . . . . . | G  . . . . . | C . . . . . | G  . . . . . |

Verse, pt2

"It goes like this, the fourth, the fifth..."
| C . . . . . | F . . G . . | Am . . . . . | F  . . . . . |
| G . . . . . | E . . . . . | Am . . . . . | Am . . . . . |

Chorus

"Hallelujah, hallelujah..."
| F . . . . . | F . . . . . | Am . . . . . | Am . . . . . |
| F . . . . . | F . . . . . | C  . . . . . | G  . . . . . |
| C . . . . . | G . . . . . |

Song Info

Song: Hallelujah
Artist: Leonard Cohen
Album: Various Positions
Year: 1984
Label: Columbia

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Video Lessons

Here are some of the video lessons I have made recently. I typically aim to create 3-4 lessons per month. Subscribe on YouTube to be sure you never miss a new lesson.



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About

My name is David Potsiadlo, and I created Songnotes to share my collection of guitar tabs, chords, and lyrics for my favorite songs.

Since I started playing guitar over 10 years ago, I've often been frustrated by the preponderance of mediocre and incomplete song tabs littered across the internet. To combat this, I started keeping my own collection of notes for each song I learn -- always taking the extra time to make sure accuracy and completeness are never compromised. Years later, my collection grew to the point where I knew I had to share it online with fellow aspiring musicians.

In December 2012, I began designing & developing a website that became Songnotes. Here, I share my personal collection of hand-crafted music notation with all those online. I hope you enjoy.

You can also view my personal website or follow me on Twitter / Dribbble / GitHub / LinkedIn.