Hallelujah- More Performance Videos of Leonard Cohen’s Much-Loved Song
This is my second article featuring performances of Leonard Cohen’s iconic song Hallelujah. You can view the lyrics and read a brief bio on him in my article, Hallelujah- 10 Performance Videos of Leonard Cohen’s Much-Loved Song. That article features performances by Cohen and classic versions by performers like Jeff Buckley, John Cale, Rufus Wainwright and others. I am including different Leonard Cohen performances in each of my 4 articles in this series. This article features 10 performances of Cohen's classic song, and 2 performances by bands who incorporate Hallelujah into their own original songs.
- Performances in this article:
- Leonard Cohen
- Willie Nelson
- Sheryl Crow
- Bob Dylan
- Allison Crowe
- Damien Rice
- Regina Spektor
- Katherine Jenkins
- Constantine Maroulis
- Fall Out Boy
Cohen Oct 2009 Performance
Leonard Cohen was born in Montreal, Canada in 1934. He started performing music as a teenager, and subsequently published books of poetry and two novels. Hallelujah, arguably Cohen’s most famous song, was published in 1981. He recorded the song for the first time in 1984. He has performed it many times, singing various combinations of the 80 verses he penned. The song has been sung by many Idol and X-Factor hopefuls, and recorded by scores of artists internationally.
Cohen continued to perform until shortly before his death in November of 2016. You can find Cohen singing his classic on the disks More Best of Leonard Cohen 1997, The Essential Leonard Cohen 2002, and Live in London 2009.
Singer-songwriter Willie Nelson was born in April 1933 in Ft Worth Texas. He was a successful songwriter in the 1960s, with his songs performed by country stars Patsy Cline, Ray Price and Faron Young. He was not widely known as a singer-performer until the 70s.
He has countless solo hits and has recorded with other headliners such as his Highwaymen friends Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash. Willie recorded this iconic classic for his 2006 release Songbird.
Singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow was born in Kennett Missouri in February 1962. Her father played trumpet and her mother sang in swing bands. She was a singer for 2 years on Michael Jackson’s Bad Tour, and with Don Henley’s End of the Innocence Tour. She was a session singer for Don Henley, Rod Stewart, Joe Cocker, Sting, Stevie Wonder, Sinead O’Connor and Foreigner.
She wrote her first song at age 13. Her songs have been recorded by Celine Dion, Eric Clapton and Wynonna Judd. She began finding solo success in the early 90s. It seems Sheryl has not recorded this song for audio release.
Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman in May 1941 in Duluth Minnesota. He is a music icon. His songs are rambling narratives, and have been sung by countless artists. As a singer, many agree he is not a good singer in a conventional sense. He started performing under the name Bob Dylan, taking “Dylan” from the poet Dylan Thomas. Hank Williams and Woody Guthrie were early influences.
He is thought to be one of the first artists to perform Hallelujah in concert, with a performance in Montreal July 1988. I found one source that indicated the song is on his recording, A Legend in His Time Disk 3, but I could not find it on Amazon. I think Bob Dylan is a great poet, but tend to like his songs best when sung by someone else. I don’t personally care for his version of this great classic.
Bono, singer for U2, was born Paul Hewson in Dublin Ireland in May 1960. His father was Catholic and his mother Protestant, and he was considered the product of a “mixed marriage”, not accepted in either church community. The band that ultimately became U2 was formed in 1976. At the time he was not a very good vocalist, but secured the frontman spot with his powerful personality. By the time of the 1983 release of War, he had honed his skills.
With the 1987 release of Joshua Tree, the band became international superstars. Bono’s Hallelujah, a predominantly spoken-word rendition, is included in the 1995 star-studded “Tower of Song” tribute to Cohen. I don’t care for this version at all.
Singer-songwriter Allison Crowe was born in British Columbia in November 1981. She began performing at age 15 in Vancouver Island coffeehouses in 1996. Her first recording was 2001.
She has been praised for her live performances, and compared to Mahalia Jackson, Sarah McLachlin and Janis Joplin. She performed the song for a Canadian national TV special. Her version is available on her disk Tidings, and for streaming on Amazon.
Singer-songwriter Damien Rice was born in the 70s in Ireland. His Indie Rock group, Juniper, recorded 2 moderately successful songs in 1997. His first solo record was an instant Top 20 hit in 2001.
He performed Hallelujah at Leonard Cohen’s 2008 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which is available on the recording from HOF volume 10, 2008-2009. He performed it again at the Hall of Fame in 2016, weeks after Cohen's death.
Singer-songwriter Regina Spektor was born in February 1980 in Moscow. Her family moved to the Bronx when she was 9. She studied classical piano, and played a multitude of parties and small venues while self-releasing works in 2001 and 2002.
Subsequently she began to gain a following in the US and Europe. She performed Hallelujah in 2005 at the Jewish Heritage Festival. I could not find an audio recording.
Mezzo soprano Katherine Jenkins was born in Wales in 1980. She began studying classical piano and voice at 7 years old. She later attended the Royal Academy of Music. After graduation, she continued to pursue opera, but supplemented her income with modeling. She performed for Pope John Paul II. Her debut album was released in 2004.
She was the best-selling classical artist in the UK. She recorded Dolly Parton’s I Will Always Love You in 2005. She recorded a classical crossover version of Cohen's hit on Sacred Arias.
Constantine Maroulis was born in 1975, and was raised in New Jersey by Greek-American parents. He earned a degree in musical theater from the Boston Conservatory of Music. He was eliminated early on in the 4th season of American Idol, but was offered modeling and acting opportunities. He had a role on The Bold and the Beautiful.
He recorded Bohemian Rhapsody for the tribute, Killer Queen. The video above was from a performance in Annapolis MD at Ram’s Head. To the best of my understanding, he did not perform Hallelujah on Idol. I did not find an audio recording.
Fall Out Boy
The band Fall Out Boy was formed in Chicago in 2001. Their music has been described as emo and punk pop, and alternative and indie rock. Band members are Patrick Stump, vocalist and guitar, Joe Trohman, guitar, Andrew Hurley, drums, and Pete Wentz, bass and lyrics. If the name Wentz sounds familiar, it may be because he was once married to Ashley Simpson and has a child with her.
The band incorporated a few lines of Hallelujah (starting at about 2 minutes and 40 seconds into the video clip) into their song, Hum Hallelujah. Their song is available on Infinity on High.
The band Paramore was born when the Farros brothers asked 13 year old Haley Williams to be their singer. They subsequently added other members. Their music has been described as punk, alternative and indie rock. They were signed by the record label, Fueled by Ramen in 2005.
They were nominated for a Grammy for Best New Artist in 2008. They have toured with No Doubt. They begin their song Hallelujah with verses from Leonard Cohen’s song. Their song is available for streaming.
© 2009 rmcrayne