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Hallelujah - how to play - Allison Crowe's piano arrangement of the Leonard Cohen classic

Updated on August 5, 2013

Hallelujah - lyrics and sheet music for Allison Crowe's piano version of this beautiful Leonard Cohen song

Before Leonard Cohenâs beautiful song "Hallelujah" was established as the popular standard it is today, Allison Crowe took her place at the piano and recorded a single, first, take version that continues to resonate.

Itâs how Hollywood Director / Producer partners Zack Snyder and Deborah Snyder originally heard Allison - making music thatâs, all-at-once, "Soulful. Alive. Joyous. Grievous."

Her "Tidings" (2003) version of âHallelujahâ was slated for a scene in the 2009 movie "Watchmen" (based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons) - but, was ultimately deemed "too beautiful", "too romantic" and "too sexy" for what Director Zack Snyder wanted to be a ridiculous, awkward, coupling of two characters aboard an Owl Ship.

This particular recording has been used to great effect in the movie trailer for "The Pardon" (Jaime King, John Hawkes) - released in Spring 2013:

And the relationship between Allison Crowe and the Snyders, launched by this song track, has led to her cameo in this yearâs block-buster Superman epic, "Man of Steel", in which she appears as "Singer in Cassidyâs" - a backwoods bar where Clark Kent (played to perfection by Henry Cavill) is working. In this spot, she performs "Ring of Fire" - a tune made famous by another iconoclast Johnny Cash.

"Hallelujah", a different single/first-take, live-off-the-floor, performance is one of the first videos posted by Allison Crowe to YouTube:

The video became a viral sensation. With more than 8 million views, this rendition of this song is how many people are still introduced to the artistry of Allison Crowe.

Today, Leonard Cohen's much-loved song, "Hallelujah", is heard in many voices and styles.

Here's how to play the song in the piano style of musician Allison Crowe.

Hallelujah - Leonard Cohen's song - piano transcription for Allison Crowe piano version - page 1
Hallelujah - Leonard Cohen's song - piano transcription for Allison Crowe piano version - page 1

Hallelujah - Allison Crowe's sheet music for piano

Here's Allison Crowe's piano version of a much-loved song

Over the course of nearly 30 years since its first creation, Leonard Cohen's song "Hallelujah" has become one of the most popular songs of our times.

Starting with John Cale, numerous artists have covered this beautiful song, and it's heard in many different voices and styles. Some of the performers of "Hallelujah" include: Jeff Buckley, Rufus Wainwright, Kathryn Williams, Jason Castro, Alexandra Burke, Lisa Hordijk, Kasia Popowska,Bon Jovi, kd lang, Dresden Dolls, Maddy Curtis, Matt Morris, Justin Timberlake, the Canadian Tenors, and Renee Fleming.

Canadian musician Allison Crowe's piano version, heard on her album/CD "Tidings" is much-loved. The lyrics and handwritten sheet music for this interpretation by Allison are here - for piano-players, and all music-lovers!


Words & Music by Leonard Cohen

As performed & Transcribed by Allison Crowe

I've heard there was a secret chord

That David played, and it pleased the Lord

But you don't really care for music, do you?

Well, it goes like this, the fourth, the fifth

The minor fall, the major lift

The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Well, your faith was strong but you needed proof

You saw her bathing on the roof

Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you

She tied you to a kitchen chair

She broke your throne, she cut your hair

And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Well, baby, I've been here before.

I've seen this room, and I've walked this floor.

I used to live alone before I knew you.

But I've seen your flag on the marble arch,

And love is not a victory march,

It's a cold and it is a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Well, there was a time when you'd let me know

What's really going on below,

But now you never show that to me, do you?

But remember when I moved in you,

And the Holy Ghost was moving too,

And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Well, maybe there is a God above,

But all that I've ever learned from love

Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you.

It's not a cry that you hear at night,

And it is not somebody who has seen the light

It's a cold and it is a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah



Transcription - Sheet Music Pages to Play This Song

Here's the sheet music for Allison Crowe's piano arrangement of the beautiful and much-loved song, "Hallelujah" - it's how you can make the music, and make it your own.

Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen) - Allison Crowe live-in-the-studio - Canadian musician's piano version of a much-loved song - for this lens of sheet music

Allison Crowe performs, live-in-the-studio, her piano arrangement of Leonard Cohen's song "Hallelujah". You can play this version which is transcribed on the sheet music in this lens.

"It's, as I say, a desire to affirm my faith in life, not in some formal religious way but with enthusiasm, with emotion.... It's a rather joyous song," says Leonard Cohen, creator of the song, Hallelujah: "I wanted to write something in the tradition of the hallelujah choruses but from a different point of view... It's the notion that there is no perfection ~ that this is a broken world and we live with broken hearts and broken lives but still that is no alibi for anything. On the contrary, you have to stand up and say hallelujah under those circumstances."

Allison Crowe's piano version of "Hallelujah", transcribed in this lens, forms the soundtrack to this trailer for "The Pardon" - released in 2013, starring Jaime King, John Hawkes, T.J. Thyne and more.

Tidings - from Allison Crowe - Modern classic featuring favourites secular and sacred

Containing "Hallelujah", as transcribed in this lens, "Tidings" brings together traditional carols, and not-so-traditional songs, all interpreted, even redefined, through the vocal and piano artistry of Allison Crowe. It's a much-loved collection tagged "the Yule-tide find of the year" by one music critic. "Her voice celebrates the music with a bluesy rock-gospel intensity; her controlled vibrato, silken rasp, and powerful projection rivet your attention. This is no casual background music... be prepared to be amazed," says another reviewer. Tidings is popular year-round - not just during the Christmas season when it's a natural. The album's songs are recorded, live-off-the-floor, on Winter's eve in Canada by Engineer & Producer Larry Anschell, (Pearl Jam, Sarah McLachlan, k-os), who captures the magic at his Turtle Recording studio by the shore in White Rock, British Columbia.

Tidings' track-listing: It Came Upon a Midnight Clear (Traditional); River (Joni Mitchell); Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen); Silent Night (Traditional); In the Bleak Midwinter (Traditional); What Child Is This - Greensleeves (Traditional); Let It Be (The Beatles); The First Noel (Traditional); In My Life (The Beatles); O Holy Night (Traditional); Shine a Light (Mick Jagger/Keith Richards); Angel (Sarah McLachlan).

Peace on Earth ~ goodwill toward all.


"Music for the season and all time"


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    • Adrian22 profile image

      Adrian22 4 years ago

      @Teacher Adez7: Thanks for your kind words! I'm happy to have the opportunity to share this :)

    • Adrian22 profile image

      Adrian22 4 years ago

      @Magicality LM: Thanks very much! Glad you enjoy it :)

    • Adrian22 profile image

      Adrian22 4 years ago

      @samluies: Happy to hear it - thank you!

    • Adrian22 profile image

      Adrian22 4 years ago

      @blue22d: You're most welcome! and thank you :)

    • blue22d profile image

      blue22d 6 years ago

      I love this song and his work. Thanks for making this lens.

    • profile image

      samluies 6 years ago

      Very nice song and its lyrics was awesome i liked it very much.

    • Magicality LM profile image

      Magicality LM 7 years ago

      Amazing song! Also, nice performance on your youtube video ...

    • Teacher Adez7 profile image

      Teacher Adez7 7 years ago

      WHat an anointed song! I just love it, and thanks for putting this one out here for us to listen to.