Hallelujah chords by Jeff Buckley/Leonard Cohen


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Hallelujah | Chords + Lyrics (capo 5)


Intro

|6/8 N.C Em D | C7 | C7 C9 | Em | Em7 |
| C7 | C7 C9 | Em | Em7 | C/Bb | C/Bb |
| Em/B | Em/B | C7/Bb | C7/Bb | Em | A7b5 |
| C/G | C/G | C/G | C/G D |

| G5/D | Em7 | G5 | Em7 | G5 | Em7 | G5 | Em7 |

Verse 1

| G5 | Em7 |
I heard there was a secret chord.
| G5 | Em7 |
That David played and it pleased the Lord.
| C | C D | G/B | D |
But you don’t really care for music, do you?
| G/B | C D |
Well it goes like this the fourth, the fifth.
| Em | C |
The minor fall and the major lift.
| D | B7/D# | Em | Em D5 |
The baffled king composing Hallelujah.

Chorus 1

| C | C | Em | Em7 |
Hallelujah. Hallelujah.
| C | C | G/B | D/A |
Hallelujah. Hallelujah.

Instrumental 1

| G5 | Em7 | G5 | Em7 |

Verse 2

| G5 | Em7 |
Well, your faith was strong but you needed proof.
| G5 | Em7 |
You saw her bathing on the roof.
| C | C D | G/B | D |
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you.
| G/B | C D |
She tied you to her kitchen chair.
| Em | C |
She broke your throne and she cut your hair.
| D | B7/D# | Em | Em D5 |
And from your lips, she drew the Hallelujah.

Chorus 2

| C | C | Em | Em7 |
Hallelujah. Hallelujah.
| C | C | G/B | D/A |
Hallelujah. Hallelujah.

Instrumental 2

| G5 | Em7 | G5 | Em7 |

Verse 3

| G5 | Em7 |
Well, Baby, I’ve been here before.
| G5 | Em7 |
I’ve seen this room and I’ve walked this floor.
| C | C D | G/B | D |
You know, I used to live alone before I knew you.
| G/B | C D |
And I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch.
| Em | C |
And Love is not a victory march.
| D | B7/D# | Em | Em D5 |
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah.

Chorus 3

| C | C | Em | Em7 |
Hallelujah. Hallelujah.
| C | C | G/B | D/A |
Hallelujah. Hallelujah.

Instrumental 3

| G5 | Em7 | G5 | Em7 |

Verse 4

| G5 | Em7 |
Well, there was a time when you let me know.
| G5 | Em7 |
What’s really going on below.
| C | C D | G/B | D |
But now you never show that to me, do you?
| G/B | C D |
But remember, when I moved in you.
| Em | C |
And the holy dove was moving too.
| D | B7/D# | Em | Em D5 |
And every breath, we drew was Hallelujah.

Chorus 4

| C | C | Em | Em7 |
Hallelujah. Hallelujah.
| C | C | G/B | D/A |
Hallelujah. Hallelujah.

Instrumental 4

| Cadd9 | C G/B | Em9 | Em9 |
| C | C | G/B | D/A |
| G5 | Em7 | G5 | Em7 |
| C C6 | C | C6 | G |
| D | Em | C | D |
| Cmaj7 | C | C | C | D | D |

Verse 5

| G5 | Em7 |
Maybe there’s a God above.
| G5 | Em7 |
But, all I’ve ever learned from love.
| C | C D | G/B | D | D |
Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you?
| G/B | C D |
And it’s not a cry, that you hear at night.
| Em | C |
It’s not somebody who’s seen the light.
| D | B7/D# | Em | Em D5 |
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah.

Outro

| C | C | Em | Em7 |
Hallelujah. Hallelujah.
| C | C | G/B | D/A |
Hallelujah. Hallelujah.
| C | C | Em | Em7 |
Hallelujah. Hallelujah.
| C | C | G/B | D/A |
Hallelujah. Hallelujah.
| C | C | Em | Em7 |
Hallelujah. Hallelujah.
| C | C | C G/B |
Hallelujah.
| G/B | G/B | D | D | D | Cadd9 | G/B | A7sus4 | Em | Em Emadd9 Em |
Hallelujah.
| C | C | Em | Em | C | D | G/D | G/D ||
Hallelujah.


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Hallelujah chords + Lyrics (Leonard Cohen)


Intro

|6/8 C | G |

Verse 1

| C | Am7 |
I heard there was a secret chord.
| C | Am7 |
That David played and it pleased the Lord.
| F | G | C | G |
But you don’t really care for music, do you?
| C | F G |
Well, it goes like this the fourth, the fifth.
| Am | F |
The minor fall and the major lift.
| G | E7/G# | Am | N.C |
The baffled king composing Hallelujah.

Chorus 1

| F | F | Am | Am |
Hallelujah. Hallelujah.
| F | F | C | G | C | G |
Hallelujah. Hallelujah.

Verse 2

| C | Am7 |
Well, your faith was strong but you needed proof.
| C | Am7 |
You saw her bathing on the roof.
| F | G | C | G |
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you.
| C | F G |
She tied you to her kitchen chair.
| Am | F |
She broke your throne and she cut your hair.
| G | E7/G# | Am | N.C |
And from your lips, she drew the Hallelujah.

Chorus 2

| F | F | Am | Am |
Hallelujah. Hallelujah.
| F | F | C | G | C | G |
Hallelujah. Hallelujah.

Verse 3

| C | Am7 |
You say I took the name in vain.
| C | Am7 |
I don’t even know the name.
| F | G | C | G |
But if I did, well really, what’s it to ya?
| C | F G |
There’s a blaze of light.
| Am | F |
It doesn’t matter which you heard.
| G | E7/G# | Am | N.C |
The holy or the broken Hallelujah.

Chorus 3

| F | F | Am | Am |
Hallelujah. Hallelujah.
| F | F | C | G | C | G |
Hallelujah. Hallelujah.

Verse 4

| C | Am7 |
I did my best, it wasn’t much.
| C | Am7 |
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch.
| F | G | C | G |
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you.
| C | F G |
And even though it all went wrong.
| Am | F |
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song.
| G | E7/G# | Am | N.C |
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah.

Chorus 4

| F | F | Am | Am |
Hallelujah. Hallelujah.
| F | F | C | G |
Hallelujah. Hallelujah.
| F N.C | N.C | Am | Am |
Hallelujah. Hallelujah.
| F | F | C | G |
Hallelujah. Hallelujah.
| F | F | Am | Am |
Hallelujah. Hallelujah.
| F | F | C | G |
Hallelujah. Hallelujah.
| F | F | Am | Am |
Hallelujah. Hallelujah.
| F | F | C | G |
Hallelujah. Hallelujah.
| F | F | to fade
Hallelujah.



Hallelujah Chords: Learn the progressions


Hallelujah guitar lesson + TAB

Jeff Buckley’s intro chords are different depending on which version you listen to but once he gets going he’s thinking in the key of G. Using a capo on fret 5, we hear it in C.

Cohen on the other hand just plays it in the key of C, without a capo.

Thinking in Roman Numerals, Hallelujah’s chords start with the minor fall as the lyrics cleverly reveal. That’s the I – VI. This is followed by the IV and V, also revealed in the lyrics! Here’s the full verse in C:

| C (I) | Am7 (VI) | C | Am7 |
| F (IV) | G (V) | C | G |
| C | F G | Am | F |
| G | E7/G# (IIIx/3) | Am | N.C |

Buckley, who thinks in the key of G plays this:

| G5 (I) | Em7 (VI) | G5 | Em7 |
| C (IV) | C D (V) | G/B (I/3) | D |
| G/B | C D | Em | C |
| D | B7/D# (IIIx/3) | Em | Em D5 |

These two chord progressions are pretty similar, but not identical. Here’s the TAB for how I suggest you play Hallelujah’s verse chords as Jeff did.

Hallelujah chords and TAB Jeff Buckley version verse

Members get TAB for all sections of how Jeff played it and a simpler arrangement based on the original Leonard Cohen recording.

Cohen’s original version of Hallelujah can easily be played using mainly open-position chords in the key of C, making it a great beginner guitar song.

Here’s a link to the complete lesson: Hallelujah – Guitar Lesson with TAB.



Jeff Buckley didn’t write any new lyrics for Hallelujah!

Jeff Buckley made Hallelujah his own, even changing the lyrics, or did he?

What happened was that John Cale (Velvet Underground) asked Leonard Cohen if he could cover it, Leonard didn’t just say yes but sent him more verses than he had recorded himself, and John picked other ones he liked.

Jeff then simply copied John’s version and the lyrics he had chosen, adding the intricate long pre-intro and changing some of the chords.

I haven’t done a deep dive into the piano chords John played, but I have checked Jeff’s chords and they are different from Cohen’s (see above for both!).

Cohen’s original version of Hallelujah came in 1984 on the album Various Positions. John Cale, who initially had a more popular version released it in 1991. Buckley’s iconic version dropped in 1994.

But these three versions are not the only ones, over 300 versions of Hallelujah have been recorded by other artists!



Hallelujah Chords | Related Pages


Beginner Acoustic

There are many more Beginner Acoustic Songs with chords like Hallelujah.

This collection of beginner acoustic tunes will teach you how to arrange for one acoustic guitar, as well as how to create a supporting part.

Playing songs will help you with switching between open-position chords and give you the context you need to understand how music works theoretically.


Five similar tunes with chords and lyrics

When you can play Hallelujah's chords, try these five tunes from the songbook.


Jeff Buckley tunes

Jeff Buckley covered Hallelujah.

Growing up in California under a different name and playing in bands, Jeff Buckley moved to New York at the age of 24 to pursue a solo career.

His best-known tunes all came from his only studio album Grace, most notably a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.


Jeff Buckley on the web

Listen to Jeff Buckley on Spotify.


Leonard Cohen tunes

Leonard Cohen wrote Hallelujah's chords.

Following a career as a novelist and poet for over a decade, Leonard Cohen released his debut album in 1967.

His best tunes include Suzanne, Bird on the Wire, Famous Blue Raincoat, Chelsea Hotel #2, Hallelujah, Dance Me To The End Of Love, and So Long, Marianne.


Leonard Cohen on the web

Listen to Leonard Cohen on Spotify.


Ballads & First Dances

When you can play Hallelujah, check out these Ballads as well.

The perfect first dance or an emotional piece for your next audition, this collection of Ballads & First Dances is great for working on your expression.

Learn tunes from Burt Bacharach, Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, Eva Cassidy, Ben Harper, Etta James, Chet Baker, Elvis, Norah Jones, and many more.


Country & Folk

There are many more Country and Folk tunes with chords similar to Hallelujah.

In the primarily acoustic genres of Country & Folk, you must acquire what matters the most: A repertoire. Nothing else will give you the gig.

Learn tunes by Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, America, Don McLean, and many more.



About me | Dan Lundholm

Dan Lundholm wrote this guitar lesson about Hallelujah.

This was a guitar lesson about Hallelujah chords, by Dan Lundholm. Discover more about him and learn guitar with Spytunes.

Most importantly, find out why you should learn guitar through playing tunes, not practising scales, and studying theory in isolation.


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