HALLELUJAH - chords and comments
The song is written for Leonard Cohens's 7th studio album "Various Positions", released 1984 in most countries except USA. Ironically, Columbia (Sony) regarded it "commersially not viable" [sic!]. The independent label "Passport" grabbed it instead. But in -90 Columbia included it in a compilation CD-box, and five years later they released a remastered CD.
Cohen struggled with this one, wrote numerous verses and altered them from time to time, stage to stage. These lyrics are exactly from the original recording.
The song is NOT a psalm. You may call it a "secular hymn". In fact, it is metalyrical: it describes how the song itself was written. And "it goes like this : the fourth : the fifth : the minor fall : the major lift" is, in the original C-major key, the exact chord progression for the most brilliant part of the song: C, F, G, A minor, F, G ... and now, Cohen proudly stands before the Lord of Song, singing Hallelujah!
Helluwa lotta artists have covered this, and failed. The trap is not the difficulty - the song is an acid test for lung capacity and voice range - but putting more effort in performance than content, with exaggeration as the result. Some have taken it from 6/8 to 4/4 to ease it, and yup, it works. However and whoever, where even Cohen himself only got some; k.d.lang has got it all. And here we talk about more than 300 registered covers.
now I've heard there was a secret chord
that David played and it pleased the Lord
A B7 E ...B7
but you don't really care for music do you?
E A B
it goes like this the fourth the fifth
C#m A B
the minor fall the major lift
B7 G# C#m ...B7sus4
the baffled king composing Hallelujah
A C#m A F#m E B7 E
Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelu-u-jah