“Hallelujah” is a song by Canadian singer Leonard Cohen, originally released on his album Various Positions. After achieving little initial success, the song found wider recognition through a recording by John Cale, which inspired the recording by Jeff Buckley. Following its increased popularity after it was featured in the film Shrek, many other arrangements have been performed in recordings and in concert, with over 300 versions known.
The song has been used in film and television soundtracks, as well as in television talent competitions. “Hallelujah” gained renewed interest following Cohen’s death in November 2016 and appeared on many international singles charts, including entering the US Billboard Hot 100 for the first time. Cohen wrote about 80 drafts of the verses for “Hallelujah” in a single writing session at the Royalton Hotel in New York, where he had to sit on the floor in his underwear and bang his head on the floor.
His original version, recorded on his album “Different Positions”, contains several biblical references, most notably the stories of Samson and Delilah from the Book of Judges, as well as King David and Bathsheba.