kd lang:  Hallelujah

Quiz by Sharon Michiko Yoneda

kd lang wow wow wows with "Hallelujah" at the 2010 Winter Olympics Games in Vancouver


artist:  kd lang

songwriter:  Leonard Cohen

date released:  1984 by kd lang

Leonard Cohen started writing "Hallelujah" in 1979.  By the time the song was released in 1984, he had written 80 different verses to draw from for the final version, some of which have been used by various artists for their covers of his song.  Canadian singer k.d. lang recorded a version of the song on her 2004 album, "Hymns of the 49th Parallel." The album did well in Canada, reaching #2 on the charts. In the US, it achieved #55 on the Billboard 200.

When Cohen was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2006, k.d. lang performed her version of the song.  After hearing it, Cohen and his partner Anjani Thomas "looked at each other and said, 'well, I think we can lay that song to rest now! It's really been done to its ultimate blissful state of perfection."'

She tied you to a kitchen chair

She broke your throne and she cut your hair

And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

About the song, Cohen remarked that `Hallelujah' is a Hebrew word meaning "Glory to the Lord." Through the song, he was able to demonstrate that there are many kinds of Hallelujahs in existence. "All the perfect and broken Hallelujahs have an equal value," Cohen said, "It's a desire to affirm my faith in life, not in some formal religious way but with enthusiasm, with emotion."