"Hallelujah": Cohen v. Buckley Lyrics?

OK, so I recently acquired Jeff Buckley’s Grace EP, with the live version he performed at Bataclan of Leonard Cohen’s song “Hallelujah” on it. Amazing; Buckley has one of the most fantastic voices ever, and his rendition of this song is excruciatingly beautiful, IMO. However, there are several verses in it that are not in Cohen’s version on More Best of Leonard Cohen. The Cohen version on that disk lacks the verses that mention David and Bathsheba, the ones that start, “I heard there was a secret chord” and “Your faith was strong but you needed proof.”

Just to confuse things further, a check on quicklyrics.com revealed even MORE verses that aren’t in either version I’ve heard, starting with “I did my best, it wasn’t much” and “You say I took the name in vain.” Now I am very confused… how many versions of this song are there? I don’t have Cohen’s Various Positions; what version is on that album? On what album is the definitive version of this song?

Thanks for the info.

The version on Various Positions starts with the David verse and has all the bits you mentioned except for Bathsheba. Don’t have the other albums, or I’d compare and contrast for you.

On the “Jeff Buckley: Live in Chicago” DVD, IIRC, he talks about how the version he does uses some lyrics that Leonard wrote but did not normally perform. It seems that “Hallelujah” is a very long song, but shortened differently by Cohen and Buckley.

If you don’t have the DVD, you should get it. It has some superb insights into Buckley’s songwriting inspirations and performance style. The concert in Chicago was excellent, and a heck of a lot better than the mixture of concerts that was made for “Mystery White Boy”.