Music

This Yiddish Rendition of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ Made Me Cry

leonard cohen

Leonard Cohen is dead. I hate typing those words. Lately, it feels as though 2016 is just pulling one big prank on the world–first it was David Bowie, then Alan Rickman, then Lemmy, then Prince, and now Cohen. All of my idols–and likely yours–seem to be passing on into the unknown–and that’s especially hard in contentious political times.

This is why I really, really needed this cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” The song was reimagined by Berlin-based singer-songwriter and “punk-Klezmer” musician Daniel Kahn–in Yiddish. Because of this, keep in mind that the English subtitles are a literal translation of Kahn’s version of the song rather than Leonard Cohen’s original text–and the two versions are somewhat different. The song’s text in Yiddish and transliteration can be read here.

Watch the video here:


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Joanna Valente

Joanna Valente is the Editorial Assistant at Kveller. She is the author of Sirs & Madams The Gods Are Dead, and Marys of the Sea (forthcoming), and received her MFA at Sarah Lawrence College. You can follow her @joannasaid on Twitter, @joannacvalente on Instagram, or email her at joanna@kveller.com.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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