Beirut – Hallelujah


Beirut – Hallelujah (Chords)

Zach Condon quite often finishes off Beirut gigs with a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Although his version is closer to Jeff Buckley’s (one of the best cover versions ever recorded).

The chords are fairly simple. One thing he does a few times in the song (and loads of times in his own songs) is play the F chord with the G string open, then hammer on at the second fret. He does a similar thing with the G chord. This time the A string is left open then hammered on.

I’ve included two versions of Am in the song (one with the A string open and one with it at the third fret). He always uses the third fret version on the C – Am change that you hear at the beginning. He throws in the easier version on a few occasions towards the end.

Kudos to Leonard Cohen for making my job easier by describing the chords in the lyrics. Why can’t all songwriters be so helpful?

Suggested Strumming

Any simple 3/4 pattern will see you through. A good one to start out with is:

d – d u d –

More Beirut Tab and Chords

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68 Comments

  1. carbontheif July 22nd, 2008 8:18 pm

    Cool. Thanks a lot for this.

  2. Joe July 23rd, 2008 12:54 pm

    Damn You Woodshed!

    ;)

    I was going to cover this!

    You have foiled my plans yet again!

    Hehe!

    Brilliant song, but to be fair i don’t like beirut’s version. I much prefer Jeff Buckley’s.

    Joe :D

  3. J-Hob July 23rd, 2008 1:36 pm

    Cheers for this! Well, I already had the chords but it’s great to hear Zach’s version.

    I really like his uke playing, the way he manages to add interest and variety to simple chord playing through strumming patterns and the little hammer-ons and pull-offs he does. I’m trying to incorporate some of these techniques in my own playing.

    Any idea what uke he’s playing there?

  4. Jodi July 23rd, 2008 3:02 pm

    I’m gonna say that k.d. lang does the best cover of this song ever.

  5. Art Crocker July 23rd, 2008 3:02 pm

    Wow, never expected to hear a version of Hallelujah from a ukulele site. Perhaps your site is more of an alternative music site with a focus on the uke. No matter, your choice shows amazing fine taste in music. There can be no bad cover of this song, this one is very interesting and I love it. Hope you have heard Rufus Wainwright cover, also great.

    Leonard Cohen is perhaps an aquired taste, but he is brilliant and good to hear there is still an interest in his music.

  6. zym July 23rd, 2008 4:12 pm

    im with woodshed & joe on this one.
    Jeff Buckleys cover is the best

  7. Woodshed July 23rd, 2008 7:46 pm

    carbonthief: You’re welcome.

    Joe: Don’t let it stop you. I want to hear you do it.

    John: I’d guess his Lanikai LU-21T.

    Jodi: I have to say, I can’t stand KD Lang’s version.

    Art: I can’t quite come to terms with Rufus’s voice. I more a fan of his Dad.

    Andy: If only you were still blogging: robot ukulele song.

  8. J-Hob July 23rd, 2008 8:31 pm

    I meant to say in this video of him performing Hallelujah: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cnmact0wxNs

    I forgot I’d been watching a different video when I posted the question.

    It does look like it could well be the lanikai

  9. patrice July 25th, 2008 6:02 am

    Where are the tabs? I came for Way down in the hole, and was pleasantly surprised to find this here…love this song on guitar, never heard it on the uke. Love his version, but where is the tab?

  10. J-Hob July 25th, 2008 7:43 am

    patrice – Click the ‘Beirut – Hallelujah’ link above for a pdf of the chords

  11. Woodshed July 25th, 2008 8:38 pm

    Thanks, John. Are the chords that hard to spot? Perhaps I need to bold them and make them larger.

  12. CoryT July 26th, 2008 1:07 am

    Is there any specific strum pattern that can be recognized?

  13. Lindsay July 31st, 2008 5:15 am

    I’m with CoryT. What’s the strum pattern?

  14. Woodshed August 3rd, 2008 4:27 pm

    Rob says: It sounds to me that Zach is playing all quick down strokes.Kinda like (d d d ddd). (d d u u du )does seem to work for me.

  15. resuta August 5th, 2008 9:55 pm

    Cheers for posting this – great song. I’ve always been a fan of the Jeff Buckley version.

    I too (I three?!) struggled with strumming. The video of him playing looks more like d d u d; that sounds better to me.

  16. Josh November 10th, 2008 9:10 pm

    thanks for the chords!

    i sort of go d d u udududu

    looks abit weird but it sounds ok

  17. HoldinCoffee November 14th, 2008 8:17 am

    I absolutely LOVE the Beirut version! Cohens was good and Buckley, well he was the shizznit, still is, but I digress. Beruit has achieved something with this song that noone else has. I don’t know if its the Uke or his voice, but I am inspired! HALLELUJAH!!

    Dude, thanks for posting the chords, me and my Kala are gonna go please the Lord!

  18. amanda January 7th, 2009 2:03 pm

    I got my uke for my birhtday.So Far I am learning somewhere over the rainbow and Halleluja. This site is really benificial thanks for having it!

  19. lizziye January 13th, 2009 2:21 pm

    just did a cover of this song on your tube! first you tube video i did but the chords worked great.. my voice on the other hand..

  20. Woodshed January 14th, 2009 9:11 pm

    amanda: Happy birthday!

    lizziye: Nice one. I like the way you play it.

  21. Wax January 18th, 2009 11:15 am

    can you please upload how to strum this song?

  22. luke_with_a_uke February 3rd, 2009 6:36 am

    Gday Woodshed, I recently bought myself a ramon sanchez uke and im really stoked with it but im still getting a bit of fret buzz when im playing, any advice?? I’ve bought some aquila srings but havnt put them on yet as it seems like a bit of a hastle would they help to fix my problem??

    cheers, luke :)

  23. Woodshed February 3rd, 2009 5:34 pm

    luke: Changing the strings would be a good start – certainly less hassle than other remedies.

    Do you get a buzz on every fret? If it’s just certain frets, it might just be one fret that’s too high (in which case you can file it down). Otherwise, you might have to raise the bridge a little.

  24. luke_with_a_uke February 3rd, 2009 6:44 pm

    i checked the frets and they seem pretty good, not sure bout the bridge but ill change the strings and see how it goes, maybe its just my technique… or lack of it :P

    thanks for the help tho mate appreciate it.

  25. luke_with_a_uke February 4th, 2009 9:01 pm

    hey Woodshed sorry to keep bothering you mate but I changed the strings on my uke and now i’m getting some buzz on the C string at the bridge. Was wondering if there were any remedies for this? I thought about raising the bridge but I’m not sure how to go about doing it?

    Thanks again, Luke

  26. Lamefaun April 1st, 2009 1:28 am

    Great song, that’s much. The only thing I was wondering about was the strumming pattern. I couldn’t figure it out just by listening to the song, as it seems to change.

  27. Byjimini May 23rd, 2009 9:52 pm

    My ears must be clogged, just cannot get into Beirut at all. Can’t see the attraction – hoping it’s an age thing and will grow into it. ;)

  28. Woodshed May 24th, 2009 9:41 am

    Byjimini: Don’t worry about it. There are plenty of good reasons to dislike Beirut.

  29. Stephanie March 14th, 2010 6:44 pm

    Love the song. Buuuut I’m a dramatic contralto, aka the rarest and most limited vocal range ever. I can hit every single note in this song except the last Hallelujah of the chorus. Is sad, really.

  30. katrina April 6th, 2010 8:00 am

    stephanie- I am not sure if I am a dramatic contralto or what but I have the same problem with the last hallelujah. I’ve gotten around it by going up with the c g c, if that makes any sense. I have also gotten the suggestion of playing it in a different key, I like F and can get you the chords if you’d like.

  31. Jazzftw June 8th, 2010 3:14 pm

    Firstly i have to say this is one of my favorite versions of this song.
    And i was wondering if there is any recordings of it on CD or vinyl. or is it just a live thing?

  32. Woodshed June 9th, 2010 11:17 am

    Jazzftw: Not that I know of. There’s an MP3 of the live version here if that’s any good to you.

  33. jack August 6th, 2010 9:22 pm

    nice nice im already playing the hole song….kinda but thanks!

  34. Beginner Ukulele Lessons | Ukulele Hunt August 15th, 2010 6:48 pm

    […] Somewhere Over the Rainbow – I Wanna Be Like You – Hallelujah – 5 Years Time – The Lancashire Hotpots – He’s Turned Emo Sentimental Heart Bishop […]

  35. ryan September 18th, 2010 8:06 am

    newbie here, tried but still couldn’t get the strumming pattern, can anyone offer a more detail help?

  36. Torr Penn October 14th, 2010 1:56 am

    Thank you for the strumming pattern, I need that to play, I’m not able to find it alone, not yet :(

  37. bekk October 27th, 2010 6:00 am

    ah, another strum pattern confused newbie here! please help!

  38. Milo January 10th, 2011 5:53 pm

    Strumming pattern anyone? I can’t get it.

  39. Woodshed January 16th, 2011 11:20 am

    For strum askers: Try d – d u d -

  40. Josh April 15th, 2011 8:59 am

    i have been trying to play this and i find the G chord sounds really grim on the third line F, G, C, G. is that right or am i just playing the chord wrong? the rest of it sounds quite nice so dont think its my uke

  41. Kat April 19th, 2011 6:19 am

    I’m confused by the two different Am chords. When do I play each?

  42. Woodshed April 19th, 2011 8:41 am

    Josh: It is right but the chords are a bit out of line. The C should be above ‘music’ and the G should be where the C is.

    Kat: It says in the post.

  43. Josh April 19th, 2011 9:12 am

    ok thanks

  44. AmandaUrsulaBr May 16th, 2011 3:37 am

    Hi, I love this song but I have to ask if the E7 sounds off to anyone else or is it just me I’m new to the ukulele so I would really appreciate some feed back

  45. Josh May 16th, 2011 4:23 pm

    sounds good to me, i found a couple chords weird before but since i changed my strings out for aquila ones everything sounds fit and my uke is cheap :P £7 well spent

  46. Josh May 16th, 2011 4:23 pm

    thought i’d clarify the uke was £20 but the strings were £7 bargain for the quality they add

  47. Woodshed May 18th, 2011 9:55 am

    Amanda: Yes, I’m pretty sure about the E7.

    Josh: Thanks.

  48. Vic June 7th, 2011 9:32 pm

    I learned the chords for this song a long time ago on my guitar, and recently transitioned to the uke. I love the way it sounds. However, I was looking at this lesson and I noticed that you suggest an E7 chord where I previously played an Em. Personally, I think the E7 sounds really bad… The minor quality of the 7 (as opposed the maj7) makes sense, but the Em (throw in the 7 if you like) sounds much better in my opinion.

  49. Vic June 7th, 2011 9:38 pm

    I take that back… The Em7 is the correct chord and it’s only one finger difference from the G, (just lift the ring finger) so it’s very easy.

  50. Woodshed June 7th, 2011 11:32 pm

    Vic: Whether it sounds better or not (it doesn’t), it’s E7 used in the song.

  51. Ben June 30th, 2011 10:35 am

    Woodshed, I just wanted to thank you so much for this tab! Its Beautiful!

  52. Josh July 2nd, 2011 1:16 am

    Is this too cliche to play at an open mic (specifically, the Great Midwest Uke Festival in Chicago)?

  53. Jon August 8th, 2011 1:56 am

    I actually think that this sounds a lot like rufus wainwright’s cover.

  54. Leeeeeewis October 2nd, 2011 12:56 pm

    i have found that the original Leonard Cohen versions or the Eels cover and thank you for putting the strum pattern up woodshed

  55. Leeeeeewis October 2nd, 2011 1:23 pm

    i found Leonard’s the easiest to sing with myself because we are both baritones and so i found it easier to meld my voice with

  56. Eleanor Dickinson October 29th, 2011 6:36 am

    I can’t seem to get the strumming on this =/ any suggestions??

  57. Josh October 29th, 2011 4:02 pm

    Eleanor, have you watched the posted video? That’s the best strumming pattern- d, dudud, dudud, etc.

  58. fxceltic January 9th, 2012 2:44 pm

    on a more general note, have just started playing the uke and working through various songs, Im guessing that where the chord appears above a certain lyric thats when you change chords.
    However, what if the chord appears mid way through the next line of lyrics, should you continue playing the chord from the previous line?

  59. Josh January 9th, 2012 6:37 pm

    Fxceltic: It depends on how the tab is written. Generally, they’re written somewhat poorly, so it’s good to have some idea of where the chord changes are in the song, as the chords may be out of sync with the lyrics. They’re usually on the beat somewhere, and definitely flow with the song. In other cases, the tab is written well and the author has done his/her best to put the chord over the correct syllable. It really depends. Make sure to listen to the song to get a feel for the chord changes.

  60. CURLYHAMMED July 13th, 2012 3:03 pm

    This guy’s enthusiasm for the song is only exceeded by his regretful lack of talent.

  61. Uke_Newbie September 9th, 2012 10:46 pm

    What is the strum pattern for this version…?

  62. Eryn January 16th, 2013 6:55 pm

    This is awesome and I’m loving playing it. Where does Condon use the hammer? I’m not hearing it.

  63. Woodshed January 16th, 2013 10:14 pm

    Eryn: He’s doing it all over the place. Like on the Am in the intro.

  64. Jack January 24th, 2013 5:29 pm

    This website is ridiculously good!

  65. Woodshed January 25th, 2013 7:07 am

    Jack: Thanks very much!

  66. kian March 3rd, 2013 1:16 am

    I truly loved this song and playing it, thanks so much for put all the work you put in to post these

  67. Woodshed March 3rd, 2013 1:45 pm

    kian: Thanks very much!

  68. ubuntu December 20th, 2014 3:37 am

    I like this version…but damien rice do a relly nice one!!! Good artist

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