Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” Lovely Sung in Yiddish: A Tribute

Leonard Cohen grew up in an influ­en­tial Jew­ish fam­i­ly in Mon­tre­al. And, dur­ing his final inter­view, he rem­i­nisced with The New York­er’s David Rem­nick about how the elder men in his fam­i­ly were the “dons” of Jew­ish Mon­tre­al, and how his grand­fa­ther “was prob­a­bly the most sig­nif­i­cant Jew in Canada”–someone who estab­lished numer­ous Jew­ish insti­tu­tions there, and helped count­less refugees escape the anti-Semit­ic pogroms in East­ern Europe.

Immi­grants from East­ern Europe them­selves, Leonard Cohen’s fam­i­ly undoubt­ed­ly spoke some Yid­dish, the lan­guage once spo­ken by 11 mil­lion Jews, most­ly in cen­tral and east­ern Europe. (Today it’s spo­ken by 600,000 peo­ple at best.) And that’s what makes this Yid­dish ren­di­tion of “Hal­lelu­jah” so fit­ting. Trans­lat­ed and per­formed by Klezmer musi­cian Daniel Kahn, it was post­ed to YouTube on the night of Cohen’s pass­ing.

For any­one inter­est­ed, it’s worth read­ing this oth­er The New York­er piece, “Leonard Cohen’s Mon­tre­al.”

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via The For­ward

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Rufus Wain­wright and 1,500 Singers Sing Leonard Cohen’s “Hal­lelu­jah”

Street Artist Plays Leonard Cohen’s “Hal­lelu­jah” With Crys­tal Glass­es

Mal­colm Glad­well on Why Genius Takes Time: A Look at the Mak­ing of Elvis Costello’s “Depor­tee” & Leonard Cohen’s “Hal­lelu­jah”

Leonard Nimoy Recites Famous Solil­o­quy from Ham­let in Yid­dish: “To Be or Not To Be”

Watch Clas­sic Sein­feld Scenes Dubbed in …. Yid­dish


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  • Don Davis says:

    Such a beau­ti­ful ren­di­tion! I liked the lyri­cal inter­pre­ta­tion of Leonard Cohen’s orig­i­nal words. Who IS this singer? He is mar­velous! Mazel tov for cre­at­ing a Yid­dish ver­sion of this time­less mas­ter­piece!

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