Video: Leonard Cohen’s Gorgeous Performance Of Hallelujah – Reykjavik 1988


Baby I have been here before
I know this room, I’ve walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you
I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

For a fleeting moment in 2009, YouTube blessed us with a live video of Leonard Cohen performing Hallelujah at the June 24, 1988 Laugardalshöll, Reykjavik, Iceland concert. It was a particularly lovely version that impressed many viewers, inducing me. As we have experienced many times, however, YouTube giveth, and YouTube taketh away. All traces of Leonard Cohen’s 1988 Icelandic concert, including the performance of Hallelujah, have disappeared from YouTube and similar sites.

In hopes of making this especially moving rendition of Cohen’s classic Hallelujah easily available, I have created a video featuring a high-quality audio recording of that performance and a montage of pertinent photos.

Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah
Reykjavik: June 24, 1988
Video by Allan Showalter


Update: The live version, albeit in poor quality video, has reappeared. See Video: Leonard Cohen’s 1988 Icelandic Hallelujah – Most Moving Performance Ever?

Credit Due Department: A large proportion of the photos used in the video were contributed by Dominique BOILE.

3 Replies to “Video: Leonard Cohen’s Gorgeous Performance Of Hallelujah – Reykjavik 1988”

  1. Vicki Woodyard

    Having just watched this, I am moved to thank you for your level of dedication for everything Cohen. You see, there are so many of us that are tuned into to the same level, that being one of love. Your site with its precision and wit delivers Leonard to us so easily. We don’t have to do the hard work that you do. But then we also don’t reap the fruits (like having lunch at Leonard’s house 🙂

    I haven’t heard this rendition before, so it was indeed welcome. I loved the photos that you chose. So thank you so much….

  2. Naomi Bushwoman

    THAT was his best performance in my never-so-humble opinion. I get weak in the knees every time I hear it. ❤️