A musical journey

A musical journey


June 10th, 2011

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Five years after being asked to sing Hallelujah in church, Kelley Mooney secures lyrical adaptation rights, lauches her first CD on June 12th.


When Kelley Mooney was asked to sing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah during Easter Sunday mass in 2006, she went searching for music. “I compare it to singing Silent Night. You think you know the words but really you don’t,” laughs the P.E.I. singer-songwriter.

Howver, after finding the score she was in a bit of a quandary. “The lyrics weren’t quite suitable for church,” says Mooney, who turned to a liturgy booklet that contained Holy Week Scriptures about Jesus’ crucifixion, burial and resurrection for inspiration.

Poring over the words, she starting transposing the texts into lyrics.

“After completing the first couple of verses, I called Mom and Dad and ran it past them. They thought it was very accurate. So I wrote two more verses and called them again. Then I wrote the last verse,” says Mooney, who is launching her CD that includes her own adaptation of Hallelujah at the Olde Dublin Pub in Charlottetown on June 12 at 7pm.

After taking an evening to complete the song and another week to rehearse it, she sand the song, as promised, at St. Michael’s Church in Iona.

The parishioners loved it so much that word about her lyrical adaptation got out. Soon she was receiving requests to sing Hallelujah at funerals and church services.

When she sang it before 2,000 people at the Charlottetown Civic Centre during the Belfast Revival in 2007, organized by St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Belfast, the audience gave her a standing ovation.

“But I didn’t know about it until the next day because I had bolted off the stage,” she says, with a laugh.

Everywhere she went the demand for the song grew.

“Everyone wanted to buy my CD, but I didn’t have one to give them,” she says.

In 2010 she received a request from a voice instructor who was putting on a spring concert with her choir at the Memramcook Institute in New Brunswick. Again she agreed to sing.

But her cousin Brian Cormier had additional plans. When we heard that Mooney would be performing Hallelujah with the choir, he asked her if he could record it for YouTube.

“I thought it had potential for going viral,” says the Moncton, N.B., man during an interview.

Intead of using the sound from his camera he got the audio from the technician who was working that night. The superior recording captured Mooney’s voice as well as the sweet harmonies of the choir.

Cormier added the sound and posted the video on YouTube in June 2010.

“The last time I checked it had 354,096 hits. It’s both wonderful and overwhelming,” says Mooney whose decision to finally record a CD with her version of the song was made after securing the lyrical adaptation rights from Cohen through the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights AgencY (CMRRA).

“The whole procedure took a year less two days. It cost a mind-blowing $25,” she says.

With the copyright issue settled, she moved forward to finish recording her CD entitled Tomorrow with Jon Matthews of Big Grey Sound Studio.

Last week she sent a copy of the CD and a letter of appreciation to Cohen. “I wanted to send him a cosmic thank you for writing Hallelujah and then allowing me, through granting the lyrical adaptation to present my re-written effort to the world. I hope he gets back to me someday.”

– Stage Door by Sally Cole


  1. Margaret McClelland says:

    Hi Kelley;
    I sing in a Ladies Quartet and we would love to perform your beautiful rendition of Hallelujah.
    Would you know how we might be able to get the music in 4 part harmony-we sing in acapella format so we really need the music.
    Any suggestions you may be able to make would be really appreciated.

    Thank You
    Margie McClelland

    I absolutely Looove your CD-“Tomorrow”. I live in Oxford, NS and I have had the pleasure of hearing your aunt(Nancy Mooney) sing on numerous occasions in Amherst over the years. She is very proud of you!!!:)

  2. Sylvia McMinn says:

    Your song was shared with me by a co-worker…today is Maunday Thursday, what a precious gift she gave me on this very special day of our Lord’s Last Supper. Thank you for putting the story so beautifully into words!

  3. Krystal Dawson says:

    How do I buy your CD?? My sister sent me a link with your version of Hallelujah. I cried tears of love and joy. I played it for my Mom. She too was so touched. We called the local Christian Bookstore but they had no idea how we could but this Eater version or your CD. Tomorrow is Good Friday and we would love to have your CD at our family Easter Celebration. I hope to hear from you. You have a lovely voice and carried the message so well. Many blessings to you and yours. Happy Easter The Lord has risen.

  4. Michael Cavett says:

    I love what you did with this song. It is very powerful and moving. Made me cry as I watched it. I can’t wait to purchase it. Will it be available through Amazon?

  5. DeAnn Smith says:

    I would love to get the sheet music. Has it been published and where do I go to purchase it?

  6. Kay Lambert says:

    I love the music Easter Hallelujah I would like to get a cope to sing by with the sheet music also can you tell me where to get a cope since I have called very bible bookstore around and they do not have it. it is such a great song and the words are meanful. would like to sing it in church . May you blessing you bring in God’s mane glorify him as your song has. thank you for sharing your songs. and may you be blessed each and every day in your singing to God. Just to tell you I love this song. thank you. kay

  7. Donna Bentley says:

    I know you have the Easter version of Hallelujah copywrited. Is there any way a small country church can get the piano sheet music and sing this song just for our church? Please let me know what we need to do to accomplish this, if possible. Beautiful song!

  8. Tillie says:

    I would like a simple version of sheet music to your song Hallelujah.

  9. Tillie says:

    How can I print out a simple version of your song Hallelujah?

  10. Ruth Jaquith says:

    Where can we purchase the music in 4 part with piano. I would love for our church choir to sing this next year.

  11. Karen Howard says:

    I would love to get the sheet music with piano and violin accompaniment. Can you tell me where it is available and how to purchase it? Many thanks. It is a beautiful rendition. Happy Easter!

  12. Isis Athena Stewart says:

    A Sister-in-Christ at my church shared your version of Hallelujah with me and I was touched deeply. I would like to the sheet music for piano and guitar to sing at church. God bless you always. >)))°>

  13. Kelley says:

    Hi, Tillie – great name, by the way! I’m afraid I don’t have sheet music for my version; I was unable to get the rights to publish mine, but thank you very much for asking!


  14. Kelley says:

    Hi, Ruth. I sooo wish I had sheet music for this piece, but I was unable to get the rights to publish my version. I’m going to post the lyrics on the website, and you’re most welcome to print them from there.

    Thank you, and take care!

  15. Kelley says:

    Good morning, Karen. I’m afraid I wasn’t able to secure the rights to publish my version, but I’ve decided to start working on it again. But thank you for asking, and take care!


  16. Kelley says:

    Good morning, Isis. What a lovely name! Unfortunately, I’m not able to read your full comment; it stops at “I would like”. I’m going to guess you’re looking for sheet music, and if that’s the case, I’m sorry, but I was unable to get rights to publish my version. If there is something else I can help you with, please write again!

    Thanks, and take care,

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  18. Cindy says:

    I love your rendition of Leonard Cohen Hallelujah, It made me cry. Has it been published in sheet music yet, I belong to a church choir and when I brought in the CD I have they all wanted to sing it. Our director said it was just beautiful. Where can we get the sheet music for it.

  19. Kelley says:

    Hi, Cindy. Thank you so much for your lovely comment! I’m afraid I wasn’t able to get the rights to publish my version in sheet music. I’m working on it though!

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  22. Suzy says:

    kelley, you naild that tune with your beautiful lyrics. It brought humbllng tears as I listened to it. I FELT IT! Thank you so much for sharing your talent. When, if ever, it becomes available in piano/vocal written music, PLEASE let me know!! I have my fingers crossed! Keep Creating Beautiful Music!

  23. Kelley says:

    HI, Suzy. Thank you so much -what a nice e-mail! And if I ever get permission to publish it, I’ll be spreading the word!

  24. Kelley says:

    Hi, Cindy. I’m soooo sorry it’s taken so long to reply; I’m still learning the ins and outs of using this site and just this very minute, figured out how to see a full comment! Thank GOD I can do something else, because if I had to rely on my computer skills to get by, I’d be in some kind of trouble! Anyway, after all that, I’m sorry to say I wasn’t able to get the rights to publish my version in sheet music. But you can easily use an existing arrangement and just plug these lyrics in… that’s what I did! I hope this helps a little, and take care!


  25. jim b says:

    Kelley i think you lyrics there a true meaning to your work even thought i`m a bass singer i think i can still sing your word`s to the arrangement. Do you know where i can get CD of this song and the existing arrangement sheet music.Good luck in get the sheet music don for yourself. GOD BLESS

  26. Kathy Grimm says:

    Kelley, I sing in a Choir in Dayton, KY – since you do not have the rights to the sheet music does this mean our choir may not sing this breath taking song at Easter Vigil.

    As I do not want to overstep my boundaries – either with you or with the Leonard Cohen I wanted to be sure to ask the question. God Bless You…

  27. Mary Petersen says:

    Any luck yet in getting the right to publish your arrangement in sheet music? There sure are a lot of people that would love it! Thanks.

  28. Madge Devine says:

    I say the same thing that Mary Petersen says… we’d love to have your arrangement in sheet music. The piano arrangement and the instrumental arrangements are beautiful. I don’t think that I could replicate them. I see that you have produced a CD (which I downloaded Hallelujah) and hope that the written music will be next. Let us know!!!

  29. Gerry Poirier says:

    I recently heard your Easter Hallelujah and was blown away. The lyrics tell the story beautifully giving me chills.
    I belong to a singing group called “The Split Peas”. There are seven of us who have been singing together for 22 years out of Twillingate, Newfoundland. we would very much love to sing your song at church this easter. This song needs to be shared with the world, giving you the credit of course. Is it ok if we sing it?

  30. Kelley says:

    Hi, Kathy. I’m so sorry for not responding sooner; I haven’t been receiving my notifications in my e-mail telling me I have comments on the website!

    The fact that I was unable to get the rights to publish my sheet music certainly does NOT mean you can’t sing it; please go ahead and sing it to your heart’s content!!

    And have a wonderful Easter season!

  31. Jess says:

    Hi. I love your Easter version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. If I understand your replies correctly, you are okay with people using your lyrics but it is up to us to get the sheet music as you don’t have the rights to publish yours? I just want to ensure that we are not doing something against the copyright laws… I have a young lady who would like to sing your version in our Easter vigil celebration. Thank you.

  32. Cindy says:

    I know you have been overwhelmed with questions about getting the sheet music for Hallelujah and here I am presenting you with yet another one! Is there any way you can notify me/us by email when it becomes available? Our choir loves it! Thanks and Happy Easter!

  33. clare shalala says:

    where can i buy sheet music for hallelujah with your lyrics
    thanks for any info

  34. Glenda Montague says:

    May our praise team have permission to sing your song at our church this Sunday? Thanks so much for your consideration. It is beautiful!

  35. Cindy Guidry says:

    Is it within copyright laws to purchase the sheet music by Leonard Cohen with Kelly Mooney’s lyrics and make copies for our choir to sing it in our church Mass?
    Please advise asap.
    Thank you.

  36. Cindy Guidry says:

    Is it within copyright laws to purchase sheet music from Leonard Cohen with the lyrics from Kelly Mooney and make copies for our choir and sing it at our church Mass?
    Please advise asap.
    Thank you.

  37. Rita gray says:

    I love your version of Hallelujah. I would love to sing it in our small church, but wanted to make sure I would not be breaking copyright laws.

  38. Linda S. Godwin says:

    I love the Easter version of Hallelujah. May I please have the musical notation of this song?

  39. Kelley says:

    Hi, Linda. First, thank you for saying that! And I hate to admit that I don’t really know what you mean by the musical notation of the song… I can tell you that there is no sheet music and will never be as I wasn’t able to get the rights to publish my version. Is there something else I could provide you with? I have the guitar chords… would that help?


  40. Diane Klann says:

    Good morning Kelley:

    I am a choir member of a small town Lutheran Church in Manitoba, Canada and we are so moved by your Easter version of Hallelujah. We would love to sing this at our Easter Service this year. I just read your email to Linda this morning and I would love to have the guitar chords, if possible. I just want to be sure we are not breaking any copyright laws and that I have your permission to use your lyrics. Thank you. Diane

  41. Kathy Robitaille says:

    This is a stunning lyric and is timeless! People will be singing it over and over forever on.. may I ask what key you sing it in on the you tube versions? I have an MP3 copy of it and it works beautifully for my voice in the key you sing it in.
    Thank You for your response in advance!!

  42. Jeri Rector says:

    I sing with our choir at church and would love to get your accompaniment sheet music for your Halleluiah song. It’s in a lower key and easier to sing. And Quite Beautiful!!

  43. Nicolle says:

    Hi Kelley, I understand you will not be able to publish the sheet music. It is a shame as the arrangement is fabulous. I will be singing it this season and am so excited to be able to do so. Can you tell me what key you are singing in on the Youtube video? Thanks in advance. Nicolle

  44. Terry Carnicella says:

    Who’s Arrangement did you use in the YouTube video and was it for 4 part choir? The song is Beautiful and I would like to do it with my church choir next Easter.

  45. Deb Kuhr says:

    I do not see your lyrics anywhere – on May 29, 2014 at 11:42 am, you responded to “Ruth” (see below) that you were going to post the lyrics on your website, but I do not see them anywhere – HELP!

    “Hi, Ruth. I sooo wish I had sheet music for this piece, but I was unable to get the rights to publish my version. I’m going to post the lyrics on the website, and you’re most welcome to print them from there.”

  46. Karen BLanchette says:

    I love love love this song. Your rewriting it is so profound. Would like to sing this in my church. My husband is on the worship team. Where can I get the chords for it?

  47. Jeanne Flaman says:

    Kelley I love not only your version of Halleluyah but your whole CD. I bought it last year and keep it on my favourite playlist. I would love to hear you have or are releasing another CD. I love your voice and your choice of music. Bless you for your talent and sharing it with us. Jeanne, Edenwold, Saskatchewan

  48. Nancy Marshall says:

    I saw a question asking what key you sing this in, and I also would like to know.

    Thank you,
    Nancy Rose Marshall

  49. Ken Boozer says:

    I also would seriously like the score (am willing to pay even though I’m just a guy who loves to praise God with song, even solos in church, definitely not professional.) You used with the choir . Our church sometimes uses a small orcheztra to bacl up choir, so would like that instrumention

  50. Cheryl Black says:

    Our pastor pasted away recently. This past Easter he sang your version of the Hallelujah. 1 person recorded him singing it. I was wondering if i can have a copyright, or if it is needed to burn some copies for the parishioners. We are considering selling it for a scholarship fund in his name or give as a gift to people that contribute. Any information would be helpful.

  51. Chastity says:

    I love your Easter version of “Hallelujah”. We are hoping to sing this song with our praise band and I was hoping that you could tell me what key that you sing it in. We have not been able to find chord sheets for this particular version. I see that you do not have sheet music, but if we knew what key you sing it in, we could transpose what we have. Thank you so much for writing this beautiful song.

  52. ted futrell says:

    i would like to have the sheet music for my chorus and a piano. how and where do i get this. Beautiful song and story.

  53. Amy Crabtree says:

    Is there SATB piano sheet music with lyric available we would love to sing this fornour easter celebration.

  54. Jody Davis says:

    My 13 year old daughter would love to sing your version of Hallelujah at our Easter service at church ….could you tell me how I could music for an accompianment for her? Listening to you sing it brought me to tears:)

  55. Lynette Hoyum says:

    Kelley, I love your lyrics. We would like to include your song in our Easter music. After reading your comments, it sounds as if you are willing to share your lyrics, but we need to purchase the music elsewhere. Leonard Cohen’s score is available on for all the others who are looking for music. God blessed many through your talent. Please let me know if you have changed your mind about sharing your lyrics. God bless you with more inspiration like this.

  56. Patty Sykes says:

    Gave you ever visited or plan to preform in Bend, OR?
    Your voice is magical.

  57. I am a 77 year old inventor/engineer/contractor and I have written a “sinner’s Halleluyah” lyrics, and would love to share them with you if you are interested.If so e-mail me at my e-mail and I will reply and attach my writing: Here is a sample of the start:Once upon a time long ago
    The one and only ever God who we know
    To be beyond our understanding was shown
    To be and is THE GREAT IAM, the Three in one,;
    Started the plan of PERFECT LOVE, for all HE created:
    FOR PERFECT LOVE to be brought to completion
    In HIM, through HIM, & by HIM:
    HALLELUYAH; HALLELUYAH; HALLELUYAHAlong the way I came to be,
    And to my shame and sorrow fell; a casualty to the temptations of the world and sin, all in me;
    A fallen sinner; WILLFULL, prideful, compassionless, self-centered, selfish, sinner of the flesh (sexual, self-destructive (sex, drugs & alcohol), & to others destructive, and with no hope
    Causing me throughout my life to look for purpose to seek and grope for a GOD who was real, and just before finding salvation by a dear friend who knew me better than some,
    Was given the nick-name “toxic Tom”
    And although as a child, I had heard the words of truth I was not willing to surrender control of my own life, but GOD is merciful and true to HIS word HE has given, and by HIS work in my life;
    HE SLOWLY, but purposely HE guided me through my experiences of life
    till I finally fell on my knees, confessing and repenting of my sins crying:

  58. Tricia Grupe says:

    I saw you offered the guitar chords to another writer if I could have that with the words our special needs choir would love to sing this

  59. Hi Kelley: Are your Easter words to Hallelujah still available to use with an authorized copy of Leonard Cohen’s music

  60. Cindy Berger says:

    Hi Kelley,

    I would like to request your permission to use your lyrics and guitar tabs for my choir. God truly blessed you 🙂


  61. Kelley says:

    Hi, Cindy. I’m so sorry – I think there must be an issue with my message function in this website; they’re supposed to be forwarded to me and they’re not. Anyway, of course, please go right ahead and use Hallelujah and thank you!!


  62. Kelley says:

    Hi, Tricia. I’m so sorry, I’m just seeing this message now. Absolutely, I’m happy to share that with you. I’ll email them to you right now.


  63. Paula Kershenstine says:

    I love your version of Hallelujah. Is the sheet music different than the original?

  64. Hi, Ms. Mooney,

    Our choir had planned to sing your version of Hallelujah for Easter but cannot obtain sheet music (SATB). Do you know of a source? I suppose we could just use the Cohen version and substitute the lyrics but don’t want to violate anyone’s copyright Thank you very much.

  65. Marilyn Holmes says:

    So beautiful. Where can I get a CD? Is it available on Amazon?

  66. Andrea says:

    Hi Kelley,
    I actually have found your version of Hallelujah a few years ago and listen to it multiple times through out the year. I was wondering if the sheet music is available yet or if that is something that you are still working on? I have looked hi and low and can’t seem to find it.
    Thanks so much

  67. Lorraine Frankhouser says:

    We want to know how to get permission to use Kelley’s Easter version of Hallelujah in our church on Easter this year. Our choir director says we need to get copyright from you to do it How do we get this so we can sing it in our church?

  68. Lauren says:

    I would love the guitar cords💕 I love this song and we are practicing singing it In Chior for Easter Sunday

  69. Kelley says:

    Hi, Paul. I’m SO sorry I’m just seeing your note now; I think there must be an issue with my message function in this website; they’re supposed to be forwarded to me and they’re not. Anyway, I actually wasn’t able to get permission to publish my version; there would be a few differences and a big difference for the ending. I actually started with an existing arrangement and tweaked it a bit. I hope that helps!

    And again, my apologies for not responding sooner.

    Take care,

  70. Kelley says:

    Good morning, Jocelyn. I’m afraid to report there is no sheet music for this version…and I apologize for not reponding sooner than this; there must be an issue with my message function in this website; they’re supposed to be forwarded to me and they’re not. Regarding the sheet music, unfortunately, I wasn’t granted permission to publish my version; I actually started with an existing arrangement and tweaked it a bit. I hope that helps!

    And again, my apologies for not responding sooner.

    Take care, Jocelyn

  71. Kelley says:

    Sorry, forgot to mention that there is no copyright issue as long as you don’t record it with intentions to sell it… so sing to your heart’s content!

  72. Kelley says:

    Good morning, Marilyn. First, I’m so sorry I’m just responding now; there is an issue with my system – I’m not getting the emails as they come in! We’re looking at it and hopefully it’ll be fixed immediately.

    Anyway, thank you so much for the lovely comment! And you can find all of my cds (there are 3!!) at CD Baby at this link:
    And yes, I’m also on Amazon:

    Take care, Marilyn, and thank you!

  73. Kelley says:

    Good morning, Andrea. I’m afraid you can’t find it because it doesn’t exist! I was never able to get the rights to publish my version. I used an existing version when I was writing it and just modified it a bit.

    Have a great day, Andrea!

  74. Kelley says:

    Good morning, Lorraine.
    First, I’m sorry I haven’t replied sooner; there’s an issue with my site not forwarding my emails!
    You are very sweet to ask permission, but no permission needed! As far as I’m concerned, you go right ahead and sing it to your heart’s content! The only copyright issue is if you were going to record it to sell it; then there would be an issue, but otherwise, go right ahead!

    Take care, Lorraine

  75. Kelley says:

    Good morning, Lauren. I’m always so happy to hear someone is singing it! I’ll send you the chords in a separate email as I can’t attach anything here.


  76. Cecilia and Aldwin Quinones says:

    Hello Kelley,

    My wife, Cecilia, and I, are a part of the music ministry for our church, and are hoping to obtain permission

    to perform your Easter version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”. We find yourlyrics very heartfelt, and

    reverent, and truthfully express the Easter story.
    Thank you for sharing your song.

    God Bless,

  77. Kelley, thank you for your willingness to share this wonderful Easter message that makes Leonard Cohen’s music so powerful and wanted by Christians to help fulfill Jesus’ command for every believer to “go and tell” the story of Jesus to a hurting world. So happy to hear that we are not breaking copyright laws by arranging a choir anthem with your lyrics. God bless you! We can help you with your efforts to gain a copyright by praying without ceasing, asking God to help you attain rights to publish and sell your complete arranged versions of this wonderful Cohen music. Hallelujah! Praise God!

  78. Wendy Johanson says:

    Hello, Kelley!

    I was asked to sing a duet at church and immediately I thought of your song for the Easter season. However, the gentleman that I would be singing with is wanting a no vocal accompaniment CD. Is there one available to purchase? If not, is there sheet music available.

    Thank you so much for your time and for writing this beautiful song.

    Blessings to you,

  79. Here, we’ve gօt the Wenger Swiss Army pockdt knife.

  80. Good morning Kelley — thank you so much for your inspirational words to Leonard Cohen’s timeless music, Halleluiah. So very glad that your words found his music. I will be purchasing your CD from CD Baby — so glad it’s available there — a great site and great service!

    Our choir would like to sing your words (with Cohen’s music) at our Easter Vigil Liturgy. I will be obtaining a copy of the Cohen music setting and our choir director will tweak it as needed given the voices we have.

    Grateful for your permission to sing your words at our church (The Good Shepherd Church in Ottawa ON) for the Easter Vigil, as well as at other Masses thereafter.

    Thank you very much for considering this request.

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