Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" was first recorded in 1984 and has become an anthem that transcends generations and traditions. Finally, Cohen himself said that “there are many different hallelujahs,” as the tune is about gaining confidence in life itself. No aspect of this song explains it better than the many covers that have been recorded - some sad, some hopeful. The above version by 13 year old Fionn Wheelan is certainly an inspired interpretation. For this cover, Wheelan accompanied 18-year-old busker Ellie Sherlock on the streets of Ireland. Sherlock, who has toured with bands like One Republic, sometimes likes to go back to where it all began and play for passersby. Sherlock, already an experienced musician, recognised Wheelan's potential as a singer and called him "the next Ed Sheeran". But the comparison goes beyond their shared red hair: the boy sings with a soulfulness that rivals the famous British singer.
As famous as “Hallelujah” is today, it wasn’t necessarily expected to be a hit at first. It only gained widespread notoriety in 1991, when John Cale recorded a new version, inspiring another famous cover by Jeff Buckley in 1994. The song gained worldwide fame in 2001 when it was included on the Shrek soundtrack. Of the song, Cohen said: “This world is full of conflict and things that can't be reconciled. But there are times when we can make peace and accept all this chaos, and that’s what I mean by Hallelujah.”