The late great Leonard Cohen was among the many greats we lost in 2016 but his beautiful song “Hallelujah” remains a firm favorite with singers and fans the world over for its poetic lyrical beauty.
This week, however, a young Irish girl took the world by storm with her angelic version of the classic, a performance made all the more special when it was discovered that the young girl singing so powerfully has autism, attention deficit disorder and has difficulties in speaking up in class.
Ten-year-old Kaylee Rogers from Co. Down was too unwell to attend her school’s Christmas recital but a video of her performance was shown, and by all accounts, there wasn’t a dry eye left in the house. Using her incredible singing voice to boost her confidence, Kaylee has become an internet sensation, spreading the perfect Christmas feel-good message in the run-up to the holidays.
The young Irish girl isn’t alone in her stunning performance of the 1984 song, however. Many Irish singers and artists have chanced their arm at the Cohen sensational hit and more often than not create something incredibly special.
In tribute to Kaylee, we look at some of the best. Which do you prefer?
1. Celtic Thunder
Irish singing sensation Celtic Thunder whip out some exquisite three-part harmonies in this Christmas-time version of the hit song.
2. Father Ray Kelly
Ireland’s favorite singing priest became a viral sensation himself after this video emerged of his special wedding rewrite of ‘Hallelujah’ to pay tribute to the couple he was marrying.
3. Jeff Buckley
One of the best-known versions of the song, Buckley’s Irish connection is not as widely known but the music icon honed his talent in New York Irish café Sin É, played a significant role in Irish movie The Commitments, and counted Irish musician Glen Hansard among his friends. He died tragically swimming late at night fully clothed in the Mississipi river in May 1997.
4. Damien Rice
The Co. Kildare singer-songwriter honored the music of Leonard Cohen in this performance at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in 2008.
5. Susan Boyle
The parents of the former Britain’s Got Talent winner both hail from Co. Donegal.
Don’t see your favorite version listed here? Let us know about it in the comments section, below.