A Video of Fork Union Military Academy Cadets Performing Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah in 2012 Going Viral Today Following News of the Songwriter's Passing

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A video of Fork Union Military Academy cadets singing Leonard Cohen's signature song, "Hallelujah," first posted in December 2012 has been gaining, has been gaining views today following news of the legendary songwriter's passing this week at the age of 82.

With the news being reported of the passing of legendary songwriter Leonard Cohen at the age of 82, a video of Fork Union Military Academy's cadets performing his classic song "Hallelujah" first posted in December 2012 is experiencing a surge of fresh popularity as it has been picking up a lot more views on YouTube today. One of the Academy's most popular video posts to YouTube with over 4,500 views since it was first posted in December 2012, the video has been linked to by local media outlets today as they honor the legacy of the great songwriter, producing fresh interest in this beautiful performance by FUMA cadets.

Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" was written over the course of many years. In his autobiography "I'm Your Man," Cohen describes it taking him five years to finish the lyrics. He finally released his version of the song on his 1985 album "Various Positions." However, it wasn't until Jeff Buckley released a cover of the song ten years later in 1994 that it began to receive wide attention. There have been countless more covers by many musicians in the years since, perhaps as many as 300 artists have recorded it, and the song has become a classic hit, described by many as hauntingly beautiful.

Although Cohen used a great deal of Biblical imagery in this song, with references to King David, Samson, and more, the song is not particularly religious in nature, and is as much about love and relationships as it is about faith. The lyrics are open to wide interpretation, which is, in part, a reason for its wide popularity. The song can mean almost whatever the listener thinks it means.

Shortly before the students at Fork Union Military Academy went on their Christmas break in December 2012, a small ad hoc chorus made up of postgraduate athletes within the Cadet Corps stunned their listeners with a memorable performance of Cohen's "Hallelujah" in a performance that was captured on video and went on to be viewed thousands of times, even though the boys boarding school enrolls only 400 to 500 students per year. The popularity of this video, and the renewed interest in this cover version following news of Cohen's death, is a testament to the power of Leonard Cohen's songwriting as much as it is to the vocal performance these young men gave.

The video can be found on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/dsSZr9j9nNs

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Dan Thompson
Fork Union Military Academy
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