Hong Kong pop singer Eason Chan's track Lonely Warrior is not only among those at the top of the charts on music apps and video streaming platforms, it has also won the hearts of an unusual audience－China's kindergarten and primary school kids.
The song, released in November, is the Chinese theme song of the animation Arcane: League of Legends. It tells the story of two champions from the video game League of Legends living through a time of chaos and fighting for their dreams.
Recently, the song was described as being a new secret code to bond with children. On short video app Douyin, videos of adults singing one verse, followed by pupils singing the remainder of the song have garnered hundreds of millions of views and likes, and different hashtags for the song have also trended on social media platforms for several days.
The lyrics of the chorus: "Love how you walk through the dark alleys alone; love how you never bow down to hardship; love how you have faced up to despair and refuse to cry," have particularly struck a chord among pupils.
The uplifting spirit exuded in the song brings positive energy to young minds to persevere and endeavor, which is why it has become a buzzword of discussion, according to fans and observers.
The song has also been used to wake up kindergarten pupils from napping, cheer them up after losing a tug-of-war competition and even to encourage a boy at the dentist.
Responding to the huge popularity among children, Chan said in a Sina Weibo post recently: "I hear that I have released a children's song?" with the hashtag "Eason Chan does not know that he has sung a children's song".
The song has become a favorite for 8-year-old Li Zhuohong from Wuxi, Jiangsu province.
Although he only started listening to it a couple of days ago, he can already sing the words to the chorus.
"I can understand part of it, and although I do not know all the lyrics, I like its melody," said the second grader. "I think it is a song for boys, singing it makes us feel cool."
He believes that children's songs are too "childish" for him now and he prefers pop music.
The song has also won the heart of his cousin, Zhu Ximan, a 6-year-old kindergarten pupil.
She first heard the song when her mother played it in her car.
"I do not understand what the song means but I like the melody, especially when it turns more intense in the chorus," she said.
According to China Central Television, sixth grader Yang Yilin wrote in an essay that the song is about ordinary heroes and her favorite lyric is "who said only those standing in the light are heroes".
Even when you are in a desperate situation, stand near a cliff, and at a low point of your life, the song can inspire you to fight and shine, she wrote.
Fourth grader Yu Kangchen in Beijing said he often hears the song on a loop in his father's car and sings along. "I can sing all the lyrics but I do not understand some of their meanings," he said.
Gu Jun, father of a second grader in Beijing, said his son often hums the song at home.
"I do not understand why he likes it so much, perhaps it is popular among his classmates," Gu said. "It reminds me of when I was little and sang pop songs like Too Softhearted by Richie Jen."