LAST WEEKEND, FR Ray Kelly sang his version of Hallelujah to surprise a couple getting married in his parish of Oldcastle, Co Meath.
The performance was filmed and uploaded to YouTube where it immediately went viral, clocking up more than 130,000 views since last night.
“It’s gone pretty much crazy now,” Fr Kelly told DailyEdge.ie.
The couple emailed me yesterday just to thank me – they’re heading off to Mexico – and they said ‘You’re on YouTube’. So I hit the link. I think I’ve only been on YouTube about twice before.
He added that he’s been reading some of the YouTube comments. “People saying when I’m getting married I’m definitely getting that priest, that sort of thing.”
The lungbusting performance of Hallelujah was a genuine surprise for marrying couple Chris and Leah O’Kane, Fr Kelly says.
At the rehearsal, we went through the music and I said ‘Sure I might sing a song for you myself.’ She said OK. And that was all that was said.
But he has sung it for other couples. (“You change the names to fit the couple,” he adds.) And he’s been singing for years. “The local couples would know I sing.”
Fr Kelly is currently working on his third album for charity. The first was called Simply Me, the second More Of Me. “Somebody’s suggested the next one could be called No More Of Me,” he says.
This morning, his performance has landed him on with Tubridy on 2fm, the Ray D’Arcy Show, BBC Northern Ireland, LMFM and other radio stations.
He says he hasn’t had any new requests for more weddings, yet. Book now…
Fr Kelly’s new charity album will be out this summer. It’s to mark 25 years since his ordination, and contains the worship song How Marvellous, so it will be called 25 Years, How Marvellous.