Who remembers the time a video of an Irish priest singing at a wedding went massively viral?
Back in April 2014, a video of Fr. Ray Kelly of Oldcastle, Co. Meath singing a surprise rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah at the wedding of Chris and Leah O’Kane was posted online and racked up thousands of views and likes on Facebook overnight.
In the original video, you can see how floored the groom and bride are by Fr. Kelly’s gesture, but that likely pales in comparison to how surprised Fr. Kelly, originally of Tyrrelstown in Co. Meath, was by the impact of the video.
While Fr. Kelly’s sweet adapted lyrics and honeyed tone of voice belie the original theme of the song – a questioning of faith – the song was a hit and gained the Irish parish priest instant viral fame. How many other priests shot to internet stardom, appeared on late night TV and landed a record deal just from singing at a wedding?
Over two years later, the video is still attracting viewers, with almost 55 million hits. To put things in an interesting perspective, that’s just 5 million views less than the late Leonard Cohen’s own version of Hallelujah.