My conversation with Ireland's priest, Father Ray Kelly, was enjoyable. We laughed quite a bit as Father shared his journeys through life, including his memorable audition on Britain's Got Talent.
Father Ray Kelly verbalizes how human he is. My take away though, is just how humble and remarkable a person he truly is.
For the podcast, I split our conversation into two episodes but released them the same week.
Head over to the Episodes page to hear Part 2: https://yourpositiveimprint.com/episodes/
I began to Shake With Nerves
Singing for the audition was easy. It was after that...
Growing up we were a very musical family. My mum played the piano and my father played the accordion. My brothers and sisters were musical. As kids growing up we would perform shows for aunts and uncles. One of the songs I used to always sing is the White Rose of Athens.
I didn't really want to audition on Britain’s Got Talent but the producers do a lot of scouting. They were onto me for awhile about a possibility of me entering the competition and I’d been saying no no no no way. No way would I do something like this.
It's all about the judges. I did not have the courage to get up and sing in front of Simon Cowell. No way! Not at this stage in my life. I do not need that nor did I need that type of pressure.
Well, I ultimately auditioned on the show.
The song the producers and I decided on for the audition was Everybody Hurts. I knew it well. While I was singing it I knew the judges were listening and the audience as well.
When I finished the song there was a pause for about 3 or 4 seconds. I was thinking “okay I walk off the stage and forget this ever happened” because I didn't know what to do.
There was just silence and I said to myself, “please let me out of here let me out of here.” I didn't know what to do. But I knew that I had to stay there.
And then Simon Cowell stands up and started cheering and the e London Palladium erupted with a standing ovation.
Of course I was very blown away by that. I wasn't nervous singing the song and then I began to shake with just nerves.
Photo: Father Ray, Dad Joe, Regina, Joseph, Mum Mona, Rosemarie
This Is All Beyond Me Really
Hallelujah was a big hit. It’s a beautiful song. Truly it is. After I sang that at the wedding I had a record recorded. I have actually a recording studio here at the house to record. Guys from Vienna produced that record.
When I look back at Hallelujah I didn't think I was doing anything great because what I was doing I love doing and I love to sing. It certainly wasn’t the first wedding I sang at.
But the volume of emails and letters that came in after the Hallelujah experience was not something I was expecting. After Britain’s Got Talent when I sang Everybody Hurts I received more and more emails.
An email that still sticks with me because I remember shaking after I read it. I don't know what part of the world she's in but she said she had been suffering from chronic pain for years.
She said, “I had my suicide letter written because I could no longer take it. And for some reason I was up during the night and I happened to turn on the computer and was flipping through YouTube and you, Fr., you came up. It was like the Holy Spirit. I don't know what it was but it had to be the Holy Spirit. It was like a whole bit of calm and peace came over me. All of a sudden I could realize that there was hope in my life.”
We wrote back and forth to each other and her last note she said her doctors had found a new treatment which was easing her pain a lot. She told me “you don't realize Father what you are doing to people and how you are reaching them with those songs.”
That made me think, oh my God. What is going on here? This is all beyond me really.
We only get one journey and we have to do the best we can.
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