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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Homeless man moves people to tears with his music


A homeless man is moving people to tears through his music.
And there's a lesson behind these notes that's fitting for the Holiday Season.

Classical music has always been part of James Maynard's life.
It grasps his soul and makes him feel alive. But he's never heard anything like this.

"He gives you a joy that surpatheth understanding. Just listen to him."
James is listening to David Allen Welsh....a local homeless man with raw talent.

"People can't do that unless God were with them." That's David's belief too.

"My custom is to sit and close my eyes and say, 'dad, do what you do, it's your gift.'"
David's relationship with God has been the only steady part of his 50-years of living.

"I've been on the streets since I was 6 years old." That's also when he says he discovered his talent.
"I don't know how to play music, but I like what I hear in my head."
David has never taken a music lesson, and can't read a note. But sharing it keeps him going.

"Sometimes I don't even know what key I'm pushing, my eyes aren't even open. I'm just letting the music play the music."
He's been coming to second-hand solutions in Vancouver for the past year, Using a borrowed piano to play a song full of emotion.

"It's called Arial Aquatas. It's my version of Amazing Grace."
The melody made people in the store stop to record the moment, in disbelief.

"I was so ashamed at myself for having passed judgment on him."'
It moved James Maynard so much he wept. This was his first time witnessing David's gift.

"When someone is genuinely here and genuinely moved, and they reach out and give you a hug, I weep too."
Most of us might think that David would tear up because of his situation, no home, no family, and few belongings.
He calls his life rich because of what he believes God wants him to share.

"I can't be selfish because anything that I get God's given."
Even with numb fingers that shouldn't be able to hit the keys, David keeps on giving his music to anyone who will listen, pushed by faith that his fellow man, like James, will hear grace in every note.

David Welsh is staying in Vancouver right now, but he says he makes it to Portland often and welcomes any chance he gets to play a piano.

He also has some of his music on YouTube.
We have a link to his work on our website...KATU.com.