Most folks would be quite happy to never, ever hear another cover version of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah,' and we would normally be one of them. But not this time.

Irish priest Father Ray Kelly was officiating a wedding at Oldcastle church in Meath, Ireland earlier this month when he decided to surprise the happy couple, Chris and Leah O'Kane, with a revised version of Leonard Cohen's classic (and arguably blasphemous) "Hallelujah."

"We had the rehearsal on Thursday evening and at the end I said, 'Sure, maybe I'll sing a song for you myself,'" Father Kelly told the BBC. "Leah grinned and said, 'OK, sure,' but I don't think she was taking it too seriously."

24 million YouTube plays later...

Last Friday, Father Kelly was a guest on Irish TV channel RTE's "The Late, Late Show," where he received some kind words from the still-honeymooning O'Kanes: "We can't believe how special Father Ray has made our day."

He also discussed why he thinks people have been so won over by the clip. "It's that the couple wasn't expecting it, and the reaction of the congregation, because they weren't expecting it, either," he says. "They thought I was miming, until I mentioned the names Leah and Chris. There were a lot of elbows, 'it's the priest!'"

Then he performed his version of "Halleluljah" once again to rapturous applause.

Watch Father Ray Kelly discuss and again perform his viral smash

Loading Slideshow...
  • KD Lang - Hallelujah

  • "Hallelujah" by Rufus Wainwright (Irish performance)

    Rufus gives a live performance of "Hallelujah" for an Irish program.

  • Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah

    Music video by Jeff Buckley performing Hallelujah. (C) 2007 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.

  • Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah

    Music video by Leonard Cohen performing Hallelujah. (C) 2009 Sony Music Entertainment.

  • Bon Jovi - Hallelujah

    Music video by Bon Jovi performing Hallelujah. (C) 2007 Mercury Records.

  • Ben Harper Solo Acoustic Tour, Wellington, NZ, 3/11/12, Jeff Buckley & "Hallelujah"

    Ben talks about Jeff Buckley and plays "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohan Shot using a Panasonic Lumix FZ35.

  • Hallelujah by Three Talented Girls - Jodi, Alana and Morgan.flv

    Three Girls Sing a BEAUTIFUL Version of Hallelujah - Wow This is incredible God-given talent. Their names are Jodi, Alana, and Morgan...and combined they si...

  • Il Divo - Hallelujah (Alelujah)

    Music video by Il Divo performing Hallelujah (Alelujah). (C) 2008 Simco Limited under exclusive license to Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited.

  • Allison Crowe - Hallelujah - live-in-the-studio

    "It's, as I say, a desire to affirm my faith in life, not in some formal religious way but with enthusiasm, with emotion.... It's a rather joyous song," says...


    Justin Timberlake and Matt Morris sing a beautiful "Hallelujah" Charlie Sexton and Dave Preston on guitars, Jon Powers on drums. Lyrics: Well I've heard ther...

  • Bonnie McKee - Hallelujah

    I wanted to make a video for the holidays but none of the traditional "Holiday" songs were moving me. I know "Hallelujah" isn't actually a Christmas song, bu...

  • Kelly Clarkson and Jason Farol - Hallelujah (FULL)

    Duets Episode 3 - "Songs That Inspire"

  • A Special Version of Hallelujah With a Christian Twist

  • The Hunts "Hallelujah" Leonard Cohen cover.

    The Hunts covering Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah'. Live audio recording. Filmed in Central Park, New York City by Tyler Rhoads. Find us on Facebook http://www....

  • Pain of Salvation - Hallelujah

    Pain Of Salvation - Hallelujah (cover) from their DVD.

  • Shrek, "Hallelujah"