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Richard Carney a half-million-hit wonder on YouTube

Richard Carney
Richard Carney from Claremorris.

Richard Carney a half million hit wonder on You Tube

Michael Commins

CLAREMORRIS man Richard Carney has become an internet sensation. The former teacher has now registered over half a million hits on YouTube, crossing the phenomenal threshold of 500,000 last Friday.
Since April 2010, Richard has uploaded in excess of 300 videos onto YouTube, via a webcam in his front room at Mount Street. “Most of the songs are religious hymns and songs of inspiration. People all over the world go for inspirational songs. I have received correspondence from numerous countries around the world from people telling me that they find my songs so relaxing,” says Richard.
While the vast bulk of the songs are of the Gospel variety, he has also included some old Irish favourites like Spancil Hill, Old Rustic Bridge By The Mill and The Rose of Mooncoin. “Some of these songs are perennial favourites and are loved by Irish people wherever they go.
“I have recorded two CDs over the last few years in support of the Western Alzheimers Foundation. These tracks have been uploaded onto YouTube as well. But almost all the others are unaccompanied. I just sit there in front of the webcam and sing them. I am astonished with the amount of hits they have received.”
And well he should be. Many of the big name singers on the Irish showbiz circuit come nowhere near registering such phenomenal figures on YouTube.  By yesterday (Monday), Richard’s hits had topped the 503,000 figures. The top four were Be Not Afraid (59,493), Eagles Wings (57,314), I The Lord of Sea and Sky (30,268) and Going Home (16,066).

Richard, who taught English and History in St Colman’s College from 1969 to 1999, is delighted and thrilled with the response. “I had people on to me from London wanting to use my version of Going Home for a funeral and I was glad to help them out. I had another request for a couple getting married in England to see if they could use my version of “All That I Am.”
Comments have been posted in relation to Richard’s hymns and songs from around the world, ranging from Europe to the USA and from Australia to Africa and the Philippines. A tiny sample reflects the response from YouTube viewers.
“I was just looking for quiet prayer songs to listen and pray in the morning. I will listen to your serene prayer songs in the morning from now on.” (New York City).
“Thank MY God I came upon these hymns. And thank you, Richard, you sing honestly and with an elegant and beautiful humility. It’s as if you are speaking personally to the listener. I work in a quiet office and your hymns are easy on my senses.”  (New York).
“Found your YouTube sharings and have really enjoyed them, especially ‘There Is A Place’. And the place you live looks absolutely beautiful. Thanks for sharing your talent.” R Jones (London).
“I have never heard this song sung with an Irish accent before. Awesome.” Comment from a person in the Philippines on ‘Be Not Afraid’.
“What a beautiful hymn and lovely voice. Keep praising and calling on Him that is Loving.” (Comment from person in Botswana, Africa, age 30 in relation to Walk With Me)
“I love your voice, Richard, you make my heart ache”. (USA).
To put the whole thing into perspective, the amount of YouTube hits on Richard Carney’s songs amount to in excess of full houses in Croke Park six times over. However, Richard is unfazed by all of the attention. “I just enjoy singing those hymns and songs. It is encouraging to get nice comments from various countries. At the end of the day it goes to show that hymns never go out of fashion, they still have a special appeal to the human heart.”

Richard’s YouTube channel is Padraig 46.