His fingers are raw and gnarled from spending his entire life on the street, but when David Allen Welsh puts them to a piano keyboard, they work such magic that he moves people to tears.

The Vancouver, Wash., man says he has been homeless since he was six years old and has no musical training. Despite that, every couple of weeks he stops by a local thrift shop and amazes customers with his remarkable performances.

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"I don't know how to play music. But I like what I hear in my head," Welsh told the local KOMO News. "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."

Welsh, who was born in Iowa, grew up in the Dakotas, and moved to the Pacific Northwest more than 10 years ago, can't read music, but performs what he calls "Aerial Aquatas" — his version of "Amazing Grace."

He believes his talent is a gift from God, and his performances have moved many onlookers to tears.

"When someone is genuinely here and genuinely moved and they reach out and give you a hug," he says, "I weep, too." 

posted by Jennifer Van Evra on Dec 03, 2013