Paul’sheart­felt trib­uteto Mam goesvi­ral

Drogheda Independent - - NEWS - By ALI­SON COMYN

40,000 views and count­ing!

Tullyallen singer/song­writer Paul Gant­ley is fly­ing high af­ter a video of him singing his trib­ute song to his mother has gone viral on Face­book!

The sim­ple video shot on a smart­phone by Spina Bi­fida and Hy­dro­cephalus Ire­land (SBHI) CEO Tom Scott of Paul, has cap­tured the imag­i­na­tion of the na­tion, cat­a­pult­ing Paul into the spot­light for his beau­ti­ful song ‘With­out You’.

“I can’t be­lieve how much it has been shared, and it just goes to show you the power of so­cial me­dia now,” says the 39-year old mu­si­cian.

“When it was filmed, I was play­ing an old, out-of-tune pi­ano, with keys miss­ing, and I thought if it got 1,000 views I’d be de­lighted, but this is in­cred­i­ble!”

This is the sec­ond time his song in mem­ory of his mum Carmel, who passed away in 1996, has at­tracted at­ten­tion.

He ap­peared on Open House on RTE 1 with Mary Kennedy and Marty Whe­lan a few years af­ter his mam died and per­formed the song on pi­ano.

“Marty Whe­lan was so nice and I had a lot of com­pli­ments af­ter that, and even the video of that has been watched again by hun­dreds since this,” he says.

“The were great and let me tell the whole story of how the song came about.”

Paul was just 16 when she died from can­cer on Jan­uary 20th 1996, and he says it ‘ hit him so hard”.

“She was an ab­so­lute leg­end and there will never be another like her, so about two years af­ter she died, I just sat down at the pi­ano, and started to mess with some chords. Sud­denly the song just flowed, and the words came to me. I think Mam was with me there.”

Paul lives with both spina bi­fida and hy­dro­cephalus and shares a home with his dad Mick, sis­ter Mary – also a very tal­ented mu­si­cian - and his nephew Chris in Tullyallen.

He en­joys so­cial­is­ing very much and won’t let the fact that he doesn’t drive hold him back; he just gets taxis to what­ever party he has been in­vited to. He is very out­go­ing – a cousin gave him the nick­name of ‘Rambo’ 20 years ago and it stuck, so much so that some­times he for­gets his name is Paul and only an­swers to ‘Rambo’.

“I think that there is a need for peo­ple with spina bi­fida and/or hy­dro­cephalus to be given more recog­ni­tion for their tal­ents – we have so many tal­ented peo­ple from artists to au­thors in our com­mu­nity, it is un­be­liev­able,” he says.

“Once you get a lit­tle bit of recog­ni­tion and val­i­da­tion it helps your con­fi­dence to build up, then you can take on more and do more and there is the knock-on ef­fect of the more you do, the more con­fi­dent you be­come.

Paul is known to many for his ca­reer in the Sound Shop for 17 years, but is now con­cen­trat­ing on his mu­sic, writ­ing an al­bum with Mary he hopes to re­lease next year.

“I am record­ing 10 orig­i­nal songs which I wrote. We have six recorded al­ready, so I am hop­ing that the al­bum will be com­pleted early in 2019. My mu­sic is main­stream pop and rock with maybe a bit of coun­try – Garth Brooks and Sha­nia Twain in­flu­ences – cross­ing into pop with in­flu­ences of Billy Joel, Rob­bie Wil­liams, and El­ton John,” ex­plains Paul, who is thriv­ing af­ter a kid­ney trans­plant four years ago gave him a ‘new lease of life’.

“I had some­body con­tact me from Nashville, Ten­nessee when they say the video, of­fer­ing to record it for me, so you never know where I will play next!”

Lo­cal singer/song­writer Paul Gant­ley (front), pic­tured with his nephew Chris and sis­ter Mary.

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