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Homeless Man's Masterful Piano Playing Moves Listeners To Tears

Dec 03, 2013 | Updated Dec 04, 2013

A homeless man from Vancouver, Wash., says he's never taken a music lesson and that he can't read music -- but his impromptu piano playing has moved people to tears.

David Allen Welsh, 50, has been visiting Second Hand Solutions, a thrift store and coffee shop, two times a month for the past year, according to KATU. When he's there, he captivates customers with his music.

Last Friday, KATU filmed Welsh's playing and the emotional reaction of one listener, James Maynard.

"He started to play, and I choked on my coffee and it started coming out of my nose," Maynard later told ABC News. "I had tears coming to my eyes when I saw his fingers go down one end of the piano to the other."

Welsh, who told KATU he's been homeless since he was six years old, sometimes uploads his music to YouTube. He credits God with his ability to play by ear.

"I can't be selfish because anything that I get, God's given," he told the station.

And he's not looking for anything in return; he just likes connecting with people. "When someone is genuinely here and genuinely moved and they reach out and give you a hug," Welsh told KATU, "I weep, too."

Clarification: This post has been updated to indicate that David Allen Welsh lives in Washington state.

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