You Raise Me Up

Martin Hurkens is a baker by trade. In 2009 he lost his job in Holland.  Martin had been a baker for 35 years and had no trade outside of tending an oven and creating food delights in a commercial kitchen.

Martin always dreamed of being an opera singer.  When he was a 7-year-old boy he auditioned for the youth choir in his native village Schinveld.  The director was very fond of his vocal talent and took him under his wing as a soloist.  Martin began singing in churches and became very popular.

At 13, Martin received a scholarship to music school in Brunssum, where he studied singing and piano lessons. Funding problems forced him to leave the music school. His dream of becoming a professional singer ended abruptly.

After processing this disappointment Martin made his career with Erkens Bakeries in Brunssum. Martin continued to sing because he was happy. He sang because it made his day at the bakery a pleasure. He sang because it made him feel good. He sang and baked for 35 years.  Then he lost his job.

In order to provide for his family Martin turned to the streets to share his talent with the small crowds that would pass by.   He would lay his hat on the cobblestone street and resonate the joy he felt within.

Later that same year he entered a talent competition called “Holland Has Talent”. Could an aged amateur opera singer overcome the advantages youth had in both energy and a sizable majority of the television demographic that voted on the competition?

The competition was tough, but Martin built a following and he made it to the finals where he made the most of his moment in time. He won “Holland Has Talent” in 2010. He began a recording career and has given countless beautiful performances in the Netherlands, Turkey and even New York City. He also began headlining with the Limburg Symphony Orchestra.

Success has never gone to Martin’s head. He remembers the pain of having lost his scholarship and his job. He humbly accepts success, but has never lost his benchmark. Today Martin can still on occasion be seen laying his hat down on the cobblestone streets of Brunssum.

Strangers and tourists do not recognize him and sometimes give him looks of scorn when he first lays down his hat (see above video).  When his tenor voice begins to sing in perfect pitch to the small crowd a transformation takes place.

Those watching begin to smile as their hearts are touched by his rendition.  Martin is no longer simply a street singer.  Martin is an angelic evangelist of the hope we have in life and the love of God.

When he holds the last note for what seems like eternity his hat holds the worth of the value the crowd sends his way.  He doesn’t need the money, but he wraps himself in the spirit in which it is given.

Martin’s story is inspiring because he made the most of his moment.  Martin reminds us we are raised up so we can stand on mountains.  He also reminds us to remember the cobblestone streets from which we came.

 

Like, Share or Comment below. Thanks, MDW

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About Marvin David Webster

I am an American. I was Born Under a Wanderin' Star. Since 2010 I have called the Philippines home.
This entry was posted in People Who Inspire Me. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to You Raise Me Up

  1. Wayne Starnes, m.d. says:

    I am now 80 years old, and my wife is terminally ill. I have listened over and over to Martin Hurken’s YOU RAISE ME UP and am so moved! Is there any way you can help me find this on a DVD, a video, or even a CD. I would so like to have it played at my wife’s funeral. Thanks so much!!

    Like

    • The video played here comes from Youtube.com and can be downloaded free. If you are unsure how to do it ask a few friends and I am sure someone can help you download it and then burn it onto a CD. God bless you in your wife’s anticipated passing. I can only imagine how much you will miss her. You are in my prayers.

      Like

  2. robert gilis says:

    la larme à l’oeil

    Like

  3. G L Christianson says:

    I loved the video but wonder how the accompaniment is done ?

    Like

  4. Pamela Olson says:

    Martin is wonderfull. God has a purpose for everyone of us and He gave that gift to Martin who in turns shares his gift with us.

    Like

  5. What a beautiful voice! I get a lump in my throat each time I listen to his rendition of You Raise Me Up. He sounds a beautiful person on the inside too. I wish him success.

    Like

  6. Thomas Kilcrease says:

    I had the pleasure of living in Brunssum for almost four years and enjoying the Dutch people. I only wish I would have known Martin Hurkens then. This is the most beautiful, touching, and honest version of this wonderful standard. Thank you for posting it.

    Like

  7. Dixie says:

    One has to have a hanky ready when listening to this song he sings with his whole heart and soul. Beautiful beyond words.

    Like

  8. Nancy says:

    I woke up this morning to such beauty. Martin sings like an angel and his sweet, humble presence is like being before God himself. I have listened so many times that I have memorized the words and I cry every time. So beautiful and meaningful. Thank you for sharing.

    Like

  9. JoAnn Gnat says:

    I am reminded of my Grandfather who was from Holland and also a great tenor. He came to US with his new wife and settled in Kranzburg, South Dakota, USA and raised his family of 10 children. He sang in the church choir for 75 years and received a certificate from the POPE. We were all very proud of him.

    Like

  10. northwoodtreasurergmailcom says:

    (from Nancy Lemmons-Grijalva).. So inspiring. Wonderful! Show up as northwoodtreasurer@gmail on WordPress, and you would have no idea who it is.

    Like

    • Except that is also printed your name. Nice try Nancy. Thank you for your comment. LOL

      Like

    • Thomas R. Wayne says:

      I have always had the greatest respect and admiration for the Dutch and in particular
      Marvin David Webster, he should have gone into forma opera singing but I can tell
      you from personal experience, “Oh those wonderful Dutch bakeries” They know how,
      we make junk by comparison.
      Tom Wayne

      Like

  11. sonny din says:

    What more can I possibly add? I have been privileged to have listened to Martin Hurkins “You raised me up” song, courtesy of a friend despatching it from Hong Kong. Naturally, my friends have received the same. Thanks to the singer n the writer!

    Like

  12. Tula says:

    What a voice and what a gift to share with us. I have listened to the video three times already. I am enraptured by his amazing talent. It would be such a privilege to hear him in person. It is unbelievable that he is not known the world over.

    Like

  13. philip walsh says:

    Having only, in 2015 heard the wonderful voice of Martin Hurkens, in the company of a friend whose Wife is afflected with Parkinson Disease, who listens to You Raise Me Up during challenging times, I would like to express my joy with this wonderful tale.

    Like

  14. Donna Lowry says:

    I am an 84 year old musician/mother with a family of 8 children, some of whom are professional musicians, and all of whom are wonderfully musical. I was delighted to finally discover and hear Martin Hurkens wonderful voice, and express my appreciation for his generous sharing of his life and his talents. It is a privilege that he has allowed us to see his family as well. To have the support of a loving family makes it possible to project joy in performance, and we certainly feel that when Martin sings.

    Like

  15. Jon Lawrence says:

    Such an inspiring human being * I wish him well in life

    Like

  16. robert ash says:

    incredible talent …its amazing that he is not better known ….one of the very best tenors i’ve ever heard….Robert Ash

    Like

  17. Cathy Wong says:

    thank you for sharing Martin Hurkens’ story. When we were shown the video today in a seminar, I was curious about the man behind the voice. I am blessed by his rendition of the song, by his voice and his person. thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Helen says:

    I never thought my sharing this video would touch so many people. Thank you for sharing his story.

    Liked by 1 person

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