You Raise Me Up

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"You Raise Me Up"
Song by Secret Garden from the album Once in a Red Moon
Released26 March 2002
GenreInspirational
Length5:04
WriterBrendan Graham (lyricist)
Rolf Løvland (composer)
ProducerDecca
Once in a Red Moon track listing
"Awakening"
(1)
"You Raise Me Up"
(2)
"Silent Wings"
(3)
 
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"You Raise Me Up"
Song by Secret Garden from the album Once in a Red Moon
Released26 March 2002
GenreInspirational
Length5:04
WriterBrendan Graham (lyricist)
Rolf Løvland (composer)
ProducerDecca
Once in a Red Moon track listing
"Awakening"
(1)
"You Raise Me Up"
(2)
"Silent Wings"
(3)

"You Raise Me Up" is a song that was originally composed by the duo, Secret Garden. The music was written by Secret Garden's Rolf Løvland and the lyrics by Brendan Graham. After the song was performed early in 2002 by the Secret Garden and their invited lead singer, Brian Kennedy, the song only became a minor UK hit. The song has been recorded by more than a hundred other artists including Josh Groban, who popularized the song in 2003; his rendition became a hit in the United States. The Irish band Westlife then popularized the song in the United Kingdom two years later.[1] "You Raise Me Up" is sung as a contemporary hymn in church services.

Background[edit]

The song was originally written as an instrumental piece and titled "Silent Story." Parts (most musicologists would claim) of the melody are based on a traditional Irish tune (especially the opening phrase of its chorus), the Londonderry Air, which is best known as the usual tune to the 1910 song Danny Boy. Løvland approached Irish novelist and songwriter Brendan Graham to write the lyrics to his melody after reading Graham's novels.[2]

The song was written by and for Løvland himself and performed for the very first time at the funeral of Løvland's mother. Here he noted “there's something about the song people are embracing - which becomes emotionally strong. [...] I believe people think of it as a song they use for their own stuff.”.[3][4]

In 2002 it was released on the Secret Garden album Once in a Red Moon, with the vocals sung by Irish singer Brian Kennedy, and sold well in both Ireland and Norway. Originally, Brian Kennedy was supposed to follow Secret Garden on their Asian tour in 2002, but fell ill, and could not attend. He was replaced by Norwegian singer Jan Werner Danielsen, who also later recorded the song together with Secret Garden. A demo version of this recording was released in 2010, on Danielsen's posthumous compilation album One More Time - The Very Best Of, which included several previously unpublished recordings.

Popularity[edit]

Although the original version did not chart internationally, the song has now been covered more than 125 times,[5] with the most successful covers being by Josh Groban (#73 in the US and #1 on the US Adult Contemporary chart), Westlife (#1 in the UK), Daniel O'Donnell (#22 in the UK) and Dutch Popstars winner Wesley Klein (#4 in the Netherlands). The song has also found success as part of a three-song EP entitled "George Best - A Tribute" by Peter Corry and the song's original vocalist Brian Kennedy, which reached #4 in the UK.

In 2004, the song was played more than 500,000 times on American radio. In late 2005, there were over 80 versions available in USA alone, and it has become nominated for Gospel Music Awards four times, including "Song of the Year."

On 21 September 2006, "You Raise Me Up" became the first song to have sold over 76,000 copies of the score on the popular sheet music website musicnotes.com.[6]

Josh Groban version[edit]

"You Raise Me Up"
Single by Josh Groban
from the album Closer
ReleasedSeptember 10, 2004
GenreOperatic pop
Length4:52
LabelReprise Records
Warner Bros. Records
143 Records
Producer(s)David Foster
Josh Groban singles chronology
"You're Still You"
(2003)
"You Raise Me Up"
(2004)
"Remember When It Rained"
(2004)

In 2003, David Foster decided to produce the song after being introduced to it by Frank Petrone of peermusic, the song's publisher. He chose the up-and-coming Josh Groban to record the song, which was accompanied by the great tenor Craig Von Vennik of the Establishment. Groban's version made it to #1 on the Billboard adult contemporary chart in early 2004 and remained there for six weeks. This version also peaked at #73 on the Billboard Hot 100, his first single to do so, and was nominated for a 2005 Grammy award.

Performances[edit]

Groban performed the song at Super Bowl XXXVIII, in a special NASA commemoration for the crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. A special surprise performance by Groban, for Oprah Winfrey's 50th birthday, also gave "You Raise Me Up" massive international prominence. On April 25, 2007, Groban also performed it at the first Idol Gives Back Concert, along with the African Children's Choir. This version was released as a single and peaked at #76 on the Billboard Hot 100. He performed this version with the African Children's Choir again on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on August 10, 2007.

On May 26, 2007, Josh Groban appeared on BBC's talent show Any Dream Will Do to select one of the remaining contestants (or "Josephs") to perform the song with him. He chose show favourite and eventual winner Lee Mead, whilst the other four contestants (Lewis Bradley, Craig Chalmers, Ben Ellis, and Keith Jack) performed as backing singers. Following this, the solo version of "You Raise Me Up" charted in the UK at #74, making it his first chart entry there.

On July 23, 2013, Branden James performed this song on America's Got Talent. He received a standing ovation, and even brought Heidi Klum to tears. He then moved on to the semi finals, to be aired later.

Charts[edit]

Chart (solo version)[7]Peak
position
Austrian Singles Chart (2008)54
Danish Singles Chart (2009)26
French Singles Chart (2012)16
Swiss Singles Chart (2008)54
US Billboard Hot 100 (2004)73
US Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks (2004)1
UK Singles Chart (2007)74
Chart (2007 version with African Children's Choir)Peak
position
US Billboard Hot 10076
Preceded by
"Forever and for Always" by Shania Twain
"The First Cut Is the Deepest" by Sheryl Crow
Billboard Adult Contemporary number-one single (Josh Groban version)
March 13 - April 3, 2004
April 17–24, 2004
Succeeded by
"The First Cut Is the Deepest" by Sheryl Crow

Westlife version[edit]

"You Raise Me Up"
Single by Westlife
from the album Face to Face
ReleasedOctober 24, 2005
FormatCD Single
RecordedRokstone Studios, London 2004
GenrePop
Length4:01
LabelSony BMG
Producer(s)Steve Mac
Westlife singles chronology
"Obvious"
(2004)
"You Raise Me Up"
(2005)
"When You Tell Me That You Love Me"
(2005)

"You Raise Me Up" was the lead single from Westlife's fifth studio album, Face To Face. This version is one of the most successful covers of the song, peaking at No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart, the only version to do so. This was the band's 13th number-one single as well as the first single to be released following the departure of Brian McFadden from the group. The single sold 540,000 copies on UK so far.[8] Westlife performed this song with Secret Garden at the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize concert. On December 11, 2009, they performed it again at the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize concert celebrating US President Barack Obama. When Louis Walsh suggested the band to record it the members Filan Egan Byrne and Feehily were against it saying it was a church song and wouldn't be a success. They also said they didn't want to record it. However they since claimed in 2011 six years after the singles release that the song changed their careers and were glad they recoded it.

The backing track is reused in the Spanish version of this song, Por Ti Sere, performed by Il Divo in their Siempre album.

Tours performed at[edit]

Track listing[edit]

UK CD1
  1. "You Raise Me Up" – 4:00
  2. "World Of Our Own" (Acoustic Version) – 3:30
UK CD2
  1. "You Raise Me Up" – 4:00
  2. "Flying Without Wings" (Acoustic Version) – 3:30
  3. "My Love" (Acoustic Version) – 3:48

Charts[edit]

Chart (2005)Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart3
Austrian Singles Chart46
Dutch Singles Chart47
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[9]4
German Singles Chart11
Irish Singles Chart1
Norwegian Singles Chart3
Swedish Singles Chart7
Swiss Singles Chart18
UK Singles Chart1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2005)Position
Irish Singles Chart1
UK Singles Chart9
Chart (2006)Position
Australian Singles Chart14[10]
Preceded by
"Push the Button" by the Sugababes
Irish Singles Chart number-one single (Westlife version)
October 27, 2005–December 1, 2005
Succeeded by
"My Humps" by The Black Eyed Peas
Preceded by
"I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor" by Arctic Monkeys
UK Singles Chart number-one single (Westlife version)
30 October 2005–5 November 2005
Succeeded by
"Hung Up" by Madonna

Wesley version[edit]

"You Raise Me Up"
Single by Wesley
from the album Vandaag en morgen
ReleasedFebruary 4, 2010
FormatCD Single
GenrePop
Wesley singles chronology
"You Raise Me Up"
(2010)
"Een ongelofelijke droom"
(2010)

On the second season of Popstars in the Netherlands, "You Raise Me Up" was recorded by each of the four finalists - Kim Stolker, Kristel Roulaux, Joshua Newton and Wesley Klein. When Klein won, his version was released as a single in the Netherlands under the mononym Wesley, peaking at #4 in the Dutch Top 40 and staying in the charts for eleven weeks,[11] making it the first version of the song to reach the top 10 in the Netherlands. The song was subsequently released as the final track on his debut album Vandaag en morgen (meaning Today and Tomorrow in Dutch).

Charts[edit]

Chart (2005)Peak
position
Dutch Top 404[11]

Other covers[edit]

Use in popular culture[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]