You Raise Me Up

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"You Raise Me Up"
Song by Secret Garden
from the album Once in a Red Moon
Released December 27, 2001
Genre Inspirational
Length 5:04
Songwriter(s) Brendan Graham (lyricist)
Rolf Løvland (composer)
Producer(s) Decca
Once in a Red Moon track listing
"Awakening"
(1)
"You Raise Me Up"
(2)
"Silent Wings"
(3)

"You Raise Me Up" is a song originally composed by Irish-Norwegian 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 UK 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 of the melody (especially the opening phrase of its chorus) resemble the traditional Irish tune 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 Curb records couldnt come to an agreement with Universal to release Brian and he reluctantly could not attend the tour. 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2010, on Danielsen's posthumous compilation album One More Time - The Very Best Of, which included several previously unpublished recordings.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 been 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] And was also translated to Japanese and used for the anime Romeo x Juliet.

Josh Groban version[edit]

"You Raise Me Up"
You raise me up CD single official website.jpg
Artwork for digital release, taken from official website; also used for some non-US promotional releases
Single by Josh Groban
from the album Closer
Released September 10, 2004
Recorded 2003
Genre Easy listening, pop rock, vocal music[7]
Length 4:47-4:52[note 1]
4:04 (radio edit)
Label Reprise Records
Warner Bros. Records
143 Records
Songwriter(s) Brendan Graham (lyricist)
Rolf Løvland (composer)
Producer(s) David Foster
Music video
"You Raise Me Up" on YouTube
U.S. promotional CD release

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 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.

Charts[edit]

Chart (solo version)[8] 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 100 76
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"
Westlife - You Raise Me Up (single cover).jpg
Single by Westlife
from the album Face to Face
Released October 24, 2005
Format CD Single
Recorded Rokstone Studios, London 2004
Genre
Length 4:01
Label Sony BMG
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s) Steve Mac
Westlife singles chronology
"Obvious"
(2004)
"You Raise Me Up"
(2005)
"When You Tell Me That You Love Me"
(2005)
"Obvious"
(2004)
"You Raise Me Up"
(2005)
"When You Tell Me That You Love Me"
(2005)
Music video
"You Raise Me Up" on YouTube

"You Raise Me Up" was released as the lead single from Westlife's sixth 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,[9] 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 has sold 540,000 copies in the UK so far.[10] 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, Filan, Egan, Byrne, and Feehily were against it saying it was a church song, and would not be a success. They also said they did not want to record it. However, they have since claimed in 2011, six years after the single's release, that the song changed their careers and were glad they recorded it.

Westlife's music video for "You Raise Me Up" was shot in late-2005 and is directed by Alex Hemming.[11]

The backing track is re-used 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 Chart 3
Austrian Singles Chart 46
Dutch Singles Chart 47
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[12] 4
German Singles Chart 11
Irish Singles Chart 1
Norwegian Singles Chart 3
Scottish Singles Chart[13] 1
Swedish Singles Chart 7
Swiss Singles Chart 18
UK Singles Chart 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2005) Position
Irish Singles Chart 1
UK Singles Chart 9
Chart (2006) Position
Australian Singles Chart 14[14]
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
Scottish Singles Chart (Westlife version)
30 October 2005–13 November 2005
Succeeded by
"Hung Up" by Madonna
Preceded by
"I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor" by Arctic Monkeys
UK Singles Chart number-one single (Westlife version)
30 October 2005–13 November 2005
Succeeded by
"Hung Up" by Madonna

Wesley version[edit]

"You Raise Me Up"
Wesley Klein - You Raise Me Up.jpg
Single by Wesley
from the album Vandaag en morgen
Released February 4, 2010
Format CD Single
Genre Pop
Songwriter(s) Brendan Graham (lyricist)
Rolf Løvland (composer)
Wesley singles chronology
"You Raise Me Up"
(2010)
"Een ongelofelijke droom"
(2010)
"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,[15] 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).

Chart (2005) Peak
position
Dutch Top 40 4[15]

Other covers[edit]

  • The song was recorded by Daniel O'Donnell in 2003 and was a hit throughout Ireland and the UK, charting at #22 in the UK.
  • A version by Christian group Selah went to #1 on Billboard's Christian charts and was included on their 2004 album Hiding Place. This recording was nominated for Song of the Year at the 2005 Dove Awards.
  • Brian Kennedy re-released the single after performing it at Northern Irish football player George Best's funeral on 3 December 2005. The song charted in the UK at #4 in January 2006 (as part of a three-song EP entitled "George Best — A Tribute").
  • Åsa Jinder has written lyrics in Swedish, "Rör vid min själ" and was recorded by Sanna Nielsen and was released as a 2006 single[16] and is included on her 2006 album "Nära mej, nära dej".[17]
  • In 2005, Celtic Woman cover this song, and it is used as the theme song of the Japanese TV drama Byakkotai.
  • The song was covered in Japanese by Korean-American singer Lena Park as the opening theme to the Japanese anime television series Romeo x Juliet, which premiered in Japan on April 2007. Park also covered an English version of the song, which was featured in episodes 7 and 24 of the English version of the series, released in two sets in both June and August 2009.
  • On November 16, 2008, the song Video on YouTube was performed by Michael Hirte from Potsdam in the show "Das Supertalent" (the German version of "Britain's Got Talent") using his harmonica. This version charted in Switzerland at #76.[18]
  • In 2009, Celtic Thunder released their cover of the song performed by Paul Byrom, then with the group, on their third studio album and second concert DVD, both titled Take Me Home.
  • In 2016, Chinese female group SNH48 along with their counterparts BEJ48 and GNZ48 issued a cover version of the song "比翼齐飞", with the lyrics re-written by several members of them, and performed by themselves.

Use in popular culture[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Thorne, Roger. "You Raise Me Up Info". Thornesmusic.freeserve.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  2. ^ "You Raise Me Up". Secretgarden.no. Archived from the original on 2014-04-17. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  3. ^ "Løvland feirer at "You Raise Me Up" er ti år" (in Norwegian). VG. Retrieved 2011-11-13. 
  4. ^ "Lydverket - Følelser" (in Norwegian). NRK. Retrieved 2012-09-19. 
  5. ^ Brendan Graham. "The Global Independent - Brendan Graham - Artist Details". peermusic. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 1, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-01. 
  7. ^ "Josh Groban: 'You Raise Me Up'". Allmusic. Retrieved January 30, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Josh Groban and The African Children's Choir - You Raise Me Up - Music Charts". Acharts.us. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  9. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 718. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  10. ^ "Westlife | Official Top 20 | MTV UK". Mtv.co.uk. 2009-10-28. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  11. ^ westlifeVEVO (2009-10-03), Westlife - You Raise Me Up, retrieved 2017-07-16 
  12. ^ Billboard - Google Books. 2005-12-17. Retrieved 2014-04-02 – via Google Books. 
  13. ^ http://www.officialcharts.com/charts/scottish-singles-chart/20051030/41/
  14. ^ "ARIA Charts - End of Year Charts - Top 100 Singles 2006". Aria.com.au. Archived from the original on 2013-11-06. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  15. ^ a b "Wesley - You Raise Me Up - Music Charts". Acharts.us. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  16. ^ "Rör vid min själ" (in Swedish). Svensk mediedatabas. 2006. Retrieved 15 May 2011. 
  17. ^ "Nära mej, nära dej" (in Swedish). Svensk mediedatabas. 2006. Retrieved 8 December 2015. 
  18. ^ Chart performance for Michael Hirte version

Notes

  1. ^ Duration varies in releases

External links[edit]