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
Writer(s) Brendan Graham (lyricist)
Rolf Løvland (composer)
Producer(s) Decca
Once in a Red Moon track listing
"You Raise Me Up"
"Silent Wings"

"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.


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 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2010, on Danielsen's posthumous compilation album One More Time - The Very Best Of, which included several previously unpublished recordings.


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[6]

Josh Groban version[edit]

"You Raise Me Up"
You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban US CD promo.jpg
U.S. promotional CD release
Promotional material by Josh Groban from the album Closer
Released September 10, 2004
Genre Pop, Gospel
Length 4:52
Label Reprise Records
Warner Bros. Records
143 Records
Producer(s) David Foster

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.


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.


Chart (solo version)[7] Peak
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
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 Pop
Length 4:01
Label Sony BMG
Producer(s) Steve Mac
Westlife singles chronology
"You Raise Me Up"
"When You Tell Me That You Love Me"

"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,[8] 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.[9] 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.

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]

  • Face To Face Tour (2006)
  • The Love Tour (2007)
  • Back Home Tour (2008)
  • Where We Are Tour (2010)
  • Gravity Tour (2011)
  • The Farewell Tour (2012)

Track listing[edit]

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


Chart (2005) Peak
Australian Singles Chart 3
Austrian Singles Chart 46
Dutch Singles Chart 47
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[10] 4
German Singles Chart 11
Irish Singles Chart 1
Norwegian Singles Chart 3
Scottish Singles Chart[11] 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[12]
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
Wesley singles chronology
"You Raise Me Up"
"Een ongelofelijke droom"

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,[13] 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
Dutch Top 40 4[13]

Other covers[edit]

Use in popular culture[edit]

  • Secret Garden's version of the song was used in an episode of As the World Turns on April 20, 2002.
  • In 2004, Australian Idol Top 12 contestant Daniel Belle sang the song for his "Pop" song selection, and it has become one of the most performed songs on similar shows across the world.
  • RTÉ (Ireland's national television station), screened a Roy Esmonde-produced documentary titled You Raise Me Up on New Year's Day 2006. First screened a year earlier, this updated edition included the most recent successes for the song, as well as the story of how the song first came to be written by Løvland and Graham.
  • Shizuka Arakawa, the 2006 Olympic gold medalist in figure skating, used the piece as an exhibition number for many shows and professional competitions from 2005–2010. Michelle Kwan skated to the song during the 2004 Champion on Ice Tour and other competitions in 2005. Caroline Zhang skated this song in her exhibitions in the 2006–2007 and 2007–2008 skating season.
  • On July 26, 2007, the song was performed on 6th International Competition of Young Singers of Popular Music the "New Wave" (Jūrmala, Latvia) by Andris Ērglis representing Latvia on this contest. Song accompaniment recorded by Swedish producers from "Sunday Music" for Latvian music company "Microphone Records".
  • On February 18, 2008, You Raise Me Up was released as the title of an album with '40 uplifting songs' including Dan Russell, Paul Tylak, Lisa Moule, Emma Tate, Derek Siow and Damo Clark.
  • On March 27–29, 2009, The Australian Foster Care Conference in Fremantle, Western Australia David Witt Rachel Spratt Cleon Prineas Richie Conroy Holly Lyons Phil Smith Melanie Alexander Jane Schneider David Evans used the title of the song You Raise Me Up as the Conference Theme and the song lyrics were posted on their website Raise me up in the context of foster care carries the dual meaning of raising bringing up or growing up foster child and in doing so lifting them up high and giving them the opportunity to achieve great things.
  • The song is very briefly covered by the cast of Glee in the episode "Journey to Regionals" as a mash-up with Olivia Newton-John's "Magic".
  • On July 23, 2010, the song was used as background for the announcement of the winners of the "Time of My Life" duet winners on Big Brother Ten as part of the series’ two-day Glee-themed task.
  • The song is played on a car radio during a sequence in the 2012 film Fun Size.
  • The song was translated into Japanese by Korean-American singer Lena Park and this version was used as the opening song of the Anime Romeo X Juliet.
  • I.K. Start, a Norwegian football club, uses this song as a club anthem.
  • X Factor judge Simon Cowell has named "You Raise Me Up" one of his favourite songs.
  • Recently, the song got played in the bus radio for The 465 CT Transit driver, a Hamden, Connecticut-based Pop/New Age Artist during The 465 CT Transit driver's upcoming 1st instrumental debut album, The Bridge promotional advertisement.
  • In the show Big School, Mr Martin (Daniel Rigby), along with the school choir, sang "You Raise Me Up" for Ms Postern's (Catherine Tate) charity talent show. This was Episode 2 of the show.
  • During Shelton High School's pre-recorded live segment on New Year's Eve, Five of the boys that can make up the boy band are: Angel McKennis, from New Haven, Connecticut, Michael Harris from Port Chester, New York, David Wong from Milford, Connecticut, Jaime Kennedy from Branford, Connecticut and Nicolas Rodriguez from North Haven, Connecticut performed this song backed by the Branford High School Singing Hornets.
  • Hayley Westenra performed You Raise Me Up at the opening ceremony of the 2015 Cricket World Cup on 12 February 2015 in Hagley Park in her hometown of Christchurch, New Zealand
  • The popular Australian and Irish children's television show Skinner Boys: Guardians of the Lost Secrets which is known for naming each season 2 episode which is named after this song.


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External links[edit]