In 2007, I felt my voice
starting to change, growing weaker.
I wanted to preserve my singing voice, for my ego's sake, and, more
importantly, for my children. That's when a door opened for me, at a local recording studio. My bro-in-law and his wife recommended that I contact their friend, who owned JStudios. I did. I created two CDs, just for fun - not for sale. Paying royalties, to all of the people, who own the rights to the songs, of my choice, is NO JOKE! For those of you who have a copy of my "debut" CD, Uncover This, "You Raise Me Up" is the first track on that CD. I was surprised to hear that many people who gave me feedback about Uncover This, let me know that "You Raise Me Up" was their favorite song. This week's post is another request, actually fulfilling the request of many people. "When are you going to sing a Josh Groban song? How about "You Raise Me Up"?" Well, here it is! I have four Groban songs on that "debut" CD, and I intend to post all four of my renditions. I'm just finding the right time to do so. I have to begin with the most popular of my four choices. As it was first on my CD, and also, the favorite of many of my family, friends, and friends of family and friends, I had to post "You Raise Me Up", as the first of my Josh Groban set.
"You Raise Me Up" is a popular song in the inspirational mould. The music was written by Secret Garden's Rolf Løvland and the lyrics by Brendan Graham. The song has now been covered more than 125 times. The song was originally written as an instrumental piece and titled "Silent Story." The melody is 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. It was originally released on the 2002 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, but it was never released.
British singer Becky Taylor covered the song. In 2003, Daniel O'Donnell made it a hit throughout Ireland and the UK. Later 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, which proved very popular in the US. His version made it to the top of the Billboard adult contemporary chart and remained there for six weeks. Groban also performed it 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. The Groban recording also was nominated for a 2005 Grammy award. Groban also performed it at the first Idol Gives Back Concert, along with the African Children's Choir. Brian Kennedy re-released the single after performing it at legendary Northern Irish football player George Best's funeral, the song again climbing the UK Charts to No. 4 in January 2006 (named "George Best — A Tribute"). The song has also been released by Aled Jones, Ronan Tynan, Westlife, Sissel Kyrkjebø, Russell Watson, Selah, Celtic Woman, David Tibenovski, Tommy Fleming, Michael Ball, and the Celtic Tenors with Samantha Mumba. Åsa Jinder has written lyrics in Swedish, "Rör vid min själ," and that version has been recorded by Sanna Nielsen. The song was also recorded by Daniel Beck, a Mormon musician. The song was used for EFY's 2007 CD Power in Purity. Il Divo recorded a Spanish version, using Westlife's instrumentation and titled "Por Ti Seré." In the first Celtic Woman CD album, Lisa Kelly recorded a solo version. In spring 2009, Paul Byrom of Celtic Thunder, from the same producer of Celtic Woman, has recorded a cover. The song was also covered in Japanese by Korean-American singer Lena Park as the opening theme to the Japanese TV anime 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 of 2009. Paul Potts and Il Divo separately recorded a Spanish version of this song called Por Ti Seré.