Irish songwriter, and founding member of The Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO), Brendan Graham has now officially been included in an exclusive club with the world’s top songwriters. His song “You Raise Me Up”, with music by Secret Garden’s Rolf Lovland, has been awarded “Million-Air’” status by the American Performing Rights Society, BMI. And to you fans of Josh Groban out there, yes, we’re talking about the same song, and no he didn’t write it.
“You Raise Me Up”, first recorded by Secret Garden featuring Brian Kennedy, has become one of the biggest selling songs in the history of popular music, with over three hundred recordings by some of the world’s biggest acts – Josh Groban, Westlife, Il Divo, Paul Potts, Celtic Woman, and has racked up sales of over 80 million copies. It has never been out of the charts somewhere in the world in the past six years. It has also become one of the most successful songs of all time in sheet music sales, being continuously at No. 1 for the past five years in the USA’s Sheet Music Bestseller Charts.
The song was originally written as the instrumental “Silent Story” by Lovland, who approached Irish novelist and songwriter Brendan Graham to write the lyrics. It was then released on the 2002 Secret Garden album “Once in a Red Moon” with vocals by Kennedy. The song was later sung by Daniel O’Donnell and then used as part of the 9/11 commemorations before being covered by Josh Groban.
So how come so many people think that Groban wrote the song himself? One reason must be the lyric sites that list the song under his name, despite the fact he had nothing to do with its composition. As has often been pointed out in this column, it is still amazing that the majority of lyric sites do not list the writer of the actual words.
The Million-Air award from BMI recognises one million airplays on American radio, the equivalent of at least 50,000 broadcast hours, or more than 5.7 years of continuous airplay. The song is published by Peermusic UK.