You Raise Me Up

"You Raise Me Up" is a song originally claimed to be composed by Secret Garden's Rolf Løvland, with 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 and the rest of the world two years later. On 29 November, 2018 Icelandic Composer Jóhann Helgason filed a lawsuit claiming that the song is a copy of the 1977 song Söknuður.[1] [2]

"You Raise Me Up"
Song by Secret Garden
from the album Once in a Red Moon
ReleasedMarch 26, 2002
Composer(s)Rolf Løvland
Lyricist(s)Brendan Graham


The song was originally composed as an instrumental piece and titled "Silent Story".[3] Løvland later approached Irish novelist and songwriter Brendan Graham to write the lyrics to his melody, after reading Graham's novels.[4]

The song was made by and for Løvland himself and performed for the very first time at the funeral of Løvland's mother.[3][5] The original designated vocalist was Johnny Logan, who recorded a demo with an orchestra. However, a desire to distance the album from Eurovision Song Contest led to a change in vocalist.

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 couldn't 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2010, on Danielsen's posthumous compilation album One More Time - The Very Best Of, which included several previously unpublished recordings.


Although the original version did not chart internationally, the song has now been covered more than 125 times,[6] with the most successful covers being by Josh Groban (#73 in the US and #1 on the US Adult Contemporary chart), Christian group Selah (#1 on Billboard's Christian charts), 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 US 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[7]

Josh Groban version

"You Raise Me Up"
Single by Josh Groban
from the album Closer
  • October 2003 (album)
  • September 10, 2004 (single)
Composer(s)Rolf Løvland
Lyricist(s)Brendan Graham
Producer(s)David Foster
Josh Groban singles chronology
"You’re Still You"
"You Raise Me Up"
"Remember When It Rained"
Music video
"You Raise Me Up" on YouTube

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.


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" 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.


Solo version
Chart (2004–2012) Peak
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[8] 54
Denmark (Tracklisten)[9] 26
France (SNEP)[10] 16
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[11] 54
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[12] 74
US Billboard Hot 100[13] 73
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[14] 1
With The African Children's Choir version
Chart (2007) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100[13] 76

Westlife version

"You Raise Me Up"
Single by Westlife
from the album Face to Face
ReleasedOctober 24, 2005
StudioRokstone, London
LabelSony BMG
Composer(s)Rolf Løvland
Lyricist(s)Brendan Graham
Producer(s)Steve Mac
Westlife singles chronology
"You Raise Me Up"
"When You Tell Me That You Love Me"
"You Raise Me Up CD2"
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,[15] 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 Brian McFadden departure from the group. It debuted with 97,288 combined physical and download sales in the UK alone.[16] The single has sold 540,000 copies in the UK so far.[17] In South Korea, it entered the Official South Korean Year-end Downloads Singles Chart in 2010 with 130,759 sales.[18] Later, it stayed in the top 75 of the Official International Karaoke Charts since the inception of the charts in December 2010 up to its recent chart released.[19]

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. The backing track is re-used in the Spanish version of this song, "Por Ti Sere", performed by Il Divo in their Siempre album. 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. It was composed in the traditional verse–chorus form in Eb major, with Filan and Feehily's vocal ranging from the chords of Bb3 to Bb5.[20]

Westlife's official music video for "You Raise Me Up" was shot in late-2005 and is directed by Alex Hemming. It is currently the most played "You Raise Me Up" official music video version on YouTube with 73 million views as of January 2019.[21] It is also their most-streamed single of all time with 19.7 million listens in the United Kingdom as of January 2019. It is the band's third best selling single of all-time on both paid-for and combined sales categories.[22] While it is their eighth most streamed song of all time from their home country, the Republic of Ireland, as of 2 April 2019. It is the second best-selling single of 2005 in Ireland.

The song was reinstated in the live bonus disc album of the band's Greatest Hits in 2011. After the band broke up in 2012, the single was performed solo in many live instances by three of band members Shane Filan, Kian Egan and Mark Feehily. In 2018, the single was re-recorded by its member Shane Filan for his solo album Love Always - Deluxe Version. On 12 May 2018, the song was performed on South Korean music programme 'Immortal Songs 2' by Sohyang. Filan was the featured 'Legend' and judged the participants.

Track listing

  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
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[23] 3
Danish Airplay Chart 47
Dutch Singles Chart 47
Euro Digital Tracks (Billboard)[24] 3
Europe Singles Chart (Eurochart Hot 100)[25] 4
Europe Digital Tracks (Eurochart Hot 100)[25] 14
German Singles Chart 11
Greece (IFPI)[26] 38
Irish Singles Chart 1
Norwegian Singles Chart 3
Romania[27] 45
Russia Airplay (Tophit)[28] 226
Scottish Singles Chart[29] 1
South Korea[27] 102
South Korea (Gaon International Karaoke Chart)[30] 10
South Korea (Gaon Weekly BGM Chart)[31] 8
South Korea (Gaon Weekly Mobile (Bell) Chart)[32] 94
Swedish Singles Chart 7
Swiss Singles Chart 18
UK Singles Chart 1
UK Download (Official Charts Company)[33] 5
World Singles Chart 10
World Airplay Chart 15
Charts (2007) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 96

Monthly charts

Chart (2015) Peak
South Korea (Gaon Monthly BGM Chart)[34] 18
South Korea (Gaon Monthly Mobile (Bell) Chart)[35] 25
South Korea (Gaon Monthly Mobile (Ring) Chart)[36] 44

Year-end charts

Chart (2005) Position
Irish Singles Chart 1
UK Singles Chart 9
Chart (2006) Position
Australian Singles Chart 14[37]
Chart (2010, 2015) Position
South Korean International Download Chart 96
South Korean BGM Chart 35

Certifications and sales

Region CertificationCertified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[38] Platinum 600,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Wesley version

"You Raise Me Up"
Single by Wesley
from the album Vandaag en morgen
ReleasedFebruary 4, 2010
FormatCD Single
Composer(s)Rolf Løvland
Lyricist(s)Brendan Graham
Wesley singles chronology
"You Raise Me Up"
"Een ongelofelijke droom"
Music video
"You Raise Me Up" on YouTube

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,[39] 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[39]

Other covers

  • The song was recorded by Daniel O'Donnell in 2003 and was a hit in 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[40] and is included on her 2006 album "Nära mej, nära dej".[41]
  • 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.[42]
  • 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 2011, the Swedish band Larz-Kristerz released a version with lyrics in Elfdalian, which is a ”heavy” dialect of Swedish or a separate language closely related to it.
  • On 2011, the Catalan singer Sergio Dalma has sung a Catalan version titled Em dones força (You give me force) with the boys' choir of the Escolania de Montserrat for the Marató de TV3, a telethon broadcast every year by Televisió de Catalunya.[43]
  • In 2013, Branden James covered the song in America's Got Talent performance during the season 8 quarterfinals.
  • In 2014, Hong Kong singer Celine Tam, aged 6, covered "You Raise Me Up".
  • In 2014, John Barrowman covered the song on the album You Raise Me Up.
  • In 2014, Susan Boyle with the Lakewood Church Choir covered the song on the album 'Hope'.
  • In 2015, Canadian singer Jeffrey Li, aged 10, and Сeline Tam, aged 7, performed at the Miss World final.
  • 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.
  • October, 2017 singer Arthur Manuntag from the Philippines recorded his own version of the song. Arthur Manuntag is the Asian representative to the 100th Anniversary of Frank Sinatra on December 12, 2015 in Smetana Hall, Prague.
  • December, 2017 Hong Kong singer Celine Tam, aged 9, performed cover of the song together with Helene Fischer on the annual "Die Helene Fischer Show" Video on YouTube
  • In May 2018, Sohyang performed the song on Immortal Songs: Singing The Legend on the Shane Filan special, receiving a standing ovation from Shane himself, who later commented how he preferred her version that he would listen to again and again.


  1. "Icelander sues for rights to Josh Groban song". Iceland Monitor. Retrieved 17 March 2019. A beloved Icelandic songwriter and musician Jóhann Helgason has filed a lawsuit against one of Josh Groban's songwriters. He believes that his song Söknuður is almost identical to Groban's 2003 hit You Raise me Up. A new version of Helgason's song Söknuður has been released in English to underline the similarity between the two songs. Söknuður was written in 1977.
  2. Thorne, Roger. "You Raise Me Up Info". Archived from the original on 2013-10-14. Retrieved 2012-10-31.
  3. "Løvland feirer at "You Raise Me Up" er ti år" (in Norwegian). VG. Retrieved 2011-11-13.
  4. "You Raise Me Up". Archived from the original on 2014-04-17. Retrieved 2014-04-02.
  5. "Lydverket - Følelser" (in Norwegian). NRK. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  6. Brendan Graham. "The Global Independent - Brendan Graham - Artist Details". peermusic. Retrieved 2014-04-02.
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 1, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. " – Josh Groban – You Raise Me Up" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
  9. " – Josh Groban – You Raise Me Up". Tracklisten. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
  10. " – Josh Groban – You Raise Me Up" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
  11. " – Josh Groban – You Raise Me Up". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
  12. "Josh Groban: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
  13. "Josh Groban Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
  14. "Josh Groban Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
  15. Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 718. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  16. "CHART: CLUK Update 5.11.2005 (wk43) CHART LOG UK: NEW ENTRIES UPDATE". Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  17. "Westlife | Official Top 20 | MTV UK". 2009-10-28. Retrieved 2014-04-02.
  19. "South Korea Album Chart". Gaon. Archived from the original on 1 April 2016. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
  21. westlifeVEVO (2009-10-03), Westlife - You Raise Me Up, retrieved 2017-07-16
  22. Copsey, Rob (January 12, 2019). "Westlife's Top 20 biggest songs on the Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  23. " – Westlife – You Raise Me Up" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  24. "Euro Digital Song Sales - Westlife - Chart Search". Billboard. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  25. Billboard - Google Books. 2005-12-17. Retrieved 2014-04-02 via Google Books.
  26. IFPI archive
  28. "Russia Airplay Chart for 2005-11-07." Tophit.
  30. "South Korea Album Chart". Gaon. Archived from the original on 1 April 2016. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
  31. "Gaon Weekly BGM Chart". Gaon Chart (in Korean). Korea Music Content Industry Association. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  32. "Gaon Weekly Mobile (Bell) Chart". Gaon Chart (in Korean). Korea Music Content Industry Association. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  33. "Official Singles Downloads Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  34. "Gaon Monthly BGM Chart". Gaon Chart (in Korean). Korea Music Content Industry Association. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  35. "Gaon Monthly Mobile (Bell) Chart". Gaon Chart (in Korean). Korea Music Content Industry Association. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  36. "Gaon Monthly Mobile (Ring) Chart". Gaon Chart (in Korean). Korea Music Content Industry Association. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  37. "ARIA Charts - End of Year Charts - Top 100 Singles 2006". Archived from the original on 2013-11-06. Retrieved 2014-04-02.
  38. "British single certifications – Westlife – You Raise Me Up". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 30 October 2016. Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type You Raise Me Up in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  39. "Wesley - You Raise Me Up - Music Charts". Retrieved 2014-04-02.
  40. "Rör vid min själ" (in Swedish). Svensk mediedatabas. 2006. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
  41. "Nära mej, nära dej" (in Swedish). Svensk mediedatabas. 2006. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  42. Chart performance for Michael Hirte version
  43. "Sergio Dalma interpreta "Em dónes força" - Televisió de Catalunya". Retrieved 2014-04-02.

See also

List of Billboard Adult Contemporary number ones of 2004


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