A change from my usual blog about my favorite artists, brings me to a person that is essential to every singer, and that is the composer/lyrist. One composer that I love is Brendan Graham.  He has written many of my favorite songs, such as: “Always There,” “Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids,” “Sleepsong,” “Christmas Pipes,” and “Half a World Away.” And don’t forget the song that has probably been covered by more artists than any other song in history (more than 400 times), “You Raise Me Up.” All of which were written after he was fired from his job in the early ‘90s. (His employers’ loss is the world’s gain). He has written many of the songs with Rolf Lovland, but also works with others. Most of Celtic Woman’s best songs have been written with the help of this extremely gifted lyricist, for example: “O, America,” “Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears,” “The Sky, the Dawn and the Sun,” “The Blessing,” and “Sing Out.”

Ireland acknowledged Graham’s significant contributions in 2009, by awarding him the ‘Best Composer’ award at the Ireland Music Awards.

Brendan is also a novelist having completed three books: The Brightest Day, the Darkest Night; The Element of Fire; and The Whitest Flower.

I hope everyone takes some time to look at some of these videos and listen to the beauty of the music and lyrics.

Some info about some of his songs:
“You Raise Me Up,” was first recorded with Brian Kennedy and Secret Garden. It was then popularized by Josh Groban, earned a DOVE award for Selah, and then perfected by Paul Byrom from Celtic Thunder (without my favorite verse). Other amazing covers of the song include: Il Divo, Michael Ball, Westlife, Celtic Woman, Paul Potts, The Celtic Tenors, Tommy Fleming and Phil Coulter. For the story behind “You Raise Me Up” visit Secret Garden’s website

“Always There,” is about overcoming the difficulties that life throws at you. My favorite versions are Russell Watson, Secret Garden, Orla Fallon, and The Canadian Tenors.

“Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids,” a simple song about days gone by, that won the Eurovision Song Contest for Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan in 1994. Patricia Bourke also has a beautiful version of this poignant song.

“The Voice,” was the 1996 Eurovision Song Contest winner. This haunting song was sung by Eimear Quinn in the contest, and has been covered by Lisa Kelly with Celtic Woman.

Other Songs and versions:
“Crucán na bPáiste:” Karen Matheson, Emily Doyle, Dierdre Shannon, Eimear Quinn
“Fair-haired boy:” Carmel Conway, Dervish,
“Knocknashee:” Carmel Conway, (also sung by the Irish Tenors)
“Half A World Away:” Fascination Duo, Jan Werner/Secret Garden
“Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears:” Bow Triplets, Sean Keane, The Irish Tenors, Tommy Fleming, Darragh McGann, Denise Brennan and Paul Hennessy
“Le Cose Che Sei Per Me:” Katherine Jenkins, Carmel Conway
“My Land:” Orla Fallon, Secret Garden with Espen Grjotheim, Paul Byrom
“Song for a Stormy Night:” Steiner Albrigtsen/Secret Garden
“Winter, Fire and Snow:” Michael Londra, Anúna, Orla Fallon
“You Raise Me Up:” Christopher Dallo, Tommy Fleming, Becky Taylor, Mitch Corner, Mark Vincent, and Scot Wisniewski


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