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Brendan Graham Tunes Up For Second Americana Jackpot

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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 9:59 pm    Post subject: Brendan Graham Tunes Up For Second Americana Jackpot Reply with quote

The Irish songwriter behind You Raise Me Up has penned a new anthem, which is being regarded as ‘a salute to America’

His uplifting lyrics helped to get You Raise Me Up played more than a million times on radio in America. Now Brendan Graham could hit the “million-air” jackpot again.

The Irish songwriter has penned an anthem to America that will be released as a single next month after receiving standing ovations following its performance at live shows for the past three months.

O, America!, which is being performed on their current tour by Celtic Woman, the Irish five-piece, will be released by EMI on June 23.

The song’s patriotic lyrics and soaring melody have moved audiences to tears with fans describing it as “a salute to America” during troubled times.

Graham has made a fortune from You Raise Me Up, which has been recorded by more than 300 artists, including Josh Groban and Westlife, who had a number one with it. Last year he was awarded a Million-Air award when the song reached a milestone of more than a million airplays on American radio. Initial reaction to his new song is equally promising, as he experienced himself when he saw Celtic Woman’s show, Isle of Hope, at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

Graham said: “I think I was the last person sitting because 6,000 people all stood up as soon as they finished the song. Then it hit me that something is happening.”

Graham, who also composed Ireland’s last two Eurovision winners, wrote the lyrics when he returned from America last summer. The music was composed by William Joseph, a young American pianist.

The writer said that while Barack Obama was not a conscious influence on the lyrics, the sentiment in the song mirrors the “Yes We Can” slogan of his presidential campaign. “I think the Bush administration brought shame on the American people,” said Graham. “They are resilient, generous of heart and they felt shamed and humiliated by many of the things that went on during Bush’s era.”

One former US Marine, writing on Celtic Woman’s website, said: “I get shivers and tears every time O, America! is played . . . I listen in humility that you would have a song written just for America, her people.”

An industrial engineer by profession, Graham became a full-time songwriter when he was made redundant in 1993 at the age of 48. His songs Rock’n’Roll Kids and The Voice won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994 and 1996.

He said: “It’s interesting to see how people are reacting to it, that people see this as a thank you to America from Ireland. I am a great believer in the individual. We can change things and shape our own and our country’s future.”

Celtic Woman have sold more than 4m CDs and DVDs, played seven US tours, and performed for more than 800,000 people.

Jan Battles
Times Online
The Sunday Times
May 31, 2009
Always Remember All Things Are Possible With God !!
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