Irish songwriter Brendan Graham has spoken about his feelings towards American President Donald Trump retweeting a performance of Graham's biggest hit, You Raise Me Up.
The American president recently retweeted a performance of You Raise Me Up by a popular German singer, with the comment: ‘Great!’
It’s an endorsement that Graham says he doesn’t appreciate. “I was hoping that it wouldn’t be the kiss of death for the song,” Brendan told the Sunday World.
“I wouldn’t be a fan of Trump. I think he has done a lot of harm to his country people and to his country. He’s so divisive. You Raise Me Up is about gratitude, hope and inspiration, and the fact that he’s retweeted it is kind of against the run of everything that he’s retweeted.”
Trump has come under fire from a string of artists who’ve been outraged at having their songs featured in his political campaigns.
They range from the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Aerosmith and the estates of Prince and Tom Petty to Rihanna, Adele and Pharrell Williams.
Rihanna’s lawyers sent the U.S. president a cease-and-desist order over his use of her song, Don’t Stop The Music, saying that it “creates a false impression that Ms. Fenty is affiliated with, connected to or otherwise associated with Trump.”
Brendan Graham’s song had been shared with Trump by one of his staunch supporters, Kaya Jones, a singer who was part of an early version of the Pussycat Dolls.
“I would never allow the song to be used in politics,” Brendan insists.
Brendan himself has just recorded a spoken word version of You Raise Me Up with all proceeds going to charity.
“I made it to help the worldwide Covid frontline work of the doctors of Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) who daily risk their own lives fighting to save the lives of others in over 70 countries,” Brendan explains.
“These doctors work among some of the poorest, displaced–by-war and discriminated against people in the world…in war-torn places of conflict where there are no proper hospitals, or even living conditions."
You Raise Me Up, which has been recorded by over a thousand artists, from American superstar Josh Groban to Westlife, has old more than 100 million and clocked up two billion internet views.
Graham, who also write Ireland’s Eurovision winning songs, Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids and The Voice, describes it as “my pension song.”
He says: “Every writer is hoping to get the pension song at some stage, but when You Raise Me Up was written I had absolutely no idea that it would take the wings that it has taken. It’s a song that never sleeps, it keeps turning up here there and everywhere in all sorts of formats.”
You Raise Me Up has shot back up the popularity charts during the current Covid-19 pandemic with legendary American producer Quincy Jones choosing it for the biggest ever global piano recital in history.
“Quincy Jones’ idea was to unify through music people who were in lockdown and children who were home from school by giving free online piano tuition on how to play You Raise Me Up,” Brendan explains.
“Then they were all collated into one giant global performance online. You can see from viewers’ comments that this created a great sense of community amongst participants. They realised that were not just isolated individuals stuck at home.”
via Sunday World