You Raise Me Up - The Story of Secret Garden

Written by Rolf Lovland and Fionnuala Sherry (2015)


MY BOOK REVIEW AND COMMENTS


Rolf Lovland penned this book in celebration of Secret Garden's twentieth anniversary.  This historic milestone took place in 2015, twenty years after their Eurovision Song Contest win that effectively launched their remarkable and illustrious career.  With significant contributions from Fionnuala Sherry, the "other half" of Secret Garden, the book outlines the history of this amazing ensemble in a year-by-year format.  And with Fionnuala's views contrasting Rolf's, it's fascinating to discover how much the two of them think alike in so many ways.  It also helps to appreciate and understand how they are able to create and perform such incredible music.

The book has been well thought-out, and it paints a vivid picture of what it took to create their stunning recordings, endure the numerous concert tours, and how successes and failures alike have shaped this duo into who they are today.  But the strory isn't told with words alone, as the book is replete with a pictoral history of the ensemble, many of them from personal collections.  As you read through, you are swept into the midst of everthing that has transpired over the years, and in the end you have a real understanding of what makes Secret Garden so endearing to their myriad of fans.  You are given an inside look into the creation of each album, from the origin of the idea through to the final product.  You are also given an inside look into the promotion of each of these albums, and what worked well and what didn't, and how frustrating the creative process can become under the influence of marketers who think they know "what's best".  You will be surprised also to learn how they overcame a number of serious setbacks along the way to remarkably reach this significant milestone.

While reiterating all of the ups and downs of the creative process and the touring, Rolf included ancedotes and accounts from the many musicians, producers, promoters, and other people involved with Secret Garden.  It was most interesting to hear these individual's opinions of what transpired, and it was uncanny how sometimes the viewpoints were very similar, and sometimes they were a little different.  With these varying viewpoints the accounts become even more complete.

Incliuded in the book is information on all the musicians, singers and production crew who have been involved with Secret Garden over their twenty years of existence.  And an added bonus is a comprehensive section on Secret Garden's biggest commercial success, the vocal piece "You Raise Me Up".

As a loyal fan and promoter of Secret Garden for many years, I was asked by Rolf to contribute to his book.  I felt both privileged and honoured to make a small contribution, and I will always cherish being part of this historic storytelling.

You Raise Me Up is a definite "must read" for Secret Garden fans, and it is sure to appeal to both people who are familiar with the ensemble, and those who are not.

An outstanding literary creation!  Congratulations on twenty amazing years Rolf and Fionnuala!



Rolf's dedication in my copy of his book

Note to John from Rolf



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