Piano players from all around the world have united to learn to play Brendan Graham's You Raise Me Up as a tribute to frontline workers with the songwriter telling RTÉ Entertainment that it was "a huge surprise" to have his ballad chosen for the project.

The recital is the brainchild of legendary music producer Quincy Jones and his Playground Sessions initiative, which offers online classes to piano players of all levels. Together with Hal Leonard Music, the world's largest publisher of sheet music, Jones decided on You Raise Me Up as the song to bring people together. Graham wrote the lyrics to You Raise Me Up with Secret Garden's Rolf Løvland writing the music. Graham's grandchildren were among the 8,000 taking part in the global cover.

Speaking to RTÉ Entertainment as the combined video of piano players from 51 countries was released, Graham said: "It was a huge surprise that one's song was considered for such a unifying project and of expressing gratitude to all who, throughout the world, have given themselves so unselfishly, to helping others in need, often at great personal cost to themselves."

"You write your songs, often in solitude, with the hope that even 'something' will happen," he continued. "But then, sometimes the song just finds its own way and you realise how insignificant you are in the whole process.

Brendan Graham at his home in Co Mayo Photo: Michael McLaughlin

"To some extent we, as their writers, are left standing on the sidelines, watching. So, I am always grateful if something I've written finds its way to bringing some comfort, some unity in music for people - in these uncertain times for the world."

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