You Raise Me Up

A little inspiration is all you need:  Martin Hurkens singing in the shopping mall in Maastricht.

The tears in the eyes of the citizens of that town are very moving as they listen to this previously unemployed baker.


When I am down, and, oh, my soul, so weary
When troubles come, and my heart burdened be
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence
Until you come and sit awhile with me

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
I am strong when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be

Music by Rolf Løvland and lyrics by Brendan Graham (Secret Garden).

Biographical notes for Martin Hurkens

Martin Hurkens was an unemployed baker when in 2010, unbeknownst to him, his daughter signed him up for the RTL program ‘Holland’s Got Talent’. At first hesitant, he took a jump, participated and reached the finale.

He says, “… a new world was suddenly opening up for me! Singing has always been my hobby and now there was an opportunity to turn my hobby into my profession, so I seized it with both hands.”

After winning the finale, he received more and more requests for performances and also recorded this video clip in the centre of Maastricht – it became incredibly popular on YouTube and Social Media and requests came in from China, Taiwan and Japan where he sang in front of thousands of people.

While he continues to be very popular in the Netherlands, he has also performed in Italy, France, Turkey and Germany and is set for a performance in New York and then a big tour in China.

“You may always dream, and sometimes the dreams will even come true.”

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19 Responses to You Raise Me Up

  1. sw. veet (francesco) says:

    It is such a nemesis this story…

    I grew up with the myth of a united, free and sovereign Europe, finally emancipated by the protection of the many Kim Jong-uns made in USA.

    Instead, we had Maastricht, a global finance-focused agreement on the single currency, sponsored by the IMF, serving the rentiers of the four corners of the world.

    If the real economy (bakers, industrial workers, shopkeepers, drivers, etc.) in Europe will be destroyed in favour of the development of the poorest countries it’s only a side-effect of an open society, which some philanthropists like Soros will remedy, honouring Master Karl (of course not Marx).

    For all those who survive the law of the global market, which is the same as the jungle, those who do not die in the street, because sick continue to run from office to another to show that they are really sick, for those who are not are drowned in wine, Italian, Greek, Spanish…there is the lottery! A television quiz game! Or a talent show!

    • Arpana says:

      I am no longer convinced the world is divided into villains and victims in an absolute and black and white way.

      The codependent networks that people belong to play an enormous part in how they behave, and a lot of villains have just gone for the easy option, while others go for the least bad option and the accumulation of such actions creates a storm. (Having said that, some of those f*****g bankers knew exactly what they were doing, but psychopaths get everywhere).

      • sw. veet (francesco) says:

        I’m not even convinced, and I do not seem to have used moral categories, the word “nemesis” should be interpreted followed by an ellipsis. What I wrote later clarifies that there is no goddess who celebrates a divine retribution.

        In fact there is no unambiguous reading of social, economic and political reality: an american homeless could live his condition as a millionaire to whom luck has momentarily displayed the middle finger, “Communist” sounds very offensive in those areas.

        Accumulate money that no villain or victim would be able to spend the next thousand years is pathological and the so-called “financial casino” is the factory of this illusion, pretending to compensate the lack of love.

        • Arpana says:


          An ant colony produces complicated feats of mechanical and social engineering, yet each individual ant is directed through life by simple chemical messages and basic instinctive behaviours.

          An ant colony is an example of an emergent system, in which the outcome totals more than the sum of its individual parts. Such patterns can be found in biology, physics, weather, technology, human society and other complex systems. As relationships develop between living creatures, buildings or chemicals: fantastic and unexpected results can be achieved. The rich complexities of emergent systems cannot be predicted merely through studying any one of their component parts.

          • sw. veet (francesco) says:

            Do not be modest, even you, little ant, single element and part of complexity, you have just expressed an opinion about it.

            Just take the responsibility that not only what others say affects the complexity, in the direction of a shared reality or, on the contrary, of a solipsistic cry.

            In my idea of complexity there can not be a shared reality if it is not also fairly shareable, but you try to make this metaphor of the ants to a slave, it may be that after he will thank you and will start working with more enthusiasm.

            • Arpana says:

              I think I hear a bit of vitriol in there, but maybe I am misunderstanding that part.

              I also think you are suggesting I don’t realise I also have an effect. Actually, I do understand that I also have an effect. Apart from that, I can’t make sense of of what you have written.

              • sw. veet (francesco) says:

                Good, you stay focused on you, single part who elaborates his version of complexity, for me as comprehensible as his implied snobbish attitude, and I will continue to not be concerned that you do not understand my version.

                Erga omnes: When someone says something that does not convince Arpana, he, instead of asking the interlocutor for clarifications on what does not convince him, proposes his version of the same topic.

                At that point, if the interlocutor is not convinced by his counter-version and replies with his internal arguments of his own version, then, the implacable Arpana, in his typical judgments, will say that the things said are meaningless and dictated by vitriol.

                Fortunately, at least we agree that even your words (actions?) affect reality, the difference is that you do not betray any passion on how you would like it, in case if a bit better (a better world), ridiculing the passion of others.

                I know, my passion does not make sense….

      • Parmartha says:

        All trauma is very complex. And the world of human beings – just as complex, and easily oversimplified. I agree, Arps.

        Such a song and such a singer seems to take one beyond it, which maybe is a bit simple!

        • sw. veet (francesco) says:

          Forgive my arbitrary association between “unemployed” and “Maastricht”. Arbitrary, above all, to your English eyes, having made a referendum to get away from Maastricht.

          For goodness sake, everything can be celebrated and in every place, and Maastricht for someone is primarily a beautiful Dutch city. This is very simple, there is nothing but applauding a good performance.


          Not have any desire to celebrate the end of the economic crisis, like your (SN) involuntary propaganda and the mercenary one, by mainstream Italian media, says these days.

          Rather be pissed off about the new bullshit and have a reflection like S. Quasimodo, who meditates on the meaning and value of poetry when the fresh wounds prevent him from celebrating the end of the war:

      • shantam prem says:

        Don´t look bankers in a bad light. Chetna is an investment banker and she organizes Dynamic Meditation events in London.

        Who knows, many sannyasins have accumulated so much brownies to get luck of investment bankers in next life? No one knows what kind of hidden wishes we have in godown!

  2. shantam prem says:

    Video is Christmas!

  3. shantam prem says:

    ‘Hallelujah’ fits much with the spirit of the string song:

  4. Arpana says:

    Search for the Hero inside yourself…

    Heather has such a gorgeous voice.

  5. Arpana says:

    I just came across this re the mindfulness discussion, which I thought summed mindfulness up well, but they make it sound a panacea, as if that’s all you’ve got to do, failing to point out the technique takes commitment and practice, and a constant engaging with the ever-changing – and evolving, hopefully – inner life.

    “Mindfulness meditation is a type of reflective meditation that originated from Buddhist culture but is now used in psychological therapy. Mindfulness meditation is not focused on change or the future but an awareness of the present and who an individual is now. It can raise awareness and stop mental distress from the psychological pain of simply being alive. By being aware and mindful of both good and bad experiences a person can avoid being swallowed by the negative thoughts.

    This school of thought contends that ignoring bad thoughts and forcing good thoughts is a bad practice that doesn’t last and can ultimately cause mental suffering. Breathing, focusing on thoughts in general and not forcing any idea away are main tenets of mindfulness meditation. It is not a type of meditation that focuses on not thinking and trying to have a blank mindset. Mindfulness meditation is about awareness of the present and whatever thoughts and ideas are currently important.”

  6. Bong says:

    No one approves my comments anymore so you are missing out on relevant links for discussion and detailing of an earlier post regarding the environment you meditate in.