What are the lyrics to ‘The Prayer’ sung by Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion?

29 January 2024, 17:27

Andrea Bocelli and Céline Dion sing 'The Prayer' at the 1999 Grammy Awards
Andrea Bocelli and Céline Dion sing 'The Prayer' at the 1999 Grammy Awards. Picture: Getty

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

It’s the soaring classical crossover duet that has been covered on every talent show under the sun – but nobody does it better than Bocelli and Dion.

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‘The Prayer’ is a phenomenally successful classical crossover duet, recorded by Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and Canadian vocal powerhouse Céline Dion.

Loved by both audiences and critics, the pop-opera hit was praised by Billboard as “a breathtaking, ultra-lush song, and the tour de force combination of Dion and Bocelli will send a half-dozen chills up your spine.” But it wasn’t always planned as a duet…

The song was originally recorded in two solo versions – in English by Dion, and in Italian by Bocelli – for the movie Quest for Camelot.

The song has garnered a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, a Grammy Award, and even an Academy Award nomination in 1999 for Best Original Song.

In March 1999, a single combining both languages become the definitive version that is so known and loved today. Dion and Bocelli performed the duet together at both the Grammys and the Oscars.

Read more: When 17-year-old Josh Groban stepped in for Andrea Bocelli to sing ‘The Prayer’ with Celine Dion

Andrea Bocelli, Céline Dion - The Prayer

Who wrote ‘The Prayer’?

Canadian music executive David Foster arranged, composed and produced the song alongside William Ross.

In 1999, in a rehearsal for the Grammys performance of the duet, Foster famously called an unknown teenage singer at the last minute to step in for Bocelli, who could not make the rehearsal. The teenager was Josh Groban who, full of nerves at singing alongside Dion, seized the opportunity and changed the trajectory of his career in music.

What is the meaning of ‘The Prayer’?

‘The Prayer’ is a call for peace, guidance and kindness, making it a common choice for memorial services.

Its lyrics, although they aren’t always interpreted as such, are spiritual, and ask the subject of the song to ‘watch us where we go’ and ‘help us to be wise’.

It has become hugely popular with choirs, cover artists and talent show contestants, garnering attention from a performance by Britain’s Got Talent contestants Jonathan and Charlotte in their 2012 audition.

Jonathan and Charlotte sing ‘The Prayer’ on Britain’s Got Talent