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This was originally recorded by Country artist Keith Whitley in 1987.It was written by two leading country songwriters, Paul Overstreet and Don Schlitz. The latter also wrote and previously recorded Kenny Rogers' American #1, "The Gambler."
When Paul Overstreet and Don Schlitz were originally not too impressed with this song, but when they played it to Keith Whitley, he told them that they had written a classic and it became the second of 5 consecutive US Country #1s for Whitley, the last one posthumous - Whitley died at age 34. It was a Country hit a second time in 1995 for Alison Krauss & Union Station, but neither version reached the UK chart.
Richard Curtis wanted a key song for his new film Notting Hill. He suggested this song to Ronan Keating, who was then still with the Irish boy band Boyzone. According to 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh, Ronan Keating said, "As soon as he mentioned the title, I was hooked."
This song is popular at christenings, marriages and funerals. It was also a #1 in Ronan Keating's native Ireland.