Cornwall sings for the NHS

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Last Thursday (Mar 26) saw the UK nation safely gather on their doorsteps for Clap for our Carers, an immense show of support for NHS staff, and frontline workers, fighting COVID-19.

As a result, a choir leader from Lostwithiel has acted on an idea posed by a local electrician to create a simple song that everyone in their community can also sing together at this joint time in weeks to come.

Ian Holding had the idea of using the well-known and easy melody of Hey Jude.  Via Facebook, he suggested it to choirmaster Emma Mansfield who has created fitting words and a Cornish backdrop to a Vimeo video which everyone can use to prepare.

The concept has already gathered storm and now people across Cornwall are preparing to share in the Cornwall Sings for the NHS tribute this coming Thursday at 8pm, with others across the country indicating that their local street or village will also be joining the throng.

Holding said: “We live overlooking the valley of Lostwithiel and last Thursday was just a stunning display of support with our whole community clapping, shouting and whooping their gratefulness for the nurses, doctors and all their teams, and support workers, right on the frontline.

“This isn’t about us, it’s about the group of individuals that are going into work every day, and not just putting themselves on the line, they’re putting all their families on the line too. Hey Jude immediately came to mind and I put it to Emma as I knew she was the person to make something happen around this opportunity for a tribute song.”

Emma Mansfield added: “It was Ian’s idea to get the town singing the ‘la’ parts from Hey Jude – they really do get everyone going and I wanted to add a bit more meaning to it. Everyone knows that part of the song and it is really easy to pick up so everyone can get involved – young and old and all can sing as hard, or as lightly as they feel comfortable.

“We have a wonderful community of singers right across Cornwall, with such a high number of community choirs, and male voice choirs.  It’s a huge part of our Cornish society, and our culture, and we form an amazing network of singers right across this land.  However, given the need for everyone to stay at home, choirs can’t come together in their normal way, so we are finding new options for us to support and to share our bond of song.

“I will set up my PA system at my flat in Lostwithiel, but if people simply all sing together, technology won’t be needed.  We’d love for people to video and share their Cornwall Sings for the NHS experience, hashtagging #clapforourcarers and #cornwallsingsfortheNHS so we can find them, and get these lovely clips to those who are hard at work, or getting some rare, vital rest, whilst the 8pm tribute occurs.”