Cornwall to sing for the NHS

5 minute read
Cornwall to sing for the NHS

Published at 11:08am 30th March 2020. (Updated at 8:42am 2nd April 2020)

Thursday 26th March 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, a resident of Lostwithiel, and a fan of Lostfest and Lost in Song, had the idea of using the well-known and easy melody of Hey Jude.

Via Facebook, Ian 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. 

Cornwall Sings For the NHS from Emma Mansfield on Vimeo.

Emma has penned the simple, but meaningful, lyrics to give everyone in area the opportunity to continue their singing together, in an appropriately socially distanced way. 

Ian 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 is like going to war where people chose to go, this is something that everyone’s got to pull together around.  Our great nation has in dark times of past been protected by our brave service men and women both at home and abroad, however this time our lovely nurses and doctors and all NHS staff have in effect become ‘our army’, armed not with weapons, or artillery, but with knowledge, commitment and a whole lot of love! We shall forever be in their debt.”

Ian continues, “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 says: “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.”  

Emma’s Facebook post of the song immediately prompted requests for this to be shared Cornwall-wide, so the idea has now become an opportunity to fill Cornish towns, villages and country lanes with the sound of their thanks, alongside their heart-warming clapping. 

Emma Mansfield says, “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.”

Emma continues, “Lostwithel is a town of singers, and Cornwall as a whole is connected to us via song, so I’m hoping we can activate singing leaders in as many streets as possible across the county, sending the song into the night air, around the hillsides and the sea that surrounds us.  This is all about us using what we can to join together, whilst we are forced apart, making sure as many of our local NHS and frontline legends hear and see our heartfelt support for all they are doing now, and for all that are always doing for us all.”

Emma Mansfield says, “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.”

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