I’d like to thank my friend who, a couple of weeks ago, suggested a few Vera Lynn songs that I might enjoy singing. After listening to them, I decided to sing this particular one called “There’s A Land Of Begin Again.” It’s one of her lesser known songs, but instantly I connected with it, loving the lyrics which resonated with many feelings I’ve experienced throughout lockdown; isolation, loneliness, hopelessness and despair and a deep, deep longing to be re-united with all that I hold most dear.
Vera Lynn is one of my lifelong heroines. Even as a little girl, I loved her rich, warm, comforting voice and the uplifting, inspirational songs she sang. How I would have loved to have been entertained by her, live in her heyday.
“There’s A Land Of Begin Again” talks about new beginnings on the horizon, just over the hill. It’s a real song of hope. I hope it helps lift your spirits and you find yourself looking out, over the hill, towards a new better and brighter tomorrow.
Today, I’ve recorded the beautiful song “We’ll Gather Lilacs In The Spring Again.” It’s a song of hope and my hope is that my recording will help to lift spirits a little and encourage us to look ahead to better times, as we face our third lockdown in 12 months.
The song was written in 1945 by Welsh composer Ivor Novello, for the hit musical “Perchance to Dream”. The stage musical opened at the Hippodrome Theatre in London’s West End in 1945 and ran until 1948. This particular popular and enduring number emerged from the production as World War II drew to a close.
It describes the yearning of parted couples to be together again. It evokes the joy they will feel once they are re-united, and the simple pleasures they will enjoy as they walk together in Springtime amidst the English countryside, whilst the lilac blossom is in flower. Its’ words still seem relevant and poignant over 75 years since it was first written.
Like me, I’m sure you’re thinking of Christmas past and remembering all those family members, friends and acquaintances we’ve not seen this year due to the Covid restrictions. How I’ve missed each one of them and especially my lovely friends in the care homes. It is with a deep sadness that I reflect on the Christmas carols we’ve not sung together in 2020.
So, with all that in mind, here I am singing to each and everyone of you, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.”
I know it’s going to be a very different one but remember, when everything else is taken away, the only constant is yourself. So, just like the shepherds, angels and wise men, look for the star that shines brightly in your life and gives you hope. Keep following it and trust in a brighter tomorrow.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas. I send you my love and sincere hopes for a brighter 2021.
Since the start of Covid 19, I have enjoyed supporting the York Spiritualist Centre by singing at some of their Sunday Zoom services. It’s been wonderful revisiting hymns that I’ve not sung for years. One such hymn is “The Lord’s My Shepherd.”
This Christian hymn, is based on the words of Psalm 23. Its’ words were written in 1641 by Francis Rous. My recording is sung to the tune Crimond which was composed in 1871 by Jessie Seymour Irvine, daughter of the Minister of the Crimond Parish, with harmonies by David Grant.
Before Covid 19, my next few days would have been spent honouring the brave men and women of WWII by singing in Stamford Bridge, Sutton-upon-Derwent, Wheldrake and Doncaster at their VE Day 75th Anniversary celebrations which now have all been cancelled. Instead, I’ve recorded “We’ll Meet Again” in honour of our war veterans and for everyone missing their loved ones during these difficult times. I look forward to brighter days and to seeing you once all this is over.
As Covid-19 began to take its’ hold, and we in the UK faced lockdown, a good friend of mine said “when you feel a bit down – sing.”
And this is just what I have done! Whenever life has seemed uncertain and I have felt alone, I’ve sung. Now I can reliably confirm that singing has lifted my spirits and in turn has helped me to connect with others around the world in exactly the same position as myself.
At home, my study has turned into a recording studio and I’ve had a wonderful time singing lots of songs that I haven’t sung for ages and then learning to turn them into videos.
You can listen to some of my creations by watching them on You Tube
I was delighted to be able to dress up in costume and encourage everyone to sing along with me at the recent commemoration events which took place in Stamford Bridge and Sutton-Upon-Derwent throughout the weekend of the 10th and 11th November 2018. It has been inspirational watching how communities across the country have united to commemorate the millions of people and animals who gave their lives in service of our country during the First World War atrocities.
Although commemorating some very dark and difficult times in our past, such commemorations are right up my street as I particularly love the music from the Music Hall, WWI and WW2 eras and the opportunity to encourage audiences to sing along and have some fun at the same time. Music is such a tonic.
This video captures a few of the songs that I sang during the “Stamford Bridge Remembers” event on Saturday 10th November, in the lovely Village Hall at Stamford Bridge, York and demonstrates some of the tremendous work carried out by their community in commemoration of the eleven local men who lost their lives during WW1.
Today brings back memories of 10 years ago when I lost one of my dearest friends. A wonderful musician and singing partner it was you Rich who opened the door to the care home industry and showed me where my voice and music could be put to best use. For that I’m eternally grateful. Gone but never forgotten. Always in my heart xxx
After singing “A Song Of Yorkshire” from Symphony For Yorkshire in various Yorkshire locations, I’d been asked to make a recording of the song but never got any further with the idea. Then, when I found myself unable to accept an invitation to sing it at a funeral in December 2015, I decided it was time to record my own version of Doreen Brigham and Benjamin Till’s wonderful anthem which I believe expresses the soul and essence of God’s own county.
I hope you enjoy my rendition which I’ve set alongside several beautiful photographs of Yorkshire, many of which capture our great county in its’ wildest and most extreme locations.
You must be logged in to post a comment.