PR14: ‘GRENFELL From Today’ Grenfell United Backs New Song of Remembrance and Solidarity for the Nation to Share

June 7, 2018

 

Universal Music Operations today releases ‘GRENFELL From Today’ as an expression of remembrance and solidarity for those affected by Grenfell Tower Fire. The song is also a celebration of the community spirit that blossomed in the wake of the fire, in London and further afield. Offered in time for the anniversary of the fire on June 14th and #GreenForGrenfellDay on June 15th, the song is supported by Grenfell United.

 

Ideas for the song came from charity Cornwall Hugs Grenfell, which has arranged over 250 respite holidays for Grenfell survivors and firefighters. The music is by Philip Stopford, the lyrics by Andrew Longfield and it is performed by the Choristers of Truro Cathedral Choir, directed by Christopher Gray, with everyone involved gifting their expertise. The sheet music is available free to download for schools and choirs to join their voices in an act of nation-wide musical solidarity.

 

‘Grenfell Tower Fire changed us and it still cries out for change,’ says Esmé Page, founder, Cornwall Hugs Grenfell, who envisioned the song at the six month memorial in St Paul’s Cathedral. ‘I felt the need for a dedicated piece of music to anchor forever both the immense loss and the legacy of love. Philip Stop ford and Andrew Longfield have created just that. We hope people everywhere will join in the song’s message: that we will never forget, either the huge loss or the community we can be, when we let go of our fear and step out in love.’

 

‘GRENFELL From Today’ is available to download and stream on all digital stores. All proceeds will go equally to the charities Cornwall Hugs Grenfell (#1177796) and The Grenfell Foundation (#1177575). The song also features on YouTube, with a video by Paul Caddis, including scenes from the response in W11 and survivors’ Cornish holidays.

 

Schools, choirs and all singers everywhere can download the sheet music via www.cornwallhugsgrenfell.org and are invited to post their performances to YouTube using the hashtag #GrenfellFromToday or simply #HugGrenfell, linking to: www.cornwallhugsgrenfell.org/grenfell-from-today.

 

Muslim and Christian survivors checked the lyrics and last week in Cornwall six Grenfell families heard the song for the first time, responding with applause. Ed Daffarn, vice-chair of Grenfell United, who predicted the fire in 2016, said simply, ‘It says what we need to happen now.’ Bereaved survivor, Hanan Wahabi reflected, ‘We really have seen strangers become friends and it captures so much of our experience this year. I’m very moved by it,’ and Mouna El Og-bani, survivor and secretary of Grenfell United, commented, ‘It touches all the people we have lost. It encourages us to look forward and rebuild our lives but never to forget Grenfell at the same time. It’s very moving.’

 

Soloist, George Warren (9) was among choristers who joined in activities with survivors during a recent holiday. ‘It was fun to go paddle boarding with Sara and Abem. It's even more special to sing this song for them, now that I’ve met them,’ he said.

 

‘I was delighted to be asked by Cornwall Hugs Grenfell to write this song for the anniversary and to be part of the team that has made it happen,’ says composer, Philip Stopford, ‘My challenge was to piece together Andrew Longfield’s excellent lyrics with a melody that allows the words to be heard and music that is both memorable and singable, not just for the wonderful Truro Cathedral Choristers, but for all singers who wish to love and support these brave people.’

 

Others credits: pianist, Joseph Wicks, Mike Davey, Icon Audio, Claire Wilson, LLE Photography, Adam Gibbard Photography. 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACTS  and IMAGES

Esmé Page via esmepage@btinternet.com 07803 594 285

 

1.  George Warren, soloist, Choristers of Truro Cathedral Choir

2.  Choristers of Truro Cathedral Choir rehearsing with Christopher Gray

3.  Survivors paddle boarding in Mousehole, Cornwall this May, joined by George Warren and other choristers

4.  Survivor, three year old Nusaybah on holiday in Cornwall

5.  Single cover illustration created by Jon Stubbington

 

Lyrics and further comment:

 

GRENFELL From Today                                              

 

There are sights we should never behold

There are souls that cannot be consoled

Beautiful memories lost to the flames

The loved and the lonely were more than just names

And the young that will never get old

 

As the world wonders how this could be

Such a tower of humanity

Such a beacon of dread to the living and dead

With unanswered questions and things left unsaid

Such a sight that cannot be unseen

 

Chorus:             A new day, a new way

                        To create a world we’re worthy of

                        A new day, a new way

                        We must listen and learn to love

                        From Today

 

There’s a child with no words she can find

To describe all the thoughts in her mind

There’s a motherless son with a heart to be won

And a hero unsung who is coming undone

There’s a mountain of grief to be mined.

 

And we give all the love in our hearts

To the lives that are coming apart

To heal body and soul, take the terrible toll

We give what we can to keep families whole

We are neighbours and all play our part

 

Chorus:             A new day, a new way

                        To create a world we’re worthy of

                        A new day, a new way

                        We must listen and learn to love

                        From Today

 

There’s a vow from the heart of this land

There’s a promise we all understand

From North to South, from East to West

A time to grieve a chance to rest

To our neighbours we offer our hand

 

Though your hearts they will never quite mend

Fall in love with your futures again

Let the joy of new memories shed light on the old

Let hope be the pathway for journeys untold

Let a stranger turn into a friend

 

Chorus:             A new day, a new way

                        To create a world we’re worthy of

                        A new day, a new way

                        We must listen and learn to love

                        From Today

 

By Andrew Longfield, based on ideas from Cornwall Hugs Grenfell

 

 

 

Further Comment

 

Andrew Longfield, poet

‘Once I heard from Philip Stopford what Esmé was doing with Cornwall Hugs Grenfell my initial reticence to tackle the subject gave way to a willingness to help, and the plentiful touching references Esmé was able to supply eventually began to form into phrases and ideas I hoped would convey something of the magnitude of emotion involved and of the message behind the project. Philip was able to harness these within a beautiful melody which bring this message to life whilst allowing the listener to access the emotional aspects in a very moving and dignified way.’

 

Christopher Gray, Director of Music, Truro Cathedral Choir

‘When the new song arrived from Philip Stopford you could feel the instant engagement the choristers had with both words and music.’‘They had a hushed focus as they digested the message of the song which implores us to listen, to learn and to love. Philip Stopford has cleverly crafted a song with beautiful melodies in a range which is very singable for school and community choirs and I can really imagine them responding with similar emotional connection. Working with Esmé Page, Philip Stopford, Andrew Longfield, Paul Caddis, Mike Davey and the choristers to create and record the song has been a privilege – the love, respectfulness and sensitivity of everyone involved has been inspiring, and I hope it comes over in the end result.’  

 

Paul Caddis, Film-maker

‘As an observer and film maker I’m committed to groups of people who, through their artistic endeavours, wish to bring about change in human terms.The charity, Cornwall Hugs Grenfell, see the chance of positive change and allow me, through film, to make a positive contribution to society.’

 

The Dean of Truro, The Very Reverend Roger Bush,

‘Grenfell From Today’, the beautiful song written by Philip Stopford and Andrew Longfield represents so many precious things – resilience, hope, community and above all, love. We are truly honoured that the cathedral choir was able to play a part in the creation of this special musical memorial. Through the work that Cornwall Hugs Grenfell carries out, Cornwall continues to open its heart and arms to those families and emergency services personnel involved in the horror that was the terrible fire that engulfed Grenfell, and we are pleased and privileged to support that.’ 

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