NHS staff have been seeing a lot of rainbows in windows recently.
But as the number of infections and deaths from Covid-19 has fallen, it is apt they should be singing Here is the rainbow I’ve been praying for – It’s gonna be a bright, bright, bright sunshiney day.
Chart-topping Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust Choir, which achieved a Christmas Number One in 2015, has recorded a version of the timeless I Can See Clearly Now to boost morale and raise money for the South London Trust
and St John Ambulance.
The Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust Choir is known across the country for its emotional reinterpretations of classic songs.
For this latest release, recorded in lockdown with many choir members facing long, challenging shifts and unbelievable workloads, the emotion they wanted to tap into was “hope”.
The result is this new video, a cover of Johnny Nash’s I Can See Clearly Now, featuring the many clinicians, hospital workers, community healthcare workers and other Trust employees that make Lewisham and Greenwich NHS
Trust Choir so special.
There’s a message at the end asking people to show their support for the Trust’s own charity, as well as the heroes at St John Ambulance, who have had a volunteer presence at the Trust throughout Covid-19.
The vocal arrangement is by the choir’s long-time musical director Phil Mitchell, with his wife Lucy, director of LJ Studios, mixing and mastering the recording, and Leah Robinson (from video start up Robinson Freelance)
shaping the video from dozens of clips of choir members singing, dancing and – on one occasion – manhandling a teddy bear.
The song bounds along with a specially-recorded backing track from Liam
Dunachie (pianist and choir co-musical director), Dan Humpreys on the bass and drums by Ollie Boorman.
Choir tenor Johan Lindskog, who also played guitar on the track and works as an anaesthetist, intubated his first Covid-19 patient on March 15, and says that since then work has been “flat out”.
He said: “It’s been so helpful to have a project like this to spend time on. It has really lifted my spirits, and I know that’s true of the rest of the choir too. We’re really pleased with the result musically as well – everyone’s done so brilliantly in shaping the track and video.”
Caroline Smith, the choir’s coordinator and a paediatric physiotherapist, gave an insight into their song choice. She said: “I know that some will argue that it’s too positive a song to have chosen, as the world is of course nowhere
close to being ‘back to normal,’ but with services reopening around the Trust, and with the morale-boost and sense of wellbeing that working on this project has given us, we wanted to get the message out there – as the song says, “I think I can make it now”.
See the video here
Please support your local paper by making a donation
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.