The Folk Group at Holy Apostles, Pimlico, central London, leads the congregation in singing at the family Mass every Sunday morning - or at least they did until the 22nd March 2020, when the Covid-19 lockdown began.
Simon Au writes: "It was so strange waking up on a Sunday morning and not going to church in person. Then when the lockdown came, things got even weirder - everyone had to work from home, people couldn't go outside, and I could see that many people were finding it really hard. I saw a few videos online of groups of people making collaborative lockdown videos and I thought "we can do that!" What better way to try and bring a smile to people's faces than through song?"
The song itself was suggested by Simon's father, Tom. "We spent quite a long time deciding on the song because we knew it was important." Simon said. "It needed to be a song with a good message, a song that everybody knew, and a song that we as a choir could actually sing! "You've Got A Friend" by Carole King just seemed like a perfect fit."
With the song selected, it was now recording time. Simon recorded the backing track at home and sent it to everyone with a copy of the lyrics, and the transcribed harmonies. He explained: "People did their recording from all sorts of different places. Duke, who is a doctor was in Manchester. I know he's been very busy. Luckily he had time to record his part. Kate was in the USA. "
Pablo Nuñez, who plays the bass guitar in this song, currently lives in Madrid, He writes: " Living in these difficult times helps us to realize how important friends are. True friends are always there, in good times and bad times... Regardless of distance and time.
Singer Yasmin Ile said: "Usually, the choir meets up on Friday evenings for practice, so being at home trying to learn and record a new song with my family members interrupting every second was a new experience, to say the least. Nonetheless, it was fun to be a part of something special for our church community and I am so glad that I got to be a part of this video! Several re-recordings due to distractions was worth it as the video came together amazingly in the end. Watching the video felt like we were all singing together in person and has left me looking forward to when we get to sing together again for real!"
Kate Narciso describes the reaction of her mother after watching the video for the first time: "My mum hadn't seen the choir group for a while after moving to America, so when I showed her the finished video, she immediately teared up, saying how much she missed everyone. She missed that sense of unbreakable community that the choir gave her; it was very meaningful to her that despite everything, everyone was still having fun and making music together."
The video had hardly been up 24 hours, when on Sunday evening, Carole King shared a clip from the video on her Instagram page. Simon said: "I couldn't believe it - but right from the start, this project was all about trying to bring happiness in these difficult times, so now that she has shared our video I hope that it can reach many more people. We wanted to bring a smile to people's faces during this time of the coronavirus pandemic and remind everyone what whatever happens you've always got a friend."
Watch the video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2_6dY2D-To
Visit Carole King's page here: www.instagram.com/carole_king/?hl=en
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