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Simple Acts: Sing A Song - Resources for Choirs

Simple Acts: Sing A Song - Resources for Choirs

30th April 2018

Music In Detention is delighted to be involved in one of the ‘20 Simple Acts for 20 years of Refugee Week' by re-launching our callout to choirs project, inviting choirs from far and wide to cover one of our songs recorded in immigration detention! Read our previous news item for more info on the idea.

Sing A Song

Sing A Song

With the help of dedicated volunteers, we have chosen four tracks for choirs to cover and have put together some resources to help the learning process. 

We have suggested that two of the tracks might be more suitable for adult choirs, with the other two tracks suggested for youth choirs, including a track suitable for early years. However, these are just suggestions and your choir is welcome to choose whichever track they like best! 

So here are our choices:

1. Never Give Up (suggested for adult choirs):

Recorded in 2015, this song is a collaboration between detainees held at Dover IRC (which has since closed) and service users from local homeless organsation, Porchlight. 

The song was started by one of the Porchlight group who sent the detainees a message saying: "never give up the fight". Detainees then jammed around this theme and came up with this catchy number:

532 plays

Never Give Up The Fight

Collaboration, reggae, rap

We have provided two scores; one more basic transcription and one that has been arranged for choir. We have also provided a set of lyrics with accompanying chords.

Never Give Up - Arranged for Choir

Never Give Up - Basic Transcription

Never Give Up - Lyrics & Chords

2. All I Need (suggested for adult choirs):

Recorded in 2012, this song is a collaboration between detainees held at Harmondsworth IRC and young people from the Challenge Network in Hillingdon. 

The lyrics to this song came out of questions the young people asked detainees and the responses they got back. They decided to write the first verse as the voice of an anonymous detainee, and the second verse as the voice of a teenager realising that young people in the UK often take for granted the freedoms, friends and family in their lives: 

863 plays

All I Need

Soul, R&B

We have provided two scores; one more basic transcription and one that has been arranged for choir. We have also provided a set of lyrics with accompanying chords.

All I Need - Arranged for Choir

All I Need - Basic Transcription

All I Need - Lyrics

3. Human (suggested for youth choirs):

Recorded in 2017, this song was written and recorded in IRC The Verne (which closed at the beginning of 2018). 

The track emerged from some songwriting games used to generate lyrics around the theme of 'what it means to be human'. Lots of ideas were expressed and discussions were far-ranging, exploring the growth of artificial intelligence and eventually concluding that 'the heart', feelings and emotions are what make human beings human. 

546 plays

Human

Soft rock, rap

We have provided an arrangement for choir and lyrics with chords.

Human - Arranged for Choir

Human - Lyrics & Chords

4. Home (suggested for early years/primary schools):

Recorded in 2009, was recorded by Fusion United and Fusion Youth in Bedford.

It is a direct response to a song of the same title recorded by detainees held in Yarl's Wood. It uses a repeated line: ‘Home, home, home’, which is followed up by ideas about what they might miss if they were away from home, for example “I miss my friends” or “cuddle bear” or “brother”.   

327 plays

Home (Fusion)

Drumming, spiritual

We have provided lyrics with chords.

Home - Lyrics & Chords


Note on acknowledgements:

All performances and recordings should acknowledge the detainees and (if applicable) the community group who created & performed the original version.

Performances following the arranged scores should acknowledge John Strange for transcription and arrangement.

Freer performances should acknowledge John Strange for transcription only, together with the name of arranger (if any). 


If you do get involved, please don’t forget to let us know!

If you plan to put on a performance:

■     Submit your event via the Refugee Week website: http://refugeeweek.org.uk/events/submit-event/

■     If you're happy to, upload a video to Twitter or Facebook (please tag @MIDdetention and @RefugeeWeek) or Instagram (@RefugeeWeekUK)

In the meantime, if you would like some more information, please email Sally: sally@musicindetention.org.uk or give us a call at the office on 020 7014 2811.

We look forward to hearing from you!