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Yarl's Wood Singing Group - Round 2

Yarl's Wood Singing Group - Round 2

In May 2014 Yarl’s Wood Singing Group was launched. Led by Bedford MID artist Jo Hudson-Lett, sessions took place once a week for a ten week period. The group was well attended with some regular members and some new members each week. By the end of the ten weeks the singing group had produced three new tracks of music which were released on the Music in Detention website.

Following the success of the first series of singing workshops Bedford MID organised a second 10-week series of workshops to start in October. This series saw detainees from a variety of countries including Egypt, Latvia, Eritrea and Yemen share songs from their cultures. Also songs by Tracy Chapman, Bob Marley and Magik were requested. Towards the end of the series the theme of Christmas came up and two sisters from Egypt shared performances of Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer and Jingle Bells sung in Arabic.

Jo also taught the ladies a variety of singing techniques, including breath control, pronunciation and how to harmonise. Jo saw participants grow in confidence over the course of the workshops and witnessed a real improvement in one detainee in her pronunciation of English words. Catherine, one of the participants from Yarl’s Wood said to Jo: “You have taken my stress level down. We love you very much.”

The second series was another huge success and we hope Jo will be back in Yarl’s Wood to run another series of workshops sometime in 2015. For now, have a listen to the resulting music tracks recorded in Jo’s second series of workshops:

87 plays

Arabic Song


This song is sung by a lady from Yemen who became a member of the Yarl's Wood Singing group. The song is sung in Arabic and is about missing things that are around you.

136 plays

Eritrean Love Song

Love song

This song is an Eritrean love song performed by one of the members of the group. The song is about a girl who has been in love with a boy for many years but cannot tell him.

89 plays

Jingle Bells (sung in Arabic)


This festive track was performed by two sisters from Egypt, currently detained at Yarl's Wood. It is a version of Jingle Bells, sung in Arabic.