Straight in with the video, this time.
I’ve gone with Mariah because Christmas is a time to let your melisma fly free – but I welcome pretty much any version of this on a festive playlist.
The first time I ever remember hearing this song is when I was learning to sing it. I was sixteen, and my music teacher had decided that all of us who were taking A Level music should form a tiny choir for the school Christmas concert. It was my first taste of really singing, with a conductor who cared about breathing and diction and other vocal technicalities. I loved it.
The girl who sang the solo line had the most perfect, pure, clear singing voice you can imagine. The rest of us were window dressing, really – but I can still remember the complete joy of belting out in unison. FALLLLLLLLL ON YOUR KNEEEEEEEEEES.
It is lucky for the audience that they were already sitting down, otherwise it would have been hard for them to resist our persuasive powers.
I chose the school I went to for sixth form specifically because of its music department, and I’m so glad I did. Music was at the heart of so much of my life for those two years, and I am still really affected by the experiences I had there.
Some of the girls I was at school with have gone on to be professional musicians (and brilliant ones, at that). Many others haven’t, but still use music for good.
This week, I saw a video doing the rounds on Facebook: a group of junior doctors singing in Westminster tube station.
The NHS should be yours; let’s keep it yours. Those of you who know me well will know that two things guaranteed to make me weep are videos of emotionally charged flashmobs, and the bit in the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony where they paid tribute to the NHS. So this video is right in my sweet spot; obviously I cried.
And it’s not just any old group of junior doctors – the National Health Singers are the brainchild of my very own ex-choirmate, Julia. They are working hard to raise awareness of the issues that they and their colleagues are facing – go check them out and, if all this Christmas music has put you in a giving mood, maybe you could donate a few pounds to their crowdfunding campaign to help them release Yours as a single.
I am friends or acquaintances with several junior doctors. None of them, so far as I can tell, thinks the proposed changes to the NHS are a good thing. I work in employee engagement, where a fundamental premise is that you should listen to your people about what they have to say about your organisation. So I hope that this song gets heard, and that their voices make a difference.
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices. For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.