Our Recordings
· Which Side Are You On? (1990) [click here]
· Watch Out! (1992) [click here]
· Raise Your Banners (1995) [click here]

· Cry Out For Liberty (1999) [click here]

· Sing for a Change! (2008) [click here]

Prices and how to order our CDs:

1 CD: £6 / £4 (waged / unwaged)
Set of 4 CDs £20 / £14 (waged / unwaged)
Set of 5 CDs £25 / £18 (waged / unwaged)

Postage and packaging:

  UK Europe Rest of world
1 CD 85p £2.85 £3.50
2 CDs £1.40 £3.40 £4.70
3 CDs £2.50 £3.90 £5.80
4 CDs £2.50 £4.50 £7.00
5 CDs £2.50 £5.10 £8.25

Note: Prices are for UK 2nd class and Europe/Rest of world by airmail

If you would like to buy some, please contact CDSales@socialistchoir.org.uk

Note: We do our best to give proper credit for the songs we use, and we apologise for any inaccuracies. Please let us know about any errors you find to help us get them right next time.

Which Side Are You On? back to top

This was our first recording, made in November 1990, recorded at Lodge Moor Hospital, Sheffield. Sound engineer: Kev Jackson. Digitally remastered by Ian Stead. Financial contributions from Sheffield NUJ and NALGO (now UNISON).

1. Which Side Are You On?
Made popular in the American labour movement during the Harlan County miners’ strike in 1931, there have been many versions of this song. Ours was written by choir members in 1988 to tell the story of the Keetons’ strikers in Sheffield. Thirty eight men were sacked in 1986 after a strike ballot, and replaced by non-union workers. At the time of recording, there was still a 24-hour picket outside the factory, with eighteen keeping up their fight for justice.

2. Derry Streets
Sung to a traditional Irish melody ‘Foggy Dew’, and arranged by Ivan Sears and Peter Toolen. This song marks the day in January 1972, known as Bloody Sunday; when British troops opened fire with live ammunition on a peaceful civil rights demonstration in Derry, in the North of Ireland, killing fourteen men.

3. Mevi Lyetu Afurika
“There is repression in Africa, deliberately, in order to colonise us. Look carefully and see how time has turned the wind of change to freedom. Colonialism is coming to an end.” A song from Southern Africa. After Namibia became independent, we changed the words to include Eritrea, commemorating the many decades that the Eritreans had been fighting for self- determination.

4. Hino Dos Grevistos
“Our day is come, companheiro. Ours is the work of our own hands. And these machines we serve, they belong to us. The wealth we generate is ours alone.” A strikers’ song from Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1978. Arranged by Rubens Ricciardi in 1989, who dedicated it to John Hamilton (English translator) and the Nottingham Clarion Choir.

5. Buddy, Can You Spare A Dime?
Written during the Depression in 1932 for the Broadway show ‘Americana’ by Jay Gorney and ‘Yip’ E.Y. Harburg. Harburg, who wrote the words, is said to have been moved by the plight of so many who had once worked hard for the ‘American Dream’, now reduced to begging. Arranged by Jane Edwardson of our choir. Copyright: Warner Chappell Music Ltd.

6. The Internationale
Written in June 1871 by Eugene Pottier, a woodworker from Lille, shortly after the Paris Commune was brutally suppressed, and set to music by Degeyter in 1888. The Internationale is now the anthem of socialists the world over. This arrangement is by Rudolf Liebich.

7. Foolish Notion
Composed by Holly Near in 1980, and arranged by Mary Fagan and Steve Lodder. “Why do we kill people who are killing people, to show that killing people is wrong? What a foolish notion.” Holly Near sings this song on her album ‘Fire in the Rain’. Copyright: Hereford Music, USA.

8. Dimna Juda
A traditional village song from Bulgaria, arranged by Philip Kouter, who played an important role in bringing Bulgarian music - with its open-throated singing technique, nasal quality, and hypnotic drones - to western ears. Dimna Juda tells the story of a witch who uses the bones of young men and boys to build her castle. It is sung by women of the choir. Copyright: State of Bulgaria.

9. Solidarity
Words by Berthold Brecht, set to music by Hans Eisler, 1930. Brecht was a life-long socialist and wrote this against the rise of facism in Germany.

10. Senzenina
“What have we done? Our crime is being Black”. Sung in the Xhosa language, this is a lament against the Pass Laws in South Africa, under which Black people were forced to carry identity papers at all times.

11. No Deportations
The London choir Raised Voices wrote this song for a “No Deportations” demonstration in 1987. As well as opposing the Nationality Act and racist immigration controls, it calls for an end to police fishing raids on East End factories, allegedly to ‘pick up illegal immigrants’ but actually harassing and intimidating the entire non-white community.

12. Umkhonto We Sizwe
The anthem of Umkhonto We Sizwe, ‘The Spear of the Nation’, celebrates the skill and courage of the armed wing of the African National Congress in South Africa. It was written by Amandla, the cultural ensemble of the ANC, at the turn of the 1980s to a popular tune. We learnt it from Cor Cochion, the Cardiff choir.

13. Bread and Roses
James Oppenheim, a member of the IWW or ‘Wobblies’, wrote this after seeing a banner “We Want Bread, And Roses Too” carried in the 1912 women textile workers’ strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts, USA. Music by Caroline Kohlsaat, arranged by Emer McKay and sung by women of the choir.

14. Sandinista Anthem
Composed by Carlos Mejia Godoy during the 1970s insurrection against the Somoza dictatorship, this is the anthem of the FSLN Sandinista Liberation Front of Nicaragua. We sing it for the people of Nicaragua, who are still fighting for freedom from US imperialism.

15. We Shall Not Give Up The Fight
This song comes from the Church of South Africa.

16. Never Turning Back
Composed by Pat Humphries. Judy Small sings this on her album ‘One Voice in the Crowd’. Copyright: Crafty Maid Music (Australia)

17. Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika
Composed by E.M. Sontonga in 1897 and adopted by the African National Congress in South Africa as its anthem in 1925. We were proud to sing this in Sheffield Cathedral on 11th February 1990, the night that Nelson Mandela was released, after 27 years a prisoner of the racist Apartheid regime. The first section is in Xhosa, and the second in Sotho. Arranged by John Jordan.

18. Power In The Union
Sung to the tune ‘Rally Round the Flag’ of the US Civil War, with words written by Billy Bragg during the miners’ strike of 1984/5. Arranged by Jane Edwardson, then of our choir. Copyright: Chappell Music Ltd.

19. Freedom Is Coming
Another song originating in the Church of South Africa.

20. Polegnala E Todora
A modern Bulgarian love song, arranged by Philip Kouter, which tells of a young woman, lying under an olive tree. Sung by women of the choir. Copyright: State of Bulgaria.

21. All Or Nothing
Words by Berthold Brecht, set to music by Hans Eisler. Arranged by Glen Gordon of the band ‘The Happy End’, June 1989.

22. The Freedom Tide Is Rising
Composed by Michelle Lanchester in 1988 and arranged by Ysaye M. Barnwell of ‘Sweet Honey in the Rock’, this song celebrates the mass struggle for liberation from Apartheid in South Africa. “Freedom’s spirit cannot be enslaved.” Raised Voices from London taught it to us at Laurieston Hall People’s Centre in 1990.

Watch Out! back to top

Our second recording, made in 1992 at Wortley Hall, Lodge Moor Hospital and Red Tape Studios, Sheffield. Sound engineers: Becky Lee and Chris Adams of Red Tape Studios. Digitally remastered by Ian Stead.

1. Watch Out
“There’s a rumble of war in the air, better watch out". An anti-war song by Holly Near, arranged by Bronwen Westacott of Nottingham Clarion Choir. Copyright: IQ Music Ltd.

2. Only Our Rivers Run Free
Ireland, "A land that has never known freedom and only her rivers run free”. A lament against continuing colonisation, written by Michael McConnell in 1973. This arrangement is by the Wolf Tones and John Abraham of the Welsh choir Cor Cochion. Copyright: EMI Music Publishers

3. Breaths
In some African worldviews, the invisible world of spirit and the visible world of nature exist as one. So do the past, present and future. Birago Diop’s poem challenges the dominant thought patterns which have brought the world into crisis. The poem was set to music by Isaye M. Barnwell and sung by 'Sweet Honey in the Rock' on their album “Good News”. This arrangement is by Emer McKay of our choir, with thanks to Janet Longbottom. Copyright: Westbury Music Ltd.

4. Shosholosa
At its peak in 1986-7, South Africa drew in half a million migrant workers from impoverished frontline states Botswana, Lesotho and Mozambique to dig up the gold for apartheid. This is the song of the migrants, as they travelled in by train.

5. Thatcher’s Gone
Nigel Wright of our choir wrote this in the days after Margaret Thatcher’s fall from power in 1990.

6. Ciniselani Magwala
“Hold on you cowards, we have nearly reached our goal”. Workers at the Britex factory in South Africa sang this during their lunch break one day in mid-1985 for the album “FOSATU Workers' Choirs” just before another state of emergency was imposed. It took five more years before the ANC was unbanned.

7. On Children
In his poem, Kahlil Gibran encourages us not to be possessive, but to recognize our children’s own free spirits. Set to music by Tony Wilde of our choir in 1992.

8. Ella’s Song
“We who believe in freedom cannot rest”. Lyrics and music by Bernice Johnson Reagon of 'Sweet Honey in the Rock' and sung here by five women of our choir. Copyright: Westbury Music Ltd.

9. A Child of Today
Steph Howlett of our choir wrote this, to an arrangement by Ken Branch, in protest at the Tory Government’s introduction of “standard assessment tests” in British schools in 1991. These measure literacy and numeracy, rather than record our children’s creativity, reducing the breadth of their education.

10. Internationale
Rise up, all victims of oppression! A new, up-beat version, with words by the British singer/songwriter Billy Bragg, set to a tune after Degeyter and arranged by David Bedford and John Abraham in 1991. Copyright: Billy Bragg

11. Song of Choice
Peggy Seeger warns us against complacency. “If you close your eyes, stop your ears, shut your mouth and take it slow” the seeds of fascism way grow into weeds and themselves set seed. Arranged by David Bartlett of the London choir, Raised Voices. Copyright: Ewan McColl Ltd.

12. Nana was a Suffragette
Written by Jules Gibb for the opening of the Pankhurst Centre for women in Manchester in 1987, this song honours women of our grandmothers’ generation, who fought for our rights. Jules passed it to us at Women’s Choirs Week at Laurieston People’s Centre in Scotland, May 1992.

13. 500 Years
“You’ve heard about Christopher Columbus; you’ve heard of Pisarro too. Have you heard about Atou Wallpa; have you heard about Tupaq Amaru?” Words and music by John Webber of the Sheffield Street Music Band in 1992, commemorating the 500 years that Native Americans have faced invasion, robbery and genocide.

14. The Red Flag
When he wrote it in 1889, Jim Connell set 'The Red Flag' to this jaunty traditional Scots air 'The White Cockade'. He later cursed those who set it to the ponderous 'Tannenbaum', as usually sung in the British Labour movement. We are grateful to Billy Bragg for taking us back to the song’s roots on his album 'The Internationale' and to Nigel Wright of our choir for arranging it.

15. Draglines
“Must I weep and mourn for the land it took ten million years to form?’’ A song by Deborah Silverstein against the impact of strip mining companies in Pennsylvania, USA, on the land and the people who live there. Sung by a small group from the choir. Copyright: Topic Records Ltd

16. Coal Not Dole
This was written by Kaye Sutcliffe, a Kent miner’s wife, to a traditional tune and performed by the theatre group 7:84 during the 1984-5 miners’ strike. Since then Britain’s coal communities, including in South Yorkshire where we live, have been decimated. We sang it for the 30,000 miners threatened with redundancy as this tape was being recorded. Arranged by Tactlass, a Sheffield-based women's singing group.

17. Union Miner
Originally called 'A Miner’s Life', this is set to the Welsh hymn tune ‘Calon Lan’. Another version became popular among US miners and a later one with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. We have added to it again for the campaign to keep the pits open.

18. Gulf War Chant
As anger spilled over at the way Western governments went to war in early 1991 to protect their oil interests against the Iraqi regime, Nigel Wright of our choir wrote this for us to sing on street demonstrations.

19. Not in My Name
"Arms dealers make their fortunes on the backs of those who die. While leaders without vision, prepare for genocide... I don’t give you my permission, no, you cannot speak for me”. Mal Finch, Sheffield-based singer/songwriter, wrote this in early 1991, in angry protest against the (first) Gulf War. The chorus was arranged by Jane Edwardson of our choir.

Raise Your Banners (back to top)

Recorded at the Green Top Circus Centre, Sheffield, in 1995 to coincide with the first festival of political song ‘Raise Your Banners’ held in our city that year. Sound engineer Ian Stead, who later also digitally remastered it.

1. Unity - Raise Your Banners High!
We are grateful to John Tams for this rallying call, which we adopted as the title of a Festival of Political Song, held in Sheffield in 1995, on the 80th anniversary of the death of Joe Hill. Arrangement by Mike Reid of our choir.

2. Joe Hill
Written by Alfred Hayes and Earl Robinson ten years after his execution by firing squad, this song more than anything has kept the memory of Joe Hill alive. His last words, "Don’t mourn, organize!", are a message for all struggling for equality and justice against the mood of the times. Arranged by Nigel Wright of our choir. Copyright: MCA Music.

3. La Plegaria a Un Labrador
(The workers’ prayer) Victor Jara’s plea to Chile’s farm labourers to join with urban workers in taking their tools and lives into their own hands. Jara was a leader in the People’s Song Movement, and was murdered by the military junta which overthrew the Allende government. Arranged by John Abraham of Cor Cochion. Copyright: Essex Music Group.

4. More than a Paycheque
"We bring asbestosis, silicosis, brown lung, black lung disease." A poignant reminder of the price paid by many workers and their families for a job in an unhealthy environment. Arranged by 'Tactlass' and Emer McKay after 'Sweet Honey in the Rock' (Y.M. Barnwell) Copyright: Westbury Music Ltd.

5. Aji ya Mozambique
A song of celebration (in Shangaan) dating from the victory over the Portuguese, and the ending of colonial rule in 1975.

6. Imagine
There can be few who do not know John Lennon’s utopian ballad. We sing Mike Reid’s arrangement, in the hope being part of a revival of such sentiments in the “caring 90s”. Copyright: BMG Music Publishing.

7. Deep River
This beautiful spiritual carried hidden messages of resistance and hope for Africans held as slaves, since to talk openly of escape would result in death. Arrangement: News Chronicle Song Book / Nigel Wright.

8. From a Distance
Much in the tradition of Joe Hill, who adapted new words to well known tunes, these words written by Annie Blindell question our attitudes to Ireland, and could equally apply to colonialism the world over. Original song by J. Gold; arrangement by Tony Wilde. Copyright: Rondo Music.

9. Hamba Kahle Umkhonto
Often heard in the period of Apartheid on clandestine broadcasts from the Frontline States, and sung at ANC funerals, this song of the armed wing Umkhonto We Siswe was arranged by members of our choir from a tape of singing at Chris Hani’s funeral. The moving lament symbolised for us the mixed emotions of anger, fear, and anticipation in the months leading up to the first democratic elections in South Africa in 1994.

10. Ndoda
Another song of resistance from Africa telling people not to block the road to freedom, sung in the iNdebele dialect of Zulu. This was a massed song at the annual Street Music Festival in Leeds in 1994.

11. Bandiera Rossa
Anthem of the Italian Communist Party, written before the Spanish Civil War but popularised by the many volunteers who learnt it there.

12. Ke a Rona
A ‘warm-up’ song (and dance!) that we learnt from Aubrey Mokoena, who has sung in the ANC choir. It is a way of claiming space, and the right to be in it -“This belongs to us!”

13. Last of the Great Whales
In the words of Sheffield-based singer Roy Bailey, “Of the many songs written in England over the last few years, this must be one of the most moving and beautiful – it’s a song for our time.” Written by Andy Barnes; arranged by John Abraham. Copyright: Friendly Overtures.

14. (Something Inside) So Strong
Originally written by Labi Siffre about Apartheid, in recent years this song has been adopted as an anthem of Gay Pride, urging us all to dare to be different, and to hold on to our rights and our deeply held convictions. Arrangement by Peter Churchill. Copyright: Empire Music Ltd.

15. Lean on Me
Written by Bill Withers, this well known ballad urges you to “Lean on me, when you’re not strong; I’ll be your friend; I’ll help you carry on”. Arranged for us by Mike Reid and Emer McKay of our choir. Copyright: EMI Music Publishing

16. Co-operation
A funny children’s song from Durham Woodcraft Folk. This arrangement, by Tony Wilde, has tested the choir’s tolerance and spirit of co-operation to the limit, trying to achieve the intended result!

17. Rolling Home
A rousing tune you may think you have sung along to in any folk club, but actually a relatively recent composition by John Tams, with chorus arranged in the pub by a few members of our choir. Copyright: Oops Publishing Ltd.

18. Unity - Raise Your Banners High!
The choir accompanied by Mike Reid on keyboard, Neil Woodall on bass guitar and Steve Morris on drums, in a rousing finale.

Cry Out For Liberty (back to top)

This was recorded in 1999 at the University of Sheffield Theatre Workshop, the same year as we published our 10th anniversary songbook ‘With One Voice’. Engineer: Ian Stead.

1. Maliswe
This is one of a number of songs we sing which have links with the South African anti-apartheid movement. The words are drawn from a variety of South African languages and express a longing for home.

2. Lives in the Balance
Jackson Browne, who founded a musicians' movement against US militarism in Central America, wrote this song in response to interventions in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Grenada in the 1980s. For us, its meaning has grown to encompass events in the Gulf and elsewhere in the 1990s. This arrangement is by Mike Reid of our choir.

3. Daughters and Sons
Tommy Sands who comes from a celebrated family of musicians from County Down in Northern Ireland, has now launched a solo career as a singer-songwriter. Recently he has been active in support of the Good Friday Agreement. This song is from his 1985 album,'Singing of the Times.' The arrangement we sing is by Tony Wilde, a former member of our choir.

4. Mzi Wase Afrika
Written by the late B B Myataza, who wrote many choral pieces for the choirs of the South African townships, this song looks forward to a new non-racial South Africa integrating itself into the African continent. We learned this song from a recording by the Langa Adult Choir of the Langa township in Cape Town, sent to us in 1994.
An MP3 recording is available

5. Everything Possible
Written by Canadian singer-songwriter Fred Small, we sing an arrangement by Madge Woollard from our choir. This lullaby was written for the son of a lesbian friend to challenge stereotypes and to encourage him to be true to himself.

6. Helele
The first part of this song is in Tetun and celebrates the courageous struggle of the East Timorese against the brutal Indonesian occupation. The second was written in solidarity by Stephen Taberner, who taught us the song while on a visit from Australia. A member of our choir has recently returned from working with the United Nations' mission, monitoring the historic vote in which 80% of the East Timorese population resisted horrendous intimidation to vote for their political freedom. This makes the song all the more powerful for us.
An MP3 recording is available

7. The World Turned Upside Down
Composed by Leon Rosselson and popularised by Billy Bragg, who heard it performed at a national CND Conference in Sheffield City Hall in the early 1980s. The song tells the story of the Diggers, a land rights movement of the English Revolution. Our version is based on an arrangement by former choir member, Jane Edwardson.

8. Narini
We learned this song from Batanai, an Aids support group in Masvingo, Zimbabwe and sang it to welcome them to a conference in Sheffield in 1997. The song, sung in Shona, calls on people to work together to end the stigma against those with Aids.

9. How Long Watchman?
Through discordant themes and disturbing imagery, this song describes the chaos and terror of nuclear destruction. Written by Malcolm Dalglish, it borrows from two South Carolina hymns: a southern harmony spiritual depicting Armageddon and an African American gospel song traditionally sung to welcome the New Year. Each hymn is based on the Book of Revelations.

10. Change for the Better
Helen Malone's lyrics, put to music by Jon Farley, were written in the closing months of John Major's Government and set out an agenda for political and social change.

11. Sitholele
From South Africa, Sitholele means `We've got freedom'. It was sung at the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as President, after the country's first ever democratic elections in 1994.

12. Motorway Song
This Leon Rosselson song, arranged by Vicki England and adapted by Nigel Wright was first performed in 1972 when the UK government was undertaking an extensive motorway building programme. The 1990's have seen a massive upsurge in popular and imaginative protests against road building.

13. Don't Fence Me In
Women of the choir enjoy singing `Don't fence me in.' This arrangement of the well-known Cole Porter song is by Jane Edwardson.

14. Hymn of the Big Wheel
This comes from Massive Attack's Blue Lines album and is arranged by Mike Reid. In the song, a father talks to his son, troubled by the threatened destruction of the earth and by social inequality. He sees in the aily turning of the world a symbol of movement and change. The father's hope for a new world for his child confronts his feelings of helplessness at the enormity of the environmental and social wrongs which are demanding to be addressed.

15. Yo Te Nombro, Libertad / I Cry Out For Liberty
The detention in the UK of General Pinochet has given us an updated context for our performances of this song, which was originally sung at the beginning of meetings of the Chilean anti-torture movement in the 1970s and 1980s. In their long campaign for justice, the `Families of the Disappeared' have sung this to keep their loved ones alive in the hearts of the people: "For everyone in our country, now I call you by your true name..."

16. Unison in Harmony
The Nottingham Clarion Choir performed this song to mark the opening of the East Midlands branch of Unison, the public sector workers' trade union. It was written by South Yorkshire-based trio: Coope, Boyes and Simpson and first sung publicly by our choir at the National Street Music Festival in Leicester.

17. Auf den Strassen zu Singen
This song captures the atmosphere of the workers' movement in the Weimar Republic in Germany in the 20's and conveys a sense of optimism in the face of the terrifying growth of fascism. The music was composed by Hans Eisler and the lyrics are by Robert Gilbert. ‘Singing in the Streets’ has presented us with our greatest musical challenge so far!

Sing for a Change!
(back to top)

Recorded live at our 20th anniversary concert at the Octagon Centre, Sheffield University on 18th May 2008, featuring seven newly commissioned songs and some ‘golden oldies’. Many of the songwriters are interviewed by compère Rony Robinson before each one. Live recording engineer: Keith Angel. For more information, see ‘Sing for a Change!’

1. The Internationale
Rise up, all victims of oppression! A new, up-beat version, with words by the British singer/songwriter Billy Bragg, set to a tune after Degeyter and arranged by David Bedford and John Abraham in 1991. Copyright: Billy Bragg

2. We Are All Under the Stars
by Ali Burns
Ali says: “I have a fascination with spoken and sung text together and I wanted to create a piece of music that could be versatile. The message is ‘We are the same the world over and we HAVE to share this planet’, but, by changing the spoken text, that message can reflect different political contexts.”
The text read out here is from The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

3. Bongola
by Anita Mahdia Daulne
Mahdia says: “Change comes first from oneself. And, as the centre of our thoughts, our words and our actions is our heart, we have to begin by changing our own heart. Then, gradually, our thoughts, our words and our steps will take on the most beautiful colours of life. And will reflect themselves on others.”
In the Kingwana/Lingala languages of the Congo

4. How I Long for Peace
by Peggy Seeger
Peggy says: “Before a concert in Philadelphia in 2001, while humming ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’, I got the idea for this chorus. I asked the audience to make up verses - an old man handed up Verse 2. I sang it for years like that, then made my own tune and four new verses.”

5. La Plegària a un Labrador
by Victor Jara
(The workers’ prayer) Victor Jara’s plea to Chile’s farm labourers to join with urban workers in taking their tools and lives into their own hands. Jara was a leader in the People’s Song Movement, and was murdered by the military junta which overthrew the Allende government. Arranged by John Abraham of Cor Cochion. Copyright: Essex Music Group.

6. Senzenina
“What have we done? Our crime is being Black”. Sung in the Xhosa language, this is a lament against the Pass Laws in South Africa, under which Black people were forced to carry identity papers at all times. Traditional South Africa

7. Somewhere on Sea
by Theo Simon
Theo says: “This song is an apology to people of the future who are living ‘Somewhere-on-Sea’. The choir presents us with many different voices of denial, excuse and positive spin raised when we contemplate climate change. Finally, they empower themselves to resolve the crisis together, as I hope we shall.”

8. Sleep
by Chumbawamba
Chumba says: “Old age and illness has fused with polite British gentility to see Margaret Thatcher as a harmless old relic. We wrote a song which scorns this idea, which can be beautifully sung, soft and harmonically clear, and yet is scathing in its condemnation of a woman who blighted so many people’s lives. And yes, a song which quietly celebrates the fact that our demons, thankfully, sometimes sleep the soundest of sleeps.”

9. Crossing the Border
by Pete Moser (music) and Lemn Sissay (words)
Pete says: “When I was first thinking of our project ‘The Long Walk’, a response to the Morecambe Bay tragedy of 2004, I saw a quote in Nelson Mandela’s autobiography: ‘After crossing the border I breathed deeply. The air of one’s home always smells sweet after one has been away.’ Lemn took this and other ideas to develop the lyric, which touches on many elements of the emotions and politics of journey and return.”

10. The Power of Song
by Leon Rosselson
Leon says: “For those at the bottom, with nothing much else but their voices (and, it might appear, nothing much to sing about), song has always been important in creating solidarity and empowering them in their struggle for a better life. That’s what my song is about.”