Tuesday Tunes 5: Kindness, Caring, Support

One of the biggest news stories here in the UK this past week – apart from the government’s continued dissembling over what is and isn’t happening in their Covid-19 response (usually the latter) – has been the one about Captain Tom Moore. Captain Tom is a WW2 veteran who turns 100 on 30 April, and had set himself the challenge of doing 100 laps of his garden to raise £1,000 for NHS Charities, as a way of thanking the service for the care it had provided him – particularly after he broke his hip. The story was picked up by tv and the press and resulted in an incredible outpouring of love and donations for this wonderful man. The last time I looked the total donated was over £27m! Tom was also invited to perform a duet – via the means of technology – with Michael Ball, the stage actor and singer. The song reached no.1 within two days of being released, raising yet more cash for charity.

Of course, this is a remarkable story, but it got me thinking about how many other acts of kindness and charity were being performed in these pandemic days. Very few even reach the headlines at all, let alone to the degree that Tom has achieved, but I believe they are all worthy of celebration in their own right. So, for that reason, my theme this week for my two Tuesday Tunes is: kindness, caring and support.

Both of the tunes are by English artists, one of whom has toured internationally, although I don’t think the other has. I make no apologies for sharing songs by people of whom you may not have heard: that for me is one of the joys of music, finding new things to enjoy. The first is from the better known of the two acts: Frank Turner is a singer/songwriter with a very loyal following, who has been making great albums for nearly 15 years. This song is the title track from his 2018 album Be More Kind. It is one of his gentler songs, and I think we should all heed its message, both now and when ‘normal’ returns:

The song was written as a response to world developments in 2016/7, notably the election of Trump and the UK Brexit vote, but it had a much wider relevance than just those two countries. Two years on, with the pandemic affecting so many countries, the message is even more strong and pertinent. I think it is a beautiful song.

My second song for this week is by an English folk/rock band who also, like Frank, have a loyal following but unlike him are probably little known beyond our shores. In their current guise, Merry Hell have been around for about 10 years, though they derive from an earlier band: The Tansads. Both bands have a strong social conscience that underlines their songs, which are also typified by some insanely catchy choruses. They have recently released a new video, made during lockdown, in support of our NHS, called Beyond The Call. As it is new I thought about sharing it in this post but, as our NHS is very much a UK national treasure, I chose instead to go with this one from 2016, as I think its message is of much wider relevance. The song is unashamedly political, but much of the response from governments to the pandemic has been political, hasn’t it? I don’t think I’m stretching it too far by saying that ‘We Need Each Other Now‘ is a message that needs to transcend politics:

I have always believed that human beings are innately kind and considerate, and this (perhaps naïve) faith is reinforced every day by what I see and hear in the news and on social media, particularly in the local context. I am unable to get out much, apart from hospital and clinic visits, so I rely on delivery services for groceries. Should these fail, however, I have a neighbour who has volunteered help if I need it, there are several local voluntary organisations providing support for people in my situation, and my daughters (who both live 20 miles away) have also offered to shop for me. That is what I have in mind when I talk about kindness, caring and support. I hope I’m not being too optimistic in thinking that the spirit that we see in current circumstances will survive longer than the virus.

I thought I’d finish today with a little bonus. I have always intended these posts to be brief, with just two songs each week, but I feel that an extra one is called for this week: I can’t imagine how Michael Ball would ever feature in one of my posts otherwise. Here is the video for that chart topper I mentioned earlier, featuring Captain Tom Moore, Michael Ball and the NHS Voices Of Care Choir:

Not a dry eye in the house!

Take care, of yourself and others. Be safe, stay well. See you next Tuesday.

17 thoughts on “Tuesday Tunes 5: Kindness, Caring, Support

  1. Prior... April 27, 2020 / 4:45 am

    love the theme, Clive.
    the fundraising story is inspiring – and I agree that there are so many little acts of kindness happening and let’s keep them going.
    enjoying the Turner song right now – so smooth

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive April 27, 2020 / 8:02 am

      Thanks, Yvette. It seemed right, somehow. I’m glad you like that song: it’s a bit of a departure from his usual raucous style!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. robertawrites235681907 April 24, 2020 / 4:42 pm

    I had read a bit about this amazing old guy, Clive. He certainly is doing a great job of raising funds for the NHS and I am sure the money is welcomed right now. Thanks for the music and have a lovely weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive April 24, 2020 / 5:02 pm

      Thanks, Robbie. He has become a national hero, and we need those right now! You have a lovely weekend too 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    • Clive April 24, 2020 / 3:39 pm

      I think he’s done more to raise the country’s spirits than the government ever could or would.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Mrs ESTJ April 21, 2020 / 8:05 pm

    Well chosen songs and nice that they are outside of the mainstream. I too hope that people have innate kindness. I’m not sure I could say that for sure of everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive April 21, 2020 / 9:20 pm

      Thank you – my musical tastes often veer off the beaten path! I share your doubt – there are some who appear devoid of any of the better character traits.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. petespringerauthor April 21, 2020 / 4:58 pm

    Great stuff, Clive! The beauty of music is it crosses political and cultural differences in a way that few other things can. These three are all brand new to me, and no, you shouldn’t be apologetic for that. How would we find great music otherwise? I especially like the Frank Turner song, and I shared it with a Facebook group that I belong to called Kindness Matters. Thanks for making my day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive April 21, 2020 / 5:21 pm

      Thanks, Pete. Glad you enjoyed them, and the Frank Turner one deserves to be shared widely – thank you!

      Like

  5. Darlene April 21, 2020 / 1:18 pm

    All great tunes, I particularly enjoyed the Frank Turner one. So very apt! Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive April 21, 2020 / 1:39 pm

      Thanks, Darlene, I’m glad you enjoyed them 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Jim Borden April 21, 2020 / 12:40 pm

    what a wonderful post; Clive. I just spent the past 10 minutes listening to all three songs. Each one is a powerful song, but I really like the sound of Merry Hell (it almost sounds like a bagpipe playing in the background), and I love the accent of the main singer. I like when artists are willing to share their political beliefs, whether I agree with them or not. And I had not heard of Michael Ball either – but what a powerful voice he has.

    Thanks for introducing me to these new artists – I will be busy today checking out some of their other work! Have a great day…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive April 21, 2020 / 1:59 pm

      Thanks, Jim. Michael Ball is a stalwart of West End stage, regularly on tv too. Not really my taste but I thought I’d make an exception in current circumstances.

      As far as I know none of Merry Hell plays the pipes, so I think that may have been their fiddler. They come from Wigan, in NW England, and that’s the local accent. I think it adds to the charm of their music. You have a great day too, and enjoy your discoveries 😊

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jim Borden April 21, 2020 / 2:42 pm

        thanks for the background on Michael and Merry Hell!

        Liked by 1 person

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