The London Hospices Choir and Paul Carrack | The Living Years

released Christmas 2016

Better than the original.

B A Robertson

Multiple Grammy nominee, PRS, and BMI award winner

The Living Years has been an important song for me for many years, but this is the version that means the most. Recording it with this incredibly special group of people for such a worthwhile cause has created some kind of magic. It’s a powerful and inspiring track.

Paul Carrack

Creative driving force for music and marketing

James Hawkins Music brought together a specially created choir of 300 patients, families, staff and volunteers of all ages from 18 hospices across London. They recorded a new version of The Living Years with Paul Carrack, the song’s original singer. The song was released at Christmas 2016 to raise awareness and vital funds for the hospices, and stayed at the top of the Official Physical Sales Chart for two weeks.

BA Robertson, the writer of The Living Years, highly commended the new version saying that the vocal was “better than the original”.

Film maker Rav Vagdama has created this short film about the making of the song:

Celebrating the London Hospices

Alongside the creation of the choir and producing the single, James Hawkins Music gave the London Hospices a wonderful experience for their awesome staff, volunteers and friends. All the participants were recorded at Abbey Road Studios and many participated in the video filming at the Royal Trinity Hospice grounds.

The legacy of the project

The Royal Trinity Hospice, the first hospice backing the project, were able to make the project part of their 150 anniversary celebrations, and subsequently many of the hospices retuned to take part in a UK Hospices choir for our Choirs With Purpose album in 2017. We ran social media groups for the choir members to build a community space for singers from the different hospices. This generated phenomenal support and tipped us into position #1 for a few days ahead of the Christmas charts no. 1 spot (thought not enought to beat Clean Bandit in the end!)

We’d love to hear from you

If you like what we did with the London Hospices and Paul Carrack, or if you’re interested in utilising music for your cause, please get in touch. And you’re welcome to post your comments below too!