Over a year ago two of our young men came up with the idea of writing a Hope House Song. They were in a music therapy session at Hope House, talking about what the charity meant to them. They were keen to challenge some people’s perception of a children’s hospice as a place of calm, quiet and sadness. They really wanted to let people know what their stays at the hospice meant to them; full of friendship and laughter. One of these young men, now in his twenties, began recalling some hilarious memories of his stays over many years and between us an idea emerged of putting some collective memories together and creating a Hope House Song.
The next step was to get the Young Adults Group on board. Over tea one YAG weekend, music therapist, Catherine Sweeney, explored ideas and memories to collate into song lyrics. There was a lot of laughter as the group reminisced about fun times they has shared at Hope House. Then came the hard bit - we had to decide on the style of music for our song. After much lively debate on the merits of various music styles, many of which the staff had never heard of – (West Coast Grunge versus Grime anyone?!) we were beginning to despair of ever getting them to agree, when one of the lads rescued the situation by mentioning that he’d always loved the Madness song ‘Our House’. Luckily, everyone agreed and the basis of our song began.
After that, we recruited Andrew Bonsall and our very own Dave Riffel as the other band members, and we got the talented and long-suffering Joey Edwards (film-maker) and Steve Nichells (sound engineer) to join us. The first morning’s recording on a YAG weekend was something of a slow-starter, as the lads had been up playing Xbox until the wee small hours, and most of them seemed unable to speak, let alone sing. After a reviving Hope House brunch they finally started getting into it, and after many takes, much laughter and a lot of food, over the course of two days we finally managed to record the song and video.
Then Joey and Steve were let loose to do their magic, and we are now proud and delighted to present the official Hope House 21st Birthday Song by the Young Adult Group.
This project was such a lot of fun to do, but it would never have got off the ground without a lot of people putting a lot of effort into it:
Thanks to the band members – Dave, Andrew and Catherine for the endless takes that were needed to get the backing track down (whilst everyone else was having breakfast!)
Thanks to Joey Edwards for his patience and good humour in trying to get everyone in the right place at the right time to get the filming done.
Thanks to Steve Nichells for making us sound so good!
Thanks to Dave, Ann, Matt and Suzie who agreed to make fools of themselves on film.
Thanks to Catherine for seeing it through and helping to turn a good idea into this fantastic result.