Award-winning Swiss Cottage singer writes Christmas song for Shelter

A legendary local crooner has created a Christmas charity song to battle homelessness this holiday season.

Award-winning singer Robert Habermann, who lives in Eton Avenue in Swiss Cottage, was inspired to write the charity single after seeing an advertisement for national homeless charity, Shelter, on the Underground.

The music business veteran was touched by the rising number of people begging on the Tube who are homeless in these tough economic times.

“These are genuinely decent people who have just had terrible bad luck,” said the long time performer. “I just thought I must do something.”

A tune popped into the singer’s head and he was able to write the song titled May You Have A Merry Christmas in just 30 minutes.

“I brought in the North West London Capella choir and we were able to get it done in one day,” said Mr Habermann. “It’s a sweet, simple song.”

He then contacted Shelter and asked if they wanted to hear what he had written and a partnership was born.

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The song costs 79p and a large portion of every download goes to Shelter, but the single has not proved easy to promote.

“I have emailed the song to so many radio stations,” said Mr Habermann, who has performed with Kay Starr, Margaret Whiting, Steve Ross, Rosemary Squires, Marlene Verplanck and the late Loonis McGlohon.

“I phoned up BBC Radio and Capital. I’ve sent it to about 30 different people. I think they forget about it, or they just don’t care.”

The lack of response has left him disillusioned as he is keen to support the charity but fears the song will not generate much money.

“This is not for me, this is a genuine thing for people,” he said. “It’s going to be a very austere Christmas anyway. At least someone can donate something towards Shelter.”

During his career, the singer has received a prestigious award from the Manhattan Association of Cabaret and toured in the USA, as well as performing at London’s leading venues including the Purcell Room, Royal Albert Hall and London Palladium.

May You Have A Merry Christmas is available on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon.