Campaigning Hampstead choir of 80-year-olds launch YouTube video of protest song

Still from the Bolder music video

Still from the Bolder music video - Credit: Archant

It has become the favoured medium used by fresh-faced musicians of the internet generation to promote their tunes.

But now a choir of octogenarians from Hampstead is hoping to harness the power of YouTube – by shooting a music video for an anti-cuts protest song and posting it to the video sharing website.

Bolder, a “campaigning choir” with an average age of 80 based at Age UK Camden’s Henderson Resource Centre in Fitzjohn’s Avenue, sing about their anger at cuts to older people’s day centres in new song Ain’t Gonna...

They hope the video can help them take the message to a wider audience – and it strikes a defiant tone featuring the singers marching along Whitehall.

They sing “stand up and speak our minds” before telling the government that it “ain’t gonna close our centres down”, to a melody borrowed from gospel song Down by the Riverside.

Choir member Ian Hamlyn, 80, of Fitzjohns Avenue, said: “It was a very worthwhile thing to be involved in. We feel this centre and others like it are in danger of closing and we’re going to do all we can to save them. Lots of people rely on centres like this. The people we met near Downing Street were very sympathetic so I hope the government will listen.”

The clip, less than four minutes long, has already garnered over 1,000 views. Harriet Chapman, wrote: “This? is a powerful and entertaining message which should resonate with people of all ages. Good work and keep at it!” Jackie Richards posted: “Your message is so well expressed... Carry on campaigning, filming and singing!”

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The video was launched with a live performance from the Bolder singers at the Age UK Camden headquarters in Tavistock Square, Bloomsbury, last week.

Gary Jones, Age UK Camden’s chief executive, said: “The video is fun and creative, but there’s a harder-edged message too.

“In many local authority areas, day care is out of fashion, and councils have to deal with government cuts. Many councils also believe that baby-boomers want different services and centre-based care also brings fixed costs.

“Some centres are being directly decommissioned and others put under market pressure. However, many in this generation of older people still want great quality day care and fun with friends.

“We deliver that through two day resource centres and need donations to keep vital services going.”