VIDEO: Marie Curie Hampstead hospice singers could be Christmas number one

The team from the Marie Curie Hampstead Hospice in rehearsals, with manager Jackie Laidlaw, middle r

The team from the Marie Curie Hampstead Hospice in rehearsals, with manager Jackie Laidlaw, middle right - Credit: Archant

The enthusiastic team of amateur singers will make their debut in the charts with a cover of a Grammy award-winning classic melody

Volunteers and staff from Marie Curie Hampstead hospice, a Ham&High charity partner, joined singers from 18 other hospices, including Noah’s Ark and North London Hospice.

The London Hospices Choir are hoping their cover of 1991 hit “The Living Years” will race up the charts in the run up to Christmas Day.

Marie Curie Hampstead hospice manager, Jackie Laidlaw, who discovered she is a lower alto in rehearsals, “loved” the experience of recording the track.

She was excited, rather than nervous although there was some practising at home in the mirror.

The 12 singers from the Hampstead hospice joined the 300-strong London Hospices Choir to record the single at the famous Abbey Road studios.

They were led by Paul Carrack, lead vocalist on the original 1991 “The Living Years” hit.

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Mr Carrack said: “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, and I hope that everyone gets behind it this Christmas.”

Describing why she wanted to sing on the track, Hampstead manager Mrs Laidlaw said: “The key thing is to raise awareness of hospices and what we do.

“Hospices are not scary places, and they’re supportive of families as well as patients.”

Some of the patients at the hospice receive end of life care, whereas others visit during their illness for respite, rehabilitation or to manage their symptoms.

There is round-the-clock care for patients at Christmas and over New Year, with a Christmas meal and activities for everyone who want to join.

In some cases, nurses even bring private dining carts into rooms for patients and their families, and support patients who are well enough to go home for Christmas Day.

All profits from the sale of the single will be divided between the 18 hospices involved, helping them to support those reaching the end of their lives, and their families.

– “The Living Years” by The London Hospices Choir and Paul Carrack is being released on December 16. The track is available to pre-order now on iTunes and Amazon.