So, you might have heard a song called Cannonball, a cover of Damian Rice’s song by Little Mix, the winners of this year’s X Factor.
In any other year, it might automatically get to number one. After all, winning the X Factor almost entitles you to having a number one single.
Almost, because this year there’s a viable alternative to the X Factor – the Military Wives Choir.
If you listen to Radio 2 in the mornings you can’t have missed the fact that Chris Evans is pushing for this song to get to number one, and I can’t help but be behind him.
Working with the very talented Gareth Malone, the choir put together the gorgeous Wherever You Are, a song full of some of the most important emotions we as humans can feel – love, fear, longing.
Three bars of Wherever You Are contain more feeling than three minutes of any song by any X Factor winner ever (however talented they are).
I’ve met and spent time with many servicemen through the course of my work, and I’ve met their friends and family who are left behind each time they’re sent overseas. They are the bravest people I have ever encountered, regardless of whether their battlefield is a forward operating base or an empty house.
The hardest stories I’ve ever worked on are tributes to soldiers who have died in the line of duty. There is one in particular I will always remember, a bomb disposal expert, who died doing what he loved and wanted to do – protecting others. Every time I spoke to his family, all they felt was love and pride for him, and their strength at losing him in such difficult circumstances left me speechless.
Whatever you think of the current conflicts Britain is involved in, whatever your stance on war in general, the women who make up the Military Wives Choir face the very real possibility that their partners may get injured, or worse, while just doing their jobs. Usually, the families of servicemen away in conflict areas can do nothing but wait and hope and pray.
But the Military Wives Choir is a group of women who decided to show the world just how it feels to wait and hope and pray, and in doing so are doing more than those three things. Wherever You Are is not just a song, it’s a tribute, and one whose sales are going to raise money for some great charities which help servicemen and their families.
The women in this choir have produced something amazing in difficult circumstances. The hard work is being done by them and their partners – all the public has to do it is buy the track, and help get the song that really means something to number one on Christmas Day.
*Wherever You Are is released tomorrow.