Songs for Young People

A Christmas Round

A flexible, hypnotic round that may be performed in any number of parts, from 2 to 16! Agree how many repetitions before starting.

It is an idea to add some percussion to maintain the pulse.
Listen to this live performance of ‘A Christmas Round’ by fifty 10-13 year olds

The Merry Wife of Windsor

This is the fourth movement of ‘She Walks in Beauty’ (see ‘Scores/Recordings’ page). Initially, I set the words of ‘The Emperor’s Rhyme’ by A.A.Milne, but then found that they were under copyright. So, Martin Dimery, a wonderful wordsmith, came to the rescue and provided these humorous lyrics that have been used for both the Golden Jubilee (2002) and Platinum Jubilee (2022) of Queen Elizabeth II. As well as memorising, children seem to be able to deal effortlessly with time signature changes; they also respond to the storyline and ‘catchyness’ of the music.

Listen to a live performance of ‘The Merry Wife of Windsor’ accompanied by full orchestra

Mum, You’re Number One!

It was in 2011 that Choirmaster Gareth Malone started his Military Wives Choir.  He had the idea of gathering together all the love letters that had sustained the worried wives and girlfriends of men at war, thousands of miles away in Afghanistan. It resulted in the song ‘Wherever You Are’, and after composer Paul Mealor added his music, it became the Christmas No 1.

I adopted a similar principle and asked the children of Southville Primary School in Bedminster, Bristol to write some words about their Mum. The words were assembled like a jigsaw, and I added the music in time for Mother’s Day 2012. It was orchestrated for South Bristol Music Centre Community Orchestra. I love the line: “Even though everyone says that about their Mum” that is sung like an ‘aside’.

Listen to all these children from five primary schools coming together to sing about their Mums!