12:09PM, Thursday 23 April 2020
‘Thank you for your service’ is the message from a choir who have changed the lyrics to an ABBA classic in tribute to the workers keeping the country ticking over.
‘Heroes to Me’ is a reworked version of ‘Thank you for the Music’ and is sung by 35 singers.
They include piano and singing teacher, Sophie Jugé, her students and members of her female singing group, The Songbirds.
The idea to thank all the key workers for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic by re-writing the lyrics to a famous song was that of choir member Samantha Hobbs.
Samantha, who lives in Marlow, said it was the clap for the NHS on Thursday evenings which prompted her to think about ‘all the people you never think of’ who are also working through the pandemic.
Seeing these people as ‘unsung heroes’ gave Samantha the idea to create a song in recognition of these workers.
After sitting down with fellow choir member, Nikki Kenward, the pair settled on ABBA’s Thank you for the Music and began sharing lyric ideas.
They then passed a few drafts on to Sophie and musician, Lee Harris, who finalised the lyrics and were responsible for the song’s production.
The altered version of the song pays tribute to everyone from healthcare workers to prison staff, farmers to broadcasters.
Sophie said: “The focus has been on the NHS, who are obviously doing an amazing job, but it’s just there are so many other people who aren’t necessarily saving lives but they’re enabling us to carry on as normal.
“So we felt it was so important to get them in the song.”
As well as trying to squeeze in as many professions in as possible, there was also the challenge of making the song rhyme.
Sophie, who lives in Cookham, said: “It’s so hard getting lyrics like ‘refuse collectors’ and ‘food shops’ to rhyme with anything, they’re not that poetic.”
Sophie said she and Lee ‘sat endlessly taking the time to try to get everything to rhyme’ and says the song ‘actually ends up rhyming more than ABBA’s’.
“We thought it’s really important for this to rhyme more than normal so that it sounds like it was always meant to be this way,” Sophie said.
Once the song was complete Sophie set about getting as many people to hear it as possible by emailing NHS Trusts, the prison service and local councils around the country.
“Our job isn’t done until the key workers have actually heard it and have seen it, otherwise what’s the point, it wasn’t supposed to be about us,” said Sophie.
She said the response to the video ‘has been amazing’, with feedback including that of an NHS anaesthetist who after a 10-hour shift said the song ‘moved them to tears’.
“What better feedback than that they feel appreciated,” said Sophie.
Watch and listen to the song at www.heroesto.me/
A number of schools across in Maidenhead and the surrounding areas have been named as top performers in Parent Power, The Sunday Times Schools Guide 2022.