An album of songs by award-winning songwriters – including Nick Heyward, Graham Gouldman, Beth Nielsen Chapman and Mark Nevin that celebrate frontline nurses has been released. Curated by Squeeze co-founder Chris Difford, the Song Club album is inspired by photographs taken by Hannah Grace Deller, a nurse on the front line.
In addition to being a paediatric matron Hannah is a talented photographer who, throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, has been documenting her and her colleagues’ experiences. When Hannah’s photographic work was featured on the Channel 4 programme Grayson’s Art Club, it grabbed the attention of the Squeeze co-founder and Grammy nominated and double Ivor Novello Award winning lyricist.
“I first saw Hannah’s photography on Grayson Perry’s Channel Four program ‘Art Club’. Lockdown provided some great TV moments and this was one of them. Inspired by her work I asked all of my co-writing chums to use her photographs as inspiration for songwriting. Together we have created a body of work to raise funds for the frontline workers, it has been so inspiring to hear the results” says Difford.
“Songwriters have been in lockdown like everyone else and collectively we have dark stages and an unsure future regarding live performances, so this has been something to focus on by way of embracing the amazing work of the NHS and frontline workers. My aim is to document this strange time we are living in and I hope bring inspiring songs to the ears of many.”
Difford’s co-writing chums are a host of world-class, award-winning songwriters – including Nick Heyward, Graham Gouldman, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Mark Nevin, Julia Fordham, Robert Vincent, Judie Tzuke, Kimmie Rhodes, Judith Owen and Kathryn Williams – who have used their time in lockdown to document a poignant moment in time.
The album includes single Working on the Frontline performed by the BAFTA nominated actor and singer Jessie Buckley and her band ‘Jessie and The Leonards,’ written by Kate St John and Neill MacColl and featuring Hannah, the song is a powerful representation of life on the NHS frontline.
The album also features single For Us, performed by Judie Tzuke. Remotely co-written by Judie Tzuke and Gregor Philp, For Us is the second single released from ‘Chris Difford’s Song Club’. Written with songwriter and Deacon Blue Guitarist Gregor Philp, with whom Judie had wanted to work for a while, the track came together via Zoom sessions and over email in what Judie described as, “a greatly received opportunity.”
Hannah Grace Deller, matron paediatrics, Imperial College NHS Trust says of the release, “I hope that the voices of all the unsung heroes, their efforts and sacrifices are heard in this music. For me this record is a thank you to all my colleagues on the frontline, from the porters & domestics, to the doctors and nurses, I’ll never forget how we all stood side-by-side on the frontline fighting this illness together.”
Deepa Korea, RCN Foundation Director, RCN Foundation says “We are incredibly grateful to Chris, Hannah and everyone involved in the Song Club album project – donations to the RCN Foundation COVID-19 Support Fund will make a huge difference to the many frontline nurses, midwives and health care support workers who are continuing to make an invaluable contribution at the very forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic. Support from the project will not only help those individuals who may be experiencing personal hardship as a result of COVID-19, but will also help to address some of the psychological implications associated with working on the frontline at this difficult time.”