Much as I adore the melodies, I choose a song for what it has to sayJulie Andrews
Well, I agree Julie… and sometimes two songs beautifully smooshed together by musical wonder (and my dear pal) Nick Barstow and sung by two righteous babes with pure gold pipes (Sophie Evans and Alice Fearn) says everything we need to know about love pretty darn wonderfully.
This Valentine’s Day, Alice Fearn and Sophie Evans (Elphaba and Glinda in the hit West End musical Wicked) are releasing a mashup cover of Cyndi Lauper’s classic Time After Time melded with Scott Alan’s Always, in aid of the Samaritans. The single will be available via www.nickbarstow.com on iTunes and Amazon music.
I’ve never been a fan of Valentine’s day. The barrage of pink hearts and red roses just for one day seems a bit fake and can certainly make you feel like you are lacking if you aren’t in a romantic relationship. Suicide rates increase around Valentine’s day, and mental health charity Mind note that ‘for many people, days which are supposed to celebrate love and togetherness can only highlight how different, alone, or low we feel’. Samaritans provide a free 24/7 helpline for anyone who is feeling low and needs to talk (Call 116 123). Every six seconds, somebody contacts the Samaritans, and the number of calls is increasing every year.
So, I for one, think it’s fantastic that all proceeds from Time After Time/Always will go straight to Samaritans. Nick arranged the track for a friend’s wedding and had performed it with Alice at her Live at Zedel cabaret in 2017. (Side note: I must be responsible for about 100 the views of the live video of this on YouTube…on first listen it was added to my play-list of “songs to listen to when I need a heart-affirming cry”). Nick thought it fitting that the release of this brand-new studio recording celebrated and supported the sentiment of the songs’ lyrics: “love and care is about so much more than romantic love – we can show love in so many different ways. If Valentine’s day is all about love, how better to show it than by reaching out to people who are feeling its absence”.
Listening to the single got me thinking about love (and crying full-on heart affirming tears while making tomato soup). Love is the thing that’s always there. Time after time. But it’s fickle. It’s mysterious. It hides. We lose it. Then it shows up somewhere else.
Julie Andrews once said: “All love shifts and changes: I don’t know if you can be wholeheartedly in love all the time”. I think the key is not to put all your love into one person or thing.
The first film I ever watched with my husband was About a Boy. The day after our first kiss. His 20th birthday. A few weeks into our first year at University. We’d both seen the film before (which was probably a good thing – there was more kissing than watching!) and laughed about people comparing him to Hugh Grant (He’s definitely more Notting Hill Hugh: he says “oopsie daisies” a lot). I was already, quite unexpectedly, falling for him. 12 years on and, my goodness, I love him. The love has shifted and changed. We don’t take each other for granted. We have picked up and pieced back together when one or both of us has been broken. We watched About a Boy again for the first time in years just before Christmas and I had a little cry at how deep and painful and heart-warming and true it is… (oh and before you ask, yes! There was less snogging and more watching). The film opens with Will (Hugh Grant) watching Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (remember that classic?!) and Chris Tarrant asks:
Who wrote the phrase “No man is an island”? John Donne? John Milton? John F. Kennedy? Jon Bon Jovi?
To which Will replies:
Jon Bon Jovi. Too easy. And, if I may say so, a complete load of bollocks. In my opinion, all men are islands. And what’s more, now’s the time to be one. This is an island age.
Oh, Just you wait, my dear Hughie, just you wait! Later, Marcus (the son of single mother Fiona who befriends the serially non-committal Will) says:
“Suddenly I realised – two people isn’t enough. You need back up. If you’re only two people and someone drops off the edge, then you’re on your own. Two isn’t a large enough number. You need three at least.”
And at the film’s (thankfully happy) ending Marcus says:
“I don’t think couples are the future. You need more than that. You need backup. The way I saw it, Will and I both had backup now. It’s like that thing he told me Jon Bon Jovi said: “No man is an island.”
Profound, Nick Hornby, PROFOUND. And, do you know what, despite being happily ‘coupled-up’, I agree. I totally agree.
You do need more than that. You need more than one love in your life. More than one kind of love. You need to love widely. But, most of all, you need to love yourself. That is the hardest work. It takes some digging. If you’re lost, look for the people, places and things that make you feel loved without repercussions. It might take some time to find but, I promise, love is always there.
Time After Time / Always will be available for download on iTunes and Amazon Music on February 14th. Go to www.nickbarstow.com for direct links to downloads. A music video will also be released on YouTube worldwide at midnight on February 13th GMT.
Alice Fearn and Sophie Evans are currently starring as Elphaba and Glinda in WICKED THE MUSICAL in London’s West End. Cyndi Lauper is a singer-songwriting legend whose greatest hits include Time After Time, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, and True Colours. Scott Alan is an internationally acclaimed songwriter who has worked with many of the brightest stars of TV and theatre including the Pentatonix, Frances Rufelle and Lea Salonga. Nick Barstow is a composer, arranger and musical director working on and off London’s West End with some of the country’s most acclaimed musical stars. The song was recorded and mixed by Ben Robbins at Umbrella Studios, The Umbrella Rooms, Shaftesbury Avenue and was filmed by Jake Waby of Jake Waby Productions.
If you need support, call Samaritans free from any phone at any time on 116 123.