In March I took a group of Windsor School Children to Windsor Castle to write a Platinum Jubilee Song. Having commissioned Emily Barden to compose the song, she asked to write it with young people. What better place than Windsor Castle, and what an amazing job Emily did. She has composed a wonderful Platinum Jubilee Song and this blog will tell you how you can get involved.
Emily guided the students through a process of generating ideas and themes. She helped them to experiment with melodies, lyrics and phrases, and it was amazing to watch. The chorus started to form and Emily left with so many authentic ideas from the students. The journey across the day was inspiring and exciting and we held a short webinar in early May to share the day and the song.
Please watch this short video to find out how & why this song was composed.
Apologies that there are no glamour title slides on the video, but I wanted to share it quickly so that you can start learning the song. Thanks to Music Teachers Association for hosting the webinar.
The Long Walk
If you have been to Windsor you will know the Long Walk. It runs from Windsor Castle, into the Great Park, culminating at The Copper Horse. It is iconic and wonderful and I have spent many hours running and walking on The Long Walk. And so that quickly became the title of the song – The Long Walk. As you can hear in the video above, the song is very much about Windsor, but from the perspective of the young people who live there. But the lyrics are hopefully true for most people in this nation!
The metaphor of The Long Walk was something Emily grabbed early on in the process, and it works so well. It has been a long walk for the Queen has she has journeyed through 70 years on the throne. But The Long Walk is also such a central part of Windsor and it will be the place where the Platinum Jubilee is celebrated by Windsor locals in June.
The song was created by the young people, but Emily then took the ideas away to put together the verses and make the song work. She has done an amazing job and when I first heard it I was so excited. My immediate thought was that I wanted to share it and so that is what we have done. Emily was more than happy for me to do this and I am indebted to her and the Windsor Platinum Jubilee Management Committee for paying for the song and for allowing me to share it.
My hope is that the story of this song might inspire you to write one for your town. But I also hope that you just enjoy singing it. I want to know that young people up and down the country have something they can sing to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee. My belief is that all teachers can teach this song and enjoy it, so I hope that if you aren’t a music teacher you enjoy using this song – it really is easy to pick up and great fun to sing. It is catchy, with great lyrics and it works for all ages – Year 1 to Year 13.
Platinum Jubilee Song
Here are the files you will need to teach this song in your school. Please can I ask that they aren’t posted on Facebook/Twitter. I would love people who use them, but I want them to know a little about the process and why the song was commissioned. So if you want to point others to this blog post, please do! It is important to me that the process is shared and the reason for writing.
Now is the time to Jubilate – and don’t worry that is a word. After the past couple of years we all need something to celebrate, and this song will help. I am looking forward to using this song in the lead up to the Jubilee and beyond, and I hope you get to sing it with your children. You might like to organise a short concert, or tag it on to one you already have planned. It is a fun song to sing and will work well for any event. The regal, fanfare opening soon becomes a party – JUBILATE, CELEBRATE!
You now have a wonderful song to use in your schools. All I ask in return is that you tell us all about how much you have enjoyed the song! Please to give all the credit to the students in Windsor & Emily Barden! We are sharing it for free with schools across the country and we just want to know you have enjoyed it!
I would love to see you tagging & following us on Twitter. Please do share your stories and send any photos or videos – although I appreciate the safeguarding rules may prohibit this. This song is something I want you to enjoy and I can’t wait to hear about it. Please give twitter credit to Emily Barden and she will love to hear how you are getting on! You can contact me through Twitter & Facebook.
I want to thank Music Teachers Association for sponsoring the zoom sessions. If you are a music teacher and you want to join an organisation that believes in supporting all music teachers, then please consider joining MTA!
Thanks also to the Windsor Platinum Jubilee Management Committee for funding the song and allowing me to share it!
And thanks to Emily Barden for writing such a wonderful song. She is a wonderful educator & song-writer and I feel lucky to have worked with her on this project.
James Manwaring – firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATE – Here is a recording of the Big Platinum Jubilee Singing Assembly that took place on Friday 6th May! We had 1000s of students joining us. If you missed it then you can watch it here:
Lyric Videos Update
A big thanks to Louise for putting these lyric videos together on YouTube. They are really going to help students to learn the song!