The story of A Little Bit Of Love
On my first Sunday at university back in 1982 I attended an evening service at St Michael Le Belfry in York – it was specially for students to welcome them to the town and there was lots of singing. I noticed some particularly good harmonies emanating from the row behind (I’m not impartial to departing from the tune myself occasionally). At one point in the service we were encouraged to turn to the person behind or in front and welcome them, so I turned and was surprised to find that the source of these extra tenor lines was in fact the well known hymn writer Graham Kendrick, who was already a household name in contemporary church music circles even back then.
Move this on 38 years.… As part of my musical life I have the privilege of being musical director of Young Voices and I am always looking out for suitable songs for all the children’s choirs each year. It so happened that two totally unrelated friends wanted to introduce me to Graham and emailed me within days of each other encouraging us to meet, because my friends thought he had a song we should look at.
So on Monday we organised a Facetime meeting and I will admit to being a tiny bit star struck even talking one to one with this kindly face on the iPad screen. We spent a while talking through the lyrics of the song and how it could or couldn’t work in an arena context, then out of the blue he said “I’ve got this other thing that came to me yesterday”. He had been thinking about the fact that the London Marathon was not happening and that people were raising money in other ways for the charities that would have benefited. The so called 2.6 challenge (the marathon would have been 26 miles on the 26th April) had been quickly set up to promote all sorts of charity events. He also linked the lyrics to our current lockdown status which does seem like it’s own type of marathon in so many ways.
“Could choirs use this next Sunday?” he said, and sang A Little Bit of Love to me. Of course I knew within seconds that this was EXACTLY the sort of thing that community choirs would want, not just on Sunday but in their repertoire for a good time after that. So I asked his permission to arrange it. That afternoon I sang the rest of the parts, my soprano friend came over and recorded her part standing in my hallway with the door shut (at least 2 metres away), and that evening we put it on Choir Community. Graham wanted it to be free for a couple of weeks so that as many choirs as possible would be singing it this weekend. As of now there have been over 3600 downloads and it’s still going up.
For the record The Milton Keynes Community Choir will be performing a 26 song Melody Marathon at 9am on Sunday and we will start and finish with A Little Bit Of love – search for us on Facebook if you want to join in. All the singers are giving £26 to a charity of their choice and inviting friends and family to sponsor them. My choice is a field hospital in Nepal called Green Pastures in memory of a great friend who worked there and recently died. Piers’ choice is The Joshua Tree, a children’s cancer charity in the North West of England, for whom he is also the CEO.
Get the free download of ‘A Little Bit Of Love’ here and do whatever you can to raise money for your favourite charitable cause on Sunday!