Ivor Novello Award Winning Songwriter Releases Lost Version Of Hit Song In Aid Of Ukraine
The story of how BA Robertson’s previously unreleased version of his song Silent Running came to be released in aid of Ukraine children is one of happy coincidence, and the determination of Edinburgh grandmother
Can you hear me, can you hear me running?
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The story of how BA Robertson’s previously unreleased version of his song Silent Running came to be released in aid of Ukraine children is one of happy coincidence, and the determination of Edinburgh grandmother Lorri Hales.
When the song popped up at random on a car playlist, on a journey to visit her grandchildren, Lorri was stunned, and moved to tears, by how relevant it seemed to the current situation in Ukraine, conjuring images of the ordinary people like her – children, parents, grandparents – whose lives were suddenly being blown apart.
The words of the song:
Lorri: "It struck me that it could be a great way to try to raise money to help people in Ukraine".
She knew her partner was friends with BA (hence having the unreleased track on his playlist) and insisted he immediately call the singer-songwriter (who also wrote The Living Years) to ask if he would allow the song to be released as a fundraiser for the people of Ukraine, for the children and refugees. BA agreed, a partnership with Mail Force – Ukraine Appeal charity ensued, and the song is released on Fri 22 July, with all proceeds going to the charity appeal.
Silent Running has a long track record as a song that speaks across generations and times. Written by BA Robertson and Mike Rutherford, the original version – the first single release by Mike and the Mechanics - was a huge global hit, including spending several weeks at #1 on the Billboard rock charts in 1986. There have been several dance and chill-out versions, it appeared on the soundtrack for the film, On Dangerous Ground, and a version by Hidden Citizens was recently used in Assassin’s Creed (Syndicate) video game. It was also memorably sampled by US rapper Killer Mike.
This version strips the song back to its powerful essentials. It was recorded during an Edinburgh Fringe run at The Gilded Balloon (a solo show), with just BA’s voice and piano. The digital single is released with a “B side” - a “Nashville mix” which includes additional instrumentation.
BA Robertson: "Steve told me how Lorri reacted to the song when she first heard it. She felt it had been written about the Ukraine conflict. I had forgotten about this performance so it was easy to say, let’s do it."
There's a gun and ammunition
Ivor Novello Award winner, multiple Grammy nominee, PRS, and BMI award winner, Scots born composer, author, singer BA Robertson was educated at Allan Glen's School Glasgow, and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music, where he studied piano, clarinet, harmony and counterpoint.
An almost 50 year, award winning career in the music business has produced 100 silver, gold, platinum, and multi-platinum selling records, awards nominations including several Grammy and Ivor Novello nominations and an Ivor Novello Award for Best Song for The Living Years.
As well as chart success in his own right, with 5 solo albums, he has written hit songs for many people including Cliff Richard and Mike and the Mechanics (including their first hit single Silent Running (aka Can You Hear Me and recently sampled by Killer Mike) - Billboard's #1 Rock Song of 1986 - and the worldwide #1, The Living Years).
A cultural polymath, he is a Hollywood producer, has written film scores, presented and written TV and radio shows, and written and performed theatre plays, as well as working with some of the best known names in the business including a long and productive relationship with Mike and the Mechanics and Burt Bacharach (with whom he has more writing credits than anyone other than Hal David and Carole Bayer Sager).
Source Scary Biscuits Promotions
July 24, 2022 9:18am ET by Scary Biscuits Promotions