Charity success stuns singer
Public respond to Dan’s tribute to NHS workers
An Alexandria singer-songwriter has admitted that the response to his latest work has been “emotionally overwhelming.”
Dan Healy’s track, The Forgotten Ones, pays tribute to key workers during the Covid-19 pandemic, with all proceeds raised going to the NHS Together Charity.
And after hitting fifth in the iTunes chart and clocking up over 20,000 views on Facebook in just a few days, Dan revealed that he had been taken aback by the response.
He told the Lennox: “The reaction has been amazing and totally overwhelming.
“It’s nice that people are seeing the message of it and, although it’s emotional, it’s also an uplifting one — and I think people need a wee bit of joy.
“Music is something that connects us and whether that’s live or in the house, it does uplift you or take you back to a nostalgic place.
“In a time when we are so separated, music can bring people together. The video has done that by getting people to send in a submission and be part of the song.
“It’s been really beautiful for me — it’s quite emotionally overwhelming.
“We’ve not lost that spirit and connection.”
NHS Charities Together CEO Ellie Orton was quick to pay tribute to the tone of Dan’s work.
She said: “When we heard The Forgotten Ones, it encapsulated exactly the gratitude we are feeling towards NHS staff and volunteers.
“Nothing about the choices staff and volunteers have made in their lives has changed — it’s just that their courage and willingness to risk themselves to keep us safe has suddenly been thrown into stark relief.”
Despite only hitting the charts this week, Dan originally penned the track alongside friend Jason Clarke two months ago. And with emotions running high, he revealed it didn’t take long to write.
The former Vale of Leven Academy pupil continued: “My publisher had sent me loads of stuff, so it was a song being written to a brief at first.
“But then we thought, hold on a second, I want to write what we’re feeling. So we wrote about how we felt about nurses, doctors, postmen, key workers going out and really putting their lives at risk.
“It happened really fast, the whole process of writing it was an hour and a half.
“That’s unusual for me, but it really just came out from the heart.
“I was going to just release it as an acoustic-type thing for NHS charities and when I sent it to them they all loved it. They wanted it to be the single of the campaign and all that sort of stuff.
“But I think, as a lot of things do, they got inundated with people wanting to help. A couple of celebrities got involved and they went in that direction.
“I just ploughed on with it really though, what it was about kind of changed. It ended up being about everyone.”
Having appealed to the public to send in short videos of the lyrics for the video, Dan also got the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir, stars of BBC show Sing While You Work, involved.
He continued: “It’s been an honour to work with the choir, it started as just a suggestion and I tracked down the choir leader and told them about the project and offered them the chance to be involved.
“They said they didn’t have any recording equipment, so I said to them to do it on their phones and then I got my friend Ben Goddard who has done stuff at the Royal Albert Hall to do the score for tenors, sopranos everyone.
“They did it on their phones and I’ve got a great producer in Paul Casey who sorted it all out and made it sound like a proper studio.
“It was incredible because the recordings varied in quality, but obviously it’s been an amazing honour.”
And that left Ben with one aim for when things start to return to normal.
He added: “I hope that after all this is finished we can do it live with the choir, that would be the icing on the cake.”
● The Forgotten Ones (right) is available to listen to and download on all major streaming platforms.
Emotionally overwhelmed Dan, a former pupil at Vale of Leven Academy has been taken aback by the response to his charity record and hopes to perform it live with the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust choir (inset)