WORDS by Alexander McCall Smith have been set to music to raise money for the University of Oxford’s research into coronavirus treatments.
Hand of Hope was arranged by Piers Schmidt and Nigel Short, founder of the Tenebrae choir, members of which recorded their contributions remotely during lockdown.
The lyrics were set to Gustav Holt’s tune Thaxted.
All the proceeds from the sale of the track – both proceeds and donations – will be given to the University of Oxford’s medical sciences division to fund research into treatments for Covid-19.
Sheet music for choirs is also available to download.
Schmidt said: “On 12 April, I read a poem by Alexander’s McCall Smith in The Sunday Times and was struck immediately by its message.
“It perfectly captured the noble vocation of those who care for the sick: skill and courage partnered with empathy and humility.
“It inspired me to ask the author to write new words to a well known and popular melody and I was delighted when Alexander agreed to collaborate with us on the project.”
The author and Scottish Field columnist, whose daughters are both doctors, added: “In verse one, I acknowledge the unexpected challenge that the coronavirus issued.
“In the second verse, I wanted to salute the carers that ‘never left our side’ and express our gratitude for the solidarity and compassion that has come to the surface in these trying times.
“In the final verse, I look forward to a ‘future victory’ when hopefully a vaccine will bring the awful disease back under our control.”
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