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Midge Ure gives green light to Johnathan’s Christmas single


When Jonathan Brough emailed music superstar Midge Ure to ask if he could release his own version of Do They know It’s Christmas?, he didn’t expect a reply. And definitely not in the affirmative!

Yet two days later, an email landed in his inbox at home in Minchinhampton.

Hi Jonathan,
I’ve spoken to the Band Aid Trustees, including Bob, and on behalf of them all we are happy for you to go ahead with releasing your rewritten Covid version of DTKIC.
Best wishes,

Perhaps it’s not surprising. The original Band Aid version of the song has raised more than £200 million towards famine relief in Africa, since its release in 1984. And Jonathan has similar intent. Paralysed from the neck down since contracting meningitis at the age of 18, he’s using his version to raise money for NHS Charities Together, Meningitis Now, and Wings for Life.

The video and audio recordings have been two years in the making.

‘One evening in 2021, at the peak of the Covid pandemic, my carers and I started playing around with the song and changing the lyrics for fun,’ he says.

‘We began by recording it on a phone, and it sounded OK.’

Jonathan and his 24-hour team of carers each sang lines of the reworked song, which reflects some of the difficulties he experienced during Covid, barred from seeing family and friends because of his dependency on a ventilator.

Since then, Jonathan – a talented filmmaker – has created and edited a video to accompany it. Beginning with Jonathan on a snowy Minchinhampton Common in his mouth-controlled wheelchair, it also shows some of the many care-procedures needed each day to keep him alive.

‘We really enjoyed doing it, and it was a great way to bring everyone together at a difficult time,’ Jonathan says. ‘We know that Covid can seem a bit of a distant memory. However, this version will hopefully serve as a reminder of how we felt and, most importantly, the lifesaving lessons we may need in the future. I really hope it makes money for these charities, which have done so much to help me and others.’

You can find Jonathan’s version at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ara9ItCQVaE

The song can also be streamed on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon.

‘You can donate by listening to the single on the streaming channels and, when you do, funds raised from the royalties will go to the charities,’ Jonathan says. ‘If enough people listen, we might even make the UK music charts top 100.’

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