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Choir headlined in Daily Mail

The Croydon choir was featured in the Daily Mail in August 2010, thanks to choir stalwart Nev Clark.

Nev responded to a reader’s question as to whether there were words for the tune The Dambusters March, composed by Eric Coates.

Nev points out Mail article to Ben Kennedy and Roger Lee at the Kim and Annie barbecue

(Scroll down for more photos)

Nev told the Mail that he had written lyrics for a male voice version of the march in 1990.   “It was absolutely true to the original including the great allegro parts between the themes and the big climactic end,” our Nev says.

Ozzie Arnold, choir musical director at the choir, composed a musical arrangement and the choir duo presented the result to music publishers Warner/Chappell.

At first W/C were reluctant to publish – but Eric Coates’ widow and son told them that they considered the version a fitting tribute to Eric’s music.

W/C signed Nev and Ozzie on a publishing contract but the project stalled when Nev and Ozzie felt that W/C were asking too high a price to print the music.

The Croydon choir nonetheless recorded the song for its 1992 CD Now and Then, and it performed the piece at concerts over the following five years.

This story was told at length in the Daily Mail on August 10, and Nev showed the article to choir members who attended the barbecue chez Ormond on August 14.

Here are Nev’s words.

 

When we fly among the clouds our hearts soar so high

The worries of our lives just seem to vanish in the sky

Our dreams no longer empty our bodies filled with pride

We are warriors who fight to staunch the battle tide

 

We are fighting men as brave as the soldiers on the ground

We have wives, sons' mothers helpless in the country and the towns

We will die to make our country free we will fight and die for victory

We will brave our lives to live and breathe for Freedom.

 

How deep the engines roar how steep the wings do soar

Life is dear but in the strength of battle we defy

God grants us hope and peace, we must make his labours cease

Live or die our battle cry is freedom.

Our enemies are strong, they think that god’s their own

Faith must be our saving grace

Right and strength bring peace

Life dies if no one fights

Strength and truth must be our right

We who give ourselves to fight for freedom

When we fly among the clouds our hearts soar so high

The worries of our lives just seem to vanish in the sky

Our dreams no longer empty, our bodies filled with pride

We are warriors who fight to staunch the battle tide

 

We are fighting men as brave as the soldiers on the ground

We have wives sons mothers helpless in the country and the towns

We will fight to save our Country's need; we will fight and die for victory

We will brave our lives to live and breathe, for the country of our birth who needs

Our strength and hope in those who lead ourselves to give a braver deed for life!

Life that gives us hope, our prayers that we might cope

Our god that holds the rope of life shared with our dear folks below

Slaves or free! Slaves or free!

We'll fight for death and Glory, our hell is man's great story

 

Life is blind if freedom's gone so the battle goes on

We'll die for love and freedom our fights for hope and reason

Give us now our angel's wings if hope means death

That truth and love and peace and joy are evermore

 

PICTURES FROM THE BARBECUE, STAGED IN TRADITIONAL SUMMER WEATER

Kim and Ben: "There's a better forecast for later."

Nev with Daiily Mail

Nev determined to make a bigger splash

"Come on in, the water's lovely"

The three basses (Keith, John, Chris) exhibit their culinary skills

Ben walks the plank, watched by Nev and Bulla

Just elegant!  Ben converts fall into dive

"I think it's brightening up"

George and Neil venture out

Singing in the rain

"Anyone know the Dambusters' March?"



 
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