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A Song For ME: Blowin' In The Wind
Sunday 29 April 2018
A song for ME: Blowin' in the Wind
About the song:
Originally written and recorded by Bob Dylan for his breakthrough 1963 Freewheelin’ album, I started working on my alternative lyrics for Blowin’ in the Wind in 2016. It wasn’t until the end of last year that I stumbled upon the idea of recording it with other people with ME from around the world.
Having posted messages on forums and social media, I was encouraged by the number of replies I received from people who were interested to take part. Sadly, several volunteers had to drop out because they were not well enough to record themselves singing. However, the final recording includes the voices of 18 people from 7 different countries – most of whom have never met or communicated with each other.
Originally, I was only going to use the extra voices for the choruses, but Kaeley’s harmony was so beautiful that I felt compelled to use it throughout the song.
I had no experience of doing anything like this before. I have never sung in a choir or been well enough to play my guitar in public, and I’d never tried mixing more than one person’s voice, so I had no idea if it would work or not. But I am very pleased with the final result.
It’s been a privilege and a pleasure to work with so many talented and motivated people from the international ME community. As well as all the singers, I am indebted to Anna and Jonas for providing me with the images for the video from their ME Perspective website (https://meperspective.wixsite.com/mep...), and for their help and enthusiasm throughout the project.
I very much hope that our combined efforts will help to raise awareness of our struggle, the ignorance and injustices we face, and the desperate need for a huge increase in investment in biomedical ME research.
The song is dedicated to Anne Örtegren. I never knew Anne, or had any contact with her, but I had just read her beautifully written and deeply moving Farewell Letter (https://www.healthrising.org/blog/201...) when I recorded the song, and she has been very much in my mind throughout the process of production.
NB: It has been suggested that it might have been better to use gender-neutral lyrics rather than referring to a man. This is a valid point, not least because ME affects at least three times as many women as men. However, when I tried using gender-neutral alternatives I didn’t feel they worked so well lyrically. I also wanted to echo Dylan’s original lyrics (“How many roads must a man walk down”) and decided that the masculine form was acceptable as I was writing about my own situation.
To donate to ME Research UK please use this link: http://www.justgiving.com/Rob40
Guitar and vocals: Robert Saunders (aka Robert McMullen; West Sussex, UK)
For more information about the struggles faced by people with ME: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/lo...
More writing by Robert McMullen: http://www.strangerandstranger.net
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