It started with a song, it ends with a song

Written by: Tommy Whitelaw, UK Project Lead and Campaign Lead, the ALLIANCE

Published: 18/02/2019

Tommy writes about the upcoming 'Concert for Caring' and the impact music has had on his life.

Growing up like most in Glasgow, New Year’s parties at home ended with songs. I used to watch and listen to my dad sing songs from Perry Como, to Frank Sinatra, to Roberta Flack. And anytime he sung a love song, no matter how crowded a room, his eyes fixed solely to my mum with a love for each other I’m so glad I witnessed. Parties when I was young always finished with a song.

Many years later I worked in music, travelling the world for over 25 years with many different artists and bands. That’s where I first met Mark from Regular Music (this link will take you away from our website) and HIPSWAY, who will be arranging and playing at our Concert for Caring on April 6th. My working days and nights both started and finished with songs.

After 25 years touring, I returned to Glasgow for a short break at first for myself, then unexpectedly and unprepared to care for my late mum Joan who lived the last years of her life with dementia.

During our darkest days over those nearly six years, when my mum was often scared and I felt quite hopeless and we felt alone, by accident and wishing my dad was here to help us, I sang to my mum one morning, a Perry Como song ‘For the Good Times’. My mum’s eyes lit up and I knew, I knew in my heart mum was remembering my dad and suddenly we both felt less alone, less scared and I felt less hopeless. And every time from then on when either of us was scared I would sing one of those songs.

Since my mum’s passing, as part of my role as UK Project Lead at the ALLIANCE I’ve been on a tour across the UK giving more than 850 talks to approximately 170,000 people. 22,500 people have pledged to make a difference, celebrating people, champions, who dedicate their lives to care for others. Every talk on that tour has ended with a song.

This tour ends on the last day of March 2019 and part of our ALLIANCE Concert for Caring is to celebrate the people we have met along with the songs.

On April 6th 2019 at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, I suppose in many ways it all started with a song and it will end with a song.

Come and join us and sing for love, kindness, care and celebrate people in song. Let’s end the evening together in song.

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