A SONGWRITER has teamed up with Wigan and Leigh’s Hospice day service to produce songs with patients.
Bob Kettle, who is part of Wigan-based folk band Merry Hell, has written lyrics and music for three patients who use the Oak Centre, the hospice’s day service.
The songs, which are expressions of their personal likes, dislikes, thoughts and feelings, are then recorded at The Music Projects, Pemberton, Wigan, in a professional recording studio.
The Oak Centre
Bob, 52, said: “I came in to the Oak Centre for an Open Day and I didn’t know what to expect but I loved the atmosphere. I thought I would like to work there because what I do would be helpful for the people that use it. I have six years’ experience of facilitating music projects for socially marginalised people through Healthy Arts which is an organisation that uses artistic activities to promote wellbeing. It was through them that I got in touch with Cartwheel Arts which gives small grants to support projects of that kind.”
Bob first recorded a song with Alan, then Bert and finally Roy over the course of two months.
Bob said: “I’ve sat down with all three of them and we’ve had one-to-one conversations in which they’ve told me about their lives, their likes and dislikes, their opinions and what kinds of music they like. After that I went away then used what they’d told me to write music and lyrics. Then I came back to see them again and played their song for each of them to see if it was a fair representation of their feelings.
“The idea is that they will all have a professional quality recording of the song they have inspired. They can have it for their own satisfaction and share it with friends and family but the ultimate goal is that we end up with three songs that each of them love.”
Great-grandad Roy, 72, lives in Hindley Green and has been attending the Oak Centre since October 2018. He has lung disease COPD and lung condition emphysema.
His song We Can Be One is about peace and reuniting a divided world.
Roy said: “Bob told me about the project and I thought ‘why not?’ and I’ve enjoyed it. When we sat down together we talked about what I think of the world, how it should be and who should be in charge. That is what the song is all about and it’s in a Bob Dylan style. I think it’s incredible how Bob has put it together – I talked and he wrote and underlined things as we went – and I thought he must be a clever chap.”
Bert’s song I Love You and Roy’s song We Can Be One were recorded at the Music Project in Pemberton on July 24th. Both sang along with Bob on the final versions.
Alan’s song Don’t Lie To Me is strongly influenced by his favourite artist John Lennon and is an expression of both disillusionment and the power of forgiveness.
Bob plays mandolin, bouzouki and is a songwriter for Merry Hell. He lives in St Helens.