Joe Stilgoe releases new Christmas single in aid of choirs for homeless people

Joe Stilgoe
Joe Stilgoe

Jazz singer Joe Stilgoe has released a new Christmas single in aid of a charity who run choirs for homeless people.

The musician, son of Cats, Phantom of the Opera and Starlight Express lyricist Richard Stilgoe, penned new seasonal song December Lights after seeing people sleeping rough on Brighton Pier as the Christmas lights were turned on.

The 40-year-old, who lived in London for over a decade, had given multiple performances for charities including Shelter and Centrepoint, and realised he could go a step further.

All profits from the new single will go to The Choir with No Name, an organisation which runs choirs for homeless and marginalised people in London, Brighton, Birmingham and Liverpool.

The choir aims to support its members, help people to make friends and find a place to belong, alongside building up confidence and life skills.

Stilgoe told the Standard: “December Lights is a mood changer, I wanted to write a Christmas song with a difference.

“Sometimes being a musician you get presented with these opportunities and you think even more you need to be doing something, even in a little way.

“People are more benevolent and do give and are kinder at Christmas – but a lot of songs are just about drinks and parties. So it’s an anthem for people who don’t have a great Christmas.

“I didn’t want to hammer it home that it was a song about it [homelessness], but to try to get people to think about it.”

Lyrics in the song include “I know a place to warm our hands/ All the souls from all the lands/ Are welcome in this wonderland tonight/ We’ve been waiting for this day/ The lights will lead the way/ To bring the joy we always need at Christmas.”

Stilgoe has already performed the song with The Choir with No Name in Brighton, and will give a rendition during his appearance at The Barbican Centre on Sunday and at Brasserie Zedel in Piccadilly on New Year’s Eve.

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