In a special broadcast pre-recorded for the Hospital Broadcasting Association, The Prince of Wales has recognised NHS staff and volunteers on the inaugural Thank You Day.
During the hour-long programme, The Prince of Wales pays particular tribute to volunteers of hospital, health and wellbeing radio stations for their work in keeping communities connected and patients entertained during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The programme will be broadcast across 180 member stations of the Hospital Broadcasting Association (HBA) on Sunday 4th July at 1200hrs, the eve of the NHS’ birthday, 5th July 1948.
Read on to find out which favourite tracks His Royal Highness chose...
1. Givin’ Up Givin’ In – The Three Degrees
When thinking of how to begin this programme, I could think of no better group than The Three Degrees whose music I much admired in my younger days and who were kind enough to perform at my 30th birthday celebrations. Rather more recently, they also very kindly recorded a message for my 70th birthday, which, I would have to say, is an example of a friendship which has stood the test of time.
2. The Click Song – Miriam Makeba
I have always found the next song utterly irresistible and a reminder of the wonderful traditions of music and singing in South Africa – one of the most important countries of the Commonwealth. It is based on the song Qongqothwane, which is a traditional song of the Xhosa people of South Africa and is sung at weddings to bring good fortune.
3. Upside Down – Diana Ross
Over the years, I have been enormously grateful to the many artists who have so generously given their time to perform at events to raise money for my Prince’s Trust. I started the Trust back in 1976, and, last year, I was extremely proud to discover that in the forty- five years since then it has helped more than a million young people into education, training, employment or their own enterprises. One of the performers who has helped transform the lives of those young people is the great Diana Ross who, in 2002, performed at a concert in aid of my Trust, where she sang this song.
4. You’re a Lady – Peter Skellern
There is something haunting and moving not only in its melody, but in the way Peter Skellern delivers this immensely touching love song. It has long been a favourite of mine and, once, on a visit to Cumbria, I was asked by Lakeland Radio to select a song, and this was the one I chose.
5. La Mer - Charles Trenet
The French composer, lyricist and singer Charles Trenet initially wrote the lyrics to this next song, when he was at the tender age of 16. He was nearly twice that age when the music came to him, in 1943, while he was travelling by train between Montpellier and Perpignan in the South of France, and passing Etang de Thau, the largest of the region’s coastal lagoons.
6. La Vie en Rose – Edith Piaf
We stay with France, and with the 1940s, for this next song, which is always associated with the immortal Edith Piaf. With its lyrics, which speak of having a rosy view of life thanks to being in love, one can readily understand why it was so enormously popular with audiences, especially as France emerged from the horrors and privations of the Second World War.
7. Don’t Rain On My Parade – Barbra Streisand
I have always been a great admirer of the incredibly versatile American actress and singer, Barbra Streisand. Back in 1974, when I was serving in the Royal Navy in the Pacific – as a young Lieutenant in the frigate, H.M.S. Jupiter... I was lucky enough to visit the set and to meet her there. I shall never forget her dazzling, effervescent talent and the unique vitality and attraction of her voice and her acting ability.
8. Bennachie - Old Blind Dogs
As Scotland, and Aberdeenshire in particular, have such a special place in my heart, with so many childhood memories and having also been to school in the North East of Scotland, this next song reminds me so much of that happily familiar area.
9. Lulu’s Back In Town – Dick Powell
I have developed an abiding passion for many of the songs written between the First and Second World Wars as a result of always hearing them being played by my grandmother. Apart from the unstoppable rhythm, which invariably raises my spirits and makes me feel happy, they remind me of my darling grandmother, which makes me feel even happier!
10. They Can’t Take That Away From Me – Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers
The source of this next choice is another Hollywood film of the 1930s, this time with the inimitable Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, whose unbeatable dance and tap routines also raise my spirits, as do the sheer wit and ingenuity of the lyrics in their songs.
11. The Voice – Eimear Quinn
Ireland has given the world some great performers and some splendid music, and on my annual visits to Ireland, North and South, I always look forward to what I know will be a feast of musical talent. In 2018, I had the enormous pleasure of hearing the singer, Eimear Quinn, perform at the St. Patrick’s Day Dinner I attended in London.
12. Tros Y Garreg / Crossing the Stone – Catrin Finch
Just over twenty years ago, I thought it would be a good idea to revive the post of Royal Harpist, which had last existed in the time of my great-great-great grandmother, Queen Victoria. The post of my Official Harpist was created in the year 2000, with the aim of promoting the harp, the national instrument of Wales, and the importance of Welsh culture, together with giving a young harpist an opportunity to develop their career. The first person appointed to the role was the virtuosa, Catrin Finch, who has gone on to have a stellar career.
13. Tydi a Roddaist – Bryn Terfel
The moving melody by Arwel Hughes was written comparatively recently, in 1938, and in an unusual place - in the waiting room at Shrewsbury railway station. If you are ever passing through that station, look out for the plaque on the platform which commemorates the occasion. Some twenty years after he composed this tune, Arwel Hughes actually organized the music for my own Investiture as Prince of Wales in 1969.