The official video for Paul Mealor’s Wherever You Are by Military Wives with Gareth Malone.
Help the Military Wives raise money for two wonderful charities who work tirelessly to support the armed forces and their families. Buy the single and make this Christmas No 1 to make a difference to these wonderful people both at home and abroad.
‘Wherever You Are’ is a moving love song written by Royal Wedding composer Paul Mealor for the choir to sing at The Royal British Legion’s Festival of Remembrance. The music is set to a poem compiled from letters to and from the servicemen and their wives on a 6-month tour of duty in Afghanistan. It is the raw emotion of the song that has touched so many of the British public.
Military Wives choir surprise favourite to be Christmas number one
Penned by a Welsh composer its heartfelt lyrics were inspired by the intimate letters home from soldiers serving on Afghanistan’s front line.
Words and phrases carefully crafted to bring comfort to a wife or partner sick with worry over their loved one facing a daily diet of mortal danger.
And now with Christmas Day fast approaching it seems these words have caught the public’s imagination in a way the X Factor, with its massive publicity machine and weekly TV exposure, can only dream of.
For the Military Wives charity song Wherever You Are is now the rock solid favourite to take the Christmas number one spot with odds of 1-12 with bookmaker William Hill.
X Factor winners Little Mix are some way behind at 20-1, while Lou Monte’s Italian novelty record Dominick the Donkey yesterday came out of nowhere to emerge as second favourite with odds of 10-1.
Composer Paul Mealor, from Pentraeth, on Anglesey, who wrote Ubi Caritas et Amor for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Royal Wedding last April, has been overwhelmed by the response to Wherever You Are, which is sung by a 100-strong choir of wives.
He said: “When I sat down to write it I didn’t think anything like this would happen.
“Especially after the Royal Wedding to be involved in something else which is massive – who gets that twice in a year? It just doesn’t happen.”
Mr Mealor, 36, said the group brought together on the BBC2 series The Choir and featuring three Welsh choristers Rebecca Williams, Emma Williams and Nicky Scott, has caught the public mood.
“It’s just real people in a very difficult situation coming together for the first time and learning to speak and have a voice. I think that’s really caught people’s attention.”
Meanwhile Little Mix went straight to number one on Sunday night with their cover of Damien Rice’s Cannonball.
But Rebecca Williams, from Pontardawe, Swansea, whose husband Rhys serves as a doctor to 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, is among the choristers hoping the X Factor group’s stay at the top spot will be short lived.
Primary school teacher Rebecca said: “We’re conscious that although it’s had a good response so far we don’t want to be thinking it’s in the bag.
“There’s a lot of other popular songs being released this week so we just keep plugging away and asking all our friends and families to support and buy it because they’re two great charities (the Royal British Legion and Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association).”
Rebecca, 38, who with Rhys, 37, has an 11-month-old son, Fergus, says she’s been “completely amazed” by the reaction to the song.
She said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the public’s response and support.
“We loved the song from the moment we heard it because it contains very special words that meant a lot to us, especially as Paul has taken the words and re-used them.”
The choir, who have the backing of figures such as Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans, have performed at this year’s Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall and at the Strictly Come Dancing semi-finals.
Despite being at the top of the charts, Little Mix’s single has achieved the worst first week sales for an X Factor victor’s winning song since 2004.
Even with more than 15 million viewers tuning in to watch the X Factor reach its climax, the track sold only 210,000 copies in its first week, it emerged yesterday. That’s less than half of 2010 winner Matt Cardle’s first week tally of 439,000.
And its sales are dwarfed by the success of past winners such as 2005 champion Shayne Ward whose That’s My Goal sold 742,180.
Singles are usually timed to coincide with the week of the Christmas number one, but this year programme bosses released the track a week earlier.