Published: 22:57, 06 April 2020
| Updated: 13:52, 10 July 2020
A choir of nurses and healthcare workers from Kent has taken the internet by storm with a special coronavirus version of This Is Me.
A video of their take on Keala Settle's song from The Greatest Showman has already racked up more than 54,000 views, despite only being released on Friday.
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Michael 'Mikey' Grant re-wrote the words and directed more than 30 members of the Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust Staff Choir to record a virtual version called Stay At Home.
It was at home where most of the choir sang their lines into laptops, iPads or mobile phones before all their contributions were stitched together by Mr Grant and video volunteer Malcolm Hitch.
Trust spokesman Amy Rutland said: "Despite staff facing one of the biggest health challenges of their careers, they gave up their own time to record the song to remind colleagues and the public to stay at home."
The trust, based in Hermitage Lane, Barming near Maidstone, says news of its version has been read by more than 100,000 people and it has even been re-tweeted and 'liked' by original singer Keala.
Mr Grant, 34, a professional musician from Tonbridge, said: "It was awesome to see that. I am so proud of the choir. They have done wonders."
He came up with the idea a week ago. He said: "I was walking my dog and started singing It Is Me. I remembered the line 'Look out, here I come' and replaced it with 'Look, the coronavirus comes' and wrote the lyrics in 20 minutes. I just wanted to get the message out there from frontline workers to stay at home.
"My husband is a nurse and my parents and brother are in the at-risk group. It is imperative people do as they are told."
The choir comprises a variety of colleagues including nurses, healthcare assistants, support service workers and directors. It usually meets in Ashford, Sevenoaks and Battle after work.
Mr Grant said: "It is recognised singing can relieve stress and help mental health. It has never been more important."
He admitted: "It was a steep learning curve. We all had to master Skype first. But when I told people what I wanted to do my in-box was suddenly full of people wanting to have a go.
"It was all done very quickly. The choir rehearsed and recorded its parts on Monday and Tuesday and I spent Wednesday and Thursday stitching them all together. I let the NHS see it on Thursday night and it went live on Friday."
The song’s message is how the NHS is supporting communities and how communities can support the NHS by staying at home. Alternative lyrics include:
"I am no stranger to quarantine.
"Hideaway, we say, we don't know where you've been
"We've told told you it is best to isolate,
"So please do, and you, too, before it's too late.
"We won't let you down if you need us,
"Provided you don't make a fuss
"For we are glorious."
The song is part of the work done by Mr Grant's Time To Shine charity project.
KCHFT is one of the largest community health trusts in the country and employs nearly 5,000 people.
It runs eight community hospitals in Deal, Edenbridge, Faversham, Hawkhurst, Herne Bay, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Whitstable and minor injury units including Sheppey and Sittingbourne.
The choir comprises: Alison Reader; Amy Jepson; Caroline Knott; Catherine Coulson; David Price; Debbie Adey;
Debbie Hoare; Gill Jacobs; Gillian Osborne; Grainne Charlton; Helen Ballard; Helen Hordle; Helen Knope and Jacquie Gibbons.
Jan Allen; Jane Kendall; Julia Rabitt; Julie Rickards; Keren Hull; Kim Bond; Lisa Segal; Michelle Tidman; Natalie Davies; Pat Coleman; Philippa Marvin-Hough; Sarah Barber; Steph Cooper; Sue Hay; Sue Picken and Thom Fentem.