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Following the success of the poetry album Words for You, Universal Music has announced that a single from the album will be released on 14 December to compete for the highest place in the Christmas singles charts.
Words For You: The Single will feature British actors Geoffrey Palmer and Alison Steadman’s contributions. Geoffrey Palmer recites Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 from the Bible, King James version to Vivaldi’s Concerto ‘In Due Cori’, 2nd movement. It will mark the first time that a biblical text has entered the singles chart since 1965, when The Byrds went to number one with ‘Turn! Turn! Turn!’, which also featured Ecclesiastes 3.
The second track on the double A-side single is Elizabeth Jennings’ ‘Friendship’ read by Alison Steadman to Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, 2nd movement. The star of Gavin and Stacey has expressed delight that the album Words For You has done so well: commenting “my children now think I am the coolest thing since slice bread because I have an album in the charts. I have even outsold 50 Cent - whoever that is”.
The album shot to number one on the UK compilation chart, selling more copies than new releases by Ronan Keating, 50 Cent and Norah Jones. Aside from Geoffrey Palmer and Alison Steadman, it features actors and actresses including Joanna Lumley, Honor Blackman, Ben Whishaw, Martin Shaw and Samantha Morton. They recite poetry by Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Keats and others to music including Beethoven, Vivaldi and Tchaikovsky.
The artists have waived their royalty so that some of the proceeds from sales of ‘Words For You’ can go to I CAN, a UK charity that helps children with communication difficulties.