‘Who will listen to me, I’m just a child’: 14,000 children join cathedral choristers for G7 Summit song

14 May 2021, 15:32

#Sing2G7: Truro Cathedral Choristers sing ‘Gee Seven’ by Sir Tim Rice and Peter Hobbs'

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

Young choristers used music to make their voices heard ahead of the G7 summit. Now, thousands of children around the world want to add their voices.

A global chorus of children, led by cathedral choristers, will sing a new song directed at world leaders ahead of the G7 Summit in June.

‘Gee Seven’, written by Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat lyricist Sir Tim Rice and composer Peter Hobbs, was recorded by Truro Cathedral Choir as a way to put children’s voices at the heart of the global summit.

Sir Tim, said he hopes the song “is recognised as a different musical way of celebrating an international extravaganza – a nod to mathematics, science and history; an attempt to keep the piety level down, the rhythm section up and yet conclude with a message that might have a chance of getting through.”

And after watching the Cornwall choir’s video, more than 14,000 children from Australia, South Africa, Germany, Japan, Portugal and Vietnam have been inspired to record their own versions, by signing up to the Sing2G7 project.

More than 150 primary schools in the UK are also joining in thanks to founders Esmé Page, who is behind the charity Cornwall Hugs Grenfell, and Truro Cathedral’s director of music, Chris Gray.

Read more: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra celebrated by G7 ministers for pioneering concerts

Truro Cathedral Choristers during filming for Sing2G7, conducted by Christopher Gray
Truro Cathedral Choristers during filming for Sing2G7, conducted by Christopher Gray. Picture: Luke Brown

“For young children, this has been a really isolating year. They feel really disempowered, and they’ve got a lot of pent-up things they want to say to leaders,” Page told Classic FM.

“My ten-year-old is frequently in tears over the plight of endangered species and feels powerless: ‘Who will listen to me, I’m just a child!’ he says.”

Last week, Page visited primary schools around the country last week to encourage them to join the choristers in delivering a musical message to world leaders ahead of the summit, hosted in Cornwall.

“Our deep desire is that with thousands and thousands of children singing this around the world, it will be un-ignorable. It will touch [leaders’] hearts and they’ll have the additional motivation to do something about the issues that concern children.”

For Gray, there was also a passion for exposing children to young people singing in the way choristers do. “Singing is something almost anyone can do,” he told Classic FM. “And it’s an international language. So the song was an obvious vehicle for us to connect children from a lot of different countries.

Read more: Orchestra named as the first Goodwill Ambassador of UN Climate Change

Truro Cathedral Chorister Soloists for Sing2G7, Thomas and Joseph
Truro Cathedral Chorister Soloists for Sing2G7, Thomas and Joseph. Picture: Chris Yacoubian

“Working with these young people, you do get a sense of how much these issues matter to them,” Gray added.

“But with Sing2G7 we’re not telling them how to think. We’re telling them to aspire to have their voices heard.”

Children and schools wishing to join in with Sing2G7 can download the free sheet music, use the YouTube tutorials and film their own versions with a piano backing track, before posting their renditions online to swell the global chorus.

The video, created by Sing2G7, ends with a reference to climate activist Greta Thunberg’s pocket book, ‘No one is too small to make a difference’, appears on screen.

The message resonated with Truro’s choristers, of whom 12-year-old Josh said: “Everyone can make a difference, even a child. Just because we’re children, it doesn’t mean we can’t make a difference to these things.”

Sir Tim Rice was commissioned to write ‘Gee Seven’ by Truro Cathedral
Sir Tim Rice was commissioned to write ‘Gee Seven’ by Truro Cathedral. Picture: Luke Brown

What are the lyrics to ‘Gee Seven’?

Gee Seven – you’re such an influential integer
Gee Seven – as the centuries unfold
Gee Seven – from the dawn of our existence
Gee Seven – now the story can be told

Seven days of the Creation, seven colours in the rainbow
Seven wonders of the ancient world
And seven stormy seas
Through prehistoric darkness, the seven planets wandered
No other number squared or cubed
Has qualities like these

Gee Seven – you’re such a lucky numeral
Gee Seven – forever in your prime
Gee Seven – for all your sins and virtues
Gee Seven - for now and for all time

When Pythagoras of Samos first addressed his list of numbers
Searched physical and mystical
For explanations, signs
He saw none were more intriguing than seven in its mystery
He knew that seven mattered
And knew where to draw the lines

Gee Seven – we recognise your majesty
Gee Seven - Your magic will prevail
Gee Seven - So sing out loud the seven notes
Gee Seven - On the diatonic scale

Look up and see the seven stars, look down and see our world
Its seven mighty continents
Our only certain home
Of gold and silver, copper, tin, in iron, lead and mercury
The metals of antiquity
And Seven hills of Rome

Gee Seven – let nation speak to nation
Gee Seven – don’t let the others down
Gee Seven – don’t forget the not so fortunate
Gee Seven – or they’ll run you out of town