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Oasis World Choir and Band feature on Radio 4’s A Singer’s Guide to Britain — We Travel with Songs


Roderick Williams tells the stories of Britain through our songs. The instinct to sing is as old as humans themselves and, in Britain, we have been singing our story, consciously and unconsciously, all through our history. Songs that harness a fleeting thought, capture a mood, tell a tall tale, or simply make us smile. In this four part series, Roderick Williams explores different aspects of our British story, through the lens of the songs we sing. He’ll show how songs can transport us across all classes, all eras and all areas of the UK. Each song can tell us something essential about our nation at different times and places by teleporting us right inside the experience of someone who was there. We’ll see how songs have passed from singer to singer, from listener to listener, reflecting who we are as a nation, and celebrating the things we hold most dear. In this final programme Roderick looks at the way that song can express a common humanity -- and at some of the songs given voice by people who have come to these islands, as visitors, as refugees and as distinct communities. He visits a singing session for asylum seekers and refugees in Cardiff and hears about the singing legacies of the Jewish East End and Irish workers in Birmingham. Featuring, Laura Bradshaw, Billy Bragg, Alan Dein, Joseph Gnagbo, Marie, Angela Moran and Zarife. Thanks to Valley and Vale Community Arts. Alan Dean’s compilation of 'Yiddisher jazz' is called Music is the Most Beautiful Language in the World (JWM Records) Producer: Martin Williams. Click on image above to link to this programme.