CD review – Ms. A Song Cycle

Ms Song Cycle coverMs. A SONG CYCLE – Various Artists (SimG Records – SimGR-CD030)

What a wonderful idea to help bring a bit more understanding of a truly dreadful disease – put it in song and get wonderful West End ladies to record the cycle, hopefully give it more substance and let the public know what it’s like to be living with Multiple Sclerosis.

The ideas for each of the songs have come from stories from women suffering from MS and so the lyrics become even more poignant. We learn how some cope better than others; how they view others’ concept of what they are going through. This doesn’t mean that it is all doom and gloom – it certainly isn’t. Mingled with the heart-breaking lyrics is also a good dose of humour.

The songs themselves are written by 14 different composers from all corners of the globe: Amy Bowie, Paul Boyd, Tamar Broadbent, Brian Lowdermilk, George Maguire, Eamonn O’Dwyer, Gianni Onori, Robert J. Sherman, Luke Di Somma, George Stiles, Sarah Travis, Verity Quade, Erin Murray Quinlan and Robbie White.

Add to that the talents of 14 West End leading ladies: Rosemary Ashe, Julie Atherton, Janie Dee, Lillie Flynn, Anna Francolini, Josefina Gabrielle, Siubhan Harrison, Jodie Jacobs, Preeya Kalidas, Alexia Khadime, Laura Pitt-Pulford, Lauren Samuels, Caroline Sheen and Caroline Quentin – and you have some idea of the treat you are going to be in for when you press play.

For those who are very attentive, you will have noticed there are 14 composres and 14 leading ladies. Coincidence? No! The reason for this is because there are 14 people diagnosed with this debilitating illness every day of the week – and not only women.

Tracks include: ‘The Frayed Chords of My Life’; ‘Mummy’s Not Well’; ‘What’s That, Jim?’; ‘Perhaps I’m Stronger Than I Think’; ‘My Son’s Secret’; ‘Alone in the Dark’, among others.

The recording has been made possible thanks to a generous donation from Richard O’Brien and, if it does nothing more than enlighten more people toward the suffering this illness can cause and the disruption it brings to lives all over the world, then it has certainly done its job – although I know that it will also give immense pleasure to those who listen.

Nick Wakeham


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