Album: Sing (2012)
Charted: 1

Songfacts®:

  • Take That's Gary Barlow and musical mastermind Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber co-penned this song for the Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee celebrations. It features 230 people and musicians from various Commonwealth countries including Australia, Jamaica, Kenya and the Solomon Islands plus Gareth Malone and the Military Wives choir. "Sing" was debuted by BBC Radio 2's Chris Evans on May 18, 2012 and was released by Decca Records on ten days later.
  • Amongst the Commonwealth musicians that contributed to the song were ska guitarist Ernest Ranglin, reggae duo Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, Jamaican group The Jolly Boys and the African Children's Choir. Barlow told the Press Association he was inspired by Prince Charles to recruit the wide collection of artistes for this tune. "I was just going to do it in London with the Philharmonic Orchestra," he explained. "But once I'd met with him I realized we've got to go into the world. In my chat with him he said, 'If you really want the Queen to like this, find people; go and travel and find people.'"
  • A certain prince plays the tambourine on the track. No, not that Prince - We're talking about His Royal Highness Prince Harry. This was his recording debut, and when asked on The One Show if the prince had exhibited any musical talent, Barlow said simply: "No," adding, "He did the tambourine hit and we spun it into the track. He probably hasn't got a clue what he's part of just yet."
  • Lloyd Webber explained how he and Barlow penned the track. He said: "We got together with embryonic ideas. Gary had an idea for the chorus, I had the idea for the verse, we both agreed that the message was about the Commonwealth. I was thinking 'anthem', but we had to involve all the people we could, and it had to be something very simple that people could learn. Working with Gary has been one of the great joys, he is such a fantastic songwriter, it was a completely new experience."
  • The seven-track Sing longplayer debuted at #1 on the UK album chart. With a duration of just 24 minutes, the record was the shortest chart-topper since Tommy Steele's 19-minute-long The Duke Wore Jeans topped the Record Mirror Top 5 album chart in 1958.
  • Prince Harry's tambourine contribution was not the first time a member of the royal family have featured on a chart-topping album. The Official BBC Album of the Royal Wedding, which commemorated the wedding of Prince Charles and the late Lady Diana, Princess of Wales, spent two weeks at #1 in August 1981. On the track "The Marriage Service," Prince Harry's parents are heard exchanging their marriage vows.
  • This was included in a 2016 playlist featuring Queen Elizabeth II's ten favorite songs. It was compiled by the BBC after speaking to her Majesty's relatives.

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