Forgotten recording of smash-hit 1980s single to raise money

Forgotten recording of smash-hit 1980s single rises through the charts to raise money for Ukrainian refugees

  • Written in 1985, the acoustic version of Silent Running was recorded in 2004
  • The Mike and The Mechanics song is performed by songwriter BA Robertson 
  • Mail readers have been buying it to support Ukrainian refugees since Friday

From the moment it was created, 80s song Silent Running has always held its own beautiful poignancy.

Now, a previously-unreleased version of the hit has taken on an even greater significance as it rises through the charts as part of efforts to help the people of Ukraine.

The acoustic version of the Mike and The Mechanics song, performed by the Scottish musician and songwriter BA Robertson, has been snapped up by Mail readers since its release on Friday.

Picture of packers on the line making humanitarian food box at Oakland International in Leicester. Humanitarian food boxes are being prepared bound for the Ukraine with the Mail Force charity

The song, which was co-written by Robertson, reached number 10 on the itunes singer/songwriter charts and was the eighth biggest gainer in sales on Amazon Music within hours.

Its release came about thanks to the involvement of Robertson’s friend Steve Cullen, whose partner Lorri Hales convinced him to use it to help the people of Ukraine.

Miss Hales noticed the important nature of the lyrics, which evoke images of a family barricading themselves against a war raging outside, and a country desperately calling out for help.

The line ‘take the children and yourself and hide out in the cellar’, brought her to tears as it reminded her of the plight of the people of Ukraine.

Reacting to the song’s rise through the charts, Miss Hales said: ‘From the start this whole project has felt serendipitous. I have been overwhelmed by the reaction following the release on Friday.

‘To start with a dream – albeit a passionate one – and see the reaction has been extraordinary. Watching the track begin to move following it’s launch on Amazon and iTunes chart was amazing.

‘I can only now hope that more people catch the sound and download the track. It’s all about the people of Ukraine.’

Robertson, whose full name is Brian Alexander, is a titan of the song writing world whose credits vary from Cliff Richard’s Wired for Sound to Mike and The Mechanics’ huge number one hit The Living Years.

A Mail Force Ukraine Appeal truck loaded with food boxes arrives at the depot in Poland accompanied all the way from Leicester

He also wrote the 1982 Scotland World Cup song, We Have a Dream, and hits Kool in the Kaftan and Bang Bang.

Penned in 1985, the acoustic version of Silent Running was recorded at the Gilded Balloon in Edinburgh during the 2004 festival at one of BA’s rare live gigs.

Unlike the original version, which is a heavy track with a strong beat, laden with synths, this one features just Robertson and a piano.

The charity single is available on all major digital platforms including iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. All proceeds will go to Mail Force’s Ukraine Appeal, which, thanks to the incredible generosity of Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday readers, has so far raised more than £13million for Ukraine.

Silent Running will be available to download on all major digital platforms including iTunes, Amazon and Spotify from today.

The video is also available here.

The lyrics behind Silent Running: 

Take the children and yourself

And hide out in the cellar

By now the fighting will be close at hand

Don’t believe the church and state

And everything they tell you

Believe in me, I’m with the high command

Can you hear me, can you hear me running?

Can you hear me running, can you hear me calling you?

Can you hear me, can you hear me running?

Can you hear me running, can you hear me calling you?

There’s a gun and ammunition Just inside the doorway

Use it only in emergency

Better you should pray to God The Father and the Spirit

Will guide you and protect from up here

Can you hear me, can you hear me running?

Can you hear me running, can you hear me calling you?

Can you hear me, can you hear me running?

Can you hear me running, can you hear me calling you?

Swear allegiance to the flag

Whatever flag they offer

Never hint at what you really feel

Teach the children quietly

For some day sons and daughters

Will rise up and fight while we stood still

Can you hear me, can you hear me running?

Can you hear me running, can you hear me calling you?

Can you hear me, can you hear me running?

Can you hear me running, can you hear me calling you?

BY BA ROBERTSON AND MIKE RUTHERFORD

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