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  • Writer's pictureMadeleina Kay

To Remember Them - Music Video Fundraiser for Ukraine

On Friday 22nd December I released the music video for my song 'To Remember Them' about the war in Ukraine and the MH17 plane disaster to promote a fundraiser for Ukraine.


Music video filmed and edited by Jeff Kew with thanks to the Karlspreis Foundation for their footage of Zelenskyy (c) Karlspreis / Elli Neuhaus. Music Publisher "TeBiTo", Werner Dasch. Recording Studio:"TON-ART-STUDIO", Claudia Kisslinger.


I wrote the song 'To Remember Them' after the start of the Russian invasion into Ukraine on Feb 24th 2022 (the date recognised by the UK government). I believe the war actually started in 2014, when Putin annexed Crimea and his troops blew up Flight MH17 over Ukraine (a crime for which there has never been justice for the grieving families). However, our world leaders don't recognise this as the official start of the war, since they want to abdicate responsibility for having taken no action to sanction the Putin regime or offer the needed support to Ukraine prior to the 2022 invasion. The reason I care so much about this issue is because I have Ukrainian friends, but also because one of my British school-friends, Richard Mayne, was killed in the MH17 plane disaster.



I spent some time with Richard's mother (who was also my older brother's English teacher at our sixth-form college) after his tragic death and created this portrait of him which was displayed in our home city of Leicester's Cathedral on the first anniversary of the plane disaster. His mother had told me how the plane landed in the sunflower fields, for which Ukraine is famed, and one of the British journalists who visited the crash site brought back seeds to give to the families of the four UK victims. She planted the seeds and grew the sunflowers in memory of her son. When the 2022 invasion happened, I remember listening to a BBC radio broadcast from a reporter who had seen an elderly Ukrainian woman who had refused to evacuate her home, giving a handful of sunflower seeds to Russian soldiers - telling them to put them in their pockets so that something good would come of their inevitable death. These two vivid anecdotes of the symbolic power of the sunflowers inspired the lyrics of my song, 'To Remember Them'.



I was put in contact with a German music distributor (TeBiTo) who was interested in acquiring the rights to some of my music. So, in July 2023, I flew out to Munich to record at TON-ART-STUDIO with Claudia Kisslinger and also to perform at a "Peace Festival for Ukraine" at Odeonsplatz organised by the Catholic Association of Educators. We also arranged for my videographer, Jeff Kew, to fly out to Munich to film footage with me for a music video to promote the song and the message of Peace for Ukraine. Jeff filmed my performances at Odeonsplatz and also St.Michael's Church. I also heard about a demonstration organised by the Ukrainian community in Munich, and we attended (in the pouring rain) which turned out to be an amazing opportunity to see Ukrainian culture, with musical and dance performances by Ukrainians in traditional dress. There were also some very moving visual protests and compelling placards which they had created - and I was very glad that we could include this authentic voice of the Ukrainian community in the music video.



We also filmed some footage in a sunflower field just outside of Munich as we needed some lip sync to fill out the video, which was quite a long song at 4 mins 20. I also wanted some footage of Zelensky in the video, and as the Karlspreis foundation had awarded the Charlemagne Prize to Zelensky and the people of Ukraine this year - I knew that they would have some high quality footage of him at the ceremony. I contacted them, asking for permission to use their footage, which they kindly agreed to with copyright credit (c) Karlspreis / Elli Neuhaus.


Image (c) Karlspreis / Elli Neuhaus


Jeff (who is used to editing my music videos within 1 week of filming) edited the first draft of the music immediately upon returning to the UK, but we had to wait for the production of the track to be finished and the song to be published before we could release the music video - this turned out to be a long delay (nearly 5 months after we filmed the music video). I decided to release the music video just ahead of Christmas on Friday 22nd December as a reminder to Europeans that the people of Ukraine still cannot celebrate Christmas in Peace with their families. I also agreed with Pulse of Europe, who I have worked with many times before and who have done a lot of fundraising for Ukraine, to share a link to their fundraiser in the post caption, asking people to consider donating.



Song Lyrics


I saw a dove, shot out of the sky,

But no-one will admit to his crime,

A fall so far from grace,

The burden of loss is, carried by the displaced.

 

Chorus

Plant a seed into the Earth,

Remember what a life is worth,

The waste of the damage done,

By a man's ego and a loaded gun.

Watch it rise into the Sun,

Loved like a father or a son,

Lost to such a cruel act of hate,

They live on in memories we create.

 

Toxic minds falsify their proof,

To disrupt communication of the truth,

Justice has been paralysed,

By the folly of subservient minds.

 

Chorus

 

Storm clouds gather over hostile ground,

Where no sanctuary is now to be found,

But the wise old women know, that

One day, in this sodden Earth, sunflowers will grow.

 

Who dares rise up?

Who dares speak out?

Who will pay the price?

Who has no doubt?

Who values above,

The life of the fallen dove,

The truth, freedom, love and Peace.

The truth, freedom, love and Peace.

 

Chorus

 

Mothers will cut the stems and

Lay down sunflowers, to remember them.

To remember them.


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