In order to start untangling Britain’s complex personality, we spoke to people in schools and community choirs across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. 24 groups and over 600 people took part in these storytelling workshops including fishermen from Yorkshire, teenagers in Grimsby, a cross-community choir just outside of Belfast, a LGBT+ choir in Cambridge and a police choir in Edinburgh.
We talked about the moments that defined us personally, the moments that defined our communities, and the moments that have defined our nation. There were tears and laughter – stories that brought us closer together, and stories that showed us how quickly this nation is changing.
This songbook has been written using the words spoken to us. Every word, every phrase and every story was told in our workshops. Some of the songs focus on specific groups or places, others bring together themes and ideas which resonated across the country.
Each song represents a moment, a pattern or an idea which describes a significant facet of modern British identity. Altogether, the songbook gives a snapshot of the character of Britain at this pivotal moment in our nation’s history.