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Singing legend leads nation in song for dementia carers

Words by Blyth Brentnall

Time to warm up your vocal cords. The singer of This is the way to Amarillo, Tony Christie, is asking everyone in the UK to learn the lyrics of a 1978 classic.

But I can’t sing.

Oh yes you can. And it will be great.

Okay. Why?

The song, Thank you for being a friend, will be released on Thank You Day (2 July) in gratitude to all those looking after people with dementia. This group was chosen because carers represent the UK’s least thanked group.

The recording features five carers singing alongside Tony as well as famous singers whose names will be announced in late June. 

Tony himself was diagnosed with dementia earlier this year and recorded the song for Music For Dementia, a charity which uses song and sound to support people with this memory impairment. 

Ahead of the occasion, Tony is preparing everyone to let loose.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re in a church, at a festival, at a picnic in the park, in your bedroom on TikTok or you host an event yourself at the park or in the pub,” he said. “All that matters is that you’re part of something big and special that celebrates all the diverse people and communities that make the UK great, and gives special recognition to the brilliant carers in it.”

If you want to record your own cover of the song, download the sheet music and backing track for free from the Thank You Day website.

Charity check-in 

At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.

Dementia UK. This is a charity that provides Admiral Nurses for families affected by dementia, to help support those in need. Find out more here.

Alzheimer’s Research UK. Alzheimer’s Research UK are the UK’s leading Alzheimer’s research charity aiming to find a cure for dementia. Learn how to support them here.

Alzheimer’s Society. They are working towards a world without dementia, and are giving help to those living with dementia today, and providing hope for the future. Learn more here.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Good Health and Wellbeing.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs