On Wednesday 2nd September 2015, media outlets across the country published and broadcast a photo of a three year old boy’s lifeless body lying face down on a beach in Turkey. Along with Aylan Kurdi, 12 others (including Aylan Kurdi’s 5 year old Brother) drowned in their attempts to reach the Greek Island of Kos. The image came to represent and encapsulate the extraordinary risks undertaken by Syrian refugees in their search for safety, and the terrible tragedy that so often follows.
Sadly, the media coverage and public interest in the current refugee crisis has waned somewhat in the months since, with the tragedy and shock at collective fatalities lost among political consensus and media narrative. The disaster in the Middle East didn’t end with that photograph and the conflict and subsequent need for aid and medical assistance is only growing stronger.
In response to the refugee crisis Rochester based band Theatre Royal have written song ‘Standing in the Land’, and are dedicating all proceeds and donations to Medicins Sans Frontieres ‘Doctors Without Borders’ to help support and contribute to the excellent work that they carry out overseas.
‘Standing in the Land‘ itself is an acoustic lead track which boasts a pleasantly strummed guitar with emotive and affecting vocal harmonies. The musicality of the song actually clashes and juxtaposes against the message, with a wonderfully delicate guitar solo contrasting distinctly with lyrics like “Fear of the unknown, It’s not like we condone. But strange voices in our homes are just too close to the bone” and “I saw it on my TV but it’s not in my life. We can turn it over and still sleep well tonight” intimating and highlighting the significant separation that normally caring and charitable people feel for those in need. It’s wonderfully done and particularly impressive given the dearth of genuinely noble charity songs. In an area where such virtuosity is often tainted, vapid or spurious Theatre Royal have delivered an admirable and honest song for a truly worthwhile cause. I can’t praise ‘Standing in the Land’ enough and I highly recommend it. Please do read up on the crisis and give what you can, we are all human after all.