By Robert Saunders, 30th April, 2018.
This is my arrangement of Blowin' in the Wind with alternative lyrics, performed by M.E. patients and their carers from around the world.
About the Song
Originally written and recorded by Bob Dylan for his breakthrough 1963 Freewheelin’ album, I started working on my own alternative lyrics of Blowin’ in the Wind in 2016. It wasn’t until the end of last year that I stumbled upon the idea of recording it with other people with M.E. and their carers from around the world.
Having posted messages on forums and social media, I was encouraged by the number of replies I received from people who were interested to take part.
Sadly, several volunteers had to drop out because they were not well enough to record themselves singing.
However, the final recording includes the voices of 18 people from 7 different countries – most of whom have never met or communicated with each other.
Originally, I was only going to use the extra voices for the choruses, but Kaeley’s harmony was so beautiful that I felt compelled to use it throughout the song.
I have never sung in a choir or been well enough to play my guitar in public, and I’d never tried mixing more than one person’s voice, so I had no idea if it would work or not.
But I am pleased with the final result.
It’s been a privilege and a pleasure to work with so many talented and motivated people from the international M.E. community.
As well as all the singers, I am indebted to Anna and Jonas for providing me with the images for the video from their ME Perspective website, and for their help and enthusiasm throughout the project.
“I very much hope that our combined efforts will help to raise awareness of our struggle, the ignorance and injustices we face, and the desperate need for a huge increase in investment in biomedical ME research.”
The song is dedicated to Anne Örtegren. I never knew Anne, or had any contact with her, but I had just read her beautifully written and deeply moving Farewell Letter when I recorded the song, and she has been very much in my mind throughout the process of production.
The Ramsay Research Fund
Robert supports the ME Association and believes in what we are trying to achieve. If you enjoyed his video, please consider a donation to the Ramsay Research Fund.
We need to keep investing in biomedical research to better understand what causes M.E. and to develop effective treatments.
If you would like to help the Ramsay Research Fund invest in biomedical research, please donate now:
- with either a single online donation, click the button opposite,
- by cheque (made payable to: The ME Association Ramsay Research Fund) to: The ME Association, 7 Apollo Office Court, Radclive Road, Gawcott, Bucks MK18 4DF.
- by card donation over the phone to our head office (01280 818964).
Or, if you would like to fundraise for the Ramsay Research Fund, please start your online giving page, here.
Guitar and vocals: Robert Saunders (aka Robert McMullen; West Sussex, UK)
Harmony: Kaeley Pruit-Hamm (Seattle, WA, USA)
Chorus: Christina Kalinen (London, UK); Nikki Franklin (West Sussex, UK); Leela (USA); Maya Leutwiler (Zürich, Switzerland); Darla Nagel (Flushing, Michigan, USA); Lorna Robinson (West Sussex, UK); Olivia Rowe (North Cornwall, UK); Noa Henrietta Ruscheweyh-Sternberg (Hamburg, Germany); Barbara Saunders (West Sussex, UK); Emma Shorter (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK); Richard Shorter (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK); Simas (Lithuania); Becky Taurog (St Paul, MN, USA); Jen “Gemma” Taylor (Hagerstown, Maryland, USA); James Wallace (Hokkaido, Japan); Zoë Williams (Oxfordshire, UK)
Video images: Anna and Jonas, ME Perspective (Switzerland)
Arrangement, production and alternative lyrics: Robert Saunders
Original music & lyrics: Bob Dylan
- The Independent: Time for Unrest – Why patients with M.E. are demanding justice – Nathalie Wright, 7th January, 2018.
- To request an MP3 and/or video file to play at an event, please email asongforMEcfs@gmail.com
- More information about this song, including resources for anyone wanting to play it at a #MillionsMissing event, is available on the #MEAction website.
- This video is also available on YouTube.