Military Wives Choirs, Remember - album review

By Leigh Sanders | Staffordshire entertainment | Published:

Thanks to the likes of Britain's Got Talent and TV choirmaster Gareth Malone, choirs are back on the up in Britain.

This record comprises 69 choirs and 1,105 singers

Outside of Wales, where choral music seems to be entwined in their identity in places, for years it has struggled to be seen as anything but uncool or a game for old people.

Not any more. Choirs are everywhere. And age, race, social background matters little in defining who can join in.

One of the biggest winning areas is the Armed Forces, as the country's love of singing and honouring the military combine to great effect. Here, Military Wives Choirs take up that mantra.

This record comprises 69 choirs - 1,105 singers - across the country and outside our borders too, combining with musicians across the three services.

And there is local interest, too. RAF Cosford and MOD Stafford from Beacon Barracks both appear on three of the tracks, as do RAF Shawbury near Shrewsbury in Shropshire.

Their voices contribute to lead single The Poppy Red, as well as We Will Remember Them and the Welsh language Ar Hyd Y Nos (All Through The Night).

They are actually some of the stronger offerings on the record, and that's even taking the local bias gloss of it.

The Poppy Red, with The Band of the Household Cavalry, is an emotive number with rising and falling harmonies that should touch even the hardest of hearts. based on the First World War poem We Shall Keep The Faith, all 1,105 voices appear on this commemorative tribute to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.


Ar Hyd Y Nos (or rather the English equivalent) will be familiar to those who enjoy this type of music, its uplifting tone piercing through the usual dank atmosphere of songs about the gloomier part of the day.

It doesn't all hit home, but then these aren't highly trained professionals. They are people striving to raise money for SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity, of which they are a subsidary. Some of the high notes are missed, and it can make the pitch of songs like Pack Up Your Troubles a bit more difficult to listen to.

Your feelings on choirs as a whole will shape your liking of this record, but the finishing off with Gustav Holst's I Vow To Thee, My Country, again with The Band of the Household Cavalry, is a lovely reminder of how upbeat choral music can be a whole lotta fun.

Rating: 6/10

Leigh Sanders

By Leigh Sanders

Senior sub editor for the MNA portfolio and entertainments writer leaning towards features and reviews. Get releases to me at


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