67 Blankets hits high note with new anthem

Initially, celebrities hauled out their knitting needles for Madiba. Then they invested in crochet hooks. And now theyve brought their mics to the table, and non-profit organisation 67 Blankets for Mandela has its own song.

Like the beautifully crafted blankets that keep thousands of people around the world warm, each verse of the song was stitched together with lots of love and care by selfless people who wanted to be part of something bigger. Renowned musicians PJ Powers, Timothy Moloi and Proverb donated their voices. The lyrics to the incredible 67 Blankets Anthem were written by 11-year-old Ella Grealy and two prison inmates, Ntutuzelo Mdingi and Nkosinathi Majola. Musician Neill Solomon wrote the music Mauritz Lotz did the arrangement.

Each time the song is downloaded, it will raise funds for the 67 Blankets journey. And its going for a song on various platforms from as little as R7.50. Two versions of The 67 Blankets Anthem are already available, and a third is in the pipeline. Some of the money raised from sales of the song will go towards having Buskaid play on version three. Who knows maybe the combination of Ella, the two Zonderwater prisoners, acclaimed flautist Wouter Kellerman and Buskaid could notch up another Grammy win for Kellerman. The rest of the sales will go to wool.

As 67 Blankets gears up to take back its world record for the biggest crocheted blanket recently snatched by a blanket measuring more than 11000 square metres in India on April 22, it is also getting ready for a huge recording of the new anthem.

Prior to the world record attempt, there will be an event at Steyn City, near Sandton, on 10 April with Lead SA, said founder of 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day, Carolyn Steyn.

We need all knit-wits to buy the song so that we can film them singing the song on 10 April at Mandela Park.

Brendan Grealy, who was the driving force behind the song, explained how his daughter, Ella (who is also Steyns god daughter) starting writing it in January 2015. We were seated at the piano and, as is her want, she just plays and sings.

Grealy approached his old mate Neill Solomon about writing the music, the other lyricists and musicians signed up and all of a sudden we had a very good backing track.

PJ Powers, Tim Moloi and Proverb recorded in Neills Passage One Studios. A video was produced by Richard Nosworthy of Plum productions. The fact that world-famous recording artists agreed to perform on the record was testament to how highly people regard Carolyn Steyns 67 Blankets initiative, said Grealy.

A second version of the anthem has been recorded Nate Butler, a well-known producer from the United States re-arranged the original and come up with a different version of the same song. This second rendition of the 67 Blankets Anthem also features Blaze Johnson, a finalist on The Voice USA team Adam Levine, and once again Tim Moloi.

Both songs are available on iTunes just type 67 Blankets into the information box for R7.99 for one or both for R15.98. On MTNplay, the song is available for R7.50 and the ringtone for R2, and the songs are also available on CCA (Content Connect Africa). Stitch by stitch, note for note, and download for download, the 67 Blankets team of volunteers will continue to endeavour to keep people warm this winter.

67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela The Anthem

Take a red, pink, green or blue
Put in a needle and push the other through
Be a knitwit or a happy hooker
It dont madda what your blanket looka

Its a knitting revolution going on
Keep Nations warm away from the cold
The good fun has begun . to change the world
Thousands of blankets to . bring joy and cheer.
All over the world we knit for him
From Mandela square to Washington
We covered ground at the UNION Square
At the feet of Madiba with everybody there
A pasture full of colour and love
Overseen by him from above

The challenge has won …. campaign of the year
Blankets in the sun . to bring joy and cheer
67 Blankets has begun . a knitting revolution

We bring light we bring light
And we bring love we bring love
Nelson Mandela (Rolihlahla) is looking down from above
(PJ lookin down from above)

This is a dedication to the Father of our Nation the Father of our Liberation
Its a celebration for a dedication 27 years of Meditation
You left us with a legacy . of reconciliation and for that .
We just want to thank you by dropping this Anthem
And by accepting the challenge 67 blankets cause .
If you the Wool thats livin within the people then we need to make a blanket .
Cause we are the knitting needles

The challenge has won …. campaign of the year
Blankets in the sun . to bring joy and cheer
We bring light, we bring light
And we bring love, we bring love
Nelson Mandela (Rolihlahla) is looking down from above

Visit www.67blankets.co.za.

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