Paul McCartney’s record label asked LIPA to record a special version of his song We All Stand Together for the celebrations of Rupert the Bear’s 100th birthday.
To mark the occasion, the original track, a top three hit for Paul in 1984, has been re-released by Universal Music Group as a limited-edition picture disc, while a fully restored version of the award-winning accompanying film Rupert and the Frog Song was issued on YouTube.
The latest version (recorded by LIPA 4-19 students) was a sing-along video with added lyrics and a bouncing animated frog. This was shared on Paul’s YouTube channel on 9 November as part of the birthday celebrations.
Kerry Watkins (Head of LIPA 4-19) says it was the first time for many of the students that they’d heard the song. “They loved singing it. I think it’s because it’s such a vibrant song with a real happy feel to it. They had great fun recording it, especially the quite tricky harmonies.”
Teachers and students arranged, rehearsed, recorded and filmed the song in one week, with 22 students aged between 10 and 16 years old. Kerry says everyone pulled together to make it happen. “We got the original score from the record company, which our choir director/teacher, Sam Ferry, then re-arranged for a children’s choir.
“We then had two days to rehearse and record it with our singing teacher, Dan Ellenburg, engineering the sessions. The kids were amazing. They were so professional. To be able turn it around in such a short time is a great achievement by students and staff.”
The invitation to record a version of Paul McCartney’s We All Stand Together comes two years after the LIPA 4-19 students appeared on stage with him to perform Wonderful Christmastime at the Liverpool M&S Bank Arena in December 2018.