“Forgotten” Crowded House Song ‘Help Is Coming’ Given New Life To Aid Refugee Crisis
Written by Michael Carr on 11th September, 2015
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The track, which had previously only seen the light of day on the rarities compilation Afterglow, was released in 1999 but has been giving new life after Paphides contacted Crowded House, Universal and Apple about rereleasing the song to raise funds and awareness to aid in the Syrian refugee crisis.
Paired with a new video directed by Mat Whitecross depicting the current crisis in Syria as well as the ordeal of immigration, it sends a powerful message. Opening with a heartfelt speech by Benedict Cumberbatch who delivers the powerful lines: “As people watching this tragedy from the safety of our homes, with our safe children, we want to say that we see you, we hear you and help is coming.”
You can watch the video, below.
Neil Finn said the following in a statement made to media about the song’s re-release.
“I am continually amazed and grateful for the mysterious pathways that songs can travel. You never know where they are going to turn up and when they will reveal their true nature. First recorded in 1995, quietly released in 1999 ‘Help Is Coming’ has had a long journey to find a good home. It was always a song about refugees even if at the time I was thinking about the immigrants setting off on ships from Europe to America, looking for a better life for their families in America. The words of the poem inscripted on the Statue of Liberty are an extraordinary statement of intent for the development of a great nation “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.
“There is such a huge scale and urgency to the current refugee crises that barely a day goes by without some crushing image or news account to confront us. We can’t be silent anymore. Like the diverse immigrants that made America great, these are good people that just want to find somewhere safe to create a better life for their families. I am grateful to Pete and Caitlin for imagining my song might resonate – and to Mat Whitecross for creating such a powerful film to accompany it. It’s an honour to be a part of a growing chorus of voices to create action and make it real…help is coming”
The song itself carries a powerful message of hope, which is what originally drove Paphides to push for it’s re-release. In a piece written for The Guardian, Paphides describes the song and it’s impact on him.
“Help Is Coming was a hushed, heartbreaking hymn to all those people who, in Finn’s words, “had arrived from Europe on ships to Ellis Island, seeking a better life for their families in America.
“This was the song that faded up into my head in the early hours of last Wednesday, as footage of Syrian refugees alighting dinghies played out in front of me. The following day, I contacted Finn and friends at The Vinyl Factory and asked them if they would produce a vinyl version of Help is Coming, with proceeds going to Save the Children. Since then, it’s hard to comprehend the chain of events that has – via Mat Whitecross’s extraordinary accompanying film – seen the song gain a worldwide release.”
As Paphides himself points out later in the article, the success of the release is a perfect example of the power of pop music to unite us and help us empathise with the plights of those less fortunate than us. And while it shouldn’t take a pop song to do that, as Paphides says: “isn’t it miraculous that a pop song has the power to do that at all?”
The song is available to download from iTunes with all profits going to Save The Children and a limited edition 7? single will be available via The Vinyl Factory on the 28th of September with an exclusive b-side.
Find out more at www.helpiscoming.org and you can watch the video below.