The song is featured on a short film by Mat Whitecross, and features an introduction by Benedict Cumberbatch.
Broadcasters/writers Caitlin Moran and Pete Paphides were saddened and angered last week by the images of three-year-old Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi and his brother Galip.
Pete Paphides: “I started imagining my family in a similar situation, and almost without me realising it, a song I hadn’t heard for several years started playing in my head. Help Is Coming was recorded by Crowded House over 20 years ago, but it evokes with uncanny empathy the howling uncertainty faced by thousands of families arriving in Europe for the first time. The following day, I contacted friends at The Vinyl Factory – a label that owns the old EMI pressing plant in Hayes – with a view to manufacturing a seven-inch single with all the proceeds going to Save The Children. They responded immediately, offering to waive all their manufacturing costs”.
Caitlin Moran: "The day after the pictures of three-year-old Alan Kurdi went around the world – it was like a switch had been flicked. My social media timelines were full of people who just could not stay inactive any more; who were exasperated with the lack of governmental action. There were people posting up Amazon wish lists of tents, sleeping bags, clothes; people hiring vans to drive down to Calais; people organising libraries, and soup kitchens. People doing that brilliant, simple, ageless human thing: of wanting to help other people. Whilst committees convene and resolutions are published and squabbles break out between this government and that, normal people just become very practical: they roll up their sleeves, and say: “Right. if I’d just fled my country with my family, what would I need? Shelter, food, and clothing. maybe some books, for the kids. Let’s get started now.” So, Pete and I were just doing what everyone else was doing, really. He’d found the perfect song – Help Is Coming, about refugees on their way to Ellis Island, with “Empires crumbling” behind them – and I just went on Facebook and told everyone what we were doing. And everyone was desperate to help – everyone felt the same way".
The 7" single of Crowded House’s ‘Help Is Coming’ with an exclusive previously unreleased b-side ‘Anthem’ with new artwork by Crowded House’s bass player Nick Seymour is available to pre-order now from The Vinyl Factory.
The download is available from iTunes. Apple, as well as Universal Music Group, the artists, and producers of Help Is Coming, will be donating their respective proceeds.
Crowded House’s Neil Finn and Capitol Records have both kindly agreed to donate the royalties and all proceeds from the track to Save The Children.
Neil Finn: "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 response from those wanting to help Pete and Caitlin was instantaneous:
Caitlin Moran: “Within 24 hours we had Mat Whitecross directing the video, Outside Organisation doing the PR, photojournalists sending footage, offers of help from every organisation I’ve ever worked with, like Save The Children, and Glastonbury. A council of elders gave us a crash course in how to do something. Because that’s that humans do. We help.”
Pete Paphides: "After a frantic period which involved Caitlin and I emailing and phoning everyone we could think of, we heard back from Mat Whitecross, who has directed videos for Coldplay and Take That and worked on acclaimed documentaries such as The Road To Guantanamo. Mat immediately offered to make a film for this song. On Monday, I turned up at the offices of Universal and showed them Mat’s film. Their immediate response was, “What can we do?” Within an hour they threw all their resources, spread across every department, into effecting a Friday release. It wasn’t a matter of choosing “the right song” for this. The song chose itself. Help Is Coming is about the leap of faith you take when you leave everything and place yourself at the mercy of other people.
Mat Whitecross: "My wife and I have been watching the news every night and feeling helpless. Our parents were refugees, who fled their countries in fear of their lives – mine from Argentina, hers from Iran. So we both grew up knowing how important it is to offer shelter and support to those who need it.
“There’s a beautiful tradition of hospitality we’ve had throughout this country’s history. It’s one of the things that makes me feel proud to live here – but ashamed when we forget that tradition. Our thanks go to Simon Rawles who gave us permission to use his interviews with the children.”
Justin Forsyth, Save the Children CEO: “The UK has a proud history of offering children and families refuge from extreme crises and the compassion show by the British public has matched the scale of this crisis. The Prime Minister’s announcement to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees direct from the region into Britain is welcome news, but we cannot forget those refugees who have already made the journey to Europe, specifically the 3,000 children who have travelled here completely alone. The outpouring of support from the British public has shown what we are capable of so let’s continue to show solidarity in support of the child refugees. No child should be left behind. Thank you to all those who have worked on this single – it will help to keep the public’s attention focused – and in turn European leaders accountable – on one of the biggest refugee crisis of our time. No more body bags. No more children dying on our doorstep.”