School charity song sparks celebrity stir on cyberspace

Published Date: 

14 Nov 2014 - 16:57

Pupils at Dunoon Grammar School are celebrating the success of a song released to commemorate the centenary of World War 1 which is proving to be a big hit on social media all over the world and has attracted compliments from celebrities.

Arlene MacKechnie (15) and Abigail Pryde (17) from the Argyll and Bute school obtained permission from composer Eric Bogle to publish a version of his iconic song ‘No Man’s Land’ on social media on Remembrance Day, 11 November 2014.

Launched on YouTube, with a link to War Child’s JustGiving donation page, the song sparked massive interest across the country and achieved impressive statistics on social media within just three days - including huge interest on Twitter, a 20,000 Facebook post reach and attracting 1,750 direct views on YouTube from 30 different countries.

The school had planned to record a video to support the song and release it on iTunes and other online music stores early in 2015 – with proceeds going to the children’s charity War Child. However, with the launch of a Joss Stone and Jeff Beck version earlier this month the pupils decided it was time to air their very own version.

Many celebrities have shared the song on their twitter feeds including Jools Holland, Eddie Reader, John MacKay of  STV News, ex-Scotland captain Colin Hendry, former First Minister of Scotland Lord McConnell, Dougie Vipond, The Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Nick Nairn, Christopher Brookmyre, Graham Speirs, Jim Gellatly and Jonathan Watson.

A particular highlight for the pupils was a message of good luck from Judy Murray.

Arlene MacKechnie who played piano on the track commented, “We are overwhelmed with the support the song has received from our local community and amazed with the reaction nationally on social media. We would like to thank everyone who has donated to our chosen charity War Child.”

Abigail Pryde who performed vocals on the track, said, “To get such amazing feedback from Eric Bogle relating to our interpretation to his iconic song is astonishing. We would like to thank everyone who has supported us in this project – especially the staff in the Business and Computing department in Dunoon Grammar and also our fellow musicians in our band ‘Heron Valley’ who helped us record and produce the track.”

Head Teacher of Dunoon Grammar, David Mitchell added, “We are delighted with the response the song has received and the recognition of Arlene and Abigail’s talents. We believe the Dunoon Grammar School version of ‘No Man’s Land’ is a fitting memorial to former pupils of our school who lost their lives in World War 1. I would like to thank Mr Bogle for granting us permission to record his song. We are also delighted to raise awareness of the work of War Child in supporting children across the globe, innocent children who are currently caught up in conflict. I would urge listeners who enjoyed the song to consider making a donation to this worthwhile cause through our JustGiving page.”

The Dunoon Grammar School version of ‘No Man’s Land’ can be found at: youtu.be/LV3huPJOC7U 

Donations can be made to War Child at:
https://www.justgiving.com/dgsnomansland