Tim Walker: Gary and Harry and a tambourine

Tales from the water cooler ...

Related Topics

XFactor judge Gary Barlow's commemorative Diamond Jubilee song was broadcast for the first time yesterday on the Radio 2 Breakfast Show. The song, "Sing", features indigenous Australian guitarist Gurrumul, drums by the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force Band, vocals from Gareth Malone's Military Wives – and Prince Harry on tambourine. The songwriter was asked whether Harry (who also appears in the video, dancing) demonstrated any innate musical talent. "No," he replied.

Barlow told the Press Association he'd originally intended to record the single in Britain with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, but was warned by the Prince of Wales that the Queen would prefer a more international flavour. "He said, 'If you really want the Queen to like this, find people; go and travel and find people.' And it was at that point I had to go back to the BBC and say, we need a bit more money because we've got to get on a plane and go off round the world."

It's testament to Barlow's songwriting that – having travelled to every corner of the Commonwealth, eliciting contributions from Australia, Africa, Jamaica, the South Pacific and the House of Windsor – he's managed to produce something that sounds so much like a Take That track. The music was co-written with Lord Lloyd Webber, but Barlow composed the lyrics himself. "Sing it louder, sing it clearer, knowing everyone will hear ya," implores the chorus, neglecting to suggest what, exactly, the Commonwealth's 2.1bn citizens ought to sing about. (Her Maj, maybe?)

Of the other potential candidates, Damon Albarn might have made something more interesting of all these influences, but I suspect he's insufficiently monarchist – not to mention a bit busy with the Olympics. Arise, Sir Gary, then.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

£17000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity is now ...

Recruitment Genius: Account Executive - Graduate / Entry Level

£22000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital advertising infras...

Recruitment Genius: European Sales Director - Aerospace Cable & Wire

£100000 - £125000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a top tier supplier to the...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Project Manager

£17100 - £22900 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the North West's leading...

Day In a Page

Read Next

Caitlyn Jenner's first shoot is a victory - but is this really best version of femininity we can aspire to?

Sirena Bergman
The sun balances next to St Albans Church in Earsdon, North Tyneside.  

The world’s nations have one last chance to slow climate change

Michael McCarthy
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral