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What about the family / Hope behind the headline

What about the family? / Hope behind the headline

Song in a Day first visited Dover Immigration Removal Centre on 29th June 2009 to write and record the track 'What about the family?'. The workshop participants shared stories about their lives and their hopes and concerns for the future, which centred around family. For some of the detainees, removal fromt he UK would mean separation from wives and children already established in this country. The detainees worked collaboratively to turn the shared thoughts and emotions into song lyrics.

The finished song is a testament to a very rich collaboration and a memorable session.

Following the success of this project Song in a Day were invited to facilitate a Community Exchange Project between detainees at Dover Immigration Removal Centre and Year 8 pupils at Archers Court Maths and Computing College in Dover in November 2009.

The sharing of creative expression (including music, lyrics, artwork and recorded discussions) throughout the project offered great insight into the lives of those experiencing indefinite asylum and detention. The participants at the IRC clearly benefited from an opportunity to share their music and connect with people in the local community. The musical and lyrical ideas for all these tracks are the product of this exchange. 

The title piece 'Hope behind the headline' tells the story of migration in Dover. By chance, one of the Archers Court teachers supporting the workshop had lived locally for some years and was able to give us a candid history of inward migration to Dover over the last couple of decades. The pupils wrote a song to tell this story, in the hope that more people may become aware of its lessons.

Most of all, there was a rich exchange of questions, thoughts and feelings between the two groups, which allowed the children to understand and empathise with detainees on a human level. 

These projects were delivered by Song in a Day, facilitated by Daniel James, Kevin Davidson and with support from Jonathan Russell, on behalf of Music In Detention. Particular thanks goes to Ashton Mills, who provided guest violin and enthusiastic support for the workshops.

Music In Detention (MID) works through music to give voice to immigration detainees and create channels of communication between them, immigration detention staff, local communities and the wider public.

Music for Change is a leading arts and educational organisation committed to promoting awareness, understanding and respect for cultural diversity. Working with skilled and experienced artists from around the world, the role of the organisation is to encourage people to celebrate cultural commonality and diversity whilst challenging preconceptions and prejudice.

Song in a Day has been running inspirational creative workshops since 2007, led by Daniel James and Kevin Davidson. Both musicians, Dan is an award-winning wriiter and has an MA in Creative Writing whilst Kev is a workshop facilitator specialising in music, singing, movement and rhythm. Together they wrote and performed a protest song 'I fought the Lloyds' which hit the UK singles chart at number 25 in 2008. Their workshops incorporate music, movement, percussion, creative writing and artwork. 


No nationality

Spoken, conversational


Hope behind the headline



Life you didn’t wish for

Poem, spoken word


Introducing… Mr Williams



Soundclash (Mr Williams)



All I want is freedom (remix)

Reggae, soul





It only takes (just’a one mistake)

Samba, indie, conversational



Conversational, drumming/shouting


Want to work (Mikey General)



Music is a Ting

Samba, hip hop, rap


What about the family?

Folk rock


Everybody do make mistakes



All I want is freedom (full version)

Reggae, soul

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