Love Letter to Liverpool

A Love Letter to Liverpool was recorded by Jennifer Johnston (mezzo soprano) and Alisdair Hogarth (piano) in May 2019, and tells the story of Jennifer’s childhood and heritage against the backdrop of her home city. It features new arrangements of songs by ten composers that have a connection to Liverpool, including Bethan’s arrangement of Liverpool Lullaby.

Made famous by Cilla Black, Liverpool Lullaby has been through a series of transformations since being lifted from an early 19th-century folk song. The music that forms Robert Nunn’s Sandgate Dandling Song (composed ca. 1830) is the same music that Stan Kelly chose to base Liverpool Lullaby on (some 130 years later). In 1965, Liverpool Lullaby was recorded by Marian McKenzie (The Three City Four) and has since been covered by many musicians including Hughie Jones (The Spinners), Judy Collins, Val Doonican, the Ian Campbell Folk Group and of course, Cilla Black. Bethan’s arrangement uses Nunn’s melody and Kelly’s text, while presenting a new accompaniment that tempts the music into the classical realm. Described as “a haunted miniature music-drama” [Richard Bratby, Gramophone], the new arrangement provides yet another transformation of this poignant song.

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All proceeds will be donated equally between Alderhey Children’s Charity and the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Company.