Millions of people have been displaced by the Syrian civil war, and while governments around the world decide if or how many refugees they’ll let into their borders, private citizens are trying to help out however they can. In the United Kingdom, journalists Caitlin Moran and Pete Pephides have decided to try and do something.
After Pephides realized that the Crowded House song “Help is Coming” summarized how he felt about the refugee situation and his desire to help, he and his wife Caitlin got in touch with the band and got permission to release the song as a single for charity. Neil Finn of Crowded House said that he was more than happy to use the song for this purpose, as it was always about refugees in the first place, albeit about people moving to America. But the song’s theme of people leaving, or fleeing, their homes for a better situation elsewhere remains constant.
The song is already available on iTunes, and will be released on 7” vinyl as well after September 29th. That’s all well and good, but what will likely help move copies even faster is that Benedict Cumberbatch has lent his considerable cultural weight to the project. Cumberbatch, perhaps best known for playing Sherlock Holmes on BBC, has quite a following in both the United Kingdom and the United States, and probably anywhere that BBC or Hollywood has made inroads, really.
Cumberbatch recorded a short message, including a quote from Kenyan born British poet Warsan Shire, which is included as part of a video that accompanies the song. The video, created by Mat Whitecross, also includes interviews with Syrian children, coupled with footage of refugees arriving in Europe for the first time. The focus on children makes sense as the proceeds from the song will be donated to Save the Children.