Hornchurch musician helps to write charity Christmas song

hogarth primary school choir

Hogarth Primary School's choir with (back row left to right) headteacher Nera Butcher, music coordinator Hannah Herbert and Geoff Bagwell. - Credit: Hogarth Primary School

A Hornchurch musician has helped to pen a Christmas song featuring a school choir in a bid to raise money for charities.

Paul Saint and Geoff Bagwell have written 'Over By Christmas', which includes pupils from Hogarth Primary School.

Paul and Geoff make up the musical duo The Transistor Brothers in their spare time  - the latter is a teaching assistant at the school, in Riseway, Brentwood, while the former is a graphic designer.

paul saint and geoff bagwell

Paul Saint and Geoff Bagwell as The Transistor Brothers. - Credit: The Transistor Brothers

After observing year six pupils learning about the First World War, Geoff, from Brentwood, got inspired to come up with the idea for the song to convey the significance of the mistaken opinion of people at the start of the conflict that it would be finished by Christmas in 1914.

It didn't end until 1918 after millions had died.

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The tune was sung at the school's remembrance service in November and the school choir was added to the recording.

"We wrote a Christmas song as we saw it as a way to boost our pensions, but once the school became involved it kind of snowballed," Paul and Geoff joked.

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"We decided to use it as a way to also raise funds for music in primary schools and military veterans charities."

The pair admitted that people had asked if the tune is about Covid, but explained that the link was not intentional.

They said it was great to have the children involved on the song, adding: "They are so excited about the project and it would be great for them to hear themselves on the radio or even TV."

Paul and Geoff first met at The Royal Liberty School, Gidea Park in 1981 and recorded together before their lives took them in different directions.

They reformed three years ago, playing at pubs and clubs across east London and Essex.

They hope to complete their first album once they can return to the studio.

Paul said: “Reforming The Transistor Brothers really helped me through a tough period personally, and I’ve really missed getting together during the restrictions.

"But I'm looking forward to getting back out there once all this is over."

Over by Christmas can be bought by visiting their website transistorbrothers.co.uk.

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