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The boys’ choir that walked out on its audience

We have been sent this riveting video of a concert that took place last week in Wuppertal, Germany, on International Children’s Day. Further comment is superfluous. Just watch. Haydn would have been proud.

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UPDATE here.

2nd UPDATE here.

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  1. Norman, thanks for including this.

    • Yes, thank you and I wish all you intellectual freaks could just shut up for once and simply appreciate an idea. Boys/girls, men/women, black/white . Just grow up and stop weighing and finding fault with EVERYTHING.

      • Bravo Lorreta, could not agree more !!

      • Harimandir says:

        Sat Nam Dear Loretta,
        There is no Other. We are all One. Bright/dull, intellectual/unschooled, fault finding/gratitude,
        angry/compationate, talkers/listeners, book smart/street smart, weighing/balancing, adults/children,
        fearful/loving, gracious/irritable, kind/accusing, etc.
        We are all continums of our shadow/angelic Selves. Reach out from your Heart and plant the seeds of Heart energy in those you care about and those who are challenging to you. As we deeply and slowly Breathe, we can imagine our exhale coming from our Heart center and as we send it out that essential healing Breath will plant seeds of kind compationate awareness in others – regardless of their personality, politics, religion or even their behavior.
        May all love surround you, and the pure Light within you guide your way home.


        • Dear Harimandir, didn’t you mean Sat Nav? (regarding your Light guiding you home). If there’s no light then surely must be the Sat Nav. ommm….

          • I was unschooled.
            A form of homeschooling.

            I hope we all get pure light, from the fusion of hydrogen in the sun that gives us life.
            So yes, light within me will guide me home.

      • paula brochu says:


      • Susan Mulholland says:

        This is a heartfelt statement that has nothing to do with girl/boy, man/woman/, black/white, etc…….it doesn’t matter! The point of it sheds light on our humanity as a whole….the human condition that we all share…our sameness, not our differences. Please stop quibbling with the small stuff. We are all in this life together, folks!

  2. riveting indeed!! thanks so much for this…..

  3. simply moving & movingly simple. Bravi!

  4. Ann Kennedy says:

    Thank you for sharing this. Wonderful statement.

  5. Jeannette Paterson says:

    If only those of us who are so moved by this statement would continue to remember the implied message long after we watch this brief lesson.

  6. Gorgeous and so touching.

  7. Where are the women?

    • Not sure if you’re being sarcastic, but it’s a boys choir….

      Anyway, what a fantastic, touching, simple, beautiful video. I hope it will result in a huge financial windfall for the International Children’s Fund, who puts 98% of its contributions to use.

      • But why is it a boy’s choir? Half of children are female. Having females in that choir would not affect the sound of the song, unlike in adult choirs. Given that female children are more likely to be killed at birth or simply aborted just for being female, I think it’s a valid question. Every 3 minute a child dies, but let’s not kid ourselves that the girl children are mourned as much as the boys.

        • AreYouSerious says:

          Okay, either you’re purposely being obtuse, or you really are that breathlessly dumb. It’s a boys’ choir. It has a distinct sound, which is why boys’ choirs have been around for hundreds of years. I guess the boys can’t try to raise some money for a good cause now because there aren’t any girls among their ranks? Your statement is ridiculous and offensive. Please inform yourself on these things before making another useless, self-righteous, PC call for “equality”.

          • Petros Linardos says:

            I agree that the cause trumps the equality issue.

            That said, sound is not necessarily the key reason of the long tradition of boys’ choirs. “Boys’ choirs, as a Euro-American cultural tradition, developed in the Middle Ages. Boys were then responsible for contributing a treble sound to church music, since women were typically barred from the performance of sacred music in a public (gender mixed) context.”


          • I think this is a reference to this thread:

            in which the main participant argues that all ensembles should be gender equal, and no differences exist between male and female performers of given instruments. If the Vienna Phil isn’t allowed to be largely male, should a boys’ choir be allowed to exist? That’s the interesting thought here.

          • The voices of these boys have not yet changed. They are not thaT much different from the voices of girls.
            It would be lovely if it were a children’s choir instead of a boys’ choir, however, I think the the children did a wonderful job.
            Not sure why the question is offensive . . .

          • for hundreds of years boys’ choir were used because for hundred of years the girls were discriminated
            and considered second class people if they are considered people at all!

          • Anon is referring to me in his post. I do not feel orchestras should exclude women, and there is no objective evidence that including them changes their sound. I have not advocated quotas. And I have nothing against boys choirs or girls choirs.

          • William – does that mean you accept there may be reasons, in some circumstances, to have an all-male ensemble, or an all-girl ensemble? (FWIW – I certainly do, particularly in the case of choirs).
            If so, doesn’t that rather undermine your many arguments against an all-male orchestra, which now seem to be less form a point of gender equality principle, and more from a point of “I don’t think it’s right, and because I say so, it shouldn’t be allowed”.
            I don’t think you can have it both ways, unless you are suggesting establishing a rule but allowing exceptions, which rather defeats the point of the rule.

          • I have no objection to boys’ choirs in principle. I’m simply pointing out that asking the question, is not offensive, it’s valid.

            Some people find questions offensive. Interesting.

            Oh and of course equality must go to the back of they queue, because it always does. Women, for goodness sake, stop assuming that your human rights are as important as everyone else’s.

          • Asking questions is of course not offensive as you know very well, I think that it should asked in another thread as the whole idea of this video was to draw attention to the shocking figures and to raise funds. So please take all points, questions and anything that is not directly commenting on the original intention of the video elsewhere.

        • It is an absolutely valid question. It could’ve been a children’s choir, but it’s not. However, the reality is that there are boys choirs and there are girls choirs. It’s traditional for many places. Don’t ruin a perfectly good statement with political correctness. There are plenty of all female choirs out there, too. What about the Sweet Adelines International?

        • Umm….are you o.k.? Its really not difficult to rap your head around. Boys choir=boys choir. Heres a thought, instead of opening your mouth to judge why not get your own choir together to do this.

        • Surely you aren’t serious?………but if you are , well what about all that inequality to us ‘lads’ …… you suppose we like a cast iron lid on a hole in the ground being called a ‘man’hole, love changing the flat tyre in the pouring rain whilst you check your makeup in the drivers mirror or relish the thought of tackling the high high street at Christmas (done because we love you!).?…Men are men,women are women, boys are boys and girls are girls…..get over it, I went to an all boys school, which I hated ,I would have loved to have studied at the nearby girls school, but they soon saw through my cunning disguise ( long hair, and a dress)…..I’ve still got the dress , but alas not the long hair !!

          • I am sitting here giggling at your statement about the ‘man hole cover’! I am thinking this whole thread is unraveling!

        • There are all girl choirs, bands etc. you are maybe raising a valid argument, but it is a boys choir and by putting your comments here you are diverting attention from the whole point of this very well staged and moving appeal; FOR ALL CHILDREN, not just boys. Please use some other forum for your comments and opinions.

        • As a choral director of 38 years, I must respond. You have to be joking. How can you take such a powerful performance by a boys’ choir and reduce it to this discussion? A girls’ choir, madrigal choir, church choir or ANY choir could have sung this message with the same power. Did you donate?

        • …and welcome to the Oppression Olympics.

          • Ah yes, “oppression olympics”.

            The expression used to silence groups which have been historically oppressed. It’s an amusing way of saying “STFU about oppression”.

            Nice silencing technique, doesn’t work on me because I’ll continue to respond as long as people continue to make comments I feel merits a response.

          • It’s not an expression used to silence the historically oppressed. It’s an expression used to call out individuals who show up in the middle of a discussion with their own flag of oppression, and turn the focus to their own issue. Kind of like a competitor showing up in the middle of the high jump competition and moaning the lack of a swimming pool. Sound at all familiar?

          • No, it is in fact an expression which is used to silence the historically oppressed. People “showing up” to discuss aspects of the story you don’t feel should be discussed in this time or place, is a separate issue from the use of that expression.

          • Oh god, whatever. I’ve stumbled into the den of a professional complainer. I already have a fulltime job. You win the Gold.

        • Tom in Oakland says:

          Ok, as a choirboy father & son of a single feminist mother of the 60′s, I’ll take a crack at this.

          We like all children’s choirs; both girls and boys who sing, and we love mixed choirs. The reality is, boys in mixed choirs tend to quit. If “required” to stay (coerced, bribed, whatever), boys don’t participate as fully, and don’t reach as high a level of ability. Sure there are a minority of boys who stay & do fine. I don’t think there’s any definitive answer “why,” that’s just the reality. Ask any mixed childrens’ choir: girls are more likely to be the stars, and they’re generally not good for boys. Sometimes boys and girls choirs perform jointly; those are great.

          By contrast, a boychoir seems to create the opposite “positive” peer pressure, to stick to it and work hard together. Boys are far more likely to stay, and the choir director can focus on boy-issues & boy-behaviors: boy ideas of fun, discipline, attention levels, etc. that are needed to keep boys this age focused and advancing in accomplishment and skill. It’s probably the same peer gender social pressures that leads to boys and girls sports teams, boys and girls schools and colleges. Sometimes it works for you, other times against you.

          Today my son sings tenor in a mixed high-school a-capella group and is enjoying it. I hope he continues to sing through college and adulthood, whether mixed choirs, men’s choirs, or solo. If as a child we had tried keeping him in a mixed children’s choir, he probably would not be singing at all right now.

          • These are good points here … agree totally with the experience that boys quit in a mixed choir, and that in a boychoir they seem to thrive better. And if someone can post and say that they have a great choir with 50/50 boys and girls I’ll take my hat off to them, whilst still wondering if thats the exception that proves the rule.

        • This is a boys choir. Consisting of boys. There are girls choirs consisting of girls. And there are choirs consisting of both boys and girls. But a girls choir did not create this performance. And neither did a boy/girl mixed choir. I am unsure why this is confusing some people.

          That this is even being discussed is proof of how intellectually limiting political correctness is.

          • “That this is even being discussed is proof of how intellectually limiting political correctness is.”

            Absolutely – but I would say it is far far worse; PC has a toxic effect on any society that adopts it. It does not promote togetherness – quite the opposite. A pox on all those who brought into the UK – that’s you Labour Party voters – you.

        • Equality is equal treatment and access to things in general, not to every little specific thing. I eat more than my wife, does that means she is unequally and mistreated because she did not eat exactly the same amount of food I ate?

        • You’re being silly. It was a boys choir and they happened to choose to put a message into they’re performance. I have been a singer for over 20 years, been in both mixed and gender specific choirs. If they were not already a choir, but instead came together for the sole purpose of performing this piece, then, yes, I might say they could ask others to participate; but the fact is, they are a choir and performed a moving piece of music while passing on a message. Get your head out of your ass and take it for what it is and that the boys were representing all children. I think they should be applauded. It was lovely, and well sung.

          • Bravo PeggyF, I wish all superfluous comments were on a different thread,we are of course all entitled to air our view but why spoil such an good message ?

        • Why didn’t you ask where the non-whites are? I reckon that a significant portion (if not most) of the children referenced at the end are non-white. Mind your own bias when criticizing that of others.

          It’s a German boy’s choir. Seriously, which part of that is hard to understand?

          • (Sorry, my reply was meant for Tommie.)

          • Oh yes, on one level I agree, where are the children of colour, where are the disabled children etc., you could choose any under-represented group you want, if you like. I was merely responding to the outrage expressed by someone when another poster asked the question. I think it’s a valid question enough. You might want to discuss it, you might not, but I think it just struck me as a bit OTT that someone was outraged that the question was even raised. People can raise any question they want, really, if other people don’t like it they don’t have to engage. There’s loads of stuff I don’t bother to engage with, because I don’t find it that interesting or I’ve done it to death or whatever.

          • I do not believe this where this thread has gone……do not suppose anybody would like to grow up ?

      • Wait a second…..
        Not only are boys, but they are all white!! WTH? The world loses more ethnic raced children than white…so why did the choir only have white males??!

        Don’t be dumb. You missed the point.

      • Oh get real people. Stop seeing inequality everywhere. Good Grief!!! PC run amok again.

    • Sorry, I’m a female choral singer who studied mainly early choral music in school. Boys’ voices do have a different timbre than girls’. If you are not very familiar with the music, you won’t notice it. But to those who are, there’s definitely a difference. A better question would be, why aren’t there girls’ choirs? The answer is tradition, basically.

      • there ARE girl’s choirs….did you miss the entire point of the performance?

      • One of the reasons that there are more boys choirs than girls choirs is simply put, a well trained prepubescent boy has more control over his voice than a girl of the same age – sorry to sound sexist – I don’t mean to, it’s just a fact. Girls come into their voices a bit later in life – there are of course exceptions, but try building a choir on exceptions… it’s MUCH easier training young boys voices than young girls voices.

        There – the can of worms is open – I’ll sit back and watch the mayhem I caused with an honest, non politically corrected comment!

        • Well, I was going to comment on the person who complained about the existence of boys’ choirs, but I’ll go for this instead, since it’s less foolish. In Seattle we have boys’ and girls’ choirs and, for example, soccer teams. I also lived in Germany and while some places are quite diverse, most of them are white because, well, I hate to put it this way but that’s kind of where they invented white people. A choir in Africa would be mostly if not entirely black.

          But to get to your point, what is the evidence that girls can’t control their voices? I’ve never heard such a thing.

          • Clearly most of the previous threads are from individuals whom from an alternate universe, making those of us who simply appreciated the talents of these young men and heard their intended message think to ourselves “what the hell are you talking about? The message was simple and powerful, your whole girl issues are the ranting of individuals who clearly have a lot of time on their hands, please,.move on.

          • Amazing, sadly says:

            Amazing how a conversation of comments on the profound and dramatic impact of this performance was hijacked into a gender-awareness debate.

            Mad world indeed!!!

          • fantasywriter says:

            Just to clarify, he said “more control,” he didn’t say no control. Just a point but a big one,

        • Can you provide any properly researched evidence for that? Because it just sounds like sexist rubbish to me.

          The reason there are more boys’ choirs is quite simply because girls were excluded from the life of the church for centuries and we’re still living with the consequences. Nothing more complicated than that. People can try and make up lots of (unevidenced) stories about how girls’ vocal chords are different or whatever, but really they don’t need to – all you need to do is look at history.

          • Take these nit-picking thoughts and arguments on a seperate thread………please !

          • Not really actually, there are plenty of scholarly articles on vocal chords and the production of sound. It really doesn’t have anything to do with the church. Just a boy’s choir, just as there are girl’s choirs… This song would have the exact same impact if a girls choir did it and I am positive that there are girls choirs in the world doing the EXACT SAME THING. As a singing teacher (10+ years AND FEMALE) I can agree with the statement that girls voices are much harder to train, because they are constantly influx especially the years leading UP TO puberty. My own voice took me years UPON YEARS, to control. The hormones produce altering effects on both genders as they mature. As for evidence, quit being so absolutely lazy and go google scholar the human vocal chords/folds and do some bloody research before you start throwing every single thing back to sexist history.

            People wouldn’t have an issue or even be discussing if it was an all girls choir, because we actually expect girls to do such ‘emotionally distraught’ pieces. So, as you argue for the fact that there are no girls, your actually reversing the entire issue to have a negative effect on women saying,’ well there’s no women so it has no meaning, because for it to be real it has to have women who experience the most sexism.’ Stop making the rest of the females in this world look ridiculous

          • Bravo,Shelby, I fervently hope that the comments you decry were in fact just stirring things up. If it was an intelectual question….then I despair !

          • “excluded from the life of the church”? Oh, baloney. Do you KNOW what the point of the Mass is. Prayer. That’s it. PRAYER. Anyone can pray. Maybe you ought to try it.

          • herbsandhags says:

            No thx, I don’t have an imaginary friend. Thank you for your interest though.

      • I just googled “boys choir” and “girls choir”
        I got around 7 million hits for boys, and 5 million hits for girls choir.

    • It’s a “boys” choir

    • Did you really ask that question? Good lord.

    • And this is why the Internet can’t have nice things.

      • Well put! This was a powerful performance with a sincere message. That someone would reduce it to a meaningless argument totally out of the context of the intent is exactly what is wrong with the internet.

      • This is the stupidests comment I have ever seen. The person who started this clearly missed the point. Are you really that shallow? That ignorant? That much of a feminist? There have been boy choirs for hundreds of years! I sing in a chorus of 90 voices, about 60 are women. Men rarely join chorus’ with women. I attended a womens’ college. Should it go coed? Honestly, you need to look at yourself and ask why on earth you posted such an incredibly stupid and pointless comment. This is an amazing video. It doesn’t matter who the singers were – boys or girls, black or white or green. It is what it is and it is amazing.

        Get over yourself and find something more important to complain about. This isn’t it.

      • Christophe….you just gave me a good belly laugh as my teens always say ‘…this is why we can’t have nice things’ whenever I do something they see as embarrassing or mad. I think it might have been from Futurama..but I’ve been known to be wrong!

    • Steve Lundberg says:

      Where are the men in the Supremes? It’s a boys choir.

    • Ya!! And where are the drum sets and synthesizers in this boys choir? And how come they are all white!

      Yes, it would have made more sense for girls to be part of the children dying off but it was a boys choir who did the project, so who cares. It was a moving message.

    • I think you are losing sight of the message: International Childrens Fund – it helps ALL children – what difference does it make if the message comes from a boys choir, a girls choirs, or Hells Angels? It’s a GOOD message!!! (no offense, H.A., just trying to make a point…) The Boys Choir did a terrific job!

    • I think you are losing site of the message: International Childrens Fund – it helps ALL children – who cares if the message comes from a boys choir, a girls choir, or the Hells Angels – it’s a GOOD message!

  8. Sven Sigurdar says:

    Wonderful. But why would Haydn have been proud? Are we talking about Joseph Haydn, the Austrian composer born 1732? Is this a piece by him?

    • Check Haydn’s Farewell Symphony.


        It was written for Haydn’s patron, Prince Nikolaus Esterházy, while he, Haydn and the court orchestra were at the Prince’s summer palace in Eszterháza. The stay there had been longer than expected, and most of the musicians had been forced to leave their wives back at home in Eisenstadt, so in the last movement of the symphony, Haydn subtly hinted to his patron that perhaps he might like to allow the musicians to return home: during the final adagio each musician stops playing, snuffs out the candle on his music stand, and leaves in turn, so that at the end, there are just two muted violins left (played by Haydn himself and the concertmaster, Alois Luigi Tomasini)

        • yjloiselle says:

          Thank you, Ryan. Informative, devoid of argument and keeps the message of this video intact. Further comment is superfluous.

          • Here’s a link to the Haydn version by an orchestra. I saw this performed once where each member of the orchestra had a candle (or the 2012 fire safe version of a candle anyway—flashlight). The music was performed in the dark with just those lights on their music stands and they would turn them off and walk off at the right moment.


      • Jon Fedler says:

        Do you have the words of this haunting song?

        • If you’re referring to “Mad World” (the song by the boy’s choir), it’s by Tears for Fears:

          All around me are familiar faces
          Worn out places, worn out faces
          Bright and early for their daily races
          Going nowhere, going nowhere
          And their tears are filling up their glasses
          No expression, no expression
          Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow
          No tomorrow, no tomorrow

          And I find it kind of funny
          I find it kind of sad
          The dreams in which I’m dying
          Are the best I’ve ever had

          I find it hard to tell you
          ‘Cos I find it hard to take
          When people run in circles
          It’s a very, very
          Mad World

          Children waiting for the day they feel good
          Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday
          Made to feel the way that every child should
          Sit and listen, sit and listen
          Went to school and I was very nervous
          No one knew me, no one knew me
          Hello teacher tell me what’s my lesson
          Look right through me, look right through me

          • paula brochu says:

            Good of you to post the lyrics. The problem with intellectuals, is the inability to leave things be and focus on the more important concept, when there is an opportunity to argue about something (anything) else. A simple person is not so easily distracted.

  9. Who wrote the song? Can I read the lyrics?

  10. To Brendysan

    All around me are familiar faces
    Worn out places, worn out faces
    Bright and early for the daily races
    Going nowhere, going nowhere

    Their tears are filling up their glasses
    No expression, no expression
    Hide my head I wanna drown my sorrow
    No tomorrow, no tomorrow

    And I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad
    The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had
    I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take
    When people run in circles its a very, very
    Mad world, mad world

    Children waiting for the day they feel good
    Happy birthday, happy birthday
    And I feel the way that every child should
    Sit and listen, sit and listen

    Went to school and I was very nervous
    No one knew me, no one knew me
    Hello teacher tell me, what’s my lesson?
    Look right through me, look right through me

    And I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad
    The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had
    I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take
    When people run in circles its a very, very
    Mad world, mad world, enlarging your world
    Mad world


  11. Alan Hughes says:

    Ban abortion – still 50 Million babies being murdered every year.

    • and just as many illegaly that can bring the mother to the grave to

    • So there will be more unwanted children, requiring an even bigger fund.

      Also, banning abortion results in more fatal illegal ones, not fewer.

    • DR. Philip Burbidge says:

      A woman’s right to choose must prevail. Banning abortion would drive it underground and take us back to the Dark Ages.

      • I hate to tell you – but WE are in the Dark Ages… blinded by our own desires and refusing God.
        Don’t tell me we are enlightened… like I said Dark Ages – here and now.

      • and let’s not forget the third but very valid choice no one ever seems to want to talk about: ADOPTION. There are many people who want children but can’t conceive. Making the choice to place the child for a adoption is the loving choice because it not only lets the child live but also gives someone else a chance to be a parent who otherwise would not be able to become a parent.

        • Adoption, now that’s something else that needs tweaking. I would love to adopt, as medical issues stopped me from having another child, but can’t afford to adopt.

        • Mrs Grimble says:

          Sabrina. there ARE plenty of children available for adoption by a loving family. The problem is that the majority of them aren’t the right kind of children. That is, they aren’t white, healthy or babies. Sad to say, that’s what most would-be adopters want; just ask any social worker who has worked in the childcare field.
          Also, you want women who have carried their babies for nine months, gone through the agonies of labour, to then just give that kid away to some woman who thinks she’d like to bring up a child? Why on earth would separating mother and baby be the “loving” choice?

          Anyway, sorry for derailing the thread. The music and the video were beautiful.

          • Mina,
            Just keep your heart open to adoption. We knew we had room in our hearts to adopt, we just didn’t know how it would happen. On a visit to Haiti, i met a young boy that is now part of our family. He literally fell into our laps. We hadn’t discussed adoption in a while and our kids were 12 and 14.
            He is perfect for our family! He is now 6, speaking English too well, if you ask his siblings, healthy, and happy. He was already a US citizen due to the fact he was born in the US when his sister and mother came over for a cornea transplant for his sister. It made things much more affordable.
            Now we have a relationship to his small community and I was able to raise funds for a well and pump system for his entire community to combat the Cholera epidemic. His life, being born where he was, and our willingness to adopt him has led to many children’s and adult’s lives being saved.

        • Yes, adoption is a very good CHOICE. A woman who is pregnant has to be legally permitted to take the action that she feels is right for her. To make abortion illegal is to take away a choice.

          But about the children’s choir… I believe they are advocating for help for children who have been born already yet who are dying every day. It breaks my heart that people are choosing to believe that the major cause of child deaths is abortion, rather than starvation, violence, and abuse after their mothers have chosen to give them the gift of life.

    • People who want to ban abortion generally don’t care bout what happens to the babies once they’re born

      • Now THAT’s a sensible argument, Herbs and Hags…. And yes, this is an already established boys’ choir making a beautiful gesture above and beyond the call of choral music!
        Is there some way to UNfollow a post? I had a hard enough time during the elections debating issues.
        Now I’d just like to enjoy some music.

        From another Tears for Fears song that I heard today (they wrote the original of the song posted here):

        “I can’t stand this indecision, married with a lack of vision
        Everybody wants to rule the world”

      • Berl Herzenberg says:

        I agree with herbsanhags and why must abortion always be brought up. It not the only issue in this world or in this country. I can think of others, such as:
        In America, the land of plenty, 25% of children go to bed hungry.
        We should concern ourselves more with the already born, instead of the unborn.
        In America, where the religious right speaks out about abortion, we have one the highest rates of child abuse, physical, mental, emotional and sexual of any of the other industrialized, “civilized” countries in the world.
        We should concern ourselves more with the already born, instead of the unborn.
        Need I say more.

        • Not to mention the highest rate of mothers dying during or after giving birth in the western world.

        • Norman Johnson says:

          What the hell has abortion to do with a performance by a boys’ choir? And, by the way, there are plenty of excellent girls’ choirs, girls cricket and football teams, etc etc. Sometimes it’s good for boys to work or play together with boys, just as it is for boys and girls to do so together. Just let’s keep the polemic out of it. They’ll grow up to learn of the horrors of the world soon enough.

  12. I can’t find the song on iTunes, is there a link?

  13. @Alan Hughes – what do you know about abortion?
    I can tell you: it SAVES lives! Those of the unwanted children, those of the (mostly teenage) woman, their families an almost everybody except …… priests and the ones practicising illegal and dangerous abortions. They can be sure of a good and rich life. Are you one of them?

    Norman – very touching. Thanks for sharing!

    • momtorrlaa says:

      ummm… exactly HOW does abortion SAVE the life of the unwanted children??! I’m pretty sure it snuffs out their lives before they’ve even had a chance! Thank you, Alan- people like you are giving a voice to the real victims here…

      • Banning abortion wouldn’t eradicate the problem of unwanted pregnancies, it would only drive expectant mothers who don’t want children to unsafe illegal abortions like it was in the past and a lot of them and the unborn children would die with them. Also it is a fact that more children would be born that are clearly not wanted and some would surely die at the hands of their mothers.

        Instead of outlawing abortions, better health care and better education are the key, especially for young men and women. Also programms where a mother can safely deliver and give up the baby to loving parents while still not denying the child the right to know her are also a way forward.

        If expectant mothers – expectant parents – receive more help, the rate of abortions will also decline.

  14. This is awesome.. thanks for the discovery !

  15. Colorado Claire says:

    Brings tears to my eyes and hope in my heart that young voices are raised for such a fine reason.

  16. Having the same problem as far as Itunes go. No search I do turns it up even though that is presented as an option. Those of you using this to discuss abortion should go somewhere else. The point is the children in the world already who are not provided for. Don’t detract from the need to help those kids and from this poignant illustration by standing on your soapbox.

  17. Sam Archer says:


  18. @Basia – Abortion saves lives? This viewpoint is stunning. Yes, women should have a choice – a choice whether or not to have sex. Once a child is conceived inside her, it is a life that must be protected.

    • Basia Jaworski says:

      Joel – ever heard of rape?

      • Rape is a valid reason to a degree. The child is still 50% the mother’s blood. However, abortions from rape make up a much smaller percentage than abortionists would have the world believe. Too many women use abortion as a contraceptive. That’s what I disagree with. If you spread your legs, you live with the consequences. If that means carrying a child for 9 months then adopting him/her out, so be it. Otherwise, don’t have sex, that’s the only guaranteed method of not getting pregnant.

        • You know, women who use the term “if you spread your legs” have deeply internalised misogyny. I pity them. And also, people who declare that women should “live with the consequences” of having sex, well, they do: the consequences may be an orgasm (or many), boredom, pregnancy, birth or abortion, or many other consequences. Forced pregnancy and birth would never be a consequence of sex in a civilised society.

          • I don’t understand how as a society, we can accept that bacteria found on another planet is a form of life, when deciding if a person is dead or alive, it is decided by the heartbeat and brain waves, and killing a baby right outside of the womb is considered murder but while a baby is inside a woman, with a heartbeat, brain waves, etc., it is okay to cut that life short just because someone doesn’t want to live with the consequences. A lack of responsibility and common sense does not excuse taking a life, which is what abortion when done purely because someone doesn’t want to live with the consequences of their actions is.

            If a woman has consensual sex, that is not forced pregnancy. Pregnancies are not a surprise. Civilized society teaches sex education, it shouldn’t endorse killing.

            But, with that said, you’ll notice I’ve never said ban abortions. While I don’t agree with abortions, at least not as an answer to a woman’s error, I’m not so foolish as to believe that even if they were banned, it would end them. Instead, I support education. Women should know exactly how the abortion is going to take place, the very real side effects, the possibility that this can forever damage their capability to carry children, etc., but they should hear this from a third party that doesn’t stand to make any money off of them having the abortion or not. My best friend from high school cannot carry a pregnancy full term due to her second abortion damaging her uterus. My mother, twenty some years down the road, still has traumatic nightmares and guilt about the abortions she was forced to have when she was a teenager. Such situations are not uncommon but as my friend will attest, it’s not something they discuss.

            So, now that I’ve written this novel, my suggestion for a neutral ground is education. Women need to be fully educated on what actually occurs with an abortion and if they still decide to go through with it, so be it.

        • If you believe in god then you will know your god will be the judge, not you.

    • Funny how some people value women so little, that they are convinced that any other life must be protected at the cost of a fully grown woman’s life, health and welfare.

      I have never heard anyone argue that men should be forced to donate the use of their organs, or even blood, the donation of which has very few and minor side-effects, for the sake of somebody else’s life. Only women are required to do that, because women’s lives and welfare simply don’t matter as much as that of men. If men were forced to donate their organs or use of their bodies for a year with potential long-term health complications afterwards, they’d be up in arms about their human rights being outraged. But women’s human rights don’t count.

  19. You can find it at iTunes by searching for Lost Choir – Mad World – Single.

  20. What I find amazing is that the issue adressed by the video – child mortality – is mostly confined by the other posters to abortion. While undoubtedly many children die that way, I doubt that that was the message by the video.

    In my opinion it means that many children still die a day, through hunger, disease, wars, murder, torture, neglect, proper hygiene and other causes.

    Don’t reduce this to the pro-choice/pro-life debate. There are many children already born who need our help and they need it first. Once we are able to keep those alive, we can try to solve the abortion rate problem.

    • Exactly, Steph. The abortion thread ends here.

      • Paul D. Sullivan, Boston US says:

        Thanks Norman.

      • Susan Qashat says:

        Interesting threads but in the end I agree with the man who posted this, it shouldn’t have been a pro-choice/life debate. Very clever and thought provoking, wish I was so rich that I could donate to every worthy charity and this is definitely one. I find it ironic that I could really get into the debate having walked those shoes so well, but I am glad I made the choice I made. Also ironically it took a teaching Nun in a catholic college to inform me of what you used to go on before Roe vs. Wade changed womens lives in this issue. I had never heard of underground abortions. I wonder sometimes if my son agrees wholeheartedly with my choice, 1982 being the year he was born, not me.

  21. Although this very awesome display of talent and synchronicity was about saving children from suffering and needlessly dying, some people had to bring in the pro-choice/pro-life debate. I only have this small piece of prophesy to repeat. ” You will know the end time is near when mothers fight for the right to kill their own children.”

    • Linda Phillippi says:

      Can you name the source for that prophecy? Is it in the Bible or where? I’d like to know. Wherever it came from it rings of truth to me.

  22. Jennifer Mendenhall says:
    International Children’s Fund is a Christian organization that works in Africa.

  23. Nice clip. Who are the freakin’ loons arguing about “gender equality” and the inappropriateness of the mere existence of a “boys choir”? Big turd turnout on this post (which I loved, btw – thanks!).

  24. I’m smiling at this debate. From gender equality… to abortion right-or-wrongs. Heated discussion, exchange of ideas. Rantings and quiet musings.

    All generated from a piece of music. (And I do hope it inspires a few donations to the children’s fund.)
    The power of music and art.

    Thank you again Norman.

  25. westcoastgrace says:

    Like most posts that have a strong and single message this one has been hijacked. People.. I don’t think this was posted to have the snuggly debate over why a boys choir or why there is abortion…
    The message was plain, simple and to the point. Everyone should remember that.

  26. who died?

  27. Oh how my heart aches for all those children lost, forsaken, afraid, abused, hungry and thirsty for love. I think all these posts have missed the heart and language of souls. We speak of political correctness, of rights to bodies, while the damage goes on. How do we change hearts or offer the chance of change to men who rape, or women who do not want to bear the weight? How do we help each other work through how it feels to cope with horrors. Where are our values? To hurt another in order to avoid the cost of harm done to you sounds heartless. To leave a woman or child with no help or hope of anything but more harm also heartless. The song expressed the emotions of our hearts bleeding as the Psalms do. These words are but a violent approximation of what is going on inside my head, not enough to express the longing and hope for more they evoked.

  28. This is a moving musical moment and from the audience reaction a somber one. Yes, quite moving. So this a Gary Jules version of something written by Roland Orzabal. Seems the replies bounced all over the place. I just feel how vulnerable children.

  29. the choir sent a very powerful, surreal message – well done, bravo!

  30. Why does this have to be about boy vs girl, white vs other…it is about giving a voice to an issue that not only affects everyone, each gender, all races and the entire world. Let’s look for a little good in the world and positively reinforce this group of young MEN and their mentors as they bring forth an important worldwide issue.

  31. This performance was outstanding, vocally and in artistic delivery to the point.

  32. Extremely well done, and cogent message done by those young men and their master. It is beautiful. I took it for what it is, and nothing more. I wish others had don the same. Good luck to the choir, and to the cause they so bravely decided to speak out for. That we all should be so brave.

  33. Never a mother says:

    Imagine the already out-of-control population growth speeding up even further if we WERE able to save every child. That is a scary thought.

  34. They are only trying to help bring awareness. That’s what’s wrong today no one seems to just enjoy life and respect other people way of creating awareness. We have to turn everything into an argument and always try and put people down. I say boys chior or girls the reason for this is to create awareness. Well done and keep up the good work.

  35. This has been a somewhat perplexing thread to follow, starting as it does from a wonderful and thoughtful gesture from this boys choir, and meandering dangerously away from the main thrust of the post.

    From my perspective working largely with young choirs in Northern Ireland and Scotland I don’t recognise the assertion that there are lots of boys choirs and where are the opportunities for girls. When we audition for children in choirs in both NI and Scotland you can pretty much guarantee that the balance between girls and boys taking up places will be 70% girls to 30% boys. After two years, that balance has changed to 90% girls and 10% boys. Thats not good, and we have been seeking to address that issue.

    Research is beginning to show that when boys get a chance to make a choir together that their attendance is more consistent, membership retention is greater. There is even evidence to suggest that when an all boys choir is joined by girls that the boys begin to slip away. Martin Ashley, who has spent the best part of the last 20 years researching the phenomenon of boys voices quotes a 90/90/90 rule…. if you add girls to a boys choir, 90% of the time, 90% of the boys will eventually leave, leaving a choir which is made up of 90% girls.

    Lest anyone think that I am on some bandwagon promoting male supremacy or somesuch let me state my position very simply. In Scotland and Northern Ireland there is a huge dearth of quality male singing, and as a choral director who is regularly seeking to balance choirs with the right numbers of Tenors and Basses alongside armies of Altos and Sopranos, I have been trying whatever initiatives I can think of to encourage boys to sing. If people are interested, they could tune in to last Sunday’s Songs of Praise from Dunblane Cathedral, where some of the evidence of that work was on display with 400 male voices singing heartily and filling the cathedral with a rather unique sound.

    Regrettably, some people attached other agendas to a cathedral full of boys singing. Some said it was insensitive to broadcast that in the week that the CoE synod was debating women bishops… others wanted the boys to sing more like cathedral choirs in England and complained about lack of harmonies: still others saw something sinister about the ‘exclusion’ of girls. For me it was a miracle that many of those boys were there at all, and took a lot of effort. It was just part of the process of encouraging boys to sing and showing what might be possible.

    I seem to see many opportunities for girls to sing either in girls choirs (perhaps the pinnacle being Les Sirenes winning the Choir of the Year – fab) or mixed choirs (with a few boys in them). If there are multiple opportunities for boys to sing, I can’t see them in Scotland or NI.

    Bravo to the Wuppertal boys – I thought it very moving and entirely thought provoking for what really seemed to be the real motivation of the gesture… to raise awareness of the problem.

  36. R K Bergenthal says:

    The donation link takes you to the International Children’s Fund. It’s a small pastoral group that’s unaffiliated with a church. Universal Children’s Day is a UN proclamation since 1954 . It’s celebrated on Nov 20th. Somethings amiss about this..

  37. Wow what an incredible discussion! I think it’s fantastic that this performance could elicit such a wide ranging collection of comments, opinions and yes, arguments. I believe art in all of it’s various forms is for that very purpose. We cannot control the reaction to a piece of writing, music or other forms of art nor should we try! I think it’s fascinating to hear all the ways that people have been touched, moved, impacted by this performance. I’m also thrilled to have this opportunity to learn so much from the rest of you and not just be confined by my own experience and reaction. Today is my birthday and I will add this to my list of special opportunities I’ve given myself today.

  38. Darin Lynch says:

    I truly cannot stand when adults use kids as pawns for their own political interests. Teach your kids to be free thinkers. Do not make them little clones of your own ideology.

  39. Depending on where you are some places help fund the needs of an older or more complex child Sabrina.

  40. Paul D. Sullivan, Boston US says:

    Well, I hope everyone that brought this thread WAY of topic, remembered to make a donation. After all, that’s what really counts!

  41. And in the twenty minutes it took to read all these threads, another 400 children died . . .

    Everyone is precious. Even the people on this post were children once. Why are they now less than human because they have a differing opinion? Imagine if all of US were that choir losing one person evety 3 seconds.

    Care enough to be caring everywhere and fewer children will suffer for our hatred and need to be right, I mean, let’s face it. Children die because we are out of touch with ourselves – in a global and personal perspective.

    • Thank you!
      Wow. I think the issue is more that we are soooo in touch with ourselves and our own agenda that we fail to see that none of us has all the answers and the world doesn’t always want to know what you think.

      These young men CAN and SHOULD champion the dying children of the world: male and female. I think it’s preposterous to assume that women can only be represented or championed by women. There are all girls choirs out there too…sometimes either sex can feel less self-conscious in the company of their own.

      Anyway. back to the children that are dying. Let’s stop semantic arguments, personal agendas (that’s what made the world the way it is now) and work together to make this world a better place.

  42. Lush Twink says:

    Adoption is something that should only happen if it has to.I have friends who are adoptees and have been lucky to have had lovely understanding people adopt them but I’ve had far more who have been adopted by people who shouldnt have.All babies want their mothers because they are half them genetically and because they have spent 9 months inside them. All parents really truly want their own children. The two groups(unwanted babies and barren parents) are the last people who should be thrown together. I believe all adoptees or children born from donated eggs and sperm should be able to have their real parents in their lives. I hate the idea of abortion but I hate pro-lifers and their judgemental evil ways even more.When it comes to wanting children we should always consider most what is best for the child.Contraception is the way forward. With it I have been able to have a child when it was the best time and it blows me away how strong the bond is.The thought of him having to be brought up by someone else makes me feel sick and I would never have chosen adoption as an option had I got pregnant accidentally.Contraception. Contraception.Contraception.

  43. Bill Gilday says:

    Very moving performance. Had a mixed choir for several years that ended up all girls for reasons that have been explained above. Wanted to start a boys’ choir to remedy this but just didn’t have the time.

  44. Reality check. This is not a concert or music or even a performance. It is an advertisement, produced, written, created and directed by an organization that is seeking donations. We all can choose to donate to the organization, or not. We must examine the organization and its credibility, regardless of the emotional impact of the ad. There are hundreds of nonprofits out there seeking money, and they tend to come out at this time of year with similar ads.

    • This is indeed a performance, a good one as well,that also gave a powerful message and an appeal for money.Reality, you know no more than most of us, just a spoiler….for the sake of it. The bona fides of the organisation might very well be the only point worth listening to.

  45. Paul Jeromack says:

    Of course, the video director couldn’t just trust the material and shoot the chior head-on as if the viewer at home was in the audience.

    He/She had to cut back and forth with shmaltzy, sledgehammer ‘heart-tugging’ close-ups of the boys and tearful audience members so one doesn’t experience the full impact of the boys leaving the stage one by one.

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