The death of his best friend has provided the inspiration for a DAMHA resident to write, record and publish a song about his pride at being a Northumbrian.
For the last 25 years, Jackie Davidson has written poems in his spare time, but had never thought to share them with the wider public
But in January 2019 his best friend Paul Jeavens was diagnosed with mesothelioma (Paul died in August 2019) and he began to re-evaluate his own life.
Jackie explains: “When Paul was diagnosed with cancer, we had a heart to heart and he told me there were a few things he wanted to do before he died.
“He loved Jaguar cars, so he bought himself one and he also took his family away on holiday to Florida.
“Seeing that gave me a lot of inspiration and I looked at a poem I had been working on about being a Northumbrian and I thought it might work as a song.”
Jackie, who lives in one of our homes in Greenside, Gateshead, used his own money to record and produce the song, which is called ‘We are Northumbrian’ and is dubbed as the ‘unofficial anthem of Northumbria’.
He enlisted the support of friends Paul Kirsopp, who composed the music, sings on the record and co-produced it, Lisa Clarke, who provides backing vocals and Chris Ormston, who plays Northumbrian Pipes. He even recruited his grandson Ben Patrick to design the artwork for the CD.
Jackie says: “I have always been a very proud Northumbrian, so this song is my unofficial anthem to the county, and I am delighted that other people will now be able to hear it.
Jackie has had 100 CDs of the record produced and it can also be heard on YouTube.
He adds: “I have been giving copies away to friends and family and asking them to donate to Marie Curie Cancer Care because they provided care to Paul before he died.
““I have dedicated it to Paul because without him it would probably have just sat on the shelf.”