On Ilkla Moor Baht’at Gets the X Factor
Yorkshire’s national anthem is to be given a 21st Century twist.
The new version of On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘At, which has been commissioned by Welcome to Yorkshire, will feature a rap by Yorkshire-born actor Brian Blessed and an appearance by the Grimethorpe Colliery Band.
Sheffield-based Eliot Kennedy, a Producer for Artist Development on The X-Factor, has been tasked with re-working the song. The Grammy award-winning producer has also written and recorded songs for The Spice Girls, Gary Barlow and Take That, Bryan Adams and comedian Peter Kay.
The idea is to breathe new life into the precious piece of cultural heritage and to introduce “On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘At” to a younger, global audience. Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity said:
“On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘At” has long been considered Yorkshire’s national anthem and we just couldn’t resist giving it a modern twist. Like everything we do, the song is a chance to shout about what’s great about Yorkshire but it’s not just about Yorkshire traditions or nodding our caps to our cultural heritage, it’s also a chance to show off Yorkshire’s vibrant creative scene with a re-working of the song with ‘added swagger’.”
The song is currently in production and should be ready for release early in the summer. It will be accompanied by a short film which is due to be shot on Ilkley Moor in May.
Mr Kennedy said: “When people interview me, they always ask me about Gary Barlow. We’ve been close friends for more than 20 years – ever since we wrote ‘Everything Changes’ together. Now, finally, I’ve done a project that puts my work with Gary in the shade – now I’ve got Brian Blessed to rap to “On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘At.”
Legendary Flash Gordon star Mr Blessed has already recorded a rap that promises to boom with Yorkshire pride. Blessed, who currently features as the Pirate King character in The Pirates! An Adventure with Scientists, said:
“When I was offered the opportunity to record On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘At with a twist, I thought, that’s me! “The version of the song is a larger than life take on a traditional classic and I am singing for Yorkshire, loud and proud. My vocal chords are renowned across the nation and I hope Yorkshire and the rest of the world will sit up and take notice of this valuable piece of Yorkshire heritage. When you have pride in your roots, there’s nothing more fun and joyous than singing about it. Enjoy! And don’t forget your hats!”
A social media campaign has been launched and Welcome to Yorkshire is urging all fans of Yorkshire to go online and show their support on Twitter @yorkshireanthem and via the fan page: www.facebook.com/Yorkshireanthem