Singer-songwriter Ralph McTell has re-recorded his classic hit Streets Of London with guest vocalist Annie Lennox to raise money for homeless people in the run up to Christmas.
A choir made up of clients from Crisis – the national charity for homeless people – also sings on the track.
First penned 50 years ago, Streets Of London shares its birthday with Crisis, which also celebrates its half century this December.
McTell said: “It’s 50 years since I wrote Streets Of London and it saddens me that the issues raised in the song are still so relevant today.
“When the idea of a single to support Crisis was mooted, I was very pleased that it might help raise awareness of the charity’s work and the wider issue of homelessness.
“I have been performing a Christmas concert in aid of Crisis for a few years now; inspired by its commitment to improving the circumstances of so many.
“I was also thrilled that the wonderful Annie Lennox was prepared to lend her voice to a new recording, and when I discovered that Crisis had its own choir, it offered the perfect opportunity to create a new and exciting version of a song so many people know.”
Crisis chief executive Jon Sparkes said: “Our heartfelt thanks go to Ralph McTell, Annie Lennox and all Crisis clients and staff who lent their voices to this record. The vital funds and awareness it will raise will help us support even more people facing homelessness this Christmas.
“It’s 50 years since Crisis was founded as an urgent response to an unacceptable situation – and it’s nothing less than a tragedy that we are still here today when homelessness should be a thing of the past.
“This collaboration between our clients and Ralph McTell can help us to raise awareness of the similar crisis we’re facing 50 years on. But homelessness isn’t inevitable and we’ll continue to work to ensure we won’t be needed in another 50 years’ time.”
Streets Of London has been covered by more than 200 artists including Cat Stevens and Glen Campbell.
Crisis opens 13 centres for over 4,000 homeless guests over Christmas. The charity also works all year to help people out of homelessness, as well as campaigning for changes that will end homelessness.