HE is the tin-shaking stalwart of the Royal Mile whose tuneful ditty has convinced thousands to dig deep for charity.
But now faithful fundraiser Tom Gilzean has seen his “Open Up Your Heart” anthem remixed for a popular online music video.
The wheelchair-bound 94-year-old, who has amassed more than £100,000 for the Sick Kids Hospital, is a daily fixture on High Street and his charity work has seen a wounded soldiers’ ward dedicated to the war veteran.
Now the big-hearted pensioner is the star of a YouTube music video – boasting guitar solos and a Polish rapper – with Tom’s upbeat refrain inspiring the catchy chorus.
It is the brainchild of Old Town chef Jasiek Dorozynski – who also raps on the footage – with the four-minute clip already clocking up hundreds of views.
Filmed on Crammond Beach, it features a guitar riff, a rap and singing from Mr Dorozynski’s daughters Julia, ten, and Amelia.
Mr Dorozynski said he was inspired by Tom’s selfless nature and charitable message.He added: “Tom is my friend and one of my heroes.
“I wanted to show the world what Tom is doing and I want it to go viral.
“I have asked all my friends to share the clip. The more people who see it, the easier it will be for him to collect money for charity.”
Though making his video debut, Mr Dorozynski has performed as a guitarist in several rockbands in his native Poland.
Wearing his traditional tartan bunnet, Tom addresses the camera in a brief cameo talking about his fundraising exploits.
Mr Dorozynski said Tom had watched the video and “really enjoyed it”.
“He was smiling and saying it was nice to be recognised,” said the chef.
The unlikely pair met several years ago at Gordon’s Trattoria where Mr Dorozynski works.
He had intended to give the video to Mr Gilzean as a 94th birthday present but production was delayed by technical problems. The lyrics urge listeners to open their hearts and to follow Mr Gilzean’s example: “Be yourself and like Tom don’t give up.”
Krzysztof Szpakowski, 36, of Abbeyhill, who filmed the video, said: “There are not many people you can find doing such a great thing at his age.”