Edinburgh pensioner, 84, with dementia releases White Christmas charity single and heartwarming music video in Christmas number 1 bid
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Edinburgh care home resident Margaret Mackie, who is from Linlithgow, recorded her own version of Bing Crosby’s White Christmas from her room at the Northcare Suites Care Home after the equipment was sent over and quarantined for three days.
The track has been released on a variety of major music platforms - including Spotify, Amazon and iTunes - and is available to download with all profits split between two charities - the Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia UK.
Her former carer, Jamie Lee Morley, can also be heard singing on the track which has been released with a music video, created by Tom Auton.
In January, the duo defied the odds by soaring into the top 10 of the iTunes top 40 UK Pop Songs live chart - above tracks by Miley Cyrus, James Blunt and Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber - with a rendition of Frank Sinatra’s My Way.
Jamie said the idea to record the new track – produced by Hamish Campbell – came from Margaret’s daughter, Mairi Hunter, who has struggled with the impact of coronavirus restrictions on care home visits.
Speaking to the Edinburgh Evening News on Thursday, Jamie said: “Myself and Margaret’s family want to help bring some comfort for any other families who are in the same situation.”
The 32-year-old singer said the response around a teaser video they released earlier this week has been “absolutely incredible,” adding: “That’s the kind of cheer we want to share with everybody. It means the absolute world for us all involved that so many people have connected with it and that was our aim as it highlights the current care home situation.
“We really hope people share this with friends and family and help raise lots of money for our chosen charities.
“The single and video are both out today so we can’t wait to see where it goes.”
Donations are still coming in from the previous charity single released in January, recorded after Margaret and Jamie became a viral hit with a video showing them singing in duet at the care home’s Christmas party.
More than £1,600 has been raised for the two charities so far but there were about 26,000 online streams last year which meant less money coming in from the more fruitful downloads, which Jamie is urging people to do for 99p.
In September, Margaret recorded another rendition of the track ‘I lofe you because' based on the 1963 cover version by Jim Reeves.
The song was a favourite of Margaret’s late husband, Philip Mackie, a former deputy editor of the Edinburgh Evening News and crime reporter at the Daily Record who later took up roles as assistant press secretary to The Queen and to Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
Her daughter previously told the Evening News that, during the Covid pandemic, Margaret has been singing to keep those around her in good spirits.