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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

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Welcome the Rugby League World Cup to West Cumbria with a song!

Children from across West Cumbria have been belting out renditions of a special anthem to celebrate the Rugby League World Cup.

rugby world cup

Composer Russell Burbush, 39, of Braithwaite, near Keswick, has penned the anthem, Welcome to the World, to mark the World Cup’s arrival in Workington this month.

The song has been commissioned by Allerdale council as part of the Welcome the World celebrations, a programme of cultural events and performances taking place in the run up to the big event.

The four-minute track will be played at the televised Tonga, Scotland and Italy matches at Workington’s Derwent Park Stadium.

As part of the build-up to the matches, Mr Burbush has visited around 12 primary schools to teach pupils the lyrics to the song.

About 140 children at Workington’s Westfield Primary School sang the tune while Mr Burbush played his guitar.

He said: “The children are great and have sung really well. I am enjoying getting out in the community and engaging with people I wouldn’t normally engage with.”

Joanne Ormond, headteacher, said: “It was fantastic and the children picked it up really quickly.

“It was very uplifting. The children are getting excited for the World Cup and quite a few of them are talking about going to watch the matches.”

Russell, who runs New Arts North with his wife Celia, was inspired to write the music for Welcome the World after visiting Derwent Park, talking to players, spectators and fans.

He researched the history of the game and interviewed current and past players, spectators and fans.

The result was his anthem which will be played by the Rugby League World Cup Choir.

Dave Bowden, Workington’s RLWC 2013 representative, said: “Russell has taken time to really understand the game, its characters, and the culture of the sport and West Cumbria.”

Mark Fryer, allerdale councillor, said: “It will be heard right throughout the world. How good is that? I would urge anyone who wants to get involved with the games and the cultural programme to get stuck in and just do it.”

The song will be performed, along with the national anthems, as part of the build-up to both games by the community choir.

Song lyrics

We raise our heads towards the sky
And look towards the heavens
We wait for glory not to pass us by


Walk with us through history
Our memories vivid like a dream
Of the good times that we had
The battle cries

Of the good times that we had
The battle cries

Everytime we look we see
What this life means to you and me
The ups and downs
That make us who we are

Let’s look towards the future
And let’s join the world together
Let’s celebrate our rich and pleasant lands

Stand with us and be proud
Don’t forget to shout
Stamp your feet on the ground
There will be no doubt
Welcome to the World

Glory don’t come easily
And if we’re not afraid of trying
We can watch ourselves
Rise up above it all

Standing strong together
In a place where we feel free
We will celebrate our lives
And our liberty

Stand with us and be proud
Don’t forget to shout
Stamp your feet on the ground
There will be no doubt
Welcome to the World

We raise our heads towards the sky
And look towards the heavens (x6)

Welcome to the World (x2)

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