This song was composed largely by the late John Foyle of Batley (with some composition input from me). I wrote the lyrics to the song and arranged and produced the recording of it initially to spearhead a movement in Kirklees called ‘Our World’. The song was then later used in a musical play I wrote and produced called ‘Douglas the Dragon’, which is based on the stories of my four best-selling books of the ‘Douglas the Dragon’ stories. We used the ‘Our World’ song to highlight a conservation theme within the musical play. Please note the entire musical play of ‘Douglas the Dragon’ can be found on my website, along with six new songs that were professionally recorded in a studio and their backing tracks. The entire project costing tens of thousands of pounds to produce was paid for by National Lottery monies, because the musical play is an ‘Anger Management’ play and I was the founder of the ‘Anger Management Process’ in the early 1970s which I freely gave away to the world and which mushroomed across the English-speaking countries of the world within a span of two years after, benefiting millions of people requiring ‘Anger Management Training’ and workers operating these courses ever since.
The tenor who sang all the songs in the ‘Douglas the Dragon Musical Play’ was Kevin Carville; a musical teacher, who was to later become a professional singer before moving abroad to live and work. Kevin was assisted by the school choir of ‘Emley First School’ in Huddersfield for the singing of the ‘Our World’ song.
The ‘Our World’ song which I jointly composed, wrote the lyrics for, arranged and produced was used by the ‘Huddersfield Environmental Department’ to spread a message of conservationism across every school in Kirklees during the mid-1990s. Every one of the 200 Kirklees primary schools was invited to have their pupils write an environmental story and the ten best stories across the whole of Kirklees schools were selected and were published in a book, in which I wrote the first environmental story. That book was called, ‘Our World’; a copy of which was deposited with every Kirklees Primary and Middle School along with a CD of the song that was sung in many school assemblies thereafter.
This environmental project was called ‘Our World’ and the then Prime Minister, John Major and his wife, Norma Major wrote a congratulatory letter to all the school children of Kirklees for their participation in this worthwhile project of raising awareness throughout the community.
We needed a prominent famous figure/figures to head and publicise the campaign, to advocate and promote a clean and more environmentally-friendly world, and whose environmental records were impeccable, So, I asked a woman who had been a close friend of mine for many years; the environmentalist and founder of ‘The Body Shop’, Anita Roddick (now sadly deceased) and Robert Swann, the Arctic explorer, who had just become the first person ever to travel to both the North and South Poles during the 1990s. Robert Swann was also persuaded to join me and Anita Roddick to front the project.
Robert Swann even flew back from a 'World News Conference' in Europe at his own expense so that he might read from the ‘Our World’ book at Emley First School, besides giving the school children an account of his world record treks to both Poles and the signs he saw of the melting icecaps there.
Being the only person (then) to have conquered the walk to both Arctic Poles, I wanted to provide Robert with some unique form of transport when he alighted from the plane at Manchester Airport. So, I located the owner of a vintage car worth a reported £6 million (of which there was only one remaining model in the entire world) and persuaded the owner of the car to meet Robert from his flight when he arrived in Manchester and chauffeur him from Manchester Airport to 'Emley First School' in Huddersfield, where he read to the children from the ‘Our World ‘ book and informed them of his Arctic exploits.
I provide no luxury car for Anita when she arrived at the 'Huddersfield Railway Station', I persuaded Anita to use 'Shank's Pony' for her transport and made Anita Roddick walk to her destination from the railway station to the 'Huddersfield Town Hall' (which I had arranged a free booking of for a full afternoon). To keep Anita company on our half-mile walk, she and I were joined in an ‘Our World’ march from the station to the town hall by 1000 plus able-bodied and disabled children and their carers from Huddersfield schools and other organisations.
This necessitated obtaining permission from the town council to stop the traffic for a half-hour period while the children marched the half-mile journey through the town singing the ‘Our World’ song.
When we assembled in ‘Huddersfield Town Hall’, all the child writers whose environmental stories had been published in a book called ‘Our World’ alongside an environmental story of mine, publicly read their stories to the crowded audience of pupils, teachers and parents, and were awarded a prize; after which everyone assembled stood and sang the song ‘Our World’ in one voice to the ‘Our World’ backing track. 'Huddersfield Town Hall' was filled to capacity and standing room was required to accommodate the audience that comprised of school pupils, teachers and parents of the children.
This was one of the most satisfying days in my life and until her dying day, Anita Roddick mentioned to me many times when we met or communicated thereafter 'how much she had felt privileged to have been a part of it.'
Just in case anyone is interested, the most difficult task of all for me to achieve wasn’t:
(1) Writing and producing the ‘Our World’ song.
(2) Raising the money to pay for it being professionally recorded in a studio and making sufficient CDs of the song to freely give to Huddersfield Primary and Middle Schools and Kirklees Libraries.
(3) Finding the appropriate singer and choir to sing the recorded song.
(4) Promoting and arranging for hundreds of Kirklees schools to submit environmental stories for a published book.
(5) Finding a publishing firm to print off thousands of books at nil profit and finding the money to pay the publication costs.
(6) Persuading Prime Minister John Major and his wife to send the children of Kirklees a congratulatory joint letter of support for their project on official number ten paper heading ( protocol strictly does not allow a serving Prime Minister and his wife to co-sign any letter or correspondence on official number 10 letterhead, but Norma Major persuaded John to buck the trend and break with convention).
(7) Securing the services of Anita Roddick in the project, and securing the services of the Arctic explorer, Robert Swann two weeks after returning from the Arctic Circle to hold a 'World Press Conference' where 150 news reporters and television presenters from around the globe were present to celebrate his record exploration.
(8) Finding one of the few ‘one only ‘cars in the world worth £millions and persuading its owner to chauffer Robert Swann from Manchester Airport to 'Emley First School' in Huddersfield.
(9) Booking Huddersfield Town Hall free of charge for a full afternoon.
(10) Marching 1000 plus children from the 'Huddersfield Railway Station' to the town hall alongside my friend, Anita Rodddick singing the ‘Our World’ song as we marched.
No! The most difficult thing of all to achieve was getting permission from Huddersfield Council to block off the roads from 'Huddersfield Railway Station' to the 'Huddersfield Town Hall' for half an hour while we marched 1000 children through the town centre in support of the Kirklees ‘Our World’ project!
In all my years as a charity worker and awareness raiser of many causes, I have always found it harder to achieve a positive response from council officials than Prime Ministers, International and National Celebrities, Film Stars, Famous Authors, Famous Actors, Famous Painters, Famous Singers, Archbishops, Police Chiefs; and even two Presidents (Southern Ireland and South Africa) and even Members of the Royal Family!
Almost thirty years ago, the world was warned of the dangers of global overheating and the tragic consequences we would all face if we failed to correct our behaviour towards the planet. Whilst much of the past three years have been occupied by the British Government and the European Union discussing Brexit, the most pressing problem across the world has taken a back seat at the table; climate change!
The extreme seasonal changes in our weather systems across the globe have brought with it disaster after disaster, resulting in floods and heatwaves that have taken the lives of innocent people. Never has it become more imperative for the nations of the world to act together as one united force to reduce their toxic fumes and poisons from the earth’s atmosphere and to save ‘Our World’. As regards to who is primarily responsible for this urgent action that requires taking, the answer is in the title of the song. It is ‘Our World’, and it is, therefore, our responsibility. It is the responsibility of everyone on the planet who is jointly accountable for its maintenance and conservation.
From all the causes I have worked on and promoted since my thirties, this is probably the most important cause of all, as it not only affects each of us today but will affect our children and grandchildren during the years ahead in ways that we would think unbearable and unimaginable, if only we had the universal foresight to see the consequences of not doing the right thing now. We were placed on Earth with the expectation to love each other and to protect our planet, not destroy it!
Love and peace Bill xxx