The inimitable Gruff Rhys:
"I was approached by National Theatre Wales recently to write a song for their NHS70 festival, which launches today.
In most of my songs I mostly deal in lyrical abstraction, but as the NHS has had such a profound effect on every aspect of my life since birth, this was a commission that I felt duty bound to throw myself into out of respect for everything it’s given me.
The title ‘No profit in pain’ is an attempt to counter the mentality of ‘No Pain no gain’ and ‘tough love’ which keep being peddled about by zealous free marketeers.
The NHS is something that we can too easily take for granted. But the NHS has been there for me throughout my life and has also saved many of my family members lives. In that sense it means more than anything I could ever hope to convey in a melodramatic synth pop power ballad like this one, so for the song I’ve focused on the battle to keep the NHS as a free service in public ownership. There’s loads of swearing in it. Privatisation is creeping in and signifies a death knell for the NHS we all love and cherish if we are not vigilant.
As a devolved issue in Wales, and as an idea that was born here, the idea of a free health service for all is something that serves as a beacon of what we can achieve as a nation and is something we must pass on intact to future generations.
The song will be available on most streaming services and I’ll perform it today in Cardiff.
A van has been hired to advertise the song. I researched hiring a brexit style red bus but it was too expensive, so in the end I just went for a repurposed bog standard home office style ‘go home’ scare vehicle. We’ve only got it for 2 days, I’m using it for my performance today and designer and profound thinker, Mark James shot the video yesterday as we decorated it, ready for today’s release. Kliph Scurlock plays the drums and Llion Robertson produced it. All proceeds will go to NHS charities in Wales.
No Profit In Pain is available now: http://bit.ly/NoProfitInPain