Singer Róisín O'Reilly has released a beautiful new track.

Róisín releases Christmas single for Syrian charity

Most closely associated with choral group Anúna, Cavan’s Róisín O’Reilly is about to step back into the spotlight. And this time, very much in her own right.

Róisín, now living in Dublin, hopes the release of her new single, Hush Be Still, will prove to be a Christmas wish come true for Syrian refugee children. The record is a collaboration between Róisín and revered songwriter Brendan Graham, and is released across all platforms today, Wednesday, December 8.

Recalling the first time he heard Róisín sing, Brendan said, “Back in the day, I had been at a concert in London, where Róisín had sung ‘Winter, Fire and Snow’ in an audience that included Maggie Thatcher, George Martin, Paco Pena, Hayley Westenra. Róisín completely stole the show and I had never forgotten the effect she had on an audience.

“So, when the opportunity to work with her again came about after hearing her sing at a funeral - well, it wasn’t even a decision to be made!”

Hush Be Still follows on from the success of Róisín’s Christmas release last year, when her O Holy Night raised €49,500 for Syrian refugee children.

“My wish for this year”, said Róisin, “is that ‘Hush Be Still’ will continue to raise funds that are much needed, and that we’ll reach our goal of €60,000.”

Those funds will be used to support the school for ‘street children’ in south Lebanon, established by Irish priest Father William Stuart. That school provides education for children displaced from their homeland by war, and who now live in the Tyre region.

The song was inspired by an experience Róisín had during Midnight Mass last Christmas Eve. “At mass, instead of a homily the priest asked the congregation to follow a meditation. We were asked to close our eyes and were vividly led to the stable. I remember the pure stillness in the church. Having been in lockdown most of the year, the words of American poet Madeleine L’Engle’s ‘Into The Darkness’ came to mind, ‘...with no room on the earth, the stable is our heart.’ It was an intimate graced moment and I was lost in it. The memory of that night stayed with me and I knew I wanted to honour it with a song.”

Róisín features on six platinum-selling Irish albums - including one by Ronan Hardiman, composer of Lord of the Dance – and six multi-platinum albums released by the Universal label. She was working on a project with Brendan Graham - the pen behind hits like Eurovision winners Rock & ‘n’ Roll Kids and The Voice, and of course, You Raise Me Up - when she came up with the idea for Hush Be Still.

When the opportunity came about, Brendan agreed to collaborate.

“What intrigued me about Róisín’s idea was the potential to write what could be a straightforward lullaby to the Christchild…a Christmas carol…but a Christmas carol with a twist…a mystical twist. We all, to some extent, move between worlds, time shift in some mysterious, magical way…and the song seeks to explore this possibility – of being actually there, in the stable at Bethlehem on that first Christmas and yet being in the ‘now’ of this Christmas’’.

The image on the single sleeve called ‘Be It Unto Me’ is by the artist Liz Lemon Swindle.

“It is the most beautiful painting I have seen of Mary and the infant Jesus so when the song was completed I contacted the American artist and asked her could I use this image because it so perfectly captures the essence of the song. I am very grateful to her that she agreed,” said Róisín.

Proceeds of ‘Hush Be Still’ will go in support of Father William Stuart’s school for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon.

You can buy Róisín's ‘Hush Be Still’ on Spotify or any other music platform.