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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Carlisle Cathedral's Christmas rap

It was the Christian message but as you’ve probably never heard it before...

Watch the video here

A  22-year-old computer graduate has teamed up with a talented young poet and used his skills as a rapper to give a modern twist to a traditional Christmas carol.

The result – performed at Carlisle Cathedral – is now attracting hundreds of hits on the YouTube internet site.

Andy Dykes, who is doing a one year internship with the University of Cumbria’s chaplaincy, says he is delighted with the resulting video.

Andy and lyricist Jon Wilcox collaborated with a group of friends and choristers to re-work O Come, O Come Emmanuel, featuring hip hop and rap sections.

Their performance was one of the highlights of the Carlisle Cathedral University’s chaplaincy carol service.

Andy said: “I did it partly for fun and partly to help spread the true message of Christmas. Christmas can be contemporary but we can still hold true to its values too and that’s what the song speaks about; both of Jesus and of Christmas. Now we want as many people as possible to see it.”

He added: “I’ve been into music all my life, and originally played drums.

“I studied computer science at Durham but I’m now interested in working for the church, and making it relevant to young people.

“The reaction to the video has been positive and a lot of people are sharing it on line. I feel that the message of Christianity is relevant – across cultures, and across ages. But it needs to be interpreted in way that is relevant to young people.”

As Beat Convention, he has worked with Mr Wilcox, a past winner of the Young Poet of the Year award, who works with Andy on all their tracks. Among the latest fans of the song is the Dean of Westminster.

The Rev Matthew Firth, the University’s chaplain, helped arrange a score for a string section in the re-mix.

“We were able to show it at our chaplaincy carol service and it made a big impact,” he said. “After that we put it on Facebook and Twitter. It means people are still able to connect with the carol service through the video.

“It’s certainly hit a sweet spot and we now just want it to create as big an impact as possible. The message is certainly not compromised at all and it remains a clear and direct one.”

To view the video go to vimeo.com/81699963

PColeman@cngroup.co.uk

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