A MARYPORT couple have beaten the lockdown blues with a song in their hearts.

And not just in their hearts because Roger and Susan Routledge have been singing out loud as part of an international choir of thousands led by none other than music maestro Gareth Malone.

“It has been great – very uplifting and sometimes very sad,” said 72-year-old Mrs Routledge, of Skiddaw Avenue.

“We’ve met on Zoom every night at 5.30. Sometimes there would be 7,000 to 10,000 of us from all over the world. We’ve talked and sung. It’s been wonderful.”

A particularly poignant moment for her was when the group discussed Black Lives Matter and sang We Shall Overcome. That contrasted sharply with other more cheerful songs such as You Are My Sunshine.

Mr Malone asked people to send in videos of themselves singing. Susan and Roger, 75, did just that and they have now been told that they will be part of an extended play disc that is being made.

“He has also said that he would like to have a concert featuring us all next year.”

Both husband and wife are musical. Mr Routledge is a member of the Flimby Male Voice Choir and Mrs Routledge is part of the Ewanrigg Community Choir.

Mr Routledge has been shielding in what his wife described as “this frightening new world” and it has been the support given by family, their local convenience store and Gareth Malone that has kept them cheerful throughout.

The choir is only meeting once a week now and Thursday evenings have become a highlight of their week.

The new EP will have four songs, all saying something about life in a pandemic – I’m Still Standing, Somewhere Only We Know, Ordinary World and You Are My Sunshine. “Ordinary World by Duran Duran, especially, is very real, with lyrics like “What has happened to it all? Crazy, some’d say. Where is the life that I recognize? Gone away.”

Singing with Gareth “The Choir” Malone is something both will remember for a long time.