Listen: Should this song about love be the anthem for COP26?

A former psychiatric nurse from London has written and composed a new song, inspired by the environmental crisis facing the planet.

Anton Hicks believes his composition, With Earth’s Grace, should become the international anthem for the forthcoming United Nations climate summit COP26 which is being held in Glasgow in November.

The amateur songwriter also took inspiration from the classic song Amazing Grace, written by poet and clergyman John Newton about his time involved in the slave trade.

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“I feel this anthem will help COP26 deliver the grace that we and our planet deserve,” he said.

Mr Hicks, who confesses to have no singing talent himself, has hired professionals to perform, arrange and illustrate his track.

"The tune and words – apart from the shortening and changing of Amazing Grace's verse – are original.

“I am musically illiterate. I hum and la-la-la all my melodies into a phone.”

Singer Nimiwari, from the US, sings the piece, which was arranged by Boris Sevastyanov, from Ukraine, and illustrated by Anik Hamud, from Bangladesh, with Hicks himself directing.

Former psychiatric nurse and amateur songwriter Anton Hicks believes his composition With Earth's Grace should be adopted as the anthem for the COP26 climate summit

He says he hopes listenerss find the song “uplifting, uniting, anti-bullying, questioning, personal-responsibility-giving and non-preachy”.

The 90-second performance, which he posted on YouTube, has received lots of positive feedback from across the world.

Conyers Davis, global director for the University of Southern California’s Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy, said: “I admire Anton Hicks’ passion for saving the planet and appreciate the beautiful sentiments expressed in his anthem With Earth's Grace.

“This is the type of people power we are inspired by at the Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy. Bravo.”

Religious figureheads representing multiple faiths, including Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, Catholic and Buddhist, have also expressed their support for the message in the lyrics.

Mr Hicks says his father’s work as a novelist prompted him to pen his first composition.

“I wrote my first song from his animals’ viewpoint to go with the novel.

“His animals took only what they needed to survive and generally respected each other and the planet.

“I’m hoping this update of a verse from Amazing Grace will entertain and help change us all to become kinder people by taking us on a little journey from ‘I have grown’ to ‘we have grown’.

“I’m hoping to help men and women accept that it’s shared world, and if Grace did indeed make us all, then he or she would want us to treat each other, the animals and the earth with respect.

“Then our words would reflect our actions. That really would be an amazing grace.”

WITH EARTH’S GRACE

My child’s an open book, we sang ‘All creatures great and small’

This means as we see the light, for me to stand, you won’t fall

Through many toils n' snares, I have grown. Grace brought me thus far, love will lead me home

I’ll respect you, as you will me. We’ll fight but still be friends. That’s our victory

Through many toils n' snares, we have grown

If Grace made us all, love – In this Earth we share, love – Love must lead us home.

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