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Weekend Extra: Jack Savoretti tells on how he came to write a charity song for an Italian hospital

Reaching out: The single was an unexpected bonus of Jack connecting with his Italian fans PICTURE: JO HALE/REDFERNS

AS LOCKDOWN continues around the world, it can feel like everyone and their dog is taking to Instagram Live and updating us about what’s happening in their living rooms. However, some of the world’s biggest musicians are using the technology for a good cause. Jack Savoretti has co-written a new song with his Italian fans to raise money for one of the worst-affected hospitals in northern Italy, San Martino in Genoa. The song is called Andrà Tutto Bene, meaning All Will Be Fine.

‘It all started when the pandemic first struck Italy,’ recalls Jack. ‘I had just been there to see family and friends and I was in shock by how quickly it devastated Milan and Lombardy. This was before it reached Bergamo.’ At the time of writing, more than 24,000 people have died from coronavirus in Italy.

‘My father and my manager said to me, “you need to reach out to your Italian fans”. I was scared! I didn’t want to say the wrong thing or seem irresponsible.’ So, Jack contacted his Italian fans via Instagram, but didn’t anticipate what came next.

‘Almost immediately, I thought rather than sitting and playing songs they already know, why don’t we write an Italian song? It was supposed to just kill some time, to write a little song for fun. I was a bit naïve, I thought it would be this silly, jolly song and we ended up with something incredibly heartfelt that is a door into all of these different lives.

‘Everyone who contributed to the song, with the lyrics, composing, recording, even the record labels, all gave away their rights so that every penny could go to the hospital.’

Jack describes the song as ‘very hopeful. It’s intense. Like all good songs, I think the chorus rescues the verse! The verses are about how you are feeling, the chorus is about how you want to feel. Even the verses, in their darkness, are still hopeful and I love that. The biggest fear of this is loneliness. Being alone, dying alone, the fear of the unknown, and this taps into that, but it colours it in with a lot of hope.’

Jack lives in the Oxfordshire countryside with his wife, Jemma Powell, and their two children, and is finding himself busier than ever despite lockdown. Like every other parent in the country, his admiration for teachers has soared. ‘I have a new-found respect for the unsung heroes: teachers. How they have been teaching my children, I do not know! The most magical part of this entire experience has been seeing my children ask me how they can be doctors and nurses when they grow up because they want to be real life superheroes.’

He roars with laughter. ‘I’m telling my kids to call me Sir from 9am to 11am, but it’s not going very well. My son puts his school uniform on every other day. We have two kids and three dogs, there’s a lot of love in the house.’

Jack says that he and his wife are more than prepared for this situation. ‘My wife is an actress and an artist, and I’m a musician, we’re very used to long stretches of unemployment and nobody wanting anything to do with us! We’ve been preparing for this our entire lives. We’ve been together for 15 years and, out of those, ten of them we were both unemployed. We’ve spent 24 hours a day, in each other’s faces, since the day we met. We know how to get over things very quickly.’

The pandemic has also taught him to slow down. ‘I’ve learnt that it’s OK to do nothing. The world will stop spinning without you working yourself into the ground, it’s OK to take a moment just for you.

‘If you do nothing today, that’s fine. I’ve honestly never been busier at home at the moment, though, with the kids. Now I understand why people build sheds. I might build a log cabin by myself, I won’t put anything in it. Just to go and stare at the wall and sit in a darkened room.’

Would he repeat the songwriting experience with his British audience? ‘I honestly don’t know what would come out,’ he smiles, wryly. ‘I love that off licences are essential shops. I love England. The British version would be keep calm and get p****d!’

Lyrics to Jack’s song: Andrà Tutto Bene

On this dark night

All I hear is the beating of my heart

Listening to my breath as it gets lost in the sky

The world is changing, but I don’t feel like changing it …

The city looks empty, but it’s full of love.

Chorus: All will be fine

Let’s not feel divided

There is still time to love

All will be fine

We are distant, but united

By our longing to be free

When all of this is over

We will find each other in front of a sunset

And we will feel stronger than ever the magic of a moment

Among the colours of the sea, and a bridge that takes us elsewhere

We will find the words, and break the silence.

Chorus: All will be fine…

And when spring comes

We will blossom like a flower

And we will sing again

Chorus: All will be fine…

Jack is playing songs on Instagram each day, and you can also see his interviews with Dr Antonio Uccelli from the San Martino hospital, Instagram @jacksavoretti. To buy the single, go to jacksavoretti.com/andratuttobene