Singer songwriter Freddi Smart has written and recorded a touching song as a lasting tribute to her late mother, which she is releasing to raise funds for KEMP Hospice, a charity very close to her heart.
Freddi’s mum, Alane Harvey, lost her battle with cancer in August aged 70. During her last few months, Alane became a regular patient at KEMP day hospice.
Freddi explained: “I wrote ‘It’s Your Time Now’ originally as a poem on the way to hospital, when it struck me that it could be my Mum’s last night with us. At such an anxious and very distressing time, I actually found writing the poem brought me some comfort.”
The poem is about Freddi’s younger brother, Jamie, who was born with hydrocephalus and died when he was only two years old. Freddi said: “Although he was a very poorly little boy, he had the most amazing laugh. I remember well the night he died; Jamie had gone into hospital for an operation, but he didn’t survive, it was devastating.” She added: “As I travelled to hospital to see Mum that night, it occurred to me that while we as a family were losing Mum, Jamie would be getting his Mum back at last, so the essence of the song is about asking Jamie to look after Mum until a time when we all meet again.”
The poem was read at Alane’s funeral and touched so many hearts that Freddi decided to take the poem to the next level and put the words to music. It is performed by Freddi and music producer Niven Smith.
The band are donating 26 per cent of profits from the single to support KEMP Hospice and to raise awareness of its services. Freddi explained: “When Jamie died, his organs were donated and, at the time, Mum was heartbroken, but she told me ‘something good has to come out of something bad’. This is very much how we feel about losing Mum. She was taken from us too soon, but if we can help raise money for a charity that Mum relied on throughout her final months, we know she would be so proud. I hope that people currently going through similar loss find the music uplifting and take as much comfort from the lyrics as we do.”
Although Alane lived her adult life in the Midlands, she originally hailed from the Isle of Barra, an island in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. As a young woman, Alane trained as a nurse and relocated to the Midlands for work. Freddi said: “Mum was a born carer – whether she was looking after her family, or for patients as part of her job.” Alane retired from her role as a support worker for adults with learning difficulties when she was 65, but even then, she continued to care for others as an agency nurse.
Freddi added: “Valentines was a really special time for Mum and my step-father. They always showed their love for one another and the family which is why this is perfect time to share our song.” Being the eldest of five children, as a teenager Freddi said at times she resented her Mum being so reliant on her to help around the house. It was only when Freddi went on to have her own children that she fully understood the difficulties of bringing up a family, particularly as a single mother. “As we got older, we became closer and, as Mum’s health deteriorated, I never left her side without telling her I loved her.”
The single is available to buy from Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, Tidal, TikTok, YouTube and more with 26 per cent of the proceeds being donated to KEMP.