A ‘virtual choir’ of ten blind and partially sighted people has recorded their own version of The Proclaimers iconic ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’.

But this version has changed the lyrics to give a humorous take on the frustrations and difficulties that people with sight loss have experienced during lockdown.

Mike Holroyd, who assembles the RNIB Scotland Connect Singers over the phone, said:  “When it comes to social distancing, too often sighted people think that others are being careless if they are getting too close to them. But the reality is that those who are blind or partially sighted can’t always fully see other people even when they are alongside.

“Singing has become an important pass-time during lockdown in many countries, and this has certainly been true for some of our members in Scotland.

“Our singers, who continue to meet over the phone each week, decided to write a song about some of the challenges they face as we emerge out of lockdown. They were all involved in writing and re-writing lines of the song until everyone was happy with the result.

“We asked Steven Johnson, an RNIB Scotland volunteer and himself a singer/song-writer, to record some guitar and vocals. We were then able to add piano and further vocals through sending audio-files backwards and forwards and even collecting some vocals via phone call.

“This has been a fun project. But it also highlights a serious issue. Many of us who are blind and partially sighted do not find social distancing easy, and so we will need the wider community to understand and maybe offer a bit of support if needed. We have heard stories of blind and partially sighted people being shouted at because they have not been aware of queues or been unable to judge distances. This song  conveys a serious message in a light hearted way.

“The Proclaimers music publishers have been very generous in allowing us to borrow their tune for this song.”

The choir members come from Edinburgh, Stirling, Ayrshire and Glasgow.

Listen to the song here

Alternative lyrics to ‘I’m Gonna BE… (500 Miles)’

After lockdown, well I know I’m gonna need

I’m gonna need a bit of freedom just like you.

And when I go out, yeah I know I may well need

Someone to guide me when I’m walking just like you. 

If I get drunk, well I know I’m gonna be

I’m gonna be the one who gets drunk just like you.

And when I travel, yeah I know I’m gonna be

I’m gonna be the one who travels just like you.

But social distancing is something 

I will find it hard to do

And all I ask is understanding

That I can’t see quite like you.

When I’m working, yeah I know I’m gonna be

I’m gonna be the one who’s working just like you.

When I’m shopping, yeah I know I’m gonna spend

I’m gonna spend my pounds and pennies just like you.

When I go home, well I know I’m gonna be

I’m gonna be so pleased I went out just like you.

And if I grow old, well I know I’m gonna be

I’m going to be so glad of kind folk just like you.

But social distancing is something 

I will find it hard to do

And all I ask is understanding

That I can’t see quite like you.

Ba-da-da…

After lockdown

After lockdown…

Well I’m not lonely, I’m not lonely cos I know

I’m only one quick call or text away from you

And when I’m dreaming, well I know I’m gonna dream

I’m gonna dream about the time when this is through

And when we go out, yeah we know we’re gonna need

Someone to guide us when we’re walking just like you.

And when we come home well we know we’re gonna be

We’re gonna be so glad we’ve freedom just like you

But social distancing is something

I will find it hard to do

And all I ask is understanding

That I can’t see quite like you.

Ba-da-da-da…

No more lockdown

No more lockdown

All together again…

Ba-da-da-da…

After lockdown

After lockdown..