Annie Lennox has released a new video for a previously unreleased song, Dido’s Lament. The track is taken from the re-issue of Lennox’s A Christmas Cornucopia, released via Island Records on 20 November to mark its 10-year anniversary.
Says Lennox: “For the 10th Anniversary of A Christmas Cornucopia we wanted to offer something a little bit different than the original album. Dido’s Lament was an almost forgotten recording I made a decade ago which was randomly unearthed from [co -producer] Mike Steven’s studio during lockdown earlier this year… It is the most profoundly haunting and melancholic aria from the opera written by English composer Henry Purcell approximately 300 years ago, where heartbroken Dido prepares to commit suicide. It occurred to me there was a comparison to the destruction human beings have brought upon the Planet. When it comes to climate catastrophe, we are on the edge of abyss. I really believe we don’t have much time left to make an effective change. We are looking at a civilisation on the downwards side. This is the truth of this matter. It’s staring us in the face and we are not paying any significant attention – continuing on as if it doesn’t exist. I see Dido’s Lament as a lament for our dying planet.”
Dido’s Lament is a classical piece written by Henry Purcell in the 17th century referencing the tragic love story of Dido and Aeneas as documented in Virgil’s legendary epic poem, The Aeneid, from the 1st century BC. It is played annually at the Cenotaph remembrance parade on Remembrance Sunday and featured in the BBC’s recent broadcast of Remembrance Sunday 2020. Lennox’s recording of Dido’s Lament is a unique arrangement of the classical piece, arranged by herself and Mike Stevens.
Premiered by Jo Whiley on BBC Radio 2, Dido’s Lament is released with an accompanying music video depicting a Victorian magic lantern show. The show starts with the wonders of the natural world, but soon becomes a stark warning of the future and an elegiac lament to the death of the Earth.
Dido’s Lament is the closing track on the digitally remastered version of Lennox’s sixth solo album, A Christmas Cornucopia, which features a new track listing and new artwork (across all formats – vinyl, CD and digital). A collection of inspired interpretations of traditional festive songs, A Christmas Cornucopia is rounded out by a Lennox composition, Universal Child.
All proceeds earned from Universal Child will be paid to The Annie Lennox Foundation. The Annie Lennox Foundation raises money for various charitable projects, primarily those supporting and educating women and children in Africa and people with HIV/Hepatitis C in Scotland.