A rendition of the popular Simon & Garfunkel hit Bridge Over Troubled Water by frontline healthcare workers in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic and construction crew that built a temporary field hospital, with the chorus by a borough council choir, has been praised by Paul Simon in a Facebook post on Wednesday (May 13).
Simon praised the “brave men and women” for their work and for their rendition of the song, calling their version “extraordinary”.
The video, which is about seven-and-a-half minutes, starts off with musician and television presenter Jools Holland giving a message before hitting some piano notes. Holland expresses heartfelt appreciation of the work of frontline healthcare workers: “I just wanted to take this opportunity to send all of my love, good wishes and thanks to all of the extraordinary people in the NHS and the brilliant people working to support them in North Wales.”
The recording then shows a message from two Welsh actors, Matthew Rhys and Rhys Ifans, who, speaking in Welsh and English, thank all the health care workers for their extraordinary role in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
The healthcare workers in the video are composed of UK National Health Service (NHS) staff, many of whom are now working at Venue Cymru in Llandudno, North Wales. The theatre was turned into a transient field hospital for Covid-19 patients in response to the ongoing crisis.
The video pans from NHS staff members, to the field hospital construction workers singing portions of the song one by one to the Conwy County Borough Council singing together as the choir. The video shows the participants singing in both English and Welsh, photographs of the temporary hospital as it was being built, the construction workers clapping all together, before moving to a view of the hospital from outside while lit up in rainbow colours.
Simon went on to write in his post: “During this process, the facility has been renamed to Ysbyty Enfys, which is Welsh for Rainbow Hospital, as a symbol for hope.”
The video on Simon’s Facebook page has been watched at least 470,000 times and received at least 8.3K reactions, been shared 9.5K times, and has 816 comments from people all over the world, mostly thanking Simon for posting it. Others share their thoughts and stories of sorrow due to the pandemic, while one social media user wrote: “Awesome … Is there Anyone in Wales that doesn’t have a superb voice… NO! … Thank You Paul & Arty …x”