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Emerging out of lockdown is certainly something to sing about

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)", the chart-topping hit that became an instant classic of Scottish pop.

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 brings the RNIB Scotland Connect Singers together 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 lighthearted 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.