A travel agent has recorded a cover version of James Blunt’s song Monsters as a lasting memory for the family of a baby girl who died of a rare cancer.
Kat Morgan, of Tailor Made Travel’s Pontypridd store in south Wales, was asked to sing an adapted cover version of the James Blunt song by baby Rose’s dad Andrew Jeans, former regional sales and engagement manager for P&O Cruises, after news she had only weeks to live.
Kat’s partner Simon Morgan, chief executive of Tailor Made Travel, rewrote the lyrics to suit the situation Andrew and wife Catherine now found themselves in.
Doctors initially diagnosed Rose with a dairy intolerance at six months old and only discovered the aggressive cancer, Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumour, after a deterioration in her health in January this year.
Kat, who won Clia’s The Voice of the Ocean competition last year, recalled: “Andrew visited us every month at the shop and only lives about four miles away so we all knew Rose and he had told us she was having issues with her bowels, but until two weeks before her death there was no confirmation of any cancer.
“Then they were told it was an aggressive cancer and Rose had passed the point where they could help her any longer.
“Andrew had heard me singing at the Clia Convention and contacted me to say he had found a song they loved but asked if we could adapt the lyrics to suit Rose. They wanted something to feel close to Rose and listen to with her while she was still alive.”
After rewriting the lyrics, Kat and Simon initially sent the lyrics to a professional recording studio in the US. But Kat said: “When it came back but it wasn’t right, it didn’t portray what we wanted for them so I decided to sing it.”
After recording a “raw and emotional” version of the song on her mobile phone, she sent it to Andrew, who has recently been appointed head of cruise at Tailor Made Travel after being made redundant by P&O Cruises.
“They listened to the song at 11pm together with Rose the night I sent it to them. Three hours later Rose died. This song has stuck with them as the last thing they did with Rose as a family,” said Kat.
Kat has since recorded the song, which was played at Rose’s funeral, after Andrew sought permission from James Blunt and his songwriter Amy Wadge.
Kat said: “The writer happened to live in Pontypridd, around a mile away from the shop, and the night we contacted her James Blunt was playing in Cardiff. She loved it and asked James; they were happy to endorse it.
“We were actually going to record it at the writer’s house but then lockdown happened so we had to do it ourselves from home and build our own studio.”
She admitted: “It was emotionally draining, especially when you are trying to get it perfect and you get a lump in your throat, I tried to do it so many times. There was one particular line I sang around 27 times [to get it right].”
The song has been released this month as part of a ‘lockdown’ album, Covers for Kat, on Apple Music and Spotify. All royalties go to Rose’s Way Foundation, a charity set up in her memory to support other families and help them create lasting memories.
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