Refuge ‘HYRRS’ / Grey London
With revelations about the gender pay gap and sexual harassment across many industries, women’s equality has been a hot topic this year. Recently we saw women take to their email accounts to display an ‘out of office message’, drawing attention to Equal Pay Day - the day that marks the point in the year when women effectively stop being paid relative to men, and Time named the ‘the silence breakers’, referring to those that spoke out against sexual harassment, as its Person of the Year.
In light of this year's events, Grey London has created a series of seven feminist festive hymns to help raise awareness of the issues faced by women and raise money for domestic abuse charity Refuge, while having a little fun sticking it to ‘the man’.
Created in collaboration with Goldstein Music, the agency rewrote a series of popular Christmas songs for an album entitled ‘Hyrrs: Festive Hymns made Feminist’. Hyrr titles include ‘Female Sexual Pleasure’ set to the tune of ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’, ‘Good Queen Wenceslas’ to the tune of ‘Good King Wenceslas’ and ‘Kick the Balls’ set to the tune of ‘Deck the Halls’. They tackle a range of issues from stereotyping to body shaming, referencing scary statistics, Harvey Weinstein, and the #metoo movement along the way.
The ‘hyrrs’ are available on Amazon Music, Google Play, iTunes and Spotify, with download links accessible via a dedicated website: www.hyrrsnothymns.com, with all proceeds going to Refuge. Alongside this, a series of sing along videos will be available on YouTube which play the tracks, with lyrics on screen, over an image of the album cover - a festive angel morphed into the symbolic feminist ‘We Can Do It!’ image. The typeface Lacuna used on the cover was created by female typographer Imogen Ayres. Fans can also download their own Hyrr book from the website which contains the lyrics to all of the adapted hymns, encouraging people to join in the sing along and share their own hyrrs on social media under the hashtag #hyrrsnothymns. The Hyrr book also includes the lyrics to ‘the 12 days of Feministmas’ set to the tune of ‘The 12 days of Christmas’. The campaign was the brain child of Christopher Keatinge, Augustine Cerf, Laura Nunneley and Tom Houser at Grey.
This clever campaign rounds up what has been a rollercoaster year for women and helps remind us, at the turn of the new year, that women should continue to speak out, stand up and raise awareness of issues of inequality in 2018 and beyond.
Sandra Horley, CBE, chief executive of Refuge said of the campaign, ‘Everyday sexism is sadly still a fact of life and remains a root cause of violence against women. The Hyrrs of the world are often accused of lacking a sense of humour. So this is a divine opportunity for the Hymns of the world to see the funny side. Otherwise, guess who has the last laugh?’