On a cold Canberra evening a year ago they came, in their dozen, to sing a song close to their heart and mine. Women connected to the Australian Navy, Army and Air Force, in different life seasons, and members of the Australian Military Wives Choir for different lengths of time.
The recording (and subsequently this website) evolved as a result of a request from the Governor General of Australia. After the AMWChoir sang 'Military Wife' at a reception hosted for the Partner's of Veteran's Association Australia held at Admiralty House in Sydney, His Excellency, Sir Peter Cosgrove, suggested that the song be recorded and made available so that those deployed anywhere might have access. I decided to comply.
So I gathered some voices - real women's voices - and we shared a wonderful experience through which we learned a lot about ourselves, each other, the song and it's music. 'Military Wife' tends to have a life of its own and the experience of recording it was not different!
Generally as a choir the sopranos sing the opening few lines together. The solo's original intent is for a younger voice, a teenage daughter perhaps, to sing the opening few phrases. During recording the AMWChoir singers suggested that it really should be recorded as written, with the solo, and they felt I should do that.
The singers also suggested that Sylvia record the accompaniment while we were there. As Sylvia recorded and I turned pages, we realised that no one had heard the pure accompaniment before. We are always in such a 'zone' singing about our 'military wife life' that we miss the simple beauty of the music woven beneath it.
As a woman hearing 'Military Wife' for the first time remarked, "This song is so true, it is just so true. You would never say these things out loud about yourself, but it is all so true."
That truth is confirmed as I have privileged associations with women who choose to devote much of their energy in supporting currently serving members of military forces around the globe.