The Ballad of Elias Hall

I've not been around for a while as I've been busy rehearsing for, and this week performing in, a brand new play called Singers not Sinners at the Millgate Theatre in Delph. It tells the true story of Elias Hall and three women who, for the first time in Christian history sang in a church choir.

The year is 1701. Elias Hall, the choir master at St. Mary’s Parish church, Oldham has disbanded his discordant choir and needs to urgently replace them in time for the Easter service. His quest brings him in contact with angelic voices from across the parish, but unfortunately for Elias, the voices belong to women, and women are banned from singing in church. Elias’ determination brings him in conflict with key figures in the parish as he and his new choir risk everything to change the course of history and have women, for the very first time, raise their voices in song during church services.
“We are not beasts, to be stricken dumb – we are singers, not sinners – who can lift up our voices to God!”

I wrote this song over two days last week and condensed a two act play into three and a half minutes.

When I saw that this months challenge was places I thought that the song gave a place in time, history and also a physical location.


  1. Firstly hope the play goes well, break a leg! I really enjoyed this story song, the tune is lovely. As an aside I really appreciate you singing the lyrics so clearly, it’s not always the case and I often struggle to understand what’s being said. Great performance.