Joshua, the new choir leader in a small Welsh village, struggles to bring his community together to fight land developers. Music has been at the centre of village life, and with the death of the old choir leader, the village has lost heart. People are drifting away, as construction fences go up around the old village school. A few children hang around the fences, singing as they remember their playground games. Two of them break into the building site. Rae, the site manager, finds the children. She acts as a whistleblower, telling them that a rare protected bird has been seen nearby, and if the news got out, the building would have to stop. Joshua is fired up by the news, and gathers the children at the fence. He leads their singing. More children join, and then the adults from the village. The song swells, ends, and there’s a moment of silence. Then the song of the rare bird is heard, mimicking the song of the villagers. Rae opens the gates, and the developers leave. They know that the construction site will have to come down. Joshua and the villagers joyfully reclaim the site.
Sing is inspired by the Old Testament story of Joshua, and the Battle of Jericho, as told in Joshua 2:1 – 22 and 6:1 – 27. After the death of Moses, Joshua has become leader of the Israelites on their exodus from Egypt. They’re searching for a home in Canaan. Joshua sends spies into Jericho, and Rahab helps them in return for a promise to spare her family. God command Joshua to march the soldiers round the city, with the priests blowing trumpets, for six days. On the seventh day, the trumpets are blown loudly, the people shout, and the walls of Jericho fall down. In our story, Rahab becomes the whistleblower, Rae. She helps Joshua bring down the fences the developers have built. We’re telling the story of a new leader who struggles to bring a community together, using the power of music to reclaim their home. We learned the gospel song “Joshua fought the battle of Jericho” at school, it was part of our childhood. Many people know the song, but perhaps they don’t know the whole story behind it. We wanted to find a new song for a modern Joshua, showing the power of music to bring people together.