Charity Song of the Month:

A song Halifax-based rapper Classified and singer David Myles co-wrote about people who need to leave their families for long stretches to work away from home is now a charity single to raise funds for those affected by the wildfires in Fort McMurray and northern Alberta. All proceeds from the sale of "Work Away" will be donated to the Red Cross and its efforts to help people whose homes burned down or had to relocate. The song, which appears on Classified’s latest album, Greatful, also has a moving music video. Both have taken on a “completely different context with the situation in Fort McMurray,” he posted on his Facebook.  Buy the song here. — Karen Bliss

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May 16 marks the sixth anniversary of legendary Dio/Rainbow/Black Sabbath singer Ronnie James Dio's death due to stomach cancer in 2010. In 2015, a tribute album called This Is Your Life, featuring Metallica, Rob Halford, Motorhead and more, was created to support the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund. One song from that album, Tenacious D's version of "The Last In Line" ended up winning the Best Metal Performance at the 2015 Grammy Awards. All proceeds from the song's sale go towards cancer prevention research. — Aaron Brophy.

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“It might be rather confusing for non-Australians,” wrote Matilda the Musical composer Tim Minchin on his web site about the child abuse cover-up. Cardinal George Pell is “the most powerful dude in the Catholic Church of Australia,” he explains. Currently at The Vatican, Pell has been asked to return home by The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse but sent a doctor’s note. Minchin, known for his musical comedy, spells it out in this sarcastic pop ditty “Come Home;” whose performance video has been seen more than 1.2 million times. Proceeds go to help send the survivors to Pell, in Rome. Buy the song here. — Karen Bliss


In time for Valentine’s Day, Hozier released the subtle, but not too subtle video for his acoustic track “Cherry Wine” about the dynamics of domestic abuse. The Irish singer-songwriter, along with Columbia Records, Island Records and Sony/ATV Music Publishing, have agreed to donate their proceeds from the download sales of the single to various charity organizations around the world that provide support and assistance to victims of domestic abuse as well as do outreach work. The song appeared on his first EP in 2013 and then as a bonus track on his eponymously titled 2014 album. The video, directed by Emmy winner Dearbhla Walsh, stars Saoirse Ronan (Atonement, Brooklyn, The Grand Budapest Hotel) and Moe Dunford (Vikings, Game Of Thrones). Buy the song here. — Karen Bliss

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Following a fan campaign to get Eagles of Death Metal’s 2015 version of Duran Duran’s 1982 hit “Save a Prayer” to No. 1 in the UK — a way to express their sympathy and condolences to the victims of the Paris terrorist attack where EODM was performing — Duran Duran frontman Simon LeBon tweeted that they would “donate all proceeds due to us, from this version. Considering options that are useful, peaceful & uniting.” PS. don't let the name fool you; they are not a metal band. No word yet on which charity, but publishing company Sony ATV has also confirmed it will donate its proceeds. You can buy the cover version here. — Karen Bliss


The New Zealand pop band recorded "Help Is Coming" more than 15 years ago, but it could have been written today about the Syrian refugee crisis.  “Help is coming / We sail tomorrow For Ellis Island…Dreams come true,” Neil Finn sings. More than half a million people have been crossing the Mediterranean by boat, sometimes with fatal results. All proceeds from the sale of the song go to Save The Children to help the thousands of refugee children in need of food, safe water, medicine, shelter and psychological support (minus local taxes). In Canada, at least 86-cents of the 99-cent price will go to Save the Children UK.  Buy it here. — Karen Bliss

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Canadian patriots B & Steve, whose hoser-rap “Out For A Rip” YouTube video has earned 8.6 million views, have narrowed their focus this time to the Toronto Blue Jays and have decided to donate  a slice of the pizza pie, as they say, to Jays Care Foundation.  The go Jays rap song, “Home Run Anthem,” which features former Blue Jay and World Series champ Kelly Gruber in the video, is out just in time for the playoffs. Through Jays Care Foundation, the Toronto Blue Jays aim to create positive opportunities and increase access to organized sport for children and youth in need across Canada.  The song sells for $1.29 here. — Karen Bliss 


Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason produced this charity song to raise money for Save The Children’s Nepal earthquake appeal fund. British soul singer Beverley Knight handles lead vocals, Mick Jagger sang back-up and Ronnie Wood played guitar. A 100-member Save The Children choir comprised of supporters of the UK charity also added their voices.  "Save the Children (Look into Your Heart)," penned by Matt Clifford, was recorded at London’s famed Abbey Road Studios.  More than 7500 people died and 14,500 were injured in the April 25 earthquake. “We gotta keep on trying to save the children,” Night sings. Buy the song here. — Karen Bliss

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In the lead up to the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, taking place July 25-Aug. 2 in Los Angeles, Canadian pop-rock artist Avril Lavigne has released “Fly” to benefit the Special Olympics, which helps people with intellectual disabilities overcome barriers through sports. “This song means a lot to me personally,” Lavigne said in a statement. “It is inspired by the many young people I’ve met throughout my work with my Foundation. They pursue their dreams no matter what obstacles they face.”  “We were all meant to fly…it’s your time to shine…it’s your time to fly,” she sings. Lavigne co-wrote the song with her husband, Chad Kroeger, and David Hodges, and co-produced it with Chris Baseford.  Buy it here. — Karen Bliss

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Two of the best modern soul singers today, America’s John Legend and Britain’s Sam Smith, join forces on a charity single for Comic Relief. The powerful song is Smith’s “Lay Me Down” from his 2014 debut album, In The Lonely Hour. Released for UK telethon Red Nose Day March 13, Smith and Legend cut the new version of the song earlier this year in Los Angeles. Universal Music will donate 100 percent of the profits to Comic Relief which uses the money “to tackle the root causes of poverty and social injustice in the UK and across the world.” Buy it here. Red Nose Day — on which the pair performed — airs in the U.S. on NBC May 21. — Karen Bliss

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