Paul Stone may be more used to singing to audiences at black tie events than serenading crowds who’ve gathered to watch some of the world’s top class cyclists.
But in two weeks time the Leeds-based swing singer will be performing his self-composed song You’ll Never Ride Alone at the start and finish of each stage of the Tour de Yorkshire.
The track is the ‘unofficial anthem’ of this year’s cycle race, which runs from April 28-30. The first stage of the race will be between Bridlington and Scarborough; the second from Tadcaster to Harrogate, while the third goes from Bradford to Fox Valley in Sheffield.
Thirty-three-year-old Stone, a graduate of Leeds College of Music who received national airplay for his album Reprise of Swing, is due to sing at several points along the route.
He was inspired to write the song after performing at Skipton during the Tour de France Grand Départ in 2014. “I wrote this hook then the lyric ‘On our roads you will never ride alone’ came,” he said. “Yorkshire is the only part of the country I know where you could walk into a village and people will talk to you and make you feel welcome – that’s where the song came from. My passion for being a Yorkshireman is total.”
Stone, who is originally from Birkenshaw, recorded the song in London with the producer Ali Staton and Isobel Griffiths’ string section, who have worked with the likes of Hollywood composer Hans Zimmer.
He has also released a video on YouTube and the song is available digitally today.
Having been invited by the director Damien Chazelle to perform at the UK premiere of his films Whiplash and La La Land, Stone is now setting his sights on creating songs for Hollywood movies. In the meantime, he hopes You’ll Never Ride Alone strikes a chord closer to home. “What I really want is for the people of Yorkshire to respond to it,” he said. “I’ve had people write to me saying they love it, it’s like a Yorkshire anthem, which is nice.”
I’ve had people write to me saying they love it, it’s like a Yorkshire anthem, which is nice.Paul Stone