Night Shelter

  • Number of parts: 4 or 5
  • Difficulty: Some Challenges
A lyrical song about homelessness, with a rhythmical backing. NB. The 4-part and 5-part versions are both included, but they’re presented separately.


Tickets available


I have 2 arrangements of this song: one in 4 parts and one in 5. Whilst the arrangements are similar, it’s not just a question of leaving out one part when you choose the 4-part version (the parts are assigned differently in the 2 versions) so I’m offering the two as separate arrangements.

The song has 2 sections. In the verses, the harmony parts have contrasting, repeated rhythms, while the melody has a fairly wordy tune. In the chorus, 1 (or 2) of the harmony parts has (have) a parallel harmony, with the same words and rhythm as the tune, and the other 2 harmony parts have a different rhythm. Whilst the individual parts are not particularly difficult, it takes time and work to make all of the parts fit smoothly together, so I’ve categorised these arrangements as having: Some Challenges.

I run a regular singing group at St John’s Community centre, in the Manchester suburb of Old Trafford. I’m in awe of everything the centre manages to offer this very mixed and, in parts deprived, community. So I was astonished when I discovered that, in addition to all the classes and services I was aware of, there were times, in the winter, when the centre also became a Night Shelter. The centre only had a hall, a kitchen, and basic toilet facilities. It seemed so little; and yet, for people who had nothing, it offered the most vital thing: shelter for the night – somewhere they could keep safe and warm.