Classic New Seekers' Song 'I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing' Gets 21st Century Makeover

The song originated as the music for a Coke ad.

It’s been an astounding 45 years since the song ‘I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing’ made its way into the public consciousness.

Originally famous as the soundtrack for an era-defining Coca Cola ad, the song was then recorded by the New Seekers, including the group’s bassist and vocalist Paul Layton.

Nearly half a century later, and Paul’s daughter Lucy has recorded her take on the classic song, with all proceeds going to Syria Relief, specifically the Step Forward campaign, raising money for prosthetic limbs for children injured by the war ravaging their home country.

<strong>The Coke ad that spawned a million sales</strong>
The Coke ad that spawned a million sales

Paul tells HuffPostUK of his daughter’s project:

“It’s her idea totally. She has worked, sung, travelled and worked in North Africa, Middle East, she has lots of friends over there, and became sympathetic with the cause.

“Now she’s made this single, it’s a new take on the song, a fresh approach. To remake the original wouldn’t have achieved anything, but the message is there, the idea of peace and building the world a home and furnishing it with love.”

Paul doesn’t perform on the new version, but he admits he’s made it to the video where he appears in a snippet. “It’s quite moving. She brought me and Marty Kristian on board, to link it with the past.”

<strong>New Seeker Paul Layton with daughter Lucy</strong>
New Seeker Paul Layton with daughter Lucy
Geoff Searle

How do Paul and his pals spend their days now?

“The New Seekers technically still exist,” says Paul. “We do the odd show, we toured extensively between 2006 and 2010, and in between, there’s been an awful lot of golf.”

Paul still chuckles at the way the song took over the world from one simple cola ad in 1971.

“The New Seekers recorded about 30 jingles for the agency, and this was one of them, but it started to get played on regional radio in the US in the early 1970s. People started ringing, asking where they could get it. This one-minute jingle became a three-minute song.”

“We recorded it towards the end of 1971, so it was in the charts in the lead-up to Christmas of that year, and then it stayed at the top of the UK charts of all January 1972.

“It went to number one all around the world, except the US where someone else recorded the same song. We sold a million and a half copies.

“It was a big part of our career, we’d had a couple of other hits, but this was pretty big. Our biggest gig was probably the Ed Sullivan show. It was a lot to come out of one song, we had our time with it, and now it’’ll hopefully find another audience in a very good cause.”

Click here onto Lucy’s official website to hear the song, find out further information about this worthy cause, and make a donation.

Before You Go