Cancer dad's song is posthumous hit

Mike Jacobs' song about loss has stormed up the iTunes charts


The lifelong dream of Mike Jacobs was to embark on a musical career. But the North Londoner lacked the confidence to pursue it, until he was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer and given nine months to live.

The father of four was encouraged by his children to record one of the songs he had written, Stay, about the pain of a break up.

He heard it played on the radio for the first time 11 days before his death, aged 62, on New Year's Eve. The song has become a hit, with the proceeds going to the hospices which cared for him. 

Stay reached number two on the iTunes singles chart earlier this week and Mr Jacobs' son Josh, 37, is on a mission to get his father a posthumous number one.

“Dad never had the confidence to do music as a career," he told the JC. "He was scared and didn’t like to put himself out there. He wrote songs all the time but he only let me and my sister hear them.”

After Mr Jacobs received the devastating diagnosis, Josh arranged for him to record Stay at a studio in Stoke Newington.

“He wrote the song over 30 years ago and it was about the heartache caused by a break up. But today it has a different meaning. It can be seen as a song about dad leaving us."


He said his dad was overcome with emotion when hearing Stay played on Jeremy Vine's Radio 2 show as part of a feature about the song. “He was too ill at that point to make it to the studio so I went and did the interview. But I spoke to him afterwards and he was crying uncontrollably."

Josh hoped the song would earn significant sums for the Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity and Rennie Grove Hospice, "which really looked after him and supported the family".

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