So it’s finally time to fill you guys in on the songs that I’ve been working on for the new EP!! I’m so excited to show you guys. The first one I want to talk about is called “Give Him Love” and it may be one of the songs that I am most proud of writing. This song is based on a true story about a young boy battling cancer. I thought I’d fill you in a little bit about how this song came to be.
The song came about when a friend of mine, Erik, told me about how his youngest brother had cancer as a child and even though he was told his odds were slim to none, he battled through and is still with us today. This was the first time I had heard about Dennis, Erik’s brother. Now, as a songwriter, I pay attention to things that most people will skim over or not really hold onto. I look for facial expressions and emotions in voices etc to try to see or feel something that someone is going through in hopes that maybe it’ll be able to strike a chord and become a song. When Erik was telling me about his brother, the thing that stuck with me was the look on his face. I don’t think I will ever forget the sense of pride and love that he gave off when he spoke about Dennis. It was a look in his eyes that just hit me, I could feel the love and I could feel how much Dennis meant to him. At the time I left it at that and we continued on with our conversation. I just remember thinking how amazing it was that Dennis made it through. I mentioned Erik’s family to my mom and she asked me if they were the ones who were in the local papers for a while about battling cancer and different fundraisers etc. I didn’t remember these articles because it was a while back, so I pulled up one or two to see if it was them and it turned out that it was. I read through a couple articles and learnt about how strong the Gudbranson family really was. I could tell just from meeting them for the first time that they were great people, but now I realized the strength and determination that was a part of each member of the family. Dennis was diagnosed at 6 years old with Acute Myeloid Leukemia and he underwent many treatments and surgeries, including a full bone marrow transplant. It broke my heart thinking about how children like Dennis have to fight for their lives at such a young age when they should be out playing and laughing and how hard it would be for parents having to watch their child go through this and knowing the odds are against them.
The night after reading these articles, I was just about to head off to bed at 2am and then one of those commercials came on tv about sending money to children overseas so that they could have food and school etc. And all of a sudden, Dennis came to mind and the chorus built up in my head. I just started singing about all the things that I wish God would give to kids like Dennis. I wished hope and strength and faith and most of all, I prayed that each child was blessed to have a family full of love and positive energy like the Gudbransons to pull them through when everything else around them seemed so negative and full of stress and pain. I hurried to grab a paper and scribbled down the words. I spent the next three hours or so writing and crying, and I mean crying a whooole lot lol. I wanted to send out the right message with this song and I didn’t want to come across as if I had gone through this scenario, because I haven’t and I didn’t want to pretend that I had even an ounce of knowledge about how it felt for a family to battle cancer. So I read every single article I could find about Dennis and tried to piece together a story that could blend together things that they experienced and everything that I wished for a family/child going through this along with the emotion I felt from Erik when he first mentioned Dennis to me. I wrote half the song that night and cried myself to sleep just thinking about different quotes from the articles that I had read. Positive energy and thoughts were things the Gudbranson’s really seemed to stress when going through all this and it just amazed me that they could keep smiles on their faces and look on the bright side of such a terrible situation. It really made me think about my life and how stressing over the little things is truly useless and that appreciating the little things can change your whole outlook on life and outcomes of situations.
I got up the next morning and finished the first version of the song. I remember showing my mom and watching her cry reading the lyrics. To this day, she still can barely make it through without crying. She tells me how she will skip over the song whenever it plays on her cds in the car just to avoid messing up her makeup on the way to work lol.
I showed Jason and Dan, the two guys I am working with on this cd, and they also loved the song. We went to Vancouver to record it and we had to change some things around and cut certain parts of because of time issues but I can honestly say I am beyond happy with how the song came out. Dan also had a children’s choir record the chorus of the song and added that into it. I balled the first time I heard it. It surpassed all my expectations.
Now that the song is all done, I played it for the first time at a fundraiser called Relay for Life for the Canadian Cancer Society. I am honoured to volunteer to help the Canadian Cancer Society out at as many different events as I can fit in. I think they are a wonderful organization filled with great people all working so very hard for a common goal of curing cancer so people and families no longer have to suffer. I will also be teaming up with the Canadian Blood Services committee to fund a national cord blood bank. A woman on the committee heard me sing the song about Dennis and just happened to know exactly who he was because Mr and Mrs Gudbranson are also on the committee with her. When she asked me to sing at some of their events, I immediately agreed without any hesitation. I am excited to be a small part of both of these organizations.
If you’d like to learn more about the Canadian Cancer Society or the Canadian Blood Services, please check out www.cancer.ca and www.blood.ca for more information.
Hope you enjoyed the story behind this song and please check out the video of Erik and Dennis talking about their experiences!