Spirit of America
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was late to work, rushing out of the house when my phone rang. I decided to let the call go to the answering machine; as I started to turn the door knob, my friend's voice flooded my house. "Turn on the TV", he shouted, "a plane just hit the World Trade Center!" Admittedly, I thought immediately that a small plane must've veered too close to one of the towers, but I was intrigued, so I quickly turned the television on.
The sight I saw next was horrific, as the second plane struck one of the towers at that very moment.
Five days after, a Sunday as I recall, I was sitting in front of the television, lost in what had become a smothering cloud of grief, anger, and continuing disbelief, all the while doing the one thing I can't help but do - playing my guitar. It was then that I wrote, "Spirit of America". Odd how it happened really, as the writing itself is now a blur. All I really remember is the next morning, when I added a harmony vocal to a recorded demo of the song, I discovered the song all over, and how much it pulled on my heart. I continued the recording of the song that night in a local recording studio, and it was played on Charleston radio for the first time two days later.
For the next several weeks it was played in heavy rotation, by several local, regional, and national stations. The song was played on Z100 in New York, the Howard Stern show, and amazingly, found it's way to U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf. The amazing thing was that the song made its way to these many places simply by being passed around from person to person. There were no radio promoters or publicists, just a song that seemed to have struck a nerve. There is something so beautiful and organic about that to me.
I raised thousands of dollars for disaster relief by selling a CD of the song at retail stores in Charleston and across the state. All monies were donated to disaster relief, and when the passion for patriotism calmed, I donated discs to the Fraternal Order of Police, with the hope that they could raise money for their various needs.
For the first time in my career, I was witnessing music making tangible impact. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, in the shadow of the most traumatizing day in our nation's history.
As we remember the events of 9/11 and how it has shaped America, my hope is that the song still finds its way into the hearts of Americans.
|Spirit of America|
Red is the color of the American blood I'm bleeding
But we'll never said goodbye to the Spirit of America
Red is the color of the anger that I'm feeling
Above the rest, it's the Spirit of America
We'll never say goodbye to the Spirit of America
God Bless the Land of the Free