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Friday, September 26, 2008

Godspeed little man...


A heartbreaking lament to his son, songwriter Radney Foster says the story behind this song is one of the toughest situations in which a parent can be put. Says Foster: "Yeah, my oldest boy, Julien... his mother and I separated when he was very young, and divorced. And things were as good as can be expected in those kinds of situations. We were both trying very hard to be good parents. But she re-married a guy from France, and immigrated to France with my son... to 5,000 miles away. He was 5. Which led to all kinds of things; big court battles, all kinds of things. A big mess. And when I had lost, and knew that there was nothing else I could do to try to keep him closer to home, and he was going, I wanted something that he could take with him, that he would know that I loved him. And so I wrote that little lullaby, and I put it on cassette 5 times in a row. He had a little Fisher Price big button thing that he could listen to at night, and to his mother's credit, she let him. I recorded it in my home studio with just me and my guitar, and I thought that would be the last time I ever recorded it.

"And so I guess about a year after that, my manager and his wife were going to have a baby, and I said, 'Hey, let me play this song that I wrote for Jule, I forgot, I'll put on a cassette for you guys.' And I played it for him and he just wept. He said, 'That's one of the most powerful things you've ever written in your life.' He says, 'You have to put that on a record.' I said, 'Yeah, but it's a kid song." He said, 'I don't care what kind of song it is. It's an unbelievable song. It's got to go on your next album.' And so I did. I ended up putting it on See What You Want To See, the same record as 'Raining On Sunday.' Emmylou Harris sang on it, and that was just a real, real thrill. And then years later, when the Dixie Chicks cut it, and Jule was, I want to say 10 or 11, they had kind of said, 'Will you come by? We're mixing it, and we wanted you to hear it.' And I'd run into one of them in town, and I said, 'Well, Jule's in town, and he would love to hear that thing.' And they said, 'Great.' So unbeknownst to me, they're freaking. They're terrified that he won't like it. So we were all sitting in chairs, and they were behind me, I could see them. We got through the first chorus, and my son got up out of his chair and got over and got in my lap. This is a 10-year-old boy, way too big to be in Daddy's lap. But it was a real, real sweet moment."


Sweet dreams baby boy...

3 comments:

Elaine said...

I've always adored that song, but knowing the story behind it . . . wow! And I like his rendition of it better than the Dixie Chicks.

angie said...

What a post, made me ball! I have always loved the song but never heard this background information before. The image of his 10 year old son in his lap really gets me. I'm going to be holding on to this line for awhile, "God hears amen wherever we are and I love you." Amen!

Jeanne said...

Andrea - I made the mistake of playing this on my ipod when we were driving east to take Ian to the Annapolis. Big mistake! I had been holding it together until that point. The kids were like, "Is Mom crying? What's wrong with Mom?"

You'll see - even when they are 18 they tear at your heart.

Hurry home, Brodie!!