Derik Nelson's moving performance of his heartfelt song, "Phone Call", that is in tribute to the families impacted by the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks . . . should grab every American's heart... reminding all how very personal this tragic day was and will remain! David Bancroft, USA Patriotism! founder (August 2011)
Derik Nelson Explains Why He Wrote... "Phone Call"
August 11, 2011
With next month being the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001, I deemed it appropriate to share with you an original song I wrote as a tribute to the families affected by the tragic events that happened that day.
My inspiration for the song came a few years ago on September 11th, 2007. I got home from school and turned the TV on, and remember watching a memorial program that featured personal accounts and stories about 9/11. One story in particular that really struck me was centered around the phone calls being made by passengers in the planes to their loved ones back at home. There was something so desperately honest in the voices captured on those chilling, garbled clips of voicemails and recorded phone calls... It broke my heart.
It reminded me that above the politics, the war, the terror, and all the conspiracy theories, there were families being torn apart, and real husbands, wives, sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers having to say "I love you" for the last time. I was compelled to tell a story (albeit not a happy one) about such a situation in which a passenger on a plane has to say goodbye to his young son.
This song (until now) sat on the shelf ever since. I only performed it once. A few weeks ago, I realized we were coming up on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and got the idea to film a video of the song. After revisiting it and discussing it with a close friend of mine, I came to the realization that the story wasn't over. I told the story of September 11, 2001, but what about September 11, 2011?
I wrote the end verse just a few short weeks ago, and finally gave such a sad story the silver lining it deserves. Because 9/11 affected the United States (and the world) on such a large scale, I fear that people might lose sight of just how far the destructive ripples from the events of that day can extend. My hope is that listeners will be reminded of the important things in life... Love of all kinds, and the sacred fragility of a family.
Thank you for listening, watching, and supporting. Please share this with someone you love.
P.S. Thank you to my wonderful brother, Dalten, for doing such a beautiful job filming and editing this video.
VERSE ONE He falls asleep without a sound His plane's a long way from the ground And he's gone, for just a few days, he's gone
He's dreaming of his little boy His heart so young, so full of joy But it's wrong, something's all wrong, it's wrong
He opens his eyes for the first time There's panic and noise everywhere The captain's voice cuts through the speakers The tragic news filling the air
VERSE TWO "This won't be easy I'm afraid Folks, this is hard for me to say We're going down, we're going down"
The phone is ringing back at home He's breathing deep, he's breathing slow As he tries to keep it together, he tries
He says "son, can I please talk to mommy I just need a minute or two" As he hears "I ate all of my vegetables, dad So I can be strong just like you"
"Go get mom for me, please" "But dad, she's already asleep"
BRIDGE "Then tell her that I'll wait to see her soon Tell her that I'll wait for her to find me Tell her I'll be with her, every minute, every hour, every day I'm leaving, but I know you'll be okay" "No dad don't go, I love you, can't you stay"
CODA Ten years can slip by in what seems like an hour The fights of our fathers fall into our hands We haven't yet forgotten, and we haven't yet forgiven And I'm not saying that we ever can But when all's said and done, what you spend, what you save You can't take it with you on your judgment day So divided we fall, and we fell like a stone But united we stand, so don't leave me standing alone