There are songs written about tragic events that simply grab our hearts, make it difficult to breathe, generate emotion about things from which we would normally find distance. Songs like CSNY's "(Four Dead In) Ohio" and Alan Jackson's "Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning" are poignant examples. On Friday evening (Dec. 21) on StagIt.com, "American Idol" Season 8 winner Kris Allen dedicated a song to the people of Newtown, Connecticut, the small city where a lone gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 26 people, 20 of them children in the first grade. And even though he admitted he wrote the song "a while ago," he felt it somehow appropriate and wanted to share it with those attempting to recover from the tragedy in Newtown.
The song, "Where Are You, Amy," is a sentimental, sad number about a girl who goes to school one day but never returns. It is the kind of song that tugs at heartstrings, evokes the terrible uncertainty of not knowing about the fate of someone for whom you care. And with Allen's plaintive rendering of the lyrics over the acoustic guitar melody, there is the longing for an answer and the fear that one might forever be trapped in the unknowing.
In short, it is a sad, beautiful song.
Kris Allen's concert is just the latest up close and personal mini-concert by an "American Idol" alum made available by StageIt.com (Phillip Phillips performed a mini-Hurricane Sandy relief benefit concert in November), a platform where artists perform for their fans via their laptops. Fans that buy tickets to the shows can interact with the artist, make requests, and even provide a little extra incentive via a virtual tip jar.
There have been many dedications, moments of silence, and memorials for the fallen of Sandy Hook Elementary School, prayers and words of support from across the nation and around the world. The two singing competition series going into their finales, NBC's "The Voice" and Fox's "X Factor," paid tribute in song as well. "The Voice" provided a haunting version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" and "X Factor" offered Michael Jackson's "You Are Not Alone."
Those making public statements concerning the tragedy have found it difficult to not show their emotions. Simon Cowell, his voice choking and his eyes welling with tears, offered condolences and prayers when he introduced the "X Factor" tribute. President Obama had difficulty during a statement in Washington shortly after the shootings occurred.
Before performing, Kris Allen, who just recently released a holiday album, Waiting For Christmas, said that the song was dedicated to the people going through the tragic aftermath of the shootings. He also asked for others to share the song with the people of Newtown who might not otherwise hear it.
So, per Kris Allen's request, here is his dedication to those affected by the Newtown tragedy:
(photo credit: Annalee Barclay, Wikimedia Commons)