The essence of music is to tap into an emotion and make the listener feel something. We heard this song the other day and it did just that. The story is ten years old. The message, unfortunately is becoming more and more relatable every day. It’s called “Somewhere In America” and it was written by our good friend Eric Donnelly (pictured above, on the right) of The Alternate Routes. Please read Eric’s story and then take a minute to watch the video. Grab a tissue, you’re going to need it.
Read the full story:
Eric Donnelly will never forget the phone call that came on Feb. 2, 2005. His band, The Alternate Routes, were getting ready to record their first full-length album for a record label. Things were looking up. Then, a heroin addict entered his family's jewelry store just before closing time and brutally murdered his parents. The killer and his accomplice were eventually caught, tried, and found guilty. No apology or justice could ever bring Eric's parents back.
Eric continued on with his life but he always struggled with how to share his tragic story. As time went on, The Alternate Routes continued to grow in popularity. Their songs have been heard everywhere from "NCIS" to the closing ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Eric had been working on and struggling with writing ‘Somewhere In America’ for years could never quite figure out how to write a song about what happened to his family. After his son was born in December 2015, Eric again returned to the song he'd tried to write many times before. When he wrote the chorus "Somewhere in America, a phone's about to ring,” the rest of the song fell into place.
"Somewhere in America" is autobiographical, but that's not really the point of the song," Donnelly explained. "I did not write this the song just to tell my story I wrote it to say that these tragedies happen every single day." "I thought by putting it out there, it was something that could alienate a lot of people. But I've been surprised at the reaction, at how many people are contacting me to talk about losing family members to all kinds of senseless violence," Eric said. "Even if people aren't able to agree with the song, it seems like they can empathize with it." "The song, is me trying to say that something's got to change. My story is ten years old, and there is another story like it every day, and there will be another one tomorrow."