Friday, June 22, 2007

The Song Remains The Same?

Yesterday, Life-of Rubin linked to vocalist Benny Friedman's MySpace page. The page includes several audio clips of Friedman singing, including a song, "Special Child", that is credited to Chanale, a "for woman only" religious singer.

The lyrics seemed familiar though, so I've dug out an old album, "Iron Butterfly" by "The Next Generation, that was released in the late '80s. There's a beautiful song on that album called 'Shamayim's Special Child." Here are Chanale's lyrics for 'Special Child"
A meeting was held far from earth
With the angels and G-d above
They said it’s time again for another birth
This child will need much love

And though her progress may seem slow
And accomplishments she may not know
Let’s be careful where she’s sent
We want her life to be content

Please G-d find someone who
Will do this very special job for You
And let them realize right away
The leading role they’re asked to play

And have them show her till the end
They’ll always be there as her friend
And share a love so deep and strong
And that’s the place where she’ll belong

Make sure her parents hold her close
And never miss a smile
And when life gets hard they’ll always know
She’s a gift to them this child

Give her a friend to hold her hand
Listen close and understand
Take the time to make her grin
Bring out her beauty from within
Now, here are the lyrics to "Shamayim's Special Child":
A meeting was held far from earth,
It's time again for another birth,
But this child is special,
He'll need special care.

At times his progress may seem slow,
Accomplishments that may not show,
Who will guide him through his life,
Who will be there.

Will you be his feet if he is lame,
And hold him tight to ease the pain,
Fulfill his dreams and help him grow.

If you'll be the spark he'll be the flame,
And warm your soul in future days,
teach him all there is to know.

He may not run or laugh or play,
His thoughts may seem quite far away,
In many ways a stranger in his home.

So lets be careful where he's sent,
Who will make this child's life content,
Whi will show him he will never be alone.

Will yours be the eyes through which he sees,
And guide him through eternity,
Teach him mitzvos he can do.

And every prayer he says will shine,
Amongst the stars up in the sky,
Sparkling like a flaming jewel.

They will not realize right away,
the special role that they're asked to play,
Nor the strength that comes,
From the faith they'll feel inside.

But soon they'll realize the privelege given,
So meek yet precious,
A spark from heaven,
They'll thank Hashem for Shamayim's special child.

And when you're walking, walk with pride,
And hold him closely by your side,
Make him strong and help him grow,

For though his learning may be slow,
Each new thing he learns will show,
He is Shamayim's special child.

Baruch Atah Hashem,
We will thank you once again,
For Shamayim's special child.
Some unsolicited advice to Benny: Cover the original. (With attribution and royalties, of course.) It's a much prettier melody. The tweaked borrowed lyrics aren't an improvement either.

UPDATE: 9/5/07

An anonymous source close to Chanale emails that she never heard the original song, only knew the lyrics, and did not know where they came from. She saw the lyrics as a poem written somewhere. She has updated her website and has contacted the original composers in order to pay any royalties and offer credit in future printings of the booklet. The Stone brothers have given permission and say that the original original source of the lyrics are from a poem written by Mrs. Kahn of Camp Hasc.