Be Brave (Samantha's Song)

In the summer of 2002 a little girl named Samantha Runnion was abducted and murdered in California.  During a memorial service that was telecast on TV I was transfixed as I watched her mother get up and speak. A few minutes later I sat down at my piano and began writing a song. By the next day I had it mostly written but felt like something was missing so I did a search on the net and among other items relating to Samantha and her family, I found a drawing she had done on which she had written in crayon the words, "Be Brave". That made the hair on the back of my neck stand up and I immediately finished the song.

I recorded a simple piano/vocal demo in my home studio and overnighted a copy of it to Erin Runnion, Samantha's mother.  She called me at home in Nashville the next day to tell me that the song had touched the family and to thank me. We've remained in contact and whenever I have the opportunity in my shows I tell people about the Joyful Child Foundation which was started in Samantha's memory.

As far as the creative process goes, this experience and especially hearing from Samantha's mother, was stunning. It was sad and bittersweet and I felt like the song came through me from somewhere else. From start to finish it seemed like I had little to do with it on a conscious level. This page is dedicated to Samantha and Erin.

 

 

 

Be Brave (Samantha's Song)
© 2002 by Kieran Irmiter


Light a candle for Samantha
Oh the dear and precious child
And the unity of hearts
That she has knitted with her smile
I am thinking of her mother
And the drawings on the fridge
And the songs they loved to sing
And the laughter they will miss

Light a candle for Samantha
Let's light up the whole world
The upturned faces of the angels smile
As they welcome home their girl
All spirit and courage
This little girl I never knew
And in the words she left for me and you:
Be Brave, Be Brave, everyone Be Brave

Light a candle for Samantha
For the valliant and for the just
For anyone who's lost or separated
From the ones they love
I see my father and my mother who
One day I'm gonna miss
But the songs that we will sing for them
And the peace that God will give

Light a candle for Samantha
Let's light up the whole world
The upturned faces of the angels smile
As they welcome home their girl
When you're filled with desperation
And you don't know what to do
Just repeat the words she left for me and you:
Be Brave, Be Brave, everyone Be Brave

Light a candle for Samantha
Oh the dear and precious child
And the unity of hearts
That she has knitted with her smile