I’m not sure Ben E. King knew that he’d ignite a movement when he recorded Stand By Me in 1962. He didn’t know it would be a hit by the Drifters and so many more or be part of a movie. But his death, juxtaposed against the great need in Nepal, reminded me of this fantastic version of the song by Playing for Change, a project that aims to unite the world by music. Musicians all over the world were recorded doing the song, and the result was a beautiful, global version that lent new meaning to “stand by me.”
If you don’t know this version, I’m glad to introduce you. The link is at the end of this post. If you do know it, here’s a chance to be moved once again and remind ourselves that we live in a global village and bear responsibility for each other.
Grandpa Elliott’s voice gives me chills and so does that of Clarence Bekker in the Netherlands. Roberto Luti’s poignant guitar adds so much to the recording and I loved the balcony setting in the Congo for one of the drummers. This video, the song and all of the musicians are just magic.
And when they sing about mountains crumbling to the sea, I couldn’t help but think about Nepal and how we really are our brother’s keeper. We must stand by each other.
If you are looking for a way to help Nepal, here are a few. The easiest is to text “Nepal” to 864233 to donate $10 to Unicef. Or if you prefer, text “GIVE NEPAL” to 80088 to make a $10 donation through Global Giving.
If you’d like to donate a different way, here are high-rated charities that are helping the Nepalese people.