The Story Behind Helping Nashville and John Rich’s “Lend a Hand”
Musicnotes.com is pleased to present you with an inside look at the song “Lend a Hand,” which was composed by John Rich to help Tennessee residents recover from the recent flood disaster. This song will be available for free as an MP3 download through John Rich’s official website and as a sheet music download through Musicnotes.com.
From now through September 30, 2010, download sheet music for “Lend a Hand” from Musicnotes.com for free. For every download of sheet music for this song, Musicnotes.com will donate $1.00 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund up to a maximum of $10,000. For more details, read our Support Nashville. Download “Lend a Hand” for Free page.
First off John, can you describe the situation in Nashville and middle Tennessee?
My own grandmother, “Granny Rich,” had to be rescued on a police boat due to the fact that her house was under water. There are 10s of thousands of people who have lost everything, and many more out of work. It was like an “inland tsunami” hit us. Unreal.
How has the flood impacted the Nashville songwriting community?
I know of many musicians whose instruments, recording equipment and so on were totally destroyed in the flood. Most writers/musicians don’t insure their stuff; it’s all they can do most of the time to keep new strings and blank paper. It’s a heartbreaking scene.
Can you tell us the story behind the lyrics of “Lend a Hand,” and why you decided to write the song with an upbeat feel rather than as a ballad?
I made a donation to the Red Cross but didn’t feel that was enough. I thought if I could write a song that might make people want to give to the flood relief, that would be a good thing. I didn’t want to write a sad song because the folks in TN are feeling like they want to triumph over this – not be defeated by it. So, I wrote a Pentecostal/Blues/HonkyTonk tune called “Lend A Hand” and decided to give it away on my website johnrich.com along with a link to the Red Cross. Giving music away isn’t a very common thing these days, but in this case it definitely felt like the right thing to do and so far we’ve had thousands of downloads and donations to the Red Cross.
How have fans reacted to the free mp3 download of “Lend a Hand?”
People are using this song on their Facebook pages, MySpace pages and everything in between. I’ve even had a church choir ask if they could perform it for their congregation.
Might you be releasing a music video for “Lend a Hand?” We imagine there could be some very stark as well as uplifting images.
There hasn’t been any talk of making a video yet, but the song is only a few days old at this point. I’d be more than happy to make a video for it if it would raise more awareness about the situation here.
Finally, how will donating to the Red Cross at Musicnotes.com and your site impact the Nashville community?
Donating to the RedCross Nashville chapter will impact the lives of countless Tennesseans who have literally lost everything they own to this flood. You can’t imagine how many people may never totally recover from their losses. Any donations made will be much appreciated and put to good use. Thanks for lending us a hand.