A song that Bruce Springsteen wrote for his eldest son and offered to the director of the first Harry Potter film has surfaced online.
“I’ll Stand By You Always” ended up not making the final cut, as Springsteen explained in an interview last year with BBC Radio. “It was pretty good. It was a song that I wrote for my eldest son, it was a big ballad that was very uncharacteristic of something I’d sing myself. But it was something that I thought would have fit lovely,” Springsteen told BBC Radio 2 host Simon Mayo.
Here’s the full version:
Brucebase, a detailed fan archive for all thing Springsteen, says that The Boss was inspired to write the song while reading the Harry Potter books to his son.
This part of the song would seem to lend creedence to that claim:
I know here in the dark tomorrow can seem so very far away
Here the ghosts and the goblins can rise from your dreams to steal your heart away
Together we’ll chase those thieves that won’t leave you alone out from under the bed, out from over our home
And when the light comes we’ll laugh my love about the things that the night had us so frightened of
When Chris Columbus, the director of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, caught wind of Bruce’s recollection he was compelled to send a heartfelt response to the fan site Backstreets about his own personal anguish over having to make the impossible decision to leave the track off.
He told them:
Bruce’s amazing, heartbreakingly beautiful song slightly shifted the mood of the film from England to back across the pond. Back to America. It would be the first time in our film where we would not hear a British voice. Also, complicating matters… John Williams had already written a full eight minutes of an orchestral piece to end the film. I would have to face the Maestro and tell him that I was planning to cut his eight-minute symphony. This certainly would have sent John running for the hills, ending our working relationship forever. Had I done that, John would definitely not have scored the subsequent two Potter films. I was f***ing devastated. I’d waited over 25 years for a Bruce song. And finally, I received one of the best songs he’d ever written. And I couldn’t use it.
In Bruce’s BBC interview he added, “At some point I’d like to get it into a children’s movie of some sort because it was a pretty lovely song.”
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