Sheryl Crow is known for using music as a way to talk about difficult subjects and she proved that once again on Monday with the release of an emotionally charged new song called “The Dreaming Kind.” The tune pays tribute to the 26 children and adults who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary, five years after the school shooting.
“The Dreaming Kind” honors them while also raising awareness for Sandy Hook Promise, a foundation led by several of the families who lost loved ones during the Newtown, Conn., mass shooting that aims to reduce gun violence and prevent gun-related deaths.
“When Sandy Hook happened, we knew it was a life-changing moment where we were going to address the idea that not everyone should be approved to own a gun, especially military-style weaponry and yet, nothing happened,” Crow told People. “At some point, the alarm clock has to go off and we have to wake up.”
Crow said the new song came together after she chose to work with Sandy Hook Promise to work for better gun regulation with regard to mental health.
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“It seemed to give purpose to my writing,” she said.
This project and purpose isn’t something she’s tackling alone. Her 12-year-old niece Ava lends her voice to the song and asks, “Could you imagine it / if love was blind / If on this earth everybody was kind.”
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Crow’s nephews Bradley, 19, and Chase, 17, Crow sing on the chorus, and Sheryl said she will be explaining the purpose of the song to her own kids, Wyatt, 10, and Levi, 7.
“I’m going to have to explain to them that at school, before this, it was a place you went that was safe,” she said. “I’m sure it will be a conversation that we will continue to have for as long as this is happening.”
If you want to support the Sandy Hook Promise and Crow’s message, you can download the song here for any price you name, or donate to Sandy Hook Promise’s website directly.