For You and For Me - Donna Mucks
April 9, 2013 @ 8:27 AM...Many years in the making...
The motivation for For You and For Me has come from many places and spanned many years. I have been surrounded by the military most of my life, both personally and professionally. I am daughter, sister, wife, niece, aunt, cousin and friend of members in all branches of the armed services. Although I wasn’t politically aware during the Vietnam era, I never understood how people could treat our military so horribly upon their return. How people could treat anyone so horribly! It obviously left an impression on me, because when we went to war again, my first instinct was to do what I could to never let that happen again.
The final motivations for the song came in 2008 and 2009, when as a Red Cross Volunteer, I attended the wakes and/or arrival ceremonies of of Sgt. John Sigsbee, Lance Cpl. Daniel J. Geary and Lance Cpl. Blaise Oleski. I did not know any of these young men, but I felt compelled, as did many members of the affected communities, to pay my respects and show my support. At each event, I was of course, saddened. However, I was also uplifted by the support of the communities, and amazed by the strength of the family members in the receiving lines. During this time I also came to know of the Patriot Guard Riders (PGR). When I attended the wake, there was the PGR again, with their “heads and flags held high”, silently standing and guarding the fallen hero and all those gathered.
I stood in line at the funeral home and asked myself, “Why do I, and so many others, go pay our respects to someone we don’t even know?” I went to my car and took out a pen and paper tried to put my feelings into words. I sat there for a while, watching people come and go, watching the American and Service flags waving in the breeze. I went home, and thought not only about fallen heroes, but also of those who were currently serving and those who have served, our Veterans. I managed to put the thoughts and feelings together as a poem. Friends who know me as a singer and songwriter asked, “When are you putting that to music?" I had never intended it to be a song, but I sat down one afternoon, and it was there, simply and easily. A gift from God.
As I prepared to go into the studio, I kept feeling there should be a fiddle and a drum in the song, along with the guitar, but I was not sure how. While brainstorming with my husband John, he suggested I listen to the song The Minstrel Boy, from the Blackhawk Down soundtrack. It was originally written by Thomas Moore to honor his friends who were killed in the Irish Rebellion of 1798. It was also popular in the American Civil War and WW I, and is still used sometimes at military funerals. The tune of The Minstrel Boy is The Moreen, an old Irish air and it blended well with For You and For Me. I learned from the Oleski family, after recording, that it was one of Blaise’s favorite songs. Divine intervention once again.
My hope is that those who hear the song feel the mixed emotions, the sadness, the patriotism, the thankfulness, and the honor that I felt, and remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, those who have fought for our freedoms, and those who continue to do so. Please....never forget...they do it For You and For Me! God Bless our Gold Star families and God Bless America!