From A Distance

Nov 17, 2010 by

From A Distance

A campfire under a night sky blazing with stars.  It is both an opportunity to find your littleness and your bigness in the universe and to contemplate the significance of you – from a distance.

About the Song: From a Distance

At a small concert I was at in Boulder, Colorado many years ago, songwriter Julie Gold shared the story of how she created the song “From A Distance”. She explained to her audience that she had been composing on a small electric keyboard with poor sound quality during the years she had been living in New York, since she had left Philadelphia. But for her 30th birthday, in February 1986, her parents arranged that the piano she’d grown up with, an upright piano, be delivered to her apartment.

The day after her piano arrived, Julie sat down to her treasured reunion. And, as if in celebration of two dear friends rediscovering the synchronicity of each other’s sounds, Julie and her beloved piano brought forth that very day the ballad “From A Distance”.
She wrote it in one hour.

But when music publishers and record companies did not seem especially interested, Julie’s close personal friend, quick, witty performer and talented singer/songwriter Christine Lavin, shared the song with a close friend of her own, folk songstress Nanci Griffith. Griffith, liking the song very much, chose to record it for her 1987 album, Lone Star State of Mind. It quickly became a favorite of Griffith’s fans worldwide.

In 1990 The Byrds released a boxed set and chose to record only four new tracks as additional material for the compilation. One of those tracks was “From A Distance”.

Later that same year Bette Midler recorded it. Within weeks it hit #2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and then went on to win the Grammy for Song of the Year in 1991.

“From A Distance” has been translated into numerous languages including German, French, Cantonese and Spanish, to name just a few. It continues to be translated and sung the world over and has, as of this date, has been aired over 4 million times.

Music Credits:

From A Distance: James Galway, Vincent Fanuele & The Galway Pops Orchestra
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From A Distance: The African Childrens Choir

And here are links to all our favorite versions of From A Distance:

Julie Gold’s version of From a Distance (Amazon) and (iTunes)

Nanci Griffith’s version of From A Distance (Amazon) and From A Distance
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The Byrds’ version of From A Distance (Amazon) and From A Distance
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Bette Midler’s version of From A Distance (Amazon) and From A Distance
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James Galway’s version of From a Distance (Amazon) and From A Distance icon (iTunes)

African Children’s Choir’s version of   The African Children’s Choir (Amazon) and at the African Children’s Choir Website Store

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2 Comments

  1. Elizabeth Wescott

    That was a moment that counted, and counted, and counted… What a great song!