BetteBack: Peace lover’s song becomes war anthem

Peace lover’s song becomes war anthem
Article from:Chicago Sun-Times Article date:February 11, 1991

Imagine that you hate war – its senselessness, its destruction, its all-out inhumanity – and so you write a song expressing all that.

But no one’s particularly interested in hearing it . . . until an actual war starts.

“It’s sadly ironic that the song is meaningful now,” said Julie Gold, who has watched “From a Distance,” a song she wrote five years ago, become an unofficial anthem of the Persian Gulf war. Nominated for three Grammys, it is one of the most frequently requested songs both on U.S. radio stations and on Armed Forces Radio in Saudi Arabia.

The wistful, affecting ballad, a version of which was released by Bette Midler last fall, has struck the proverbial chord in America.

“To hear people tell me what I’ve done to affect their lives. . . . I had a woman crying on the phone to me. They say it’s given them strength,” said Gold, who never before had one of her works recorded.

Midler’s version has been No. 1 on Billboard magazine’s adult contemporary chart and on its Hot 100 list for 19 weeks.

“I’m heartbroken that we are at war again. But I support the president. I do,” Gold said.

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