Remember when you used to
ask your parents why they chose the name they gave you? Or if you
have become a new parent, have you sat down to write a few words to
reflect on your newborn and yourself?
As a new father, Russell
Crowe has composed his answer to his son into song (See lyrics toward end
of page. Charles has been given his father's point of view and
unquestionable love). As a true fan of Crowe's music, for sure the new
album will be another level--it can't be helped when you become a new
Russell's music at Itunes: http://www.apple.com/itunes/--Raewyn
single--Available April 19, 2005. My Hand, My Heart--album available
May 10, 2005.
"Raewyn," the first single release from Russell Crowe's
solo album "My Hand, My Heart."
"Raewyn" is available exclusively as a download on April 19th
from the iTunes Music Store for the United States, Austria, Belgium,
Canada, Germany, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,
Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom and sanity.com.au for
Australia and New Zealand. On April 28th 15 more countries will open
iTunes Music Stores including Australia and New Zealand.
The song "Raewyn" is one of ten tracks on the album "My
Hand, My Heart," five of which are co-written by Canadian producer
Alan Doyle (Great Big Sea).
A chance meeting backstage at a hockey awards night in Toronto ended up in
song writing sessions in Canada and Australia.
This evolved into an intense four-week writing and recording project, a
call to a bunch of mates created the band, and after many long nights,
"My Hand, My Heart" was recorded at the padded cell in Nana
Raewyn was the first song that this pair wrote together.
Recorded in room 1523 of the Toronto Park Hyatt Hotel.
Strings and Tympani recorded at Trackdown Studios in Sydney using members
of the Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) - conducted and arranged by
Mixed at 301 Studios in Sydney by Nathaniel Kunkel (Sting, James Taylor).
"This new song, "Raewyn," has a different level of poise
and grace than much of the records by Crowe's band, Thirty Odd Foot of
Grunts, and its lyrics are both elegant and more direct. It draws on two
traumatic early deaths in the Crowe family tree - his mother's sister
Raewyn and his father's brother Charlie - and on his own new family, on
how these are linked by name and heritage, and of what it is to be a
parent and a child…" -Chris Heath - GQ Magazine
"Raewyn" arrived in yesterday's post and it brought my
morning to a halt, leaving me gazing out at the winter sun on the ocean.
It's a beautiful, intimate song… made me think of my old man and how we
got on, but then of my role as a father and how I relate to Jack." -Billy
"You're a very enigmatic man Mr Crowe. This is not what I was
"Your song is a royal gift to young Charlie, beautiful photographic
images, a surprisingly tender voice, and I'm touched you would send it to
me, but will it get on the radio? Not a chance mate." -Sting
Russell Crowe - Vocals
Alan Doyle - Acoustic Guitar
Dave Kelly - Drums
Bones Hillman - Bass
Stewart Kirwan - Horns
Stuart Hunter - Keys
Paul Berton - Electric Guitar
The complete album "My Hand, My Heart" available on iTunes and sanity.com.au May 10th.
The Story Behind
Lachlan Dew was a 23
year old bloke who worked for me at the farm. He was the caretaker
at a growing out property we have so his job was principally
concerned with the health and welfare of the cows, however his other
job was the care and maintenance of a 40 acre block of tree's we
planted around 4-5 years ago. Lachie as he was known, had a degree
in forestry, he was a sweet and funny guy who knew how to do a days
work. He came up to the farm one day because he'd heard in the
village that I was looking for an extra hand to help out the
After he had finished his degree he had applied, he said, for over
100 jobs to do with forestry, the only thing he ever got offered was
tree planting, something he'd already done a massive amount of while
doing his course. He wanted something more challenging. In one of
life's ironic turns, with no job in his chosen career materializing,
he found himself doing the only job he could get in the area for a
decent wage, working at a sawmill. How incredibly frustrating that
must have been, someone who was dedicated to the care and protection
of tree's cutting lumber.
With a touch of desperation in his voice, he told me he was the only
bloke at the sawmill who still had all his fingers, and he'd really
like to keep them, but working at the mill, it was only a matter of
time. I gave him a job on the spot and told him about the eucalypt
plantation, he was very excited about that part of the job. He set
about examining them, tree by tree, uprooted 1000 or so he thought
hadn't quite struck well, went into the bush, collected the seeds of
the types of trees he wanted, and replanted, they are all doing
fine. Tragically, while I was in Canada, Lachlan Dew lost his life.
A car accident, late at night on a country road, a tragedy all too
common in the bush.
I enjoyed his company so much I took it very hard. I was a long way
from home and I knew the whole valley would be grieving, he was very
well liked. His mum and dad are pillars of the community and he had
a brood of loving and affectionate sisters that he would sometimes
talk about. I've been told it was the biggest funeral the valley had
So that's where I was when I started writing Raewyn.
I started thinking about Lachie's sisters and the senseless loss of
their baby brother. I started to think how awful my life growing up
would have been without my brother. I realised, something I knew,
but perhaps had never connected. Both my parents had lost a sibling.
My mother's sister Raewyn committed suicide at 21.Slashed her wrists
in the bath. My Father's younger brother, the youngest of four,
Charles died at 17 in a scuba diving accident. He was with my
grandfather Jack at the time. I started to understand how my father
might of been able to comfort my mother because of sharing the
tragedy of losing their younger siblings, and also how powerful a
bond it must be. I started to understand the guilt that must of
racked my grandfather for the rest of his days. And the simmering
anger that a lot of the women folk in my family seemed to feel for
Jack whenever he was around, my mother included.
And, I realized that I too had that anger toward him, I'd not been
too fussed when he died, we had not spent that much time with him
for years. He was very provocative company. He would always manage
to get my mother upset, make jokes about her cooking etc,she was a
caterer, used to serving hundreds at a very high level and it would
irk her that he always found fault. Other people have told me that
it was his sense of humour that my mother didn't understand. I've
been told by many relatives that I attack my life in a similar way
to him and may have inherited the same sense of provocation in my
The first time I really saw and heard my Father cry was at Jacks
funeral. One of the reasons we had moved back to New Zealand was to
be closer to our relatives, but he died soon after we had got back,
a matter of months perhaps, so we really hadn't gotten into the
rhythm of life in New Zealand yet ,new school, living in a house for
the first time since we had left New Zealand, and we just hadn't
spent that much time with him. Then one day he was gone. No warning,
heart attack while mowing the lawns.
That funeral has haunted me throughout my life. Here was someone who
I didn't feel I knew or understood, he was dead and his death was
tearing apart my father, literally tearing him apart in front of me,
the deepest soul wrenching grief that made me cry for days
afterwards, and I felt so guilty that I didn't feel love for my
grandfather. I knew I had loved him once, when I was little, he was
always full of stories, but between 6 or 7 and 14 I had hardly seen
Suddenly after all this time, something had changed in my life and
my grandfather and I, he being dead for 26 years , had something in
common, a son called Charlie. I'm not sure of the year of my uncle
Charlie's death. It may have been before I was born or just after.
I'll ask my Father again tomorrow, It's too late at night, he'll be
in bed now.
Charles Spencer Crowe was christened on the 7th of April 2005 at
the chapel on the farm in Nana Glen. The congregation sang
"Raindrops keep falling on my head". The Baptism was
performed by Bishop Phillip Huggins.
Raewyn (Crowe/Doyle) [Lyrics]
a black and white photograph of Raewyn,
I know the place and the year that it was taken.
Gosford before all the houses,
Forrester's was still uncrowded.
Footprints,often only your own.
Over the sand dunes and into the mangroves,
he gets his camera out,and that's where Uncle Peter goes.
He took this photograph of you,with your wild hair.
Just back from America,in your print top and your flares.
So much light in your eyes,
no-one read the despair.
A scream in the night,
my mother shaking with tears.
Her little sister,
pouring down the stairs.
is no longer here.
How little do I know of the pain of my Mother,
If I'm now just thinking if I'd lost a brother.
How many nights has she lain awake shaking,
when I could of held her,
Shared the pain she had taken.
I should have held her,
And told her that I loved her.
A son needs to say it,when he loves his Mother.
Jolly Jack Crowe was out on the ocean,
his Charlie asleep alone.
Deep within the motion.
Jack's eyes hollowed from the inside,his life and his heart had been
Guilt's not so loud in a bottle.
Taking risks had bought four sons and good fortune,
How could he know that was the tide his luck was leaving on.
Nobody talked of beauty lost and undone,
everybody baulked,when we named our son.
But it's time to stop blaming,
Jolly Jack Crowe,
Whose grief knew no boundary,
and swallowed him whole.
Fighting for the dead,fighting for his soul.
I love him more,
thanks to my Charlie Crowe.
How little do I know of the path of my Father,
If I'm now just thinking,if I'd lost a brother.
How many nights has he lain awake shaking,
when I could have held him,
Shared the pain he had taken.
I should have held him,
And told him that I loved him.
A son and a Father should always be talking.
A son and a Father should always be talking.
A son and a Father should always be talking.
Russell Crowe Index