Matisyahu Releases Song He Wrote and Recorded With Child Who Died From Cancer

08/23/2011
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Matisyahu has released a new charity single called "Elijah's Song" in memory of a young boy he met who was suffering from cancer.

During the time that Matisyahu knew him, he and Elijah became great friends; Matisyahu would keep in constant contact with the young man, even surprising him by performing at his bar mitzvah. Elijah had asked that he and Matisyahu record a song together, and in Elijah's final hours, the song was completed and is now available to download.

Says Matisyahu, "I wrote and recorded this song with my friend Elijah just hours before he passed away last December. Proud to be able to share his voice and story while helping his family on their road to recovery. If you like it, you can make a donation and get two versions of the song--including one with him singing."

The track can be downloaded here with a minimum donation of $1 and all of the proceeds go to the Elijah Memorial Fund, administered by the Chabad of West Boca. The download includes two versions of "Elijah's Song", including a special version with Elijah and Matisyahu singing together the night before Elijah passed.

Here is what Matisyahu had to say: A few years ago a young man approached me in synagogue with a request for me to meet a young boy with cancer. I had become somewhat numb to any requests asked of me in shul as I get hit up all the time for all sorts of things when all I really want to do is pray and leave like any normal person. After some time and persistence on this young man's part, I agreed to meet Elijah on the upper west side. I was immediately taken by him and we became friends. He would come to shows, we would text each other, and a year ago I went to surprise him at his bar mitzvah and sing with him at the party. He asked me if we could record a song together and as the year went on it sort of fell off my radar. Late last year we had a show in Florida and Elijah came. After the show he asked me again about the song and we made a plan to go into the studio. The next day I got a call that he had been admitted to the hospital and was too sick to leave. My friend and guitar player Adam Weinberg and I realized Elijah might not have much time to do this and so we went to hospital with a little home studio to write and record a song. After 2 hours of trying to get a clean recording of his voice, I was getting tired and frustrated and so Adam and I went into the hallway to get some air. I told Adam I didn't think we could get a recording, "Neither of us are sound engineers." Adam convinced me that we may not get another shot and so we went back into the room and wrote and recorded this song with Elijah. The ideas for the music and majority of the words came from Elijah himself. We walked out of the hospital around 12 am feeling good about Elijah and his song. The next day I got a text that he had passed away in the middle of the night. Read more

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