A Short Story

Post #208 – Wildflower – The Song and My Friendship with the Writer

In 1972 in Victoria, Canada, a rookie policeman wrote a poem for his girlfriend while driving home in his police car. Dave “the Cop” Richardson gave the poem to his friend David Foster, a young aspiring young musician looking for material for his new band, SKYLARK. Foster passed it along to Skylark guitarist Doug Edwards who set it to music. It was the first song Edwards had ever composed.

WILDFLOWER is one of the most performed songs in the history of Canadian popular music. Over 30 years it has sold multiple million copies in more than sixty versions. It’s been honored with a BMI Millionaire’s Award and SOCAN Classic and Crystal Awards. It is the song that launched David Foster’s career.


She’s faced the hardest times you could imagine

And many times her eyes fought back the tears

And when her youthful world was about to fall in

Each time her slender shoulders bore the weight of all her fears

 

And a sorrow no one hears

still rings in midnight silence in her ears

.Let her cry, for she’s a Lady

Let her dream, for she’s a Child

Let the rain fall down upon her

She’s a free and gentle flower growing wild.

 

And if by chance, I should hold her

Let me hold her for a time

But if allowed just one possession

I would pick her from the garden to be mine.

 

Be careful how you touch her for she’ll awaken

And sleep’s the only freedom that she knows

And when you walk into her eyes you won’t believe

The way she’s always paying for a debt she never owed

And the silent wind still blows that only she can hear

And so she goes

Chorus


I received this email from Dave years ago when I first started to write my memoir. It touched me deeply.

Dave Richardson daverichardson333@gmail.com
4/4/11
to me

Hello, Nancy.  I hope you don’t mind my writing to you.  Your message about Wildflower to Nettwerk was forwarded to Valley Hennell, who in turn forwarded it to me.

My name is Dave Richardson, and I wrote the lyrics to Wildflower many years ago.  My friend Doug Edwards then added the music shortly thereafter.  Valley is the lady who manages the “business” end of things for Doug and me.

You should be receiving a message shortly from Nettwerk, but I thought I would send you a personal message of gratitude for sharing your testimony.  As you may know, we have received similar messages about how the song has blessed so many people – mostly women, of course – over the years since it was first made popular by the Canadian band “Skylark”, the members of which were from my home town of Victoria, British Columbia, and neighboring Vancouver.  However, until the advent of the Internet, after which people were able to contact us, we didn’t really know how the song had helped so many people.

I guess I can save a little time by directing you to this site about the history of how I came to write the song, if you have not already seen it.

I am very proudly a Christian, although I definitely wasn’t living as one in the days when I wrote the words to the song.  However, as He did with you, the Lord redeemed me as well – from alcohol, smoking, and a general lifestyle that is better left in the past – and He has been blessing me ever since.  Your message was another of those blessings, Nancy, and I am so grateful to you for giving me a glimpse of your story.

I am now in Jerusalem, Israel, where I am the director of a small volunteer ministry in which my wife Lesley and I work with other volunteers to feed some of the city’s homeless and poor.  I am a lay pastor with one fellowship, as well as “church warden” with Christ Church here in Jerusalem’s Old City.  (And, as promised in Genesis 12:3, I was blessed enough to meet my beautiful wife Lesley here at Christ Church over three years ago; we have now been married for almost two years.)

“Coincidentally”, I received your message to Nettwerk through Valley Hennell two nights ago – the same night that she and Doug Edwards were in Toronto for Wildflower’s induction for Doug and me into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.  It would have been too far for me to fly from Israel to/from Toronto for the two or three hours of an awards ceremony, so Valley went with Doug in my stead.  And, quite frankly, your message means more to me than any material award – and the song has earned several – ever could.

Shortly after I received your message through Valley and Nettwerk, Lesley and I went to prayer for you, Nancy, that the Lord will bless you and the book you are writing.  In the same manner in which He seems to have blessed you through what He led me to write, it is my prayer that He will now use you to bless others through what He is now leading you to write.  Matthew 13:12, “To those who have, more will be given…” is a call to bless others with what we have been blessed ourselves, and He will keep “topping up” our blessings.

Although no other person can completely comprehend what you have been through, Nancy, as a now-retired 35-year policeman (and “retired” alcoholic as well) who has investigated cases similar to what you described in your email, I have at least a minimal understanding of the depths from which the Lord has delivered you.  I praise Him for that, and I commend you for now wanting to help, or even prevent, others from the same pain you have experienced yourself.  I don’t know you, Nancy, but I am honored to be associated with you, and I pray that the Lord will bless you in your writing efforts and that He be glorified in the seeds you will undoubtedly sow in other lives in the future.

Blessings to you, in Christ…

Dave


 

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