Alright

Monami, a.k.a. “Monami Tsunami,” a young man at NY Sheltering Arms Children and Family Services Inc, partners with Viemma Nwigwe, a medical student at Columbia University to write this song, which Monami hopes “encourages people going through domestic violence and bullying that life is worth living.” Viemma found it “incredibly surreal” to hear how “incredibly open” Monami was in sharing his story.

In the words of Monami and Viemma (introduction):

Monami: This song is about things I went through with my mom and how she was very abusive towards me, and didn’t accept me and stuff, and basically not liking me the way I am…

Viemma: Why don’t you tell them why this song is called “Alright”

Monami: “Alright” is basically about things you’re going through with bullying, domestic violence at home or anywhere – it gets better, and letting you know it’s all temporary and stuff. I wanna show people things I went through my mom and everything. The things she did to me, I want to share that with other people. To show people and give people the courage that I got out of it, you can get out of it too.

Viemma: That’s also his favorite word, “alright”…

Monami: Yeah it’s my favorite word too, it make people laugh too.

Viemma’s Reflection

This was my first time participating in an HiH workshop and I couldn’t ask for a better experience! My partner was incredibly receptive to working with me and we enjoyed getting to know one another before diving into the song writing. We discovered that we had a few things in common which was great. My partner was really open with me, sharing some very personal things about himself and inviting me to have a conversation about it. I did not expect this at all, but I am super grateful to have been allowed into his world for a few hours. The song writing part was incredibly collaborative, and I felt incredibly welcome to chip in. While I had the context of our song in mind, the process of writing lyrics added a whole new dimension to my partner’s story. It was an incredibly surreal experience to see my partner’s raw emotions on paper. Our song lyrics revealed so much more than what my partner had originally shared. I felt like I knew more, and I couldn’t help but feel touched. Putting the lyrics and instrumental together to complete our song was incredibly satisfying as it was tangible proof of the time we had spent together. After the workshop, I was elated. My mood had improved drastically. Even now, as I reflect on my first HiH workshop, I can’t help but smile. I would definitely love to do this again.

Let Us Be Strong

“I love you out on my own, let us be strong.”

“I love you out on my own, let us be strong.”

Storyteller: Child in foster care, 11, Children’s Aid and Family Services of NJ

Favorite music: Rap, pop, rock, hip hop Rand B, Disney

Favorite artist/song: R5 – Out On My Own

What would you like your song to be about? A special person that is my good friend

Pick a theme: It would have a birthday city with beats (headphones) and Jordans.

Do you have a title in mind? “Let us be strong”

Any certain words or phrases to include? Brave, courage, confendance

Any lyric ideas? It’s hard without you and I want you back. So many things have gone wrong and every day I want you to be my friend, but let us be strong and everything I’m out on my own and I’m looking for you, but one day I tried to make you my friend but let us be strong. Out on my own and I fallen for you let us be strong and I’ll be fine. I love you out on my own, let us be strong.

SongwriterAlex Vu, student at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons 

Song Lyrics

The city lights the Hudson
Giving cold shoulders
You think falling’s easier now
Now that I’m older

But darling, life’s hard without you
And I need you back
Let me be your friend
Let me have that chance
Let me sing a song
Let me play along
Let me be
Let me be strong

City girl dreams meets Jordans
And a brand new face
But it’s hard to be brave
In this restless places 

But darling, life’s hard without you
And I need you back
Let me be your friend
Let me have that chance
Let me sing a song
Let me play along
Let me be
Let me be strong

Baby look at me
You can be strong too
Give love a chance
There’s no need to be blue

But darling, life’s hard and you
You can use this song
Let it soothe your heart
Let it play the part
Let us sing this song
Let us play along
Let us be
Let us be strong

When She Smiles

When you smile, you’ll never be alone.

“When you smile, you’ll never be alone.”

Storyteller: Child in foster care, 10, Children’s Aid and Family Services of NJ

Favorite music: Annie

Favorite artist/song: Annie

What would you like your song to be about? Annie

Pick a theme: Annie

Do you have a title in mind? Annie

Any certain words or phrases to include? Annie

Songwriter: Kelseanne Breder, student at Columbia University School of Nursing

Song Lyrics

Oh when the sun is out
Her love outshines the sun.
When the birds sing songs
They’re not just for anyone.

They’re for her
She knows that well
They’re in her heart
And you can tell
That when she smiles
She’ll never be alone.

She finds the sun
Between the towers of New York.
On cloudy days
Her love gives me warmth.

This song’s for her
She knows it well
It’s in her heart
And you can tell
That when she smiles
She’ll never be alone.

Have faith in tomorrow
Another day will always come.
No matter what’s happened before
It’s you who matters more
It’s you who never fails to see the sun.

When I hear your laugh
I’ve never known a sweeter sound
It opens up my heart
It lifts me off the ground.

This song’s for you
You know that well
It’s in your heart
And you can tell
That when you smile
You’ll never be alone.

Oh when you smile
You’ll never be alone.

I Want to Be Myself

Love yourself, be yourself. Be happy every time you see someone.

“Love yourself, be yourself. Be happy every time you see someone.”

Storyteller: Child in foster care, 9, Children’s Aid and Family Services of NJ

Favorite music: Pop

Favorite artist/song: Lady Gaga, “Born This Way”

What would you like your song to be about? Being myself

Pick a theme: Being happy

Do you have a title in mind? “I Want to Be Myself”

Any certain words or phrases to include? Love yourself, be yourself. Be happy every time you see someone.

Songwriter: William Ueng, student at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Song Lyrics

Used to run and hide
Too afraid to speak my mind
Always thought I was shy
Didn’t think that I could fly

But I hear a small voice whispering
Whispering to me

You’ve got to love yourself
You’ve got to be yourself
Be loud be proud
You’ve got that champion’s belt

Look around and you will see
All the joys of being free
So I’ve got to be
Because we’ve all got hearts of gold

I’ve got the whole wide world listening
Listening to me

You’ve got to love yourself
You’ve got to be yourself
Be loud be proud
You’ve got that champion’s belt

I stand here with no fear
Listen when I say

You’ve got to love yourself
You’ve got to be yourself
Be loud be proud
You’ve got the champion’s belt.

 

 

 

 

 

I Want to Be Myself Thank You Card