strong like me

This song is inspired by a patient and his love for wolves. Wolves are “intelligent” “strong” and “leaders” and when I talked to Charlie for the first time, he told me that I think “they are probably like me”. I found this statement very profound coming from a child afflicted with an illness that can often flip your life around in so many different ways. But that resilience and passion visible in this child, I believe is a defining mark of how cancer can be about your perspective and the people you can impact along the way no matter what age. Cancer patients, and especially children can be the strongest fighters and in a way offer their strength through their weakness to others around them. 

And even though this strength may not always be manifested physically, it is through the way you live your life and the way you interact with others. In a child, I think this becomes evident through their passions, their hobbies, their smiles, and their pure love for their family around them.

 

Video Interview From March 2017. The moment that inspired this song. :

“You’re very strong”

"Wolves are strong just like Charlie"

Charlie: “I think they’d probably be like me”

Strong Like Me was written in 2017-2018 for the Katie's Art Project's Music is Medicine program.  I was connected with Charlie Thomas, who at the time had Leukemia ( He is now cancer free!). The song was recorded at Likeminds Studio in Brooklyn, New York (currently in LA) with Grammy Nominated Producer/Sound Engineer Derik Lee and the Amazing Likeminds Studio Duo Chris Soper and Jessie Singer. All proceeds to this song go back to Katie's Art Project Programming. Strong Like Me is also featured on the Best of Times Katie's Art Project Christmas Album. The lyrics video was made  in 2019 when Charlie and Clara met in person for the first time.

V1

Each step you take leaves a mark

Heavy or weak we can show the way

Together we lead the pack

weight of the world on our backs

 

Like a wolf howling in the moonlight

It echoes through the forest

Running through the snowy hillside

Stumbles but gets back up

Bridge

The cold can’t slow them down 

spirit speeding now

howl speaks their strength (x2)

Chorus

Strong like me, strong like you

Strong like me, strong like yoooo-ou (x2)

 

V2

It’s easy to give it up

Doesn’t always make sense at first

Bringing out your best and your worst

Keep moving on - don’t look back

 

Like a wolf walking in the shadows 

The sunrise casts a glow

Standing at the edge of the mountain

Stumbles but gets back up

 

Bridge 

The cold can’t slow them down 

spirit speeding now

howl speaks their strength (x2)

Chorus

Strong like me, strong like you

Strong like me, strong like yoooo-ou (x2)

Let the light of the moon wash away the darkness

Let the cold of the snow feel warm

Strong like me, strong like yoooo-ou (x2)

BRIDGE 2

but once in a while

you slip and fall

but when you rise

the wind can’t knock you down of    

strength comes inside,

strength comes above

strength comes from your love

 

Chorus

Strong like me, strong like you

Strong like me, strong like yoooo-ou (x2)

Let the light of the moon wash away the darkness

Let the cold of the snow feel warm

 

Strong like me, strong like yoooo-ou (x3)

 

      

Think of a wolf walking through the forest leaving its paw prints in the snow. This to me represents that no matter what you do, the things you love, and your true passions will always stick. All of those things are important to yourself, your family, your friends, and you should never forget the importance of the things you love.  

Wolves can be tired, and they can be weak, but they lead their pack, offering a sort of strength to their pack to lead them through their journey. With cancer, patients are still able to show their strength to their family by leading, smiling, and continuing to fight even when everything seems to be hanging over their heads almost like “the weight of the world upon our backs”

Continue imagining a wolf on its journey through a forest! And if it stumbles, the wolf is always going to stand back up and continue its journey. 

I think of a wolf having the characteristics of speed, intelligence, strength, power, and a mighty spirit. A wolf’s howl is very distinct and that’s why I added that last line to represent a unique part of their image. 

This is the main chorus of the song. It is inspired by what Charlie told me in his interview with me! “Strong like me”, because it is your own perspective that can be most valuable, and it is the simple idea that when you believe in your own strength, your mindset can offer strength to others as well.

 

 

 

I think the hardest moments, make us want to give up because in that moment we can't make sense of it. Learning to pick yourself up and move on is difficult but takes courage.

Continuing the imagery of a wolf in a forest under the shadows watching the sunrise. Even the most peaceful moments can be interrupted by falls, but we must learn to get back up.

We are still imagining the setting of a wolf in a snowy forest. Sometimes thinking with positivity can wipe out negativity. Even though we can think of a forest as dark and cold, the moon offer light. Your perspective on a situation is always important. Snow doesn’t offer us heat, yet none of us can forget the excitement as kids that comes with being able to play in it, roll it up into a snowball, build it into a snowman, or simply watch it fall from the sky into our hands, offering a sense of warmth in the form of just happiness.  Our perspective of things that bring sadness, can change our outlook of how we want to deal with things.

 

Not every part of our journey, imagine even for a wolf leading his pack through a forest, is going to be perfect. Sometimes maybe the wolf will slip and fall, but many animals of the wild will never give up and continue to get to their destination. Strength can come from many places and is different for each person. 

Believe in your strength, and your own attitude and mindset can offer strength and hope to the ones around you.

Derik called me up to ask me what kind of vibe I wanted for the song as they produced it. We both agreed on a vision similar to "X Ambassadors" giving the structure of the song a calm, mellow, but still powerful beat. Couldn't have asked for a better team to bring the essence of this song to life,

charlie clara
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