Today is the 25th anniversary of the Air Florida crash in Washington, DC, in which 74 passengers and the flight crew were killed. Pilots failed to utilize the de-icing capacity aboard the plane which, combined with the heavy snow and ice, caused the plane to crash into the frozen Potomac River.
The following story is about the real person the song, "Last Man in the Water", was written about. I wrote the song after my friend, Neil, sent me an article about Arland Williams, and my friends, Mike and Ginger, are helping me to record the song at Tequila Mockingbird with Marty, my dear friend and life long engineer.
I wanted to share this information about him with you all, via Wikipedia's description online:
"Aboard that flight was Arland D. Williams Jr., a 46-year old bank examiner with the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta, Georgia. On January 13, 1982, he was one of only six survivors aboard when Air Florida Flight 90 crashed.
Bystanders, news media, and rescue personnel on the bridge and shore were helpless to reach the survivors. The only hope of rescue was a police helicopter, but it arrived about 20 minutes after the crash.
As the rescue helicopter hovered overhead, Mr. Williams repeatedly grabbed hold of the swaying lifeline and selflessly passed it to other survivors clinging to the wreckage. It is doubtful whether any of the other victims could have been rescued without Mr. Williams' help. However, by the time the helicopter returned on a final trip to rescue him, he had already drowned.
Williams was posthumously awarded the United States Coast Guard's Gold Lifesaving Medal by President Ronald Reagan. An important bridge was renamed for him, and The Citadel established several memorials. The new Arland D. Williams Jr. Elementary School in Mattoon was dedicated to his memory in August, 2003."
In honor of Mr. Williams, I dedicate the following lyrics, and I hope to always share his selfless courage at every show in which I sing.... When this recorded version is finished, I hope to sell the recording at shows and raise money for an award that each year will be given to someone who has shown courage in the face of great danger: A hero in our midst... I will let you know when the song is available...
Last Man In the Water
Once upon a time I had a day
Looking back on how it all got started
Here, underneath the water...
I was the last man in the water
I barely had time to think
Here, underneath the water
I was the last man in the water
What would you do...in my shoes....
There were maybe four or five of us...
So, you become the last man in the water
The world has gone crazy.
Well, ok, not the world, but the people upon it. The people who are killing one another, oppressing one another, who are enslaving children and monopolizing resources, from money to nature to lives. The gangs of children who are torturing one another, the extremists who feel it is their right to extinguish others of differing viewpoints, the lack of compassion, consideration...
So... This is a simple, delicate video made by Gene, my webmaster extraordanaire, and Lance, my husband extraordanaire... Gene did all the editing/creating, Lance shot the footage of Lily and me. This is my first video in 13 years....
Please take a moment and be a part of the song by hearing the words. Tears for Fears wrote a tremendous song, and I am honored that I was able to license and sing the song on Motherlode, my new cd.
Feel free to send others to see it. Help us build a groundswell... I so want to return to music; we, my team and I, are trying everything we know to return my voice to a chaotic world... not for fame, not for glory, but for love.
I want to bring more love to the world.
To let you know... When I was recording the song, I wanted Lily to sing with me on it. Her emotion, and voice, could not be created by anyone other than a child, and she never fails to amaze me with her tremedous ability to interpret: musically, visually, aesthetically... so, she is in the video, as well.
View the video on YouTube:
Or download a copy in Quicktime format (you'll need the latest version of Quicktime):