Don Clarke wrote a song for Leon Schuster’s latest movie, Frank and Fearless, which won an award in the Special category of the 20th Annual Great American Song Contest.
South Africa – Don Clarke and Leon Schuster have written many songs together over the years so when Leon asked Don to write a song for his latest movie, Don jumped at the opportunity.
Leon’s new movie “Frank and Fearless” was about Rhino Poaching and Don had wanted to so a song on this subject for a long time. He sat down at his piano and within 30 minutes, had the base for which the song was built.
“I have long been burdened by the plight of the Rhino, and have had it in mind to write a song about it for years. But for one reason or another I never did. Until my dear friend Leon Schuster phoned me and said: “Donny, my new movie has an anti-rhino poaching theme, and I need one beautiful song for it .” Leon is one of the few people in this world whose words and spirit I fully interpret.
We have written many songs together, but when he talks to me passionately about an idea, it very quickly enters my mind, deeply and clearly. Perhaps because we are so similar in character. So, first thing the next morning I sat down at the piano and within 30 minutes the basis of this song was given to me.”
The movie is about a man of few principles who teams up with a young rural boy, a rottweiler and an orphaned rhino to stop the slaughter of rhino in South Africa. While the movie didn’t get rave reviews, the message is an important one.
“I am a great believer in providence, and am normally good at spotting it. I believe that Leon’s new film is provident in that it delivers a powerful message against the unnecessary cruelty of rhino poaching, and it will probably be the first Leon Schuster film in which you cry.
Likewise, this song was provident. From the moment I sat down, it flowed into my being like a cry from a place of deep suffering. I have always said that if I weep when writing a song, that song has a special right to exist. A right beyond my own powers. This is one of those songs. Whether it is musically strong or not, the message is absolutely clear.
The Human Animal has no right…indeed, is completely IGNORENT…to assume that consuming the horn of a rhino can in any way change their life. And it is incumbent upon us all to join the fight against this ignorance before it is too late. To have these magnificent creatures wiped from the face of the Earth simply because of a MYTH is inconceivable. So my dear friends, all I ask is that you share this video FAR AND WIDE. Every share may well be another breath for a rhino.”
Don received an email that made all the heartache of writing such a powerful song even more meaningful. The president of the Songwriters Resource Network explained to Don that his song “Till You’re Free Again” had been selected as a first place winner in a special category.
“I’m happy to inform you that your song ‘Till You’re Free Again ’ has been selected by our judges as First Place winner in the Special category of the 20th Annual Great American Song Contest. As a top winner, your song and website will be featured on this year’s Hall of Fame.
Judges praised “Till You’re Free Again” for its “powerfully articulated message, striking lyrical imagery and beautifully crafted melodic design.”
Congratulations on your winning song, Don. Last year’s competition was particularly strong in your category, making your achievement all the more impressive.”
This isn’t the first time Don has received an award for one of his songs, his song ‘The Long Walk Is Over’, won the adult contemporary category and the best song overall at the 15th Annual Great American Song Contest.
You can listen to the powerful song below.
“Our faith will not bend, our fight will not end, until you are free again!”