with video: Local singer-songwriter Kitty Donohoe still touching hearts with 9/11 memorial song
She earned a Michigan Emmy for the composition, and it was used in the film “The Nation Remembers—the Story of the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial,” which led to an invitation to sing it at the dedication of the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial in 2008.
So Donohoe was disappointed she was not asked to perform it during Ground Zero ceremonies on Sunday.
“Until a couple of weeks ago I was apparently on the short list of the decision-makers in New York City to sing it on Sunday, Sept. 11. Then they passed me over and went with someone else,” she said.
She was, however, asked to perform “There Are No Words” on Saturday near the Pentagon.
“I am going to be singing the song for something called Voices of 9/11, which is in the Pentagon area,” she said. “I feel like I should be out there doing something, singing somewhere. It will be a small gathering, I know.”
At Donohoe’s Web site there’s a page dedicated to the song, complete with two different videos, an MP3 of the song, the words and more.
When she wrote “There Are No Words,” she said she had no idea how much it would change her life in the next 10 years.
“I almost didn’t even finish it,” she recalled. “Then there was a gathering in East Lansing—one of the bands that was supposed to fly in for a show there couldn’t get in because nobody was flying. I decided I should finish it so I did. I had it with me and just sang it off of the paper and then the audience response was just incredible.
“From the thousands of e-mails I’ve gotten over the past 10 years, the song speaks for the common people who were as dismayed and grieved as I was when the attacks happened. I’m not a celebrity, but I am one of us regular folks with a musical gift,” she said.
“What I’ve gotten from people is that it said for them what they weren’t able to say for themselves. I think that as a songwriter or an artist that’s what you’d hope for, to be a voice for people. ... As an artist it’s humbling to know that the song has touched so many lives,” she said.
The song stirs as many emotions for her now as it did 10 years ago, Donohoe said: “I feel it that when I hear it, or see the video, it still stands up. It was what it was back then—my own response to what happened that captured the mood of a lot of the country.
“Sometimes it will bring to tears my eyes.”