I'LL STAND BY YOU ALWAYS is an unreleased song written by Bruce Springsteen. A finished recording of the song was filed at the United States Copyright Office on 13 Jun 2001.
Type of Work: Music
Registration Number / Date: PAu002604935 / 2001-06-13
Title: I’ll stand by you always.
Description: Sound cassette + lyrics sheet.
Notes: Words & music.
Copyright Claimant: Bruce Springsteen , 1949-
Date of Creation: 2001
Names: Bruce Springsteen , 1949-
Shawn Poole, a Springsteen fan, visited the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, in late December 2016. There he had the opportunity to listen to some unreleased Bruce Springsteen recordings, including I'LL STAND BY YOU ALWAYS. He reported to Backstreets.com:
This is a beautiful little ballad, clearly from the perspective of a parent singing lovingly to a child. The track features piano, synthesizer, and a simple, metronomic drum part. Bruce contributes more multi-tracked falsetto backing vocals, too. There are no specific Potter scenarios in the lyrics, a few ghosts and goblins appearing in a nightmare notwithstanding, but the telling of stories of heroes fighting evil, in order to assuage and comfort a child's fears and insecurities, is a theme embedded throughout.
All the other songs that Springsteen copyrighted in 2001 and 2002 were released on The Rising, but I'LL STAND BY YOU ALWAYS was not written or recorded for that album. See the next section for more details.
I'LL STAND BY YOU ALWAYS must have been recorded in early 2001 at the Hit Factory in New York City, NY. There were minor media reports/sightings at the time (late-February to late-March 2001) of Springsteen and various members of the E Street Band coming in and out of the Hit Factory. It was the "Chuck Plotkin / Toby Scott" studio team behind the dials for these Hit Factory sessions, not the soon-to-be-hired "Brendan O'Brien / Nick Didia" team. Some tracks from The Rising are likely candidates that might have been recorded (or attempted) at these early 2001 sessions.
Bruce Springsteen wrote I'LL STAND BY YOU ALWAYS sometime between 1998 and 2000. He was inspired by Harry Potter books that he was reading to his children. Sometime in early 2001 Springsteen made the song available to director Chris Columbus, who at the time was shooting the first of the Potter movies. A Springsteen studio recording of I'LL STAND BY YOU ALWAYS was filed with the United States Copyright Office on 13 Jun 2001. However, the song was ultimately rejected due to Harry Potter novelist/creator JK Rowling's contractual stipulation that no commercial songs of any type be used in the Harry Potter film series. Warner Bros Music President Gary LeMel, who was involved in the Potter music, was asked by [IUSA Today[/I] about this Springsteen song but said he preferred not to comment publicly. In doing so, he seemingly verified the basic truth in the story.
In an October 2016 interview on BBC Radio 2, Simon Mayo read a listener's question to Bruce Springsteen asking if it was true that he once wrote a song for a Harry Potter film called "I'll Stand By You Always." Springsteen confirmed that that he did and that the song wasn't eventually used, but he didn't explain why. He added: "It was pretty good, it was a song I wrote for my eldest son, it was a big ballad that was very uncharacteristic of something I'd sing myself. But it was something that I thought would have fit lovely. At some point I'd like to get it into a children's movie of some sort because it was a pretty lovely song."
I'LL STAND BY YOU ALWAYS was exclusively given out on an in-house promo CD-R to some very few top executives at Columbia Records. The CD-R was burned on 31 Oct 2001, right around the time when the track was being offered up to the Harry Potter producers, and about a week before the Live In New York City DVD was released. The CD-R contains three tracks: "Song For Harry Potter", "My Hometown (Live)", and "This Hard Land (Live)".
"Song For Harry Potter", which clocks at 5:32, is I'LL STAND BY YOU ALWAYS. The two live cuts are the ones that appeared on Live, a 2-track CD single that was exclusively given away in 2001 as a freebie with purchases of the Live In New York City home video in North America, Europe, Australia, and Japan.
In September or October 2001, Bruce Springsteen donated I'LL STAND BY YOU ALWAYS to Latin/Salsa star (and fellow Sony artist) Marc Anthony who then recorded a cover version of the song. Springsteen believed that Anthony was the right singer for the song. "I thought it was very, very generous of him," Anthony told Billboard. "And I think it's the ultimate compliment, when someone like that thinks you're worthy of singing a song he wrote for his son".
In late 2001 both Sony and Anthony issued press releases specifically promoting the Springsteen composition and mentioning it would be one of the tracks on Anthony's forthcoming album Mended (and likely the lead single off the album). When the album was finally released in April 2002, after being pushed back four months to fine-tune the track-list, I'LL STAND BY YOU ALWAYS was not included. A later special edition of Mended with bonus tracks also did not include the song. There has been no explanation as to why the Springsteen composition was omitted from the album and since then never released by Anthony.
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List of available versions of I'LL STAND BY YOU ALWAYS on this website:I'LL STAND BY YOU ALWAYS