Lyrics not available

Page last updated: 15 Sep 2010


Bruce Springsteen copyrighted the song I'LL STAND BY YOU ALWAYS with the Library Of Congress on 13 Jun 2001. All the other songs he copyrighted at the Library in 2001 and 2002 were issued on The Rising album, so there is a very high possibility that this song was recorded for that album but was left in the vaults.

I'LL STAND BY YOU ALWAYS remains unreleased, and unfortunately, the lyrics were never revealed.

Studio Recording

The song must've been recorded in early 2001 at the Hit Factory in New York City, NY. There were minor media reports/sightings at the time (late-Feb to late-Mar 2001) of Springsteen and various members of the E Street Band coming and going from 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.

The Harry Potter Movie

Springsteen wrote this ballad sometime between 1998 and 2000. He was inspired by Harry Potter books that he was reading to his youngest son Sam. This is not a children's song however. 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 recording of the song was filed with the US Copyright Office on 13 Jun 2001. However, the Springsteen 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 USA Today about this Springsteen song but said he preferred not to comment publicly. In doing so, he seemingly verified the basic truth in the story.

The Promo CD-R

I'LL STAND BY YOU ALWAYS was given out on an "in-house" promo CD-R exclusively 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:

  2. MY HOMETOWN [live 29 Jun 2000]
  3. THIS HARD LAND [live 29 Jun 2000]

"Song For Harry Potter" is I'LL STAND BY YOU ALWAYS, while the two live cuts are the ones that appeared on Live, a 2-track CD5 single that was exclusively given away in 2001 as a freebie with purchases of the Live In New York City DVD in North America, Europe, and Australia.

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Marc Anthony

In September or October 2001 Springsteen donated I'LL STAND BY YOU ALWAYS to fellow Sony artist (and Latin/Salsa star) Marc Anthony, who recorded a cover version. 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). Strangely, when the Mended album was finally released in April 2002 (after being pushed back four months to fine-tune the track-list), the song was removed from the released version of the album and it was not issued as a single. A later special edition of Mended with bonus tracks also omitted the song. There has been no explanation as to why the Springsteen composition was not issued.

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Credits / References

Thanks FFDan for bringing this song to my attention. Much of the above info is taken from Brucebase and from a USA Today article.


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