On the morning of December 14, 2012, 20 children and six adults woke up, had breakfast, kissed loved ones goodbye and headed to school to enjoy their last day before Christmas break.

And then, the unthinkable happened.

A killer walked into their Connecticut school — Sandy Hook Elementary School — and took away their lives and their collective futures with a semiautomatic rifle. And then he used the same gun to kill himself.

It was almost too cruel for anyone to bear.

This week will mark five years since that awful event, and looking back, it still cuts to the bone. Yet, little glimpses of hope and change remain stemming from that awful event. One of those is in the words and music of the new song “The Dreaming Kind.” Written and recorded by Sheryl Crow, the song will be used to benefit the Sandy Hook Promise initiative, which is helping protect children from gun violence.

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“I actually wrote this song after the Vegas [festival] shooting and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it,” Sheryl said during a recent appearance and performance on “Good Morning America.” “Suddenly, we were presented with the Sandy Hook Promise and the opportunity to have a song for it. I had written this song that is basically what they went through. It’s a fantastic organization.”

The song includes bone shaking lyrics such as, “I turned off the news again tonight / It’s getting hard to watch everyone fight / Every time I turn my face / I see the world from outer space / How small we are but look how much we have to waste.”

Let that settle in for a bit.

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“When Sandy Hook happened, we knew it was a life-changing moment where we were going to address the idea that not everyone should be approved to own a gun, especially military-style weaponry, and yet nothing happened,” Sheryl said in a recent interview with “People” magazine. “At some point, the alarm clock has to go off and we have to wake up.”

The song and the accompanying video also showcase the talents of Sheryl’s niece Ava, who at the tender age of just 12 years old turns out an amazing performance. “She’s still very innocent and very wide-eyed. Her voice is pure and very touching,” Aunt Sheryl boasted. “She came over, she sang it four times and it was perfect.”

And while Sheryl is best known as a Grammy-winning artist, she perhaps does her best work as a mom to her sons Levi and Wyatt, two little boys who will learn more about this tragedy through this beautiful song.

“I’m going to have to explain to them that at school, before this, it was place you went that was safe,” she said. “I’m sure it will be a conversation that we will continue to have for as long as this is happening.”

Tricia Despres is a senior correspondent for Rare Country, based out of Chicago. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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