In 2005 I wrote Let No Harm (Come From Me) for a friend's daughter who had been murdered by her husband. The words and music came quickly, as if the gods said, Here you go, Todd, just jot this one down. So I scribbled the lyrics into my tattered notebook as I worked out the chords on my acoustic. Soon after, on an autumn Sunday afternoon, I gathered a dozen musician friends, including the extraordinary blues singer, Rose Hudson — a large and lovable black mother of eight children — and we recorded the tune on makeshift equipment, for no money, inside an industrial warehouse office building in Lancaster, Pennsylvania: just a few miles west of where the Amish live, and where Harrison Ford filmed Witness.
Let No Harm was to be used in a documentary I was working on, but I pulled the song later because I felt the uplifting, anthem-like message didn't quite match the film's somber tone. As a result, the song sat unheard inside my laptop for seven years. An added sadness for me was that the public wouldn’t hear Rose’s passionate and brilliant one-take performance.
Since the recording of that song, female friends — over the years — would often tell me about abuses in their relationships. Domestic violence, I quickly learned, was an epidemic. The most recent story came to me just weeks ago as I sat with a friend in Santa Monica’s Palisades Park (near to where I now live). Her shocking tale haunted me. One positive aspect of her story, though, was the mention of a domestic abuse shelter and how it helped her flee her situation. How can I help people like that? I wondered as I strolled home that morning, listening to music. At that moment, as if by magic, Let Now Harm (Come from Me) started playing in my earbuds. I had somehow unknowingly transferred the long-lost tune onto my phone.
That sudden intersect of past and present stopped me cold. I finally knew the song's mission:
I decided, then and there, to put this recording out into the world and donate the proceeds to an organization (see below) who helps people like my friend.
So here's the song, in all its raw glory.
If you know anyone who's experienced — or committed — domestic abuse, please forward this song to them. I wish for the lyrics to seep into the world's consciousness.
We CAN make this world a better place.
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Let No Harm (Come from Me)
©Todd Klick 2005
Written & Produced by Todd Klick
Featuring Rose Hudson
Engineered By Andrew Jacobs & Sam Gorgone
Nico Recording Company
Vocals: Todd Klick and Rose Hudson
Acoustic Guitar: Todd Klick
Electric Guitar: Sam Gorgone
Background Vocals: Clayton Margerum, Julia Taylor, Wendy Stouffer, Rose Hudson, Lane Levengood, Kortne Stouffer, Mindy Nolt, Jeff Bowman and friends.
Writer and producer, Todd Klick, is the bestselling author of Something Startling Happens: The 120 Story Beats Every Writer Needs to Know and The Screenwriter's Fairy Tale. Todd's stories have earned him recognition with the prestigious Nicholl Fellowship and the PAGE International screenwriting competitions. In addition to optioning 5 scripts, he recently sold a full-length screenplay and inked two deals to develop musicals for the London and Broadway stages. Todd is a contributor to The Huffington Post and MovieMaker Magazine, and has also appeared on Dateline NBC and NPR.