John Strand - Remembering Laci (2:49)
Tony Handy - We Remember Laci (Straight to Heaven) (4:24)
A few years back, millions of Americans were fascinated by the case of an attractive young white girl killed by her nogoodnik husband while pregnant with their child. Exactly why a local news story came to displace so much genuine national news is too depressing to go into here, but—needless to say—we sure did love us some dead Laci. These two tribute songs were posted on the Web site of the Modesto (California) Bee newspaper.
"Remembering Laci" was written and performed by John F. Strand, a guard at Tracy, California's Deuel Vocational Institution. Strand said he wished that he had been moved before Laci's May 4, 2003 memorial service but, "You can't orchestrate inspiration, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this was inspired. I feel it's a song of comfort." I'm not sure if comfort is what you'll feel as you listen to "Remembering Laci," but you really haven't lived until you've heard a prison guard do a baby talk imitation of the unborn Conner Peterson. Stay tuned for the whispered "we love you" near the end. Apparently Officer Strand keeps the inmates in line by threatening to sing to them.
"We Remember Laci (Straight to Heaven)" was written and performed by Oakland resident Tony Handy who described it as "a pop tune with strains of jazz and soul." Handy added, "Everyone has been moved by the events as they unfold. As the story went on, I wanted to get more involved." Maybe I'm just being cynical, but the lack of any Laci-specific content and the frequent references to “Princess Angels” make it appear that Handy merely dusted off a Princess Diana tribute and slapped the Peterson brand on it. Listen for the excited backup singers who make it sound as if Laci's leaving on that midnight train to heaven.
- Contributed by: Perry Amberson
Source: Modesto Bee web site