Straight from the heart
Rick Petersen never did any singing or writing before he cut a song called “They Wear Blue.”
He doesn’t even sing in the shower.
“Never taken a music lesson in my life,” said Petersen, who lives in Aubrey and is a ranch manager.
“I woke up last September in the middle of the night and I went in and wrote this song in 10 minutes.”
“They Wear Blue” pays tribute to police officers who died in the line of duty.
The song’s CD will be available for donations in local stores next week with proceeds going to families of officers killed while on duty.
The song has been pitched to some area radio stations. Around 200 to 300 CDs will be made, with copies going to area officers. “They’re here to help, and every time they go out, they don’t know whether they’re going to come home to their families,” Petersen said about the perilous nature of police work, although he acknowledges the risks are not as high here as they are in other places.
The CD also exists to honor other first responders, too, such as firefighters, or anybody who makes sacrifices for the country, Petersen said. A DVD also will be done for the song.
Petersen dropped by The Post- Signal on July 7, his birthday and the first anniversary of the day five law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in Dallas during a peaceful protest march. He was moved to do the song after seeing officers killed in Dallas and other parts in the country and said he thinks divine intervention was evident in the CD’s creation and release.
“Everybody going out and the officers going in to (confront) the violence,” he said about the shooting at the protest march, explaining what drew his creative spark.
The song, with a country melody, starts out by describing how there’s no greater love shown than someone who gives his life for another person, and Petersen said the song endeavors to honor who put their lives on their line every day. The musical accompaniment was done by Patrick Sallings, a doctoral student in music theory at University of North Texas. His birthday also falls on July 7, and he said he and Petersen should use that date for its release.
“They’re a friend and a comfort, a protector and defender. They will have you back and give their life for you” are some of the song’s lyrics. The final recording was done at Petersen’s house a few months ago.
“He did all the (musical) stuff in his studio, and he just brought the stuff and we recorded it,” said Petersen, who’s learning to play the guitar. Julie Fikes and sons Lonnie and Larry Fikes of Krugerville designed the cover for the CD.
The Fikeses, who are friends of Petersen, did wooden plaques honoring the Dallas-based officers who were killed in the July 2016 ambush and made a wooden plaque for Little Elm police Det. Jerry Walker, who was killed in the line of duty in January.
“Larry and Lonnie both worked on the design,” said their father, Dale Fikes. “Lonnie did a majority of the design and Larry did most of the printing (work) of the CDs.” Dale Fikes said everyone is pleased with the CD.
“It’s nice to be able to reach out and help our officers in need and first responders,” Dale Fikes said.
Robin Petersen, Rick’s wife, said the CD was digitally remastered and a videographer was enlisted to do the DVD’s music video. “We want this to be an ongoing project that goes on for months and years if possible,” Robin Petersen said.