We Are Brothers

 

Lennis and I considered the song We Are Brothers our “theme song” and closed every live show with it. I remember the song fondly, and I very closely identify the song with the persona of the Summers Brothers.

But that’s not exactly how the song started out.

In high school, I was close friends with brothers Chuck and Joe Kohr. Lennis and I hung out with Chuck and Joe a great deal during my senior year and in the period immediately following graduation.

That year, Chuck sketched out a drawing (that I wish I had now) of two hands clasped in friendship. The hands were not drawn to depict a traditional handshake, rather they were sketched as two hands joined in a warm brotherly clasp. Arching across the page above the clasped hands were the words “We Are Brothers” in block letters. Chuck’s drawing struck an emotional chord with me. Over the next few weeks, I began playing around with song ideas, and the basic structure of the song began to take shape.

That summer, Lennis and I started singing together as the Summers Brothers. After the song had started really taking shape, Lennis and I began working on it and quickly worked it into our repertoire. The song continued to evolve over the next couple of years.

We Are Brothers isn’t just a song about sibling bonds and brotherly love, it’s also about a journey through a spiritual awakening and hope for the future.

There are probably better recordings of We Are Brothers than the one I chose for this video, but the performance here is the closest I could find to how I want to remember it.

One final note about the song:

Listening to it now, so many years after the Summers Brothers last sang it, I realize the song was probably too personal and lacked universal appeal.

The world’s most successful art tiptoes along a fine line between the artist’s personal expression and themes universally satisfying for the audience. We Are Brothers probably strayed too far from that sweet center, yet it remains one of my sentimental favorite Summers Brothers songs.

We Are Brothers will probably be the last Summers Brothers video I put together. (I know…never say “never”.) There are still some good songs sitting around on tape, but I have provided a new home for the ones that were most special to me: A New Day’s Begun, The River Song, ’Til We Are One, The Morning Sun, and now We Are Brothers. (If I could find a good Summers Brothers recording of Lennis’ song Crosswinds, I’d probably make a video of that one as well.)

Thank you for joining me in celebrating the Summers Brothers’ music. Be good to one another. Hold your loved ones extra tight, because none of us knows what tomorrow will bring.

God bless, and peace out.

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