Sheryl Crow released a plaintive music video on Monday for her new song, “The Dreaming Kind,” which she wrote to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting.
Proceeds from the song will benefit the Sandy Hook Promise, a nonprofit founded by family members of the shooting victims that trains students and adults to detect the signs of gun violence before it’s too late.
The country singer told the Guardian that she was inspired to write the song after the October mass shooting in Las Vegas, where Stephen Paddock opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest country music festival, killing 59 people and injuring more than 500—the largest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Crow said she felt a “real sense of helplessness” after the shooting, and grappled with the uncertainty of how to talk to her two sons, aged 10 and 7, about the horrific reality of mass shootings.
“It’s a horrible feeling for my kids to not even be able to know what happened at Sandy Hook,” she said, “for fear they’ll walk into school and think they’re not in a safe place, or that mom will go to work and there’s a chance she may not come home if there’s somebody in the audience with a gun.”
Crow also expressed frustration toward the country music community for its reluctance to address gun control issues in the wake of the mass shooting. “You would think after Vegas we would see some leadership from our country community,” she told the Guardian. “But all I can say about that is if there’s money involved, and fear, these conversations come to a screeching halt.”
Despite Crow’s exasperation, “The Dreaming Kind” is a delicately idealistic song that finds the singer imagining a peaceful future, rather than pointing fingers at artists or lawmakers in the present. “Could you imagine it, if love was blind? / If on this earth everybody was kind / Oh what a different world it’d be / If peace was our reality,” she sings.
The singer also told the Guardian that she wants artists to stop worrying about their fan bases and take a stand for basic human safety.
“I hope there will be people who find a way out of their fear,” she said, “who stick up for humanity as opposed to sticking with their fanbase or the money that can come along with having those large crowds.”