Life can sometimes get so hard that we must make a herculean effort to search for something to help keep us going. Award-winning Canadian singer/songwriter Francine Honey captures this acutely in her searing and soaring new single “Hold On.”
A finalist in the 2021 Blues and Roots Radio International Songwriting Competition, “Hold On” began as a theme song for the 2021 International Network of Personal Meaning (INPM) conference. INPM founder, Canadian psychologist, and professor Dr. Paul T.P. Wong had approached Honey about writing the song based on a poem he had written on the theme: How does one keep going? How does one find joy amidst sadness and grief?
“We met and I took some of his other poems and writings, and we created a theme song for the conference,” Honey says. Wong had included some beautiful lines Honey felt really spoke to the heart, including “we are made of stardust,” and our souls “can reach beyond the stars.”
“Those lines resonated deeply for me given my interest in astrophysics, my work as a healer, and my personal belief that the human spirit is magical and can overcome the biggest of challenges if we keep moving forward and never give up,” she shares. “I loved this song so much, I asked Dr. Wong if I could make a few changes and create my own version to include my belief in the healing power of music, and how a song can have the power to heal a broken heart and take us out of our depths.”
The result is a ballad that begins with piano and then builds rich layers of instrumentation that include an electric guitar, lap steel guitar, mandolin, violin, and harmonica. Honey’s warm, soothing voice threads in and out and soars above showing us, not only through the finely honed lyrics but through highly nuanced emotion, there is a way through the struggle, grief, and pain.
I want to hear that small voice whisper
To my forgotten soul
They say it’s never too late to start again
What breaks your heart will make you whole
Recorded in Nashville at Skinny Elephant Recording, “Hold On” was produced by GRAMMY Award-nominated producer Neilson Hubbard; some of Nashville’s finest musicians who have all played on Honey’s songs since 2018 — including Dan Mitchell, Miranda Lambert’s musical director — contributed the piano and background vocals.