When Nathan Strange’s friends lost their daughter in a tragic accident in early 2019, the Carman, Man., teacher and songwriter responded in the best way he could — through music.
Strange, who performs as The Rainy Day Apparel, has spent the last year painstakingly creating a tribute to three-year-old Abby Margetts. After dozens of attempts, he says he’s finally come up with a song he — and Abby’s family — can be proud of.
“There’s just a ton of gravity behind a topic like that and if it ever sounded disingenuous and didn’t work, I kind of scrapped it,” Strange said about the songwriting process.
“I was probably through between 20 and 25 different songs, melodies… but this one just kind of seemed right. When you know, you know.
“It was at a point where I felt like we could take pride in it and release something and maybe get some donations towards Abby’s charity.”
The charity — named for Abby and another young girl who was killed in an accident, Danica DeLaroque — does good deeds for Manitoba children, including installing playground equipment and rainbow buddy benches.
As a father, an educator and a friend of Abby’s parents, Strange said a children’s charity was a perfect fit.
“I just feel like it’s something I really wanted to be a part of,” he said.
“Whatever we get is awesome. It’s not 100 per cent about the money… I think it was important for the parents, Ryan and Amanda, just to have this other thing attached to Abby’s memory that could be a positive thing.
“Music is such a good way to connect people and reach people… Hopefully, this song can mean something to them and maybe mean something to other people.”
Ryan and Amanda Margetts said the final song left them speechless.
“I think we both were touched and blessed to have someone we are friends with take the time to make something beautiful to honour our daughter,” said Amanda.
“It’s fitting, too, because she loved music and water — the wave theme is perfect. It makes us think of her the whole time. We picture her by water, walking in sand, with her hair blowing in the wind.”
The song will be available on all streaming services, but Strange is encouraging listeners to buy it on the Bandcamp platform, where they can choose their own price.
“They can spend $3 or they can spend $10 or $100 — it doesn’t matter,” he said.
“It seemed like the best way to do it. One hundred per cent of the proceeds I see will go to the charity.”