ST. CLOUD, Minn. — When your high school graduation song starts with 9/11 & ends with a global pandemic, you've tapped into themes no other class can claim.
That’s the general theme of 2020 Vison, the song and video written and produced by St. Cloud Tech's Winston Johnson & his parents.
The towers fell, then we appeared
About the time the smoke had cleared
Beneath the noise and clouds of tears
Were tiny voices few could hear
Still we made our presence known
Within the walls of home sweet home.
We had no clue what life’s about
And that’s the way we started out
“When the governor announced that the schools would stay closed for the remainder of the year, we all kind of collectively went into a mourning process,” Phyllis Johnson, Winston’s mother, said.
Winston is the only child of Phyllis and her husband Stefan, meaning no second chance to experience a final spring concert, prom and high school commencement.
So, the family of musicians started composing.
We tied our shoes and off we’d walk
With backpack, books and pencil box
As soldiers fought the longest war
We worked our way through Common Core
I guess I grew accustomed to
The blackboards, halls and numbered rooms
A dozen years, the world we knew
Seems it ended all too soon
“This was a blessing for our family in terms of coping, in terms of closure, in terms of finding something to fill that hole,” Phyllis said. “And it was only our dream that it might be something that was healing for others as well.”
Posted just a couple weeks ago on YouTube, 2020 Vision has already racked up thousands of views on YouTube. Tech High chose to include 2020 Vision in its virtual graduation.
So here we are, we’ve turned 18
School is out we’re quarantined
Sorry kids, no remedy
We watched our story on TV
Our closing scene, it all went wrong
No last big game, no senior prom
At 8 pm we all logged on
Determined we would dance ’til dawn
“If you don’t get your milestone, sometimes you just make your own,” Winston’s dad said.
Winston, who grew up on a musical diet of his parent’s favorite songs, drew his inspiration for 2020 Vision from one of his favorites.
“We kind of picked up the old Beatles saying from Hey Jude, sing a sad song and make it better. You listen to something that really makes you happy and it makes you forget about your troubles,” Winston said.
Through the years we’ve grown so close
It’s you my friend I’ll miss the most
These memories we were all denied
We’ll learn to take it all in stride
We have a shared identity
The me in you, the you in me
We beat as one collective heart
We finished well, we left our mark
And what does 2020 Vision mean to Winston? “I think seeing clearly under pressure,” the new graduate says. “If anything, the class of 2020 is very strong - and we're all in this together.”
CHORUS Hang on, hold on tight, everything’s fine it’s gonna be alright.
Hang on, focus your eyes, we’ve all been given 2020 vision 2020 vision. 2020.