Earlier this year, on 30 March, Riley Basford died by suicide. To Christian Parker, he was a family friends’ 15 year-old stepson. ‘Last Glance’ is the artist’s beautiful tribute to the young man and his family. Replete with gorgeous mandolin, moving violin and vocal movements, the song is artisanal folk music that respectfully tells this difficult tale. Such is Parker’s ability to showcase his heart so tenderly; it’s a lovely, reflective, and moving track from start to finish.
Parker tells For Folk’s Sake…
On March 30th, 2021, we received the call that a family friends’ 15-year stepson had committed suicide after an online predator extorted him for $3500 by threatening to expose personal images to his friends and family. The catfish had earned Riley Basford’s trust and convinced him to send compromising pictures of himself via social media. Due to his shame, Riley did not feel confident enough to tell his parents and made a split-second decision to take his own life.
When I was in the recording studio and learned of his passing, my first thoughts were with his mother. I couldn’t imagine her pain, especially after learning she had just seen him a couple of hours earlier. –hence, the very last look or ‘Last Glance’ will be forever in her mind. I sat down with a blank piece of paper and started writing,
these shattering moments
when all remains still
are constant reminders
of our human will
As a parent, I can relate and would want my child to know that “they had a choice” and that life is precious, and that they are loved and can have faith. The mother is speaking in the choruses to her late son.
we’re all given choices
we’re all given life
we’re all given love
The second verse, “a mother laid burden, a son’s mortal coil.” represents any tragedy between a parent and a child. As parents, we carry our children’s burdens, especially when they are suffering. We try our best to guide them and pray for their safety and happiness. She will cherish the last time she saw him and looked into his eyes.
her tears always fall
and dry in their tracks
she’ll always remember
the very last glance
Many other teens have fallen into the same scam, and the parents want to share the dangers of social media and need to know that their children are sharing. It’s not an easy topic to discuss, but online bullying needs to be exposed.
‘Last Glance’ features on Parker’s Every Passing Mile, due out on 20 January.
Words by: Jonathan Frahm