The Cohen Brothers

Live Performance

Music Video

When Columbine High School students Jonathan and Stephen Cohen wrote the
music to “Friend of Mine (Columbine),” they never considered it would be
a radio hit, let alone comfort tens of thousands of people in the wake of
one of this country’s most incomprehensible tragedies.

It’s done both.

April 26 Brothers Jonathan Cohen, 17, and Stephen Cohen, 18, say God gave them a gift – the gift of musical talent.
And now they’re sharing their gift where it’s needed most.
With the help of their pastor, Andy Millar, who wrote the lyrics, the Cohen brothers created the song “Friend of Mine” for fellow Columbine students and their families. The duo sang the touching song at Sunday’s memorial service, filling many eyes with tears.
Stephen, a senior, already had the melody. Millar wrote the lyrics Wednesday afternoon, less than 24 hours after two gunmen opened fire on Columbine High School, killing 12 students, a teacher and themselves.
By Wednesday evening the lyrics and music had been combined and the Cohens performed the song for the first time at their church, Living Way Fellowship, for a special Columbine service.
“We feel like it’s our gift from God; this song and our music,” Stephen said. “We want to give it back to the community, the students and families.”
The song has become a part of the healing process for the community. The brothers have performed the song several times and are selling the single on compact disc. All proceeds are going to the families of the victims.
Jonathan, a junior, was in the choir room when the shooting began. Vocal warm-up had not yet begun. Announcements were being heard about an up-coming concert.
“One of guys in choir came in from the hall where he went to get a drink and said somebody had a gun,” Jonathan said. “Then we heard the shots and screams and people were running.”
A group ran and hid in the choir office. Jonathan was among another group of choir students, who ran out the door and down the hall.
As he tuned the corner, he bumped into his sister, Diana, a 16-year-old sophomore, who was making a mad dash with a group from the cafeteria, where shooting had started and was on their heels.
“I kept her with me,” Jonathan said. “I was glad to find her. We went through the auditorium and down a hall toward the front door, but the glass shattered in front of us. We initially thought the shooting was coming in from outside, but it was behind us. Shots were fired over us. We ducked behind a trophy case. A counselor motioned us outside.”
Jonathan and Diana got outside fairly soon after the shooting. Stephen was in the cafeteria, where Diana was, but they had become separated.
“We were just talking at lunch,” Stephen explained. “Then a janitor comes in and says for us to get underneath the tables. Some people started to get up because we thought it was a prank, but Mr. (Dave) Sanders came in and told us to get down and we heard shots and we ran.”
Stephen also made it out of the building early on, making all the Cohens feeling blessed.
“We didn’t see any killing,” Stephen said. “We got out really quick.”
Tom Tonelli, the school’s bible club sponsor, praised the Cohens, saying Jonathan and Stephen are “outstanding young men.”
Stephen says the song he helped create is for others. The Cohen children seem to exude a certain calm and happiness in the aftermath of the worst school shooting in U.S. history.
To order the single, call 303-797-6474 or write to Friend of Mine, P.O. Box 3099, Littleton, 80161-3099. Checks for $11.95 should be made to Friend of Mine. Price includes shipping and handling.
“Friend of Mine” – full lyrics
Columbine, flower blue, tenderly I sing to you.
Columbine, roses are red, heartbreak overflows my head.
Columbine, flower blue, Columbine there’s hope for you.
Columbine, friend of mine.
Turn our pain to your gain,
Keep our hearts on the mark
Comfort us with your love again
Comfort, Peace and sweet release,
Come from you,
Where it’s true, I hide myself in you.
Can you still hear raging guns
Ending dreams of precious ones?
In God’s son, hope will come
His red stain will take our pain
Columbine, friend of mine.
Peace will come to you in time,
Columbine, friend of mine.
Turn our pain, to your gain,
Keep our hearts, on the mark
Comfort us, with your love, love again.
Christ of grace, Oh turn this place to
Look to you, honor you,
Fix you in our view
Columbine, flower blue, tenderly I sing to you.
Columbine, roses are red, heartbreak overflows my head.
Columbine, friend of mine.
Peace will come to you in time.
Columbine, friend of mine.