Friends For Life

Album: Tom Sawyer Soundtrack (2000)


  • Featured in the movie Tom Sawyer, writing this song was one of Billy Montana's more memorable moments, a particularly fun experience that puts a smile on his face when he thinks about it. "Somebody associated with my co-writer, Don, gave us a script, and we got a heads up on what the plan was for the animated movie," he remembers. "And I'll tell you, that was a really fun thing to do. Because I took the script home and read it, and it's something I'd never done before. Usually I don't really project write. I just try to write a great song, and try to get it to the right person. But in this case we had the script, we saw what scenes were surrounding where the songs were going to be, and so it gave us a chance. And so we actually wrote two songs for the script, and one of them ended up getting picked, which was 'Friends For Life,' when Huck and Tom were on Jackson's Island and kind of just be-bopping around and digging each other's company, and that kind of thing. So by seeing the script, it gave us the head's up on that. It was really satisfying to take the script home over the weekend, get a handle on what they were looking for, and then write the songs on Monday. And then find out not too long afterwards that it got in there. Just one of those things that we set out to do something and it worked out.
    A lot of times it goes the way the Lee Ann Womack thing did with 'Montgomery To Memphis,' where you think it's going to work out and then it doesn't. But this particular time it worked out really well. And it was cool, because they brought us in after they had recorded the song, we went over to – it was MCA Records at the time – and they brought us in and showed us storyboards, and had a conference call with the folks out in L.A., and just made us feel like we were in on the ground floor of a project."
  • It was not Billy's idea to put flutes in the song. In fact, Billy says they did a regular demo, and "I played the harmonica on the demo just to make it a little bit more hillbilly." So although he thinks the flutes are a "cute" addition, in his live shows when he tells the stories of his songs, he'll say, "Hey this is something that happened. Something crazy that happened with a song," and then begins to play the song. Fluteless. (Read more in our interview with Billy Montana.)


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