This song was written by Dennis Kouijzer in 2005, a young man with Duchenne disease. Although his body was not able to do much and he had to cope with less and less abilities, he was able to focus on all the things he was still able to do and enjoy. A remarkable example for many.
One of his passions was listening to music and sometimes he wrote his own lyrics. He told a nurse his wish; “How amazing would it be, if one of his lyrics became an actual song!” She told Franklin Schieman, an amazing Dutch sax player. It’s beautiful how things can unfold magically, because when Josie and Franklin met for the first time she told him how much she loved writing songs, but sometimes missed the inspiration for lyrics. One and one became two in Franklin’s head and not much later Josie composed the song ‘Before I’ll Be Gone’. Franklin worked with Dennis on the lyrics to make them more metric, a famous composer offered to write the partiture for orchestra, Budy Mokoginta and Walter Calbo two soundengineers offered to record and mix/master the song and so not much later Dennis had the amazing chance to see Josie record his song ‘Before I’ll Be Gone’ with The Zeeuws Orchestra in the concerthall of the capital city of Middelburg! He was blissfully happy, as he called it.
Everyone evolved worked for free as all wanted to participate in his beautiful dream. The song sold 3000 copies and Dennis proudly was able to hand over a cheque of € 12.000 to the Dutch Society of Myopathy to use for research.
Dennis made his transition in 2012 when he was 32 years young. He had asked me to sing his song during the funeral and of course I said yes. I got to know him because of music and I had the privilege to say goodbye with music. He truly left a legacy with ‘Before I’ll Be Gone’ and shows the world that even with physical limitations you still can do so much. It was an honor to get to know him. He has been a huge inspiration for me to see life in a different way and focus at the things I do have and can do and enjoy them tremendously.
Dank je wel lieve Dennis. Voor altijd in mijn hart.
Lyrics: Dennis Kouijzer/Franklin Schieman
Composer & Piano: Josie
Arrangement: Lorre L. Trytten
Recording Orchestra: Water Calbo
Producer/recording vocals/mix/mastering: Mokosound
Cover design: Olivier Tieleman and Erik van Schaik
Dennis Kouijzer, Franklin Schieman, Josie and The Zeeuws Orchestra
September 01, 2005