2 min read

Here Is A Child

Here Is A Child
Viet Dzung (left) and his brother Richard Nguyen (right). Photo credit: Richard Nguyen

Hey Y'all, Happy Holidays!

Today marks ten years since the unfortunate passing of my friend and bandmate Viet Dzung.

Life's Realities – For Some

As anyone who knew him knows, Viet Dzung was no stranger to hardship and overcoming same!  But y'know… in all of the 24/7 time that I spent with him, over several years at the beginning of our musical journey, I never ONCE heard him complain or even mention any of that.  His humor, his caring for others and his "upward and onward" attitude just defined him as an individual. The victim of childhood polio, a lifetime on crutches, as well as his escape from Vietnam with "the boat people" refugees to internationally known human rights activist – not once did he use his infirmity to his own advantage – or even mention it.

"Here Is A Child" - The Song

With that said, I will affirm that the inspiration for the song "Here Is A Child" was not based on Viet Dzung's experience.  I'd been inspired to write the lyrics of this short song by the March of Dimes Kids, for whom we did a charity concert at Rosenblatt Stadium (former home the College World Series) in Omaha, NE.  Together we wrote the melody and quickly recorded it.

The Recording

We recorded this song at like 1:00 AM, sitting on the floor in Viet Dzung's parents' basement, on Arbor Street in Omaha.

We were simply writing and proofing songs for our planned album.  We used a cheap  two-sided stereo mic from Radio Shack running into a 2-track cassette deck.

But I bet his humble and pure vocal will make you forgive the tape hiss.


Here is a child

a weak and lonely child

he cannot walk, he cannot run

but still I see a smile

Here is a child

He bears a heavy load

God give him strength

and help him smile

and let his dreams unfold

For he is lost

and cannot find his way

Oh please let him laugh

and let him sing

and live for a brighter day

And this, oh Lord, we ask you

not for ourselves

but for this child

for lonely children

Oh Lord

help them to be free!

Leveraging His Struggle Into (Others') Victory

From humble beginnings in South Vietnam, a happy childhood, through the hardship of polio, the panic of fleeing for their lives with the "boat people" to washing up in the Philippines, to a couple of refugee camps to beginning life in America, with no English and literally no other advantage… this boy worked tirelessly through college, building his refugee community through hosting his daily show, to building a radio station, building an entertainment company, promoting young Asian talent in the U.S..  Ultimately Viet Dzung was known for one thing - his care and action to serve and promote the well being of displaced disenfranchised people!

Even today, years and years later, I am inspired! May I somehow have some tiny measure of the positive impact that my friend Viet Dzung has had, in a world where so many hurt.

Love y'all. Take care of yourselves and each other!

May your Holidays be filled with family, friends, food, fun and fellowship!