Nfld. & Labrador·Parkway Sessions

How a movie and a moment of inspiration led to a song by Flower Hill

Andrea Monro says when she began to write Radio Flyer, the song came to her in no time.

'I sat down and there it was,' says Andrea Monro

Flower Hill are, from left, Andrea Monro, Sherry Ryan and Maria Cherwick. (Lukas Wall/CBC)

Andrea Monro says when she began to write Radio Flyer, the song came to her in no time.

"I sat down and there it was.… I felt like this song told the story that I wanted to tell right away," she said.

"It was a nice one, and it's nice when that happens."

Monro said the song is based on the 1992 film of the same name, which tells the story of two young brothers' attempt to escape an abusive situation at home.

"The boys had to plan to turn the Radio Flyer wagon into an airplane so that Bobby, the younger boy, can go up the mountain and fly away and get away," she described.

Monro says it took some encouragement from Ryan before she was ready to perform Radio Flyer. (Lukas Wall/CBC)

Monro said after being reminded of the film, she wanted to write a song about it. 

"I was thinking about the movie one night and I hadn't seen it for a lot of years. And there's hints in the movie to Mikey, the older brother, when he's grown up getting postcards from his brother, because it never really says if the kid made it," she said.

"I thought, what if he did get away and has been flying around the world in his little Radio Flyer wagon airplane? That's where the song came from, I thought maybe he's recovered and healed and figures it's time to go back home."

Watch Flower Hill perform Radio Flyer as part of the band's Parkway Session:

Despite the rush of inspiration that led to writing the song, Monro said she was hesitant to share it with anyone other than her bandmates in Flower Hill: Sherry Ryan and Maria Cherwick. 

"I didn't want to play it for anyone other than Sherry. [But she] got me on the go with that," she said.

"Sherry won't take no for an answer, when it comes to performing she is the best, most encouraging."

Cherwick also credits Ryan's encouragement for helping to bring some of her songs to life.

"Sherry's braver than us," she laughed.

"I think Andrea and I are both shy, relatively new to writing our own material and neither of us ever want to do it, but then we kind of push each other to bring new things."

Parkway Sessions: Discover more music

Every two weeks, CBC Newfoundland and Labrador will bring you new performances from local talent, recorded live in Studio F in St. John's.

Tune into more Parkway Sessions, and other performances of music from Newfoundland and Labrador on our YouTube channel.

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