Teachers: The story below is at the high-beginning level. At the bottom of this page, you will also find the story in a Word document and in a pdf. Permission is granted to reproduce for classroom use. Also at the bottom of the page is an audio recording of the story. More lesson plan ideas for this song are on the Lesson Plans page.
Students: First, watch the YouTube video below. Next, read the story. Finally, read the story again while you listen to it. (The audio recording is below the story.)
(You’re already here! So you don’t need to click on a link after you watch the video. The story is below.)
The Prediction and the Promise
Late one night, Charlie Puth was studying in his apartment when the power went out. He called a friend who lived in the same building. “Do you have power in your apartment?” he asked him.
“No,” his friend said.
“I don’t either,” Charlie said. “Do you want to go for a walk?”
“Sure,” his friend answered.
It was March 2012, and Charlie and his friend were music students at a college in Boston. As they walked around the city, they talked about music and about Charlie’s future. Charlie wanted to be a songwriter. “You have talent,” his friend said. Then he made a prediction. “Someday you’re going to write a Number 1 song.”
Unfortunately, Charlie’s friend never saw his prediction come true. Three months later, he was riding his motorcycle on a bridge in Boston when he was hit by a pickup truck. He died instantly. At the funeral, Charlie made a promise to his friend’s father: “Someday I’ll write a song for him.”
After he finished college, Charlie moved to Los Angeles. A few days after he arrived, he heard that filmmakers needed a song for the movie Fast and Furious 7. Paul Walker, one of the movie’s stars, had died in a car accident before the movie was finished. The filmmakers wrote a new ending for the movie, and they wanted a song for the final scene — a song in memory of Paul Walker.
Charlie thought about Paul Walker, and he thought about his friend in Boston. He sat down at his piano and began to play a melody. Then he began to sing. “It’s been a long day without you my friend,” he sang. “And I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again.” Ten minutes later, the song was finished. Charlie sat at his piano and cried. He had kept his promise.
Dozens of songwriters wrote songs for the movie, but the filmmakers liked Charlie’s song best. They asked rap star Wiz Khalifa to add rap lyrics, and they played the song during the movie’s final scene. It became a Number 1 hit.
Every time Charlie visits Boston, he goes to the bridge where his friend died. “People probably think I’m a crazy person because I sit there for a long time,” he says. “I think about everything he said. That was a night I’ll never forget.” “Hold every memory,” Charlie wrote in the song “See You Again,” and that is what he is doing. He is holding every memory of the friend who predicted his future.
Story: Copyright © 2015 Sandra Heyer. All rights reserved. Permission granted to reproduce for classroom use.
Voice-over by Brandon Haut