Singer-songwriter Radney Foster doesn’t look the same as the young man who made his way to Nashville to pledge his life to music in 1985. The glasses are still there, with perhaps a more serious focus, and the dark hair that once brushed the frame of those spectacles is now trimmed and gray. What hasn't changed is Radney Foster's gift for writing songs, and understanding that the words of a song are vessels for hope, power, and change, especially in the hearts of youth.

Radney Foster wrote his song “Godspeed” in 1999 as a loving promise to his son.

The ballad is sung and crafted with fairytale imagery, its verses pledging that nothing can separate a child from a parent’s love. Sadly, the current headlines convey the turmoil and tragedy of thousands of children separated from families as they attempted asylum in crossing to America along the southern border. The heart-wrenching trauma and tears of children dispersed across detention centers in the US, and families that are awaiting adjudication of their cases, are tearing at heartstrings and hard-won principles of American democracy

Radney Foster felt that now was a time to revive “Godspeed” with a new hope and purpose. The artist, whose first album was named after the city he was from, “Del Rio, Texas, 1959” now sees his home city as a hot point within a national crisis.

Music has long been a soothing balm to troubled souls, but now, the songwriter wants “Godspeed (Dulces Suenos)” to be part of genuine help to immigrant children and families.

From a father’s heart

Radney Foster recalled to Rolling Stone, on June 25, the torturous feelings he had as a “desperate” father with a young son separated from him “literally by a continent,” living with his mother in France after a divorce.

Whether by divorce or by defaulted policy, separation from a parent can never be adequately explained to any son or daughter. They only feel the pain of no one near to them at night, no one to give a home-cooked meal, no one to pick them up and cuddle. The worry that cannot be put into words consumes their being that “never again” may be the forlorn answer to the question of seeing family again.

In releasing the video for his song on June 24, Foster offers “Godspeed (Dulces Suenos) as “a prayer for the children of the border.” In exquisite Spanish phrasing, as only an artist absorbed in the culture can bring, the songwriter sings of “sleeping under the stars” and the meaning seems boundlessly amplified by the images of children now under the protection of border patrol, trying to cling to some familiar hand or a precious toy. Despite turning 59 next month, Radney Foster has lost nothing in his plea of a passionate father.

Raising funds for RAICES

“I can only imagine the desperation of these parents and children,” relates the father, whose inspiration for the song is now grown.

Radney Foster originally included the song “Godspeed” on his album, “See What You Want to See,” with his vocals augmented by the haunting harmonies of Emmylou Harris.

The song has also been recorded by the Dixie Chicks and Nick Lachey. Proceeds from this bilingual rendition will directly benefit RAICES, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services. The Texas advocacy group is one of the longest-established agencies devoting its services to the immigrant population. The organization has been prominently featured in recent news stories, particularly under the threat of no due process for pending cases under the backlog along the border.

Heavyweight hit makers Keith Urban, Sara Evans, Tanya Tucker, Hootie & the Blowfish, and Gary Allen have also taken other Radney Foster songs to the studio and to high places on the charts. Foster has made frequent appearances on stage with Darius Rucker.

One Facebook page established in June has reportedly raised $20 million for RAICES, and “The Tonight Show” host, Jimmy Fallon, has publicly posted via Twitter that he will donate to the group under Donald Trump's name. The gesture is an expression of penance from the comedian for any perception of “normalizing” Trump by mussing his hair in a 2016 guest appearance.

Radney Foster aims to replace the sense of overwhelming punishment along the border with hope and power to allow separated families to reclaim life through the lovely new translation of his song.