Dying teen’s ode to heaven tops music charts

Zach Sobiech, who died in late May, wrote the farewell song “Clouds” as an ode, in part, to his unwavering faith in God. (PHOTO: YouTube),
Zach Sobiech, who died in late May, wrote the farewell song “Clouds” as an ode, in part, to his unwavering faith in God. (PHOTO: YouTube),

Originally published in Charisma News

A song about ascending to heaven written by a dying 18-year-old, has gotten 7.7 million YouTube hits and at one point reached No. 1 on the iTunes music charts.

Zach Sobiech, who died in late May, wrote the farewell song “Clouds” as an ode, in part, to his unwavering faith in God.

He is remembered for providing hope to people around the world, many of them facing similar situations.

His fight with osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer, led to the release of an entire album of his songs, Fix Me Up, not long before his death, and prompted other musicians to perform their own versions of “Clouds.”

Near the end, Sobiech found the strength to fly to New York to finalize a record deal through Broadcast Music Inc.

A version of “Clouds” featuring Jason Mraz, The Lumineers and American Idol winner Phillip Phillips drew high praise from People magazine, which called that remake perhaps “the most moving celebrity shout-out of all time.”

Sobiech’s story helped raise more than $100,000 for cancer research into osteosarcoma.

Scores of people wrote the teen, saying how much his words meant to them. They include a Gulf War veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder, a concert pianist from South Korea, and Japanese schoolchildren.

One man happened to hear the song on the radio while stopped at a red light. His car window was open and more than a dozen kids began spontaneously singing the song with him.

The funeral for Sobiech was held at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Stillwater, Minn., where he and his family have been members for 20 years.

“Our faith kept us from despair and kept our eyes focused on what is truly important—eternity,” Sobiech’s mother, Laura, said.

The Rev. Mike Miller, who helped conduct the funeral, said Sobiech’s music touched “people who were in a very dark place.”

This is Sobiech’s journey, told through the words of “Clouds”:

“Well I fell down, down, down/ Into this dark and lonely hole/ There was no one there to care about me anymore/ And I needed a way to climb and grab ahold of the edge/ You were sitting there holding a rope.

“And we’ll go up, up, up/ But I’ll fly a little higher/ We’ll go up in the clouds because the view is a little nicer/ Up here my dear/ It won’t be long now, it won’t be long now.”

Most of the more than a thousand people at his funeral sang the words “up, up, up” at his funeral.

Clouds on youtube:

3 Comments

  1. Deeply touched in my spirit ! Surely this young man fulfilled his God given destiny at an early age and lived his life to the full ! Evangelism in God style ! First I was filled with sadness but after listening to “Clouds” a few times over, the joy transferred and I was worshipping. Look forward to meeting Zach in heaven one day !! :-) -Made me think of the book “Heaven is for Real”- the account of Colton Burpo having gone to heaven – WHAT encouragement about the reality of eternity !! Yes, we are but pilgrims in transit and the best is yet to come !! :-)
    Thank you Andre for posting this !!!!

  2. Lost a friend to a heart condition, similar situation, young and trying to live life. She wrote a book “Fearfully and wonderfully made” just before she passed away. The impact she had in those last few days was incredible.

  3. May that day find us prepared and ready to meet Him.