Georgia musicians write Jimmy Carter a song for his 99th birthday

Celebrity tributes - even a custom song - for the 39th President’s big birthday
Georgia musicians write Jimmy Carter a song for his 99th birthday
Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 4:47 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 29, 2023 at 6:31 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Of the many thousands of tributes that have come in for 39th U.S. President Jimmy Carter, one, in particular, invokes lyrics and melody to honor a man who left an indelible mark on the country and the state of Georgia.

Tim and Sarah Williams and their songwriting partner Kellie Parr have always admired Carter for his work in and out of the White House.

“We were talking about how much we all admire him and we kind of made the comment, we sure could use somebody like Jimmy Carter now,” said Sarah. “And Kellie actually said, well we should write a song about it and the timing seemed perfect with his 99th birthday coming up.”

The resulting song is a show of admiration for Carter and all the humanitarian work he carried out in his years after the presidency.

Lyrics like “countries in conflict, full of demands, met Jimmy at camp and they all shook hands,” and “we ran out of gas so he harnessed the sun” pay homage to Carter’s Camp David Accords and efforts to install solar panels on the roof of the White House while a resident there.

“I just felt a kinship to him I think,” said Tim, who said he learned a lot from the way Carter carried himself. “If you dedicate yourself, you can make a difference. You don’t have to be part of something big, just do your best to be a good person, and look out for the other person.”

The Carter Center liked the song so much, they extended a private tour to the Williams’ on Friday, where they learned they had more in common with the former commander-in-chief than they thought.

“He plays ukulele, and I played the ukulele,” said Williams. “And I play it on this song.”

Tributes have been swift and many since the Carter Center opened up their doors and website for them. In just the first few days of collecting written and video messages, the Center had over 6,000 of them. A digital mosaic is displaying them outside the facility and will continue to this weekend.

From former president Bill Clinton to TV president Martin Sheen, recognizable faces dot the screen with optimistic and heartfelt messages for the Georgia native.

In Plains, the sleepy South Georgia town the Carters have deemed home for their entire lives, some small celebrations are planned at the various museums and historical sites there. But the Carters, the Center says, will be celebrating the big birthday privately.