One Track Mind: Johnny Orr, “We’ll Get By (The Autism Song)” (2014)

Johnny Orr assumes the role of an autistic boy and says what that boy might say if he were able communicate like a neurotypical kid in his gently swaying ballad, “We’ll Get By (The Autism Song).”

As a singer and songwriter with a dozen or so songs with Nashville publishing deals, it’s Orr’s life work to assume the character of someone else and bring that character to life in song. But autism is no fiction, it’s now said to afflict about one out of 68 American children today.

Orr’s song, sprung from a social network friendship struck up with Candi Spitz, is a touching but astute portrayal of both the struggles and the hidden blessings that come with being an autistic child, and the parent of one. Spitz, the mother of autistic twin sons, is also the Vice-President of Blooming With Autism, a 501c nonprofit organization that seeks “to unite the Autism Community and provide the tools, resources, awareness and advocacy necessary for our families affected by Autism.” Part of the proceeds brought in by this song goes to BWA.

“We’ll Get By,” spun out of Orr’s new EP Down South, is all about the awareness portion of that mission. Coinciding with Autism Awareness Month, Orr is doing his part in a child’s unspoken words and a lilting melody. It’s real, as real as the autism around us.

Purchase Johnny Orr’s EP Down South here.

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S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is a CPA and mid-level data analyst for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. Contact him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews.com.
  • Lisa Garbutt

    My 15 yr. old Autistic daughter needs to meet Johnny Orr. Breanna is in crisis and loves Johnny’s music it calms here. Breanna has a petition in Delaware fighting for a crisis center for autistic children .Please be Breanna’s voice…..LGSGBG@YAHOO.COM