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Music was written by local music teacher Ed Kopp and performed by Tualatin's Elise Kopp.

TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Music teacher Ed Kopp and Tualatin High School sophomore Elise Popma perform a song "Before My Time has Come" for the first time at Popma's house in Tualatin. Kopp wrote the song after the Parkland school shooing  and found the perfect voice in Popma to sing it.Ed Kopp didn't deliberately set out to pen the words and music to his song, "Before My Time has Come." However the high school shooting in Parkland, Fla., in which 17 people lost their lives, compelled and inspired him to express himself musically shortly after the incident.

The song came quickly, Kopp recalls, but as he wrote it he had a gnawing feeling that he didn't have the correct voice of the person who was telling the story.

"It sounded like a girl's voice (who) wanted to have her point of view known," recalled Kopp, who has taught music in the area for the last 25 years.

Kopp, who lives in Silverton, knew almost immediately that the song — hauntingly beautiful with a soulful honestly that only a young person could bring to it — was special.

So he sought out that voice, turning to Matt Popma, a Tualatin man who had taken guitar lessons from Kopp for the last six years. Knowing that Popma and his daughter, Elise, often performed together — and knowing he liked Elise's voice — Kopp asked the 16-year-old Tualatin High School sophomore if she'd be interested in singing the song.

She was.

"All the parts were recorded on my laptop (including the guitar parts) except for Elise's vocals, which were recorded at her house and then her dad emailed them to me and I stitched them together," said Kopp, who currently teaches private lessons for guitar and bass in the Tigard, Tualatin and Lake Oswego areas.

Still, while the song took only 20 minutes to write, it would take six weeks of producing, mixing and mastering before the finished product would appear. (The song was mixed by Sacha Mueller at Dead Aunt Thelma's studio in Sellwood and mastered by Dana White at Specialized Mastering in Tigard.)

Elise said the song provided a perfect opportunity for her to express her feelings regarding recent gun violence and a need for gun reform.

On top of that, she loved the song and practiced singing it until she found the best way to express her vocals.The cover art for the song by artist Bras Curbas

"I did it a few times 'til I liked how it sounded," she said, noting it took an hour or two to find a fit between the music and her voice.

Elise has been performing since she was a little girl in the second grade, when she started playing piano in a group she formed with her friends.

What Kopp said likes about the song is collaborating with someone from a different generation, noting it fits the type of person he wrote it for.

"That's why it was so magical for me," he said.

In addition, the song involves one of Kopp's favorite topics when writing music — transcendence — visiting a very dark place while leaving room to provide some hope that things will get better.

Kopp said his goal was to get the song out there on an issue that involves the "future of our children," an issue he believes is more important than any type of gun rights.

The song is available on Spotify, iTunes, Google Play and Sound Cloud.

At the same time, Kopp met up with the local leader of Moms Demand Action, a non-partisan group of Americans who gathered after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings to demand reasonable solutions to address gun violence, and pledged to give 25 percent of all proceeds from the sale of the song to the organization.

Kopp even found the right illustration for "Before My Time has Come" a graphic rendered by artist Bras Cubas, which features a young girl carrying a backpack, standing in front of a door.

She said one of her favorite parts of the song is the line: "I'm gone but hopefully I'm not forgotten."

Elise is a prolific songwriter and producer who has been writing songs since middle school. She said she hopes to create an entire album this summer.

(She and her father will play the Industry Restaurant in Tualatin on June 8 at 6 p.m. Visit Elisepopmamusic.com).

"She's got a great voice," Kopp said. "I'm not joking that grown men have said to me on Facebook they cried (when they heard it)."

Currently, Kopp is writing a book about his backpacking trip across Europe in 1995, complete 25 songs that accompany the work. TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Tualatin High School sophomore Elise Popma sings the  song "Before My Time has Come" written by Ed Kopp, a music teacher from Silverton at her home in Tualatin.

In his spare time, Kopp plays in numerous bands, including The Insensitives, Elliot Young and Showtime, Parrish and The Crying Eyes. His latest project is something he calls "Custom Music," in which he helps people write songs for loved ones. Visit edkoppmusic.com.

Meanwhile, Popma, Kopp and Gil Assayas will perform "Before My Time has Come" live on June 19 between 10 and 11:30 a.m. on "Portland Today with Cathy Marshall."

To learn more

To hear the song, click on the link

Lyrics

"Before My Time Has Come"

(Words and Music by Ed Kopp)

Verse 1

Damn you, I was sitting in my class today

Wasn't planning on ending my life this way

Damn you, for loading up your big tough gun

Couldn't you have just pretended to shoot everyone?

Damn you, I don't get to go to school today

I don't get a future, that's what you have taken away

Chorus 1

I'm gone, but hopefully I'm not forgotten

Please remember me and the short life that I got to lead

I'm gone, but please let me be the last to go

The last to say goodbye, the last to die before my time has come

Verse 2

Damn you, if you were lonely you could have said so

You could have reached out to me, instead of what followed

Damn you, I had so many hopes, so many dreams

But the last thing I remember is a dying scream

Damn you, for letting my blood cover these school walls

And those in power too weak to pass stricter gun laws

Chorus 2

I'm gone, but hopefully I'm not forgotten

Please remember me and the short life that I got to lead

I'm gone, but please let me be the last to go

The last to say goodbye, the last to die before my time has come

Verse 3

Will you do what you can now that I'm gone?

Will you remember to join together to be strong?

Will you promise not to let another die?

Before they get to know what it's like to live an adult life

Will you, be brave enough for my memory?

Will it give you the courage to set other children free?

Last Chorus

I'm gone, but hopefully I'm not forgotten

Please remember me and the short life that I got to lead

I'm gone, but please let me be the last to go

The last to say goodbye, the last to die before my time

The last to die before my time, the last to die before my time has come

Outro

The last to say goodbye, the last to die before my time

The last to die before my time, the last to die before my time has come

The last to say goodbye, the last to die before my time

The last to die before my time, the last to die before my time has come

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