MADISON COUNTY, Ala. — An Alabama high school student refuses to let the coronavirus pandemic spoil memories of his senior year. Instead, Peyton Malone has written a song he hopes will buoy the spirit of his classmates.
Last week, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced that schools would be closed for the remainder of the academic year, limited only to online instruction. For seniors like Malone, that means no prom, and graduation ceremonies at Buckhorn High School in New Market have been postponed until late summer.
“I knew my senior class needed something to get through this quarantine being here at home for so long,” Malone told the television station.
Malone said he was surprised by the positive response to his composition, which he sings on guitar.
“They’ve been texting me, Snapchatting me," Malone told WZDX. "And their parents have been texting me saying it really touched them too. So I think it’s actually affecting everybody and it’s a good connection.”
Malone said he knew he was writing a good song when he sang an early version to a friend.
“I had about four lines written and I sung it to her and she started crying in the first four lines," Malone told WZDX. "So I was like, ‘Oh, this might mean something to some people.’”
It certainly has. Malone’s video already topped 4,100 views by Wednesday morning.
“My senior class … there’s about 360 of us so I thought 360 views maybe 500 views but then it got to 1,000 then 1,500 then 2,000 then 3,000 and now its almost 4,000,” Malone told WHNT on Tuesday.
“Just wanna walk. Walk across the stage. In our cap and gowns.” Malone sings in his video.
The song is catching on beyond Madison County, Malone said.
“Just yesterday, I got a direct message on Instagram from some people in Ohio," Malone told WZDX. "I guess it’s going across to other seniors.”
As he waits to walk across the stage, Malone had one wish for his classmates and others affected by school closures.
“Spread our own ways and be successful," Malone told WZDX. "That’s what I hope for.”