Liddy Clark's emotional ballad "Shot Down (Stand Up)" will be released wide on Friday, but she's sharing it exclusively with Taste of Country on Thursday (Oct. 25). It's an important song about a hard topic: school shootings.

"Does it take a phone call / Or a knock at the door saying the one you love is gone / Does it take a million souls / Children who will never grow old to see another dawn / What does it take to see that nothing changing is killing our humanity?" Clark asks in the song, which is a poignant point of view set to delicate acoustic guitar accompaniment.

Twenty-year-old Clark notes that, "we can be the ones to fix this if everyone can just stop and listen." She wrote the song after the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., last February, during which a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, killing 17 students and staff members.

“'Shot Down (Stand Up)' took forever to write," Clark, who grew up in Parkland, tells Taste of Country. "I spent almost four months on it, trying to make sure I was saying exactly what I wanted to put out into the world. Although it came from a place of pain and heartbreak for Parkland, I feel like the song takes a step forward by stating that this needs to be fixed and that we will not stand idly by while the same scenario happens over and over again. I hope this song inspires young people to fight for what they believe in.”

The song also asserts that no student should fear being shot at while they're walking down hallways at school — that no person who is sitting in church, or simply a concert should be worried about being shot and killed.

Earlier this year, Clark released her debut EP, Testing the Waters — a blend of pop and country that shows the former Berklee College of Music scholarship winner's talent and strength as a vocalist and songwriter. "One of the greatest things about music is when you hear a song and it gives you a feeling of completeness—it just fits into your life in this perfect way,” she says. “My hope for my music is that it gives people that same kind of feeling.”

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