Song by Michael W. Smith
, originally released on his 1983 Project debut album
, and re-released in a new version on his 1992 Change Your World
Written by MWS and his wife Deborah, it was a simple, piano-based ballad at first, but it rang true with an unbelievable number of people. In thousands of Christian organizations involving youth, Friends became the way they said goodbye to those leaving them (usually high school seniors) ("Packing up the dreams God planted / in the fertile soil of you") and moving on, and it remains so to this day. One wonders if the Smiths had any idea what they were unleashing when they wrote this, or whether they just thought it would be another forgotten B-side at the end of a fledgling artist's debut recording.
The song has also been used as the theme music for a youth musical, Friends Forever.
"And friends are friends forever / if the Lord's the Lord of them"
(full lyrics removed due to copyright issues)