TAMWORTH singer-songwriter Dale Duncan's huge heart has been bared for all to see in his latest Top-20 single Miracle Girl.
It's a marvellous ode to his own little miracle girl, daughter Phoebe, who was born prematurely 10 years ago.
The song, the proceeds of which are fully going towards the Miracle Babies Foundation, has created a huge, spontaneous response from around the nation.
"I've had hundreds of emails from people all over Australia," Dale said.
He said many people who had been or were going through the same heartbreak or level of worry about their own prematurely born babies had written to him saying the song and the photos in the YouTube clip had really touched them.One woman who lost two of her three premature babies sent Dale $100 in the post.
He said it took many years for him to be able to finally record the song, although he had written it shortly after Phoebe's birth, during the four months Phoebe was in hospital.
"I've always wanted to release it as a single (but) even up to a few years ago, it was still very raw for us (myself and wife Dianne)," he said.
"It was a sad time."
Born in Tamworth hospital weighing 780 grams on June 30, 2003, and flown to The Children's Hospital at Westmead that afternoon, Phoebe Ann Duncan was subjected to a barrage of medical tests over several months, with her parents riding a rollercoaster of emotion and nerves as her condition swung wildly.Her head circumference was 23.9cm - roughly the size of a lemon.
"It was four weeks before my wife could even cuddle our baby; we were standing outside the humidicrib," Dale said.
The two songs on the Miracle Girl CD - the main song and I Told You So - were recorded about four months ago with well-known Blue Mountains country music artist Johanna Hemara.
Last week it was sitting at number 19 on the Australian Country Music Charts.
The Miracle Babies Foundation is Australia's leading organisation supporting premature and sick newborns, their families and the hospitals which care for them.
From sales of the single so far, Dale has already raised $1500 for the foundation and is aiming for $15,000 within 12 months. Anyone interested in buying the Miracle Girl CD can send $7 to Dale Duncan at PO Box 3182, West Tamworth, NSW 2340 and he'll post out a copy of the CD.
Dale is to release his third album, The Heart of Australia, in late October.It contains duets with Queenslander Graeme Rodger, who won the Golden Guitar for 2013 Bush Ballad of the Year at the Australian Country Music Awards in Tamworth and also two-time Golden Guitar winner Amos Moris, of Kempsey.
The new album is a departure from Dale's usual traditional country style, seen on his previous two albums - A Trucker's Life and Family Values."It's a great bush ballad album," Dale said.