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Canadian’s hot air balloon tribute to grandmother, COVID-19 victims




Canadian singer and songwriter Emilee Moore was crushed when her grandmother passed away from COVID-19 in 2020.

Shirley Liira, according to Moore, was one of the first people to die from the virus in North America.

Liira impacted people her through music, Moore told in an email.

“She made the best fudge, strawberry jam and chicken noodle soup, and she was the most cheerful person,” Moore said. “She was someone who always took the time to be kind to others.”

Dealing with her grief, Moore created lyrics to the song “Married Life” from the Disney-Pixar movie “Up”. The instrumental song, written by Michael Giacchino, plays during the opening scene where the protagonist Carl meets his wife Ellie for the first time and the audience sees a montage of their life until Ellie’s death.

Brought to tears by the movie, Moore said it was the inspiration to write lyrics that fit “the tone of grief.”

“As soon as I started writing, the words just flew out of my mouth like I really needed to get them off my chest,” she said. “And I had a feeling it would resonate with others.”

After posting her version of the song on TikTok to pay respect to her grandmother, Moore’s video amassed 2.5 million views. Other creators joined in on the tributes and collectively have garnered over 20 million views, Moore said.

The Vancouver native then created a music video where she filmed the song during a hot air balloon ride in Temecula, Calif., in September 2022.

The balloon was also able to act as a green screen, allowing Moore to project videos of people’s loved ones in a touching tribute to those who lost their lives to COVID-19.


To hear the full song click the video at the top of this article. 

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