‘Only Hope’ From ‘A Walk To Remember’ Actually Wasn’t Written For The Movie, But Was Specifically Chosen For It

A Walk To Remember is one of those romantic films from the early 2000s that have gone on to be a classic. No matter how many times it’s watched, it can bring you to tears or make your heart swoon, depending on which part of the film you’re on. And “Only Hope,” sung by Mandy Moore in the film, not only holds a special spot in fans’ hearts but also for the characters’ too. 

While the song is specifically remembered for A Walk To Remember now — at least for most people — it wasn’t written for the film. It was actually written years prior by the band that supplied a few songs for the movie, Switchfoot. 

‘Only Hope’ plays a vital role in ‘A Walk To Remember’ 

Mandy Moore sings in a scene from the film ‘A Walk To Remember’, 2002. (Photo by Warner Brothers/Getty Images)

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A Walk To Remember was the original The Fault in Our Stars-type of film, where one of the main characters in the love story is terminally ill but the characters fall in love despite it all. They seem to defeat the odds and find love. 

For Jamie and Landon, though, it was also a mix of Romeo and Juliet thrown in there as well. They were complete opposites with really different backgrounds and belief systems. And while Landon’s friends were responsible for a lot of the ridicule Jamie faced at school (once she and Landon became friends), it didn’t stop their eventual relationship. 

Landon has to join the school play that Jamie is already a part of and her character (in the play) sings the song “Only Hope.” At this point, they’re already falling “in like” with one another. But her beautiful voice, combined with the dress she’s wearing, and the situation; it’s a pretty pivotal moment in Landon’s realization of his feelings for Jamie. And he gives her an improvised kiss afterward; it was their first and it was in front of the audience. 

The song wasn’t written for the movie, but Switchfoot’s music was specifically chosen for it

As stated before, the song is probably one of the most well-known songs from the movie, or at least the one most associated with A Walk To Remember. However, it wasn’t written for the film. 

Switchfoot, known for songs “Meant To Live” and “Dare You To Move,” wrote the song “Only Hope” and put it out on their 1999 album New Way To Be Human. Today they’re a relatively well-known band, but back then they were not. So why did they get the gig?

Christianity Today reported in 2002 that Moore’s manager, Jon Leshay, who was also the music supervisor for A Walk To Remember, really liked them and “instantly wanted” their music in the film. It became a “vital ingredient” to the soundtrack. In addition to “Only Hope” and “Dare You To Move,” the songs “Learning to Breathe” and “You” and went on the soundtrack. Christianity Today reported in 2002 that Leshay went on to become the band’s manager after that as well. 

Mandy Moore loved the song back then and performed it again in 2020

At that time, Moore told the site that Switchfoot were “by far” her “favorite new band over the past year,” due to learning about them and listening to their music for a year “non-stop.” 

“The songs are so meaningful, beautiful and straight from the heart,” Moore said. “I know I’m a bit of a late-comer, but I am convinced this band is going to be huge and there are no four guys that are more deserving of success than them.”

Almost 20 years later, in 2020, Moore went on her Instagram live and sang “Only Hope” for the first time since A Walk To Remember and it felt like nearly no time had passed at all. 

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