Does The Story Make The Song?

On August 22, 2012 by Eddie

A few months ago, I was in our living room working on something (I don’t remember now what it was), and Storytellers was playing on the TV as background music. It was a Jason Mraz concert, and I didn’t pay much attention until he started setting up the song “I Won’t Give Up.” Danielle and I literally stopped in our tracks, and I was totally transfixed on what he was saying. I was blown away by his honesty and emotion, and it forever changed that song for me. Here’s the video – check it out for yourself. (Forgive the language, of course)

Today, I had a chance to do something similar and play a few new songs for our staff at North Point. Joel graciously made room for it in staff meeting, and the folks at North Point Music made it happen. It wasn’t anything special or flashy, and we only played four songs, but to be able to share the stories behind these songs with this group of people felt significant to me.
Four years ago, I joined the staff at North Point and a big reason I did was to gain some form of community. Traveling was making me someone I didn’t like, and I wanted to be surrounded by a group of people that saw me every day, good and bad, that knew my family and my kids, a community. I’ve worked alongside these people now for a while, and they’ve seen when I’ve done great and when I’ve failed, they’ve witnessed my proudest moments and some I’d rather not relive. After four years, I feel more known than I ever have, and the staff at North Point plays a huge role in that.
Today, getting the opportunity to stand in front of those people and open up a little bit more of my story was really cool. We don’t get to do that much on Sundays with such limited time and with the multitude of people in the room, it just doesn’t make sense. But it was refreshing to be honest and share from my heart, and it’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve done musically in a long time.
I feel like the story makes the song. Whenever I know the story it makes things come to life in a new way. “I Won’t Give Up” is a perfect example. I used to hear it and think it was a cute love song, now I hear the power behind it. I feel like I can understand a bit of the struggle he was going through, and the triumph that the song represents to him.
This is part of the reason why I’m trying to schedule some house concerts for the rest of this year. I love playing songs, but more than that I love the chance to meet people in their environment and share the heart behind them. Hopefully it will be a chance for people to hear the songs with fresh ears and understand the emotion behind them in a new way.
So a huge thanks to Joel, Annette, Dan, Matt, Jayce, Elliott, Jonathan, Davis – everyone that made today happen. If for no one else, it was a pretty special day for me.
Do you agree that the “Story Makes The Song?”
Has a story behind a song ever changed your perspective?
How can we find ways to allow personal story to enrich our music on Sundays and throughout the week?

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