BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#838 - "Hills and Valleys" by Tauren Wells
Tauren Wells shares the motive behind the hit title track from his debut solo album.
 


BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #838 -
Posted: July 11, 2017 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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Tauren Wells, the former front man for the Grammy-nominated band Royal Tailor, recently released his debut solo album Hills and Valleys (available here). I greatly enjoyed many songs by Royal Tailor, including "Make a Move," "Hold Me Together," "Ready Set Go" and "Remain." I have been looking forward to this collection of songs as one of my most anticipated albums of the year, and it definitely delivers, as evidenced by the success of the title track.

"I am so grateful for the opportunity to release my first album as a solo artist," Tauren says of the transition. "These songs have been inspired by God and my relationships with people. My hope was to write songs people needed to hear with lyrics we can all carry into every moment of life. The process of getting to this place was a path filled with many hills and valleys, but I've seen the faithfulness of God in it all." I had the opportunity to interview Tauren about his hit song "Hills and Valleys."

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

Initially when I was writing "Hills and Valleys," I wasn't trying to write a song. It was during worship time, and I was playing piano and singing melodies and that melody just came out on the keys. A quote came to mind, "on the mountaintops of life, learn to bow low, and in the valleys of life, learn to stand tall." I thought that would be cool to incorporate into a song, because I know that God is the God of the hills and valleys. Scripture points to that. 

I haven't heard much conversation or too many songs about what our posture should be when in the biggest moments in our lives and the lowest moments of our lives. I started wrapping that into a lyric and a melody and took it to some of my friends in Nashville, and we finished the song together.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Psalm 121 (NKJV): "I will lift up my eyes to the hills--From whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore."

Psalm 125:1 (NKJV): Those who trust in the Lord, are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever.

Lamentations 3:22-23 (NKJV): Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.

Job 1:20-22 (NKJV): "Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.' In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong."

1 Peter 1:3 (NKJV): "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."

What is the takeaway message?

The heart behind the song is that in the great moments and hilltops of life, we have to remember to bow low in high places, because it is God who elevates people in His time. He is looking for humble hearts to elevate and people that He can trust to ascend to a place of influence. On the flip side of that, there is no Christian walk that doesn't include the valleys of life. That is a reality that we all have to deal with. In those valleys, sometimes we think that God has brought us to a place and forgotten about us there. The psalmist reminds us that we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, and we fear no evil. When God brings us to something, He's faithful to bring us through it. We don't have to settle in a broken and dead place. We need to stand up and lift our eyes to the hills where our help comes from. 

That's the heart behind this song. No matter where I stand, in the hills or the valleys, I'm standing in His love. No matter what I have, or don't have, His grace is sufficient. I like to bring out the idea of suffering well with this song. We hear about how God wants to bless you. We don't hear about how we handle the blessings of God. It isn't for us, it is for God's glory. That's a big takeaway. The other is learning how to suffer well and allowing tribulation to produce patience and endurance.

Lyrics: 
I've walked among the shadows
You wiped my tears away
And I've felt the pain of heartbreak
And I've seen the brighter days
And I've prayed prayers to heaven from my lowest place
And I have held the blessings
God, You give and take away

No matter what I have, Your grace is enough
No matter where I am, I'm standing in Your love

On the mountains, I will bow my life
To the one who set me there
In the valley, I will lift my eyes to the one who sees me there
When I'm standing on the mountain aft, didn't get there on my own
When I'm walking through the valley end, no I am not alone!
You're God of the hills and valleys!
Hills and Valleys!
God of the hills and valleys
And I am not alone!

I've watched my dreams get broken
In You I hope again!
No matter what I know
Know I'm safe inside Your hand

On the mountains, I will bow my life
To the one who set me there
In the valley, I will lift my eyes to the one who sees me there
When I'm standing on the mountain aft, didn't get there on my own
When I'm walking through the valley end, no I am not alone!
You're God of the hills and valleys!
Hills and Valleys!
God of the hills and valleys
And I am not alone!

Father, You give and take away
Every joy and every pain
Through it all You will remain
Over it all!

Father, You give and take away
Every joy and every pain
Through it all You will remain
Over it all!

On the mountains, I will bow my life
To the one who set me there (to the one who set me there)
In the valley, I will lift my eyes to the one who sees me there
When I'm standing on the mountain aft, didn't get there on my own
When I'm walking through the valley end, no I am not alone!
You're God of the hills and valleys!
Hills and Valleys!
God of the hills and valleys
And I am not alone!

You're God of the hills and valleys!
Hills and Valleys!
God of the hills and valleys
And I am not alone!
And I will choose to say "Blessed be Your name, yeah, yeah"
And I am not alone!


This album is a great collection of confessional and authentic expressions of faith. All of the songs are catchy, exciting and worshipful. What's most impressive is how these catchy songs will have you singing along at the top of your lungs after just a couple of listens. 

I think God included the book of Job as a reminder of how He wants us to handle trials. In that Scripture, Satan is testing God's servant, Job, to see if he can cause him to lose his faith by causing him pain and suffering. Job's friends counsel him that he must have un-repented sins that are causing him the calamities of losing his family and his health. "Hills and Valleys" is a similar reminder that our worship of God should not be based on our circumstances, but based on who God is. 

The message of this song challenges listeners to think about our own doubts and how Jesus calls us to rely on Him and the power of His resurrection, to remember that He has overcome death and fear. This song is an offer of true release that we can sing with all of our hearts to God: "In the valley I will lift my eyes to the one who sees me there... When I'm standing on the mountain aft, didn't get there on my own, when I'm walking through the valley end, no I am not alone!" Amen to that!

Watch the lyric video below. You can also see Tauren's stand-out acoustic version here.
 



 

NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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