BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#55 - "The Words I Would Say" by Sidewalk Prophets
In his ongoing series, Kevin Davis speaks with artists to get the stories behind some of the biggest songs in Christian artists.
 


Sidewalk Prophets initially made a name for themselves at Indiana’s Anderson University where front men and main songwriters Dave Frey and Ben McDonald met. Although they don't consider themselves to be a worship band, they probably do more worship music than their original music, and that's fine with them. Integrating worship with real life--that is one of the simple truths Sidewalk Prophets has learned to live by.

These Simple Truths, the debut album by Sidewalk Prophets, centers on the hope that Christ’s love provides. “The more we look at today’s problems the more we see that a lot of times people are fearful of being themselves,” explains Frey. “And finding our identity in Christ is one of the most crucial steps in loving others. Once people start realizing this and living confidently we’ll see a visible change from households to communities to ultimately the world. “That’s what we’re all about. The name Sidewalk Prophets even means that we are common people speaking the truth about life from our perspective as followers of Christ.”

I got the chance to interview Dave Frey about their debut hit single “The Words I Would Say”. You can listen to our entire interview here:

Here’s what Dave shared with me about the song.

Please tell me about the background in writing the song "The Words I Would Say"?

"The Words I Would Say" is a fairly autobiographical song. Many nights, God would lay a friend or family member on my heart, and I wouldn’t be able to rest without literally writing them a letter. All of the “simple truths” contained in the chorus have, at one time or another, entered into those letters. One of the great appeals of this song is the perspective. It could represent a father or mother writing to a child who has left, a fiancé writing his bride to be, a friend writing a friend. No matter where the listener is in life, this song will hopefully remind them of someone that needs to hear about how much they are loved by the writer of the letter and by God. “The Words I Would Say,” is our letter to inspire many more letters.

Is there a personal story about the message of that song?

Yes, I was inspired to write the song about my grandfather. My mother called and told me he was dying. At that moment, I was scared and my greatest fear was whether I would make it in time after a 4 hour drive to tell my grandfather in person that I loved him. Rather than panic, I sat down and wrote him a letter, telling him how much he meant to me. I started to realize that I was really writing a prayer of thanks for him. I knew even if I didn’t make it home to share it with him that night, he would know he was loved. Even now I wake up at night and write my friends and family letters to know that I am thinking of them. Many times I’m afraid of sharing my feelings. If we can’t share Christ’s love and our love for each other, then what can we share with each other. Fortunately I made it home in time to tell me grandfather I loved him.

Do you have a life verse or any verses you used in writing the song?

Psalm 118:24:
This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

1 John 4:18:
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

What's the takeaway message for listeners regarding the song?

The theme of "These Simple Truths" is Faith, Hope and Love. Faith enough to believe and trust in Jesus, carpe diem-seize the day, as in Psalm 118:24. Hope is so important, to realize that we are human and flawed and we can’t do anything without the grace of Jesus. True Love is from Jesus and three of our songs include love in the title. God’s love is complex. Have courage, know Christ is love and don’t be afraid to share love, as in 1st John 4:18.

Here are the lyrics:

Three in the morning, and I’m still awake
So I picked up a pen and a page
And I started writing just what I’d say
If we were face to face
I’d tell you just what you mean to me
Tell you these simple truths

Be strong in the Lord
And never give up hope
You’re gonna do great things
I already know
God’s got His hand on You
So don’t live life in fear
Forgive and forget
But don’t forget why you’re here
Take your time and pray
These are the words I would say

Last time we spoke you said you were hurting
And I felt your pain in my heart
I want to tell you that I keep on praying
That love will find you where you are
I know cause I’ve already been there
So please hear these simple truths

Be strong in the Lord
And never give up hope
You’re going to do great things
I already know
God’s got His hand on You
So don’t live life in fear
Forgive and forget
But don’t forget why you’re here
Take your time and pray
These are the words I would Say…

from one simple life to another
I will say… come find peace in the Father

Be strong in the Lord
And never give up hope
You’re gonna do great things
I already know
God’s got His hand on You
So don’t live life in fear
Forgive and forget
But don’t forget why you’re here
Take your time and pray
And thank God for each day
His love will find a way
These are the words I would say


What a great song and message. The lyrics “God’s got His hand on You, don’t live life in fear” really speaks to the biblical truth of 1st John 4:18: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” This song is really a prayer and a reminder to live each day to the fullest and don’t be afraid to share Christ, because He is love. That message has also been part of several songs I’ve written about this year along with “Life Light Up” by Christy Nockels, “The Lost Get Found” by Britt Nicole and “Home” by Phillip LaRue.

You can watch the video for the song here.

Kevin Davis is a long time fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. Kevin also writes reviews for ChristianMusicReview.org. He currently lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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