Walking Over the Water

That’s the title of a song sung by Mat Kearney on the album Mercyland: Hymns For the Rest of Us (Spotify).

The other day I was driving to church with the kids and this song came on. The weeWeir, having never heard it before, asked what it was about. I was pleased she asked as I’ve always wanted her to think about the words she hears and what they might mean.

Easy to say?

However, explaining this song to my daughter was never going to be easy. But I did – through the tears.  You see, every time I really listen to this song, I am struck by the stages of the story. Often it will stop be in my tracks and I’m forced to think about the characters being sung about. The way their story is told. The questions asked and truths that are wrestled with.

It’s hardly an original thought to suggest that music is a powerful medium for communicating ideas. And when you tell stories set to music you can get an even deeper connection with the audience (sometimes stories told *through* music don’t always need words too).

Of course they do

And stories do that. Stories feed the imagination and help the audience see themselves part of it – good stories help people see how they can be the hero of their own story.

So how does that work when there’s difficult things to be talked about?

That there is a real question. Some songwriters are masters at challenging their listeners with gentleness and grace. Others are a little more blunt.

We will all have songs – or music – that tell us a story we love. But do we have songs that challenge us to stay sharp, to consider our motives – to hold things rightly.

What’s yours? What do you learn from them?

Sing (or say it) like you mean it

It’s really powerful when you guide your audience through your talk (or communication) and help them see why your idea is worth listening to.  I believe everyone who speaks (or sings) to an audience needs to be there to serve them first. From that posture of helping them you build a stronger connection and create the possibility of inspiring them to action.

Will I sing when delivering my next talk? Only if it will create the right impact on the audience… come along and find out.

Even if I don’t sing, I have to believe what I’m saying – as mentioned last week, it’s got to be about authenticity. What can you do to make your next talk the the more authentic?

Here’s the song:

PS – for a bit more of the story behind the song (written with Phil Madiera, who produced the album), I recommend this blog by Phil.

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