“Where words fail, music speaks.” ― Hans Christian Andersen
I wonder if this is the impetus for many songwriters – to express a truth that words alone cannot convey? Seeking to communicate something deep into the soul of the listener through words only, can leave truth chained in the intellect alone.
I am listening to my recorded interview with singer-songwriter and fellow contributor to Salt and Clay, Shara-Rae Jansen, and attempting to put down on paper the truth she so beautifully expresses in her first recorded single, Daughter.
Curious to know how one goes about writing a song, I began with asking about her background. Shara-Rae grew up taking piano lessons but around the age of 13 decided to forgo traditional lessons, including the tedious memorization of classical music, and instead concentrate on chording, singing and writing music for worship.
I asked Shara-Rae about the process of writing for her:
SR: I usually get a phrase in my mind. I always have a melody with some words and I’ll start singing it in my vehicle, then go home and figure it out – the chords and then writing the rest of the song.
Salt + Clay: Where do you think the initial phrase comes from?
SR: I would say God.
Salt + Clay: What in particular inspired you to write your new song, Daughter?
SR: It came to me in response to a friend who was going through a difficult time in her life. She was disappointed in God’s timing and doubted His goodness. After one particular conversation, I left heavy with God’s burning, compassionate love for her. I sat at the keyboard, like I often do when emotions flood my soul. As I began to intercede for her, both through my fingers and my voice, a melody came to mind, fully formed.
About a year after I finished the song, I realized even though it was written for my friend, it was for me also. All along, the Lord had been writing this song for me, but I was too blind to see how broken and truly desperate I was for the Father’s love and grace.
Salt + Clay: Aren’t we all like your friend? We want to believe that God is good but when things happen that aren’t, that don’t feel good to us, we question God “are you really good? Is this really for my good?” It truly is a song all women need and even long to hear.
Daughter begins with an invitation to let God love us. To allow the barriers to be broken down, to let God past the cloak of shame we wear. Part of the beauty of putting these words to music is that they do get past our sometimes-skeptical minds and His invitation can go straight to our hearts. Will we allow Him to love us? Even when we don’t feel particularly loveable?
Salt+Clay: When someone listens to your new single, what would you like them to take away?
SR: I would want them to know they are loved by God, that they are uniquely designed by Him. That each woman would embrace their identity and authority as a Daughter of the King.
As we spoke it was clear to me that Shara-Rae is passionate about this message and has a deep longing for women to receive the words which God has put upon her heart.
Shara-Rae expressed her desire for listeners of Daughter in the following prayer:
“I pray you would encounter the unconditional and irrevocable love of the Father. I pray you would know in the deepest center of your soul that you are valued. Chosen. Accepted. Seen. I pray you would embrace your identity as royalty, a Daughter of the King, and walk courageously in your Christ-given authority.”