Risky Songwriting: An Inseide look at the song “Be”

I was leading worship for a senior high youth event called Godstock during the time when I was writing for the project Taste And See.

The speaker was a friend of mine named Lyle Griner who works with Peer Ministry Leadership. He shared the powerful story of when his first wife passed away suddenly and his journey through that darkness. At the end of his talk, he asked me to come up and play some acoustic background music while he led the students through a time of prayer from Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.”

He taught the students a prayer with that verse broken down into sections. He started each line with the beginning of the verse but would subtract a word each time, making it shorter and shorter until all that was left was “Be.” I was so moved by this prayer because Psalm 46:10 was a crucial verse for me when I lost my mom to a car accident when I was 14.

As he continued to teach the students the prayer, I took the music I was playing behind Lyle and sang the words of the prayer in my head. I would adjust the music to fit the words without disrupting the prayer time. In my head it was coming together.

When Lyle was done praying, I started to sing what was in my head. In songwriting this is the biggest risk you can take. First, because you have no idea how it’s going to flow. Second, because you have no idea how it will be received.

This is what I sang:

Be still and know that I am God

Be still and know that I am

Be still and know

Be still

Be

Praise be to God! It went amazing. When I began to sing the tune, I loved the words coming off of my lips. It became so important for my own heart to hear myself say those words out loud.

That was the chorus right there. After the weekend I invited Bob and Paul to help me write the verses of what became one of my favorite songs.

Be still and know that I am God

Be still and know that I am

Be still and know

Be still

Be

Though mountains fall,

the earth give way

I’ll be your refuge.

I’ll be your strength.

Be still and know that I am God.

Be still and know that I am

Be still and know

Be still

Be

Be safe

Be loved

Because I am sovereign

you are not forgotten,

of this you can be sure.

I know your hopes.

I know your fears.

Rest in My promise that I am here.

Be still and know that I am God

Be still and know that I am

Be still and know

Be still

Be

Special thanks to Lyle for blessing my life with his powerful story and journey.

Here is a link to a free ringtone for the song “Be.” Sometimes it’s good to “be” reminded that God is still God and His peace is perfect no matter who is calling. :)

Hope you’re enjoying the inseide look. :) I’m enjoying telling the stories and hearing how God has used these songs in your life.

Does Psalm 46:10 have a special meaning to you? How about the song “Be”?

Peder

“Be” Written by Peder Eide, Paul Marino, and Bob Stromberg  Copyright 2006 Ya Sure! Music (ASCAP) Van Ness Press. Inc. (ASCAP) Stream Mountain Music (BMI) All rights reserved. Used by Permission

2 thoughts on “Risky Songwriting: An Inseide look at the song “Be”

  1. I love the song “BE” also. I have done it with my contemporary group “Chantez” (sing in French) for offering and then my brother and I slip into simple piano and guitar for the prayers. Always get lots of positive feedback from my group and the congregation of how simply beautiful this song is. So glad that now I know how it came to BE. I will share that with Chantez the next time we sing it. To God be the all the Glory. Looking forward to seeing you at Lifest. I will pick up Rescue there.

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