Songs That Help Me Mourn

9 02 2009


Anna’s favorite music group for about the last year of her life was Switchfoot.  You can see in some of her pictures a bunch of hair bands she wore on her wrist.  She grouped several colors together, but oftentimes she simply had four on.  They were red, white, blue, and green.  When I asked her about her hairbands at the dinner table one night, she and Samuel turned to each other and smiled and then she belted out in her best rock and roll voice, “Red. White, Blue, and Gree-ee-eeeen!” from Switchfoot’s song “American Dream”.  Our whole family really liked the group and after we hooked our iPod up to the car radio through our iTrip we had an all-Switchfoot-all-the-time policy in the car.

I enjoy Switchfoot’s music, but it was the lyrics that really captured me.  I enjoyed the drives in the car with the kids explaining to them the meaning behind some of the songs.  Songs like “Faust, Midas, and Myself” and “4:12” really came alive when we talked through the songs.

Jon Foreman writes the songs for the group.  I don’t know his story and background, but there are elements of sadness, depression, and grief that he “gets.”  An insider can listen to his songs and say, “Yes, that’s how it feels.”  Some of the songs, such as “Yesterdays”, “Amy’s Song”, or “4:12” are explicitly about grief or depression/anxiety, but others, for me “24”, have become songs of mourning as well.

But there are other songs from Switchfoot that are so hopeful that one cannot help but rejoice with them in the future and what a new day might bring.  Such is the song, “Learning to Breathe.”

I am including two live songs from the group.  The first is “Yesterdays.”  The second is “Learning to Breathe.”  Enjoy.




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