Thoughts on the Way Home

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Story Behind "Joy"


About a month ago, I mentioned how much I was appreciating the music of Page CXVI, and encouraged you to check out their first album. One of the songs on that album, "Joy," has since become one of my absolute favorite songs. Listen to it here:

However, the first time I heard it, my response could be summed up like this: "Huh?" But after listening to it several more times, and especially after hearing the version from the album (which ends with the first verse from "It Is Well With My Soul"), I finally "got" what the artist was trying to do. Since then, I've seen the song in a new light, and have been moved profoundly by it.

All that to say that you can now hear the story behind the song from the artist herself. An excerpt:

The first time I played Joy was the night my father passed away. He had a short and painful battle with cancer. My dad was not perfect but he did the best he could with what he had. A year before he died he was diagnosed with dementia. The day he told me he had cancer he said it was a blessing. To him, cancer was a better way to end his story than a mind with no memory of his family or his life. So as I sat at the piano, the only place that felt safe that night to me, the weight of loss hit my chest. I remembered my eyes were blurred with tears and I literally began to play the now familiar progression of Joy. I kept cycling through the progression and then, as if it had already been written, I began to sing a different melody to a song I sang in VBS as a child, “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart…” The truth is that I was terribly and profoundly sad. The reality of grief had not even entirely hit me yet. But at the same moment I had a deep sense of peace. He was no longer in pain. He was no longer sick. He was free from all his ailments and restored. Although I still miss him, I know that God has weaved redemption through death into my father’s story. That brings me great joy. It was not until grief became a part of my story that I realized that joy is not simply an expression, but an attitude and acknowledgment of the deep peace of knowing a Savior.

Read the rest HERE. And consider dropping $12.99 to pick up the first two albums from Page CXVI. I can honestly say that it's some of the best music I've heard in quite a while.