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Behind the Song: "At the River"

Writing Process

This song started out as a chorus idea that my sister had. When she first shared the idea with me, I couldn't wait to be a part of writing the rest!!


We got together one Saturday in December 2018 and spent the entire day fleshing out the tune. Songwriting can be a wonderful, frustrating, exhilarating labor of love, and writing "At the River" was no different! We'd land on a line we loved, but then the next line would take 4 hours to figure out. Back and forth we went with ideas, breaking to grab Chick-fil-a for lunch but spending most of the time digging for phrases and painting pictures with our words that would truly capture my sister's original idea for this work of art.


8 hours later, we had the verses and a chorus that we were proud of and excited to share! Over the next few days we worked out the bridge and some of the transitional sections. A few months later, I played the song live for my church (during baptisms!), and the feedback was wonderful from both the band and the congregation.


Inspiration/Meaning

So often we go through our days > weeks > years carrying around fear, doubts, shame, pain, or spiraling out of control when we're trying so hard to control everything around us...when all the while hope and healing and relief from the chaos is within our grasp. The "river" in this song is a symbol for Jesus. Picture in your mind a flowing river. It might be gentle or it might be raging, but it's moving. What happens when you drop a leaf in the water?...it gets carried away, eventually out of sight, never to return. Jesus invites us to bring our burdens to Him, and in much the same way as that leaf, He takes them on for us and from us, and we don't have to live under their weight anymore. We can take a deep breath and let them go, knowing that He's got it under control.


I couldn't wait to get into the studio with this one, and am so excited that it's finally ready to be shared with all of you! Listen to "At the River" on Spotify here. Watch the lyric video here. Purchase on Apple Music here.


#attheriver #sarascottmcdowell #newmusic #newrelease #freedom #sisters #indieartist #songwriting #worship #worshipmusic #countrymusic

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