What Is the Great Awakening: “The Great Awakening”

by Leeland

November 28, 2011

We’ve never really had a predetermined “Theme” for every album, going into
the studio. Usually, we just record the songs that are from our hearts and
as we listen, a theme or single message begins to naturally develop. For
this album that point came when we were about 11 songs in! We were sitting
in the studio talking through all the songs we’d recorded the past three
weeks and trying to figure out what was missing. We really loved all the
songs but there still wasn’t that one song that holds the rest together.
Jack told me “Leeland, go through your computer and phone to make sure we
haven’t forgotten about any good song ideas. Now is the time to find them
if we have any.” We were only scheduled to record 13 songs so these last
two spots were very important and we didn’t have any time to waste either.
So as I was sifting through these song ideas on my computer (which can be
very monotonous, because there are plenty of ideas that at the time might
have seemed great but in hindsight are just ok.) and about 45 min later I
came across the idea for “Great Awakening”. Then it all came back to me
like it was yesterday. I had recorded it at my brother’s house on his
piano in the living room. He had a book he was reading at the time called
“The Patriots’ Handbook” written by a friend of ours Doctor Grant. The
book has a lot of really cool stories about different Godly men and women
in American History. I came across a chapter about the Great Awakening
revival in the 1700’s. In the chapter they talked about George Whitfield
and Jonathan Edwards, the two preachers of this revival. Then right there
in the middle of the chapter was a poem about the Great Awakening by
Lawrence Tribble, written in the 1700’s. The words just jumped off the
page to me. So I immediately ran to the piano and the melody just fell
out. It probably was one of the easiest melodies that I’ve ever written.
The lyrics were so good that they just inspired a great melody that
quickly! It was cool. I jumped up, ran into the studio, sang the idea for
everyone and they loved it. At first I thought the song needed more than
just the poem’s lyric over and over but Paul Moak, our producer, said “No
guys, it could be a really cool A,B type of format. Just write a cool B
part that we go into and then back into part A with the poem’s lyrics.”
And that was it. We figured the poem was so wordy that all we needed was
an anthem chant that people could sing out. It worked! The song ended up
becoming the title track because it just says in one song what all the
other songs are saying but in a more over arching way. I believe God is
resurrecting 200 yr old lyrics because America is ready for another move
of God in our nation again.