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Writing Songs That Shape Culture

Cory Asbury

0:38:10 · Songwriting

Cory shares about how honesty with God during our most difficult seasons can birth songs that shape culture.

Writing from God’s Heart

  • “I love songwriting because it’s creating something out of nothing. God spoke creation into existence.” We get to speak things into existence.”
  • When Cory first started writing he was insecure about what people would think, and was swayed by people’s opinions. Then he realized he doesn’t care about what anyone says, because he wanted to write what God was putting in his heart.
  • Throw anxiety aside and write what the Lord gives you.

Honesty in songwriting

  • “Honesty in songwriting is the most important thing. If it’s not born in a place of honesty in your heart I guarantee you it will fall to the ground. If it’s not alive in you and you’re trying to write that song it will go nowhere.”
  • If you’ve dealt with something difficult, write about that. Reckless Love was birthed out of a difficult time in Cory’s life. Ask God “Where were you, what were you doing, what were you saying in this time?” And all of a sudden there’s going to be a song that comes out of that place. 
  • 3 months after Cory’s daughter was born she stopped breathing in her crib. Cory began to wrestle with the question of “Are You good?” He was finally being honest with God because he grew up thinking he couldn’t ask God those questions.
  • “Like diamonds formed deep in the earth under deep pressure and heat, beauty and songs are born when you actually go through fire and testing. Those songs will last forever.”

Shifting Culture with Songwriting

  • Bands like The Beatles were shaping the culture of history in their day, not the legislation. Out of that came the Jesus Movement, which later became the Vineyard Movement. 
  • “A song could shape and change an entire generation.”
  • The Father is saying, “I wish someone would write something that told them what I’m actually like.” 
  • Matthew 13:52 “And he said to them, ‘Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.’”
  • Songs are the most powerful force on the face of the planet. 
  • Songs can have the same association as smells. Scientists will say that our noses are the strongest senses for our memories. Songs are the same way. 
  • “The beauty of artists of song writers is we get to give words to the things that are common to all men. The feeling of loss, of joy, the feeling of seeing your newborn child for the first time.”

Songwriting Tips

  • Inspiration often strikes at the most inopportune times. You have to seize that moment no matter what. 
  • Stream of consciousness: When you start writing about everything that is coming to your head. It gets everything out without filters. Let it come out as it needs to come out. Out of this, one line will stick, and it will become the bedrock of a song.
  • Sing gibberish to make a melody, don’t be afraid or feel like it has to be perfect right off the back. Just get it out and put it on paper, and fix it afterwards.