God Sees Me
Genesis 16:13; Psalm 139
Taylor Swift’s Evermore
The story of God Sees Me
This song is an expression of Psalm 139 and the inescapable
presence of El Roi, 'the God who sees me' from Genesis 16.
This chapter in Genesis tells Hagar’s story, the maid servant who had given Abraham an illegitimate son, Ishmael. After fleeing the family, rejected and unwanted, an angel of the Lord met Hagar in the wilderness and restored to her a sense of purpose, hope, and a promise for her future. Hagar's response was to call the Lord by this name, El Roi, saying 'I have now seen the God who sees me.' This has become one of my favourite names for God in the Bible.
I wanted listeners to experience this in the music, the feeling of being seen, surrounded and wrapped up by the presence of God. We used a lot of melodic loops on acoustic guitar and a soundscape of warm swelling synths and strings. At the time of writing and recording, I'd been listening a lot to Taylor Swift's new folk album, Evermore, and was really captivated by her use of simple melodic loops interacting with her vocals. In the end, this came through in aspects of the production.
I drew lyrical inspiration from The Passion Translation of the psalm, which is very descriptive and prompts personal reflection. The song builds to the joyful refrain in the bridge,
‘how wonderful I’ll never get away from you!’