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The songs of
"So This Is Freedom"

Inspirations for writing each song. I hope you find something that touches your heart.

Come Awake

lyrics by Tanya Low. music by Tanya Low & Jeremiah Low

When covid hit and put a lot of things to "sleep," our house was coming awake, after a season of great pain... My son the drummer picked up an acoustic guitar for the first time and was writing beautiful parts within weeks. One cadence especially caught my soul every time, calling the unhealed places in me with its hopeful repetition. It refreshed me every time and told me to anticipate something new. I sang melodies over it, but words eluded me. Like soft drizzle on dry soil, consistent.  The acoustic cadence eventually morphed into this more electric arrangement.  Along with Isaiah 52 and 49, his acoustic part provided the spiritual base for this song emerging in my heart.  Thank you, son!

So This is Freedom

written by Tanya Low

Some negative words had been said to me.  I was grieved.  Condemnation via unhealthy criticism has been a nemesis for just about everyone.  This day, it's me again.  Condemnation and I were "going another round" as I hiked and sang to it with a simultaneous ache of words and melody... "You don't seem satisfied up until you see me cry.  That's the way our interactions go"...etc.)  When I made it up to the precipice with a breathtaking view... truth and hope were easier to see.  Hours passed as I laid down the lies I had been telling myself.  They came untangled and off my back. I sang to myself, "So THIS is freedom..."  I sang the vocal part and words into my little recorder up there on the mountain, and the second verse on the way down... walking, thinking of the journey to discover more than we think we know.  Ran upstairs to my piano and captured the instrumental parts I heard in my head.  Seriously, one of those that just poured through me and helped me process some hard life stuff.  The freedom feels so good I just want to invite EVERYONE to feel this way.  So a lot of the lyrics welcome others in...

Ouray Colorado
Love Love Love
written by Tanya Low

No one said you can't steal from yourself. I was thinking of a song I wrote that "Simple Truth," (my siblings and I) recorded some 22 years ago. It's called "The Artist". Check it out. "The Artist" expresses need... and a choice to embrace or push away love....Similar to what I wanted to write in a fresh song. One lyric from "The Artist" is "can't see past the bitter cup to the resurrection..." Much like a line in "Love Love Love..." "Broken, I want to avoid your gaze." I wanted a new take on expressing the tension and risk, also the healing power when we turn and look into the face of love. There was a pre-programmed beat on this little Casio keyboard I had 23 years ago. It started me writing "The Artist." Musically, Love Love Love wanted to be rhythm-driven. I sat on the floor, let that beat in my head direct me, and "Love Love Love" became a morph of memories and visions, pieces of old songs stuck in a filing cabinet never finished...and beautiful scriptures. It turned out quite different than "The Artist"... took on its own personality. When Susan Zaffiro (my producer David's wife) heard my piano version, she said "I hear James Bond." David added the edgy, guitar-driven style you hear, and Dan Needham took the drums to an innovative place. Both guitar and drums breathed another dimension into it...a dimension which, to me, mirrors the words "unshakable, unbreakable, mighty love."

Your Time

written by Tanya Low & David Zaffiro

From David Zaffiro

Aki was an amazing dog. He was the first dog that (unbeknownst to me), I really fell in love with. My wife Susan picked him out. His name originally was Bull. He was a rescue, if you will, somewhere between a Blue Heeler Springer with just a touch of Pit Bull. That dog would never come; no no no… in the process of trying to train him in earlier months, the one command that stuck was “sit”.

If on any given moment or just a lapse of judgment I would open the front door to let in the sunshine and take it all in, I’d hear the scratches against the hardwood floors as Aki would bolt into freedom.


One day in his quest for independence, I called out, “Aki come…” Of course, nothing happened.  “AKI COME!!” I screamed. Then I thought, let me try this, “Aki…sit”, and he broke his stride and sat! Amazing… I couldn’t believe my eyes! I walked over; he looked at me as I grabbed him by his collar and I thought, wow, what dog does this? And I escorted him back to the house.


So let me fast forward about eleven years. Aki had now reached senior status, and he was running the show. I mean… it’s like, every morning he was there at the top of the stairs to greet me; left paw extended waiting for me to shake it, as in to say, “If you don’t, access denied buddy - you’re not getting into your control room.” We would spend every day together. He would supervise and accommodate our guests as I produced and mixed. I never thought it would actually end, but it did.


One morning he left us. He was gone - just like that.


That was the day I was scheduled to write with Tanya Low. We had met a few months prior at a Centricity writing event. Tanya was very gracious and asked if I would like to cancel our meeting considering Aki’s sudden death, but I said no, no….this will be good for me. It will give me something to do, and that was the day she and I wrote Your Time, which is about Aki.


Tanya is an extraordinary artist. She has brought out some of the things in me that I didn’t even know were there, and I got to discover them with her. There are people from time to time that you write with and it’s just easy; she is one of those in my life for sure.


Tanya Low

Love Changes

written by Tanya Low

I was watching fallout, feeling deeply the basic need people have to be loved. SO easy to misjudge. Or not to notice. If we're honest, we all do this sometimes....step on other people. It surged within my heart, this insistent drumbeat that people need to be respected. Not for being like someone else, but for our very own, unique DNA. That passion shot me into this song. 
I wrote it away from an instrument, because I wanted the piano, etc. simple and sitting under the words, not driving them. I kept the singing rhythmic and punchy. Wanted lyrics to stand out. Some songs are written in one shebang, not this one. I wrote it in pieces when I had a thought... in my kitchen, in the car, everywhere, meditated on the truth. Found it a VERY helpful reminder in daily relationships. Sang into my little voice recorder, wrote it on note cards... whatever was handy. Then I took some sessions to hammer it all out and put puzzle pieces together before even touching the piano. Later, that was fun to come up with. I'll always be singing it to myself... in the kitchen, in the car... just like it was written. Because I, like anyone else, am not immune to stepping on somebody else in the course of an ordinary day. Coming from someone who, of course, has also been stepped on. Thank God for the power of love!

Oak Trees in Cement

written by Tanya Low

During a time I spent with my daughter in New York City, hope was pushing up through the ground and had come to the surface for her... after some really difficult things. It was a really special time. A couple of years later, I was reminiscing about that trip. I thought about miracles I've seen and the miracles that she was now in the midst of on a mission to Haiti.  Then I saw/felt a vision of a large oak tree planted in the cement in New York.  That's how it felt. A display of splendor and life, not cracking the pavement, because the roots went straight down.  I felt it. That we are being established, rooted in new and good things, being led to hope like those roots to water. In those city streets, that would be impossible. Supernatural.  I sat down at the piano and I saw water surging through the roots and the veins of the trees.. many trees.  The piano melodies were a "painting"' of that...the feeling of the water surging up and down a tree that "never should have been planted there," but was thriving anyway. The "Narnia" kind of background parts came later and further mirrored this feeling; I immersed myself in what it is to be a thriving tree and the parts flowed out into the recording. Just kind of in the moment and unplanned.

Oak Trees In Cement
Lay My Guard Down

Lay My Guard Down

written by Tanya Low

This was just me at my piano, pouring out easy keyboard parts and vocals. Simple and straightforward gut expression, just being raw. I had a fresh awareness of how much I needed the touch of God's Spirit, not just my own power.  I really can't say how I wrote this song. Just a big, honest prayer poured out of me. In those moments, I just simply write the words and piano chords in my notebook.

While the Waves Pound

written by Tanya Low

I wrote this song when I felt attacked on every side. Completely overwhelmed, weary, discouragement just trying to sink me. On top of that, I was hurt, feeling misunderstood and unseen. I got alone to just get some peace. I saw and literally felt a vision of being in the middle of a boat-sinking storm. Held. Rocking like I was a baby down in the cavity of the boat. I stayed in that feeling, let the peace just wash over me. Breathed. How does this feel, to be so loved, so protected in the heart of all the chaos? The love coming at me was so strong... I sang it out loud, the first line of this song. Got up, the keyboard melted into the melody and lyrics...seemed that it should just be a simple "slow dance."

Later, my son Jeremiah and I were jamming in the basement. I played the verse of this song and his expert drumming added a new dimension. When it came to the chorus, I just sang it out, not thinking about it really. Just freed by the rhythm surrounding me, freed by the peace the song was giving... the rest of the song was birthed and I scrambled to write it out... 

While The Waves Pound
Ember On Fire

Ember on Fire

written by Tanya Low & David Zaffiro

For a long time, I waited and tuned my ears for just the right melody. For my sweet daughter, Ember, it had to be special. Little did I know... the melody was written and patiently waiting for me to find it.  We chatted on "sacred" camping chairs in his garage.  David Zaffiro picked up his acoustic and said, "Tell me what you think of this..." this savored, timeless melody and instrumental he wrote years ago, seeking the words... Moved, I said, "That's my daughter Ember!" And the lyrics were born. Some of these words came in winds of vision for the future and are yet to be unveiled and understood. SO honored, David. Thank you. I think there's a lot here that everyone feels for their children. I love how you collaborated with others to make this song "grow," like embers caught in the wind. Beautiful. Ember, you are caught in God's breath, and you shine so brightly! I love you so much, forever. 

Hallelujah Rain

written by Tanya Low

My amazing husband Dallas and I have been married almost 24 years. (No love songs made it on the time!) When our first beautiful girl Bethlehem was about to emerge into the world, I grunted at Dallas, "Hit play!" And a full choir singing the Hallelujah Chorus washed over the hospital room. This first little punkin' splashed all over our hearts and gave us more understanding not just of her, but of people in general. Beth is a life-force, perceptive and a wise "old soul" from the beginning. I love her nurturing spirit. For a season growing up, she faced some big storms, but she came through all of that refracting even more light. As she sat on the living room couch one day during her senior year in high school, she said "People are like rain. They come to earth, do their thing and water it, then go back up again." I asked her if I could use that thought someday in a song. Little did I know... it was foreshadowing a song I would write for her. She was about to give her life to serving others and to missions.

A couple months later, as we got ready to send our first baby out of the nest, I thought about how in the world I could do this, handle the emotion of it all. She was, after all, going across the ocean. I was compelled to write a song, and I wanted to tell her how much she means to me... some of what I see in her, how she makes me feel. I thought of what she said about rain that day in the living room...and the day she was born, the "Hallelujah Chorus." I sat at the piano and this began to come out simultaneously, lead vocal line, words and music. I felt I needed the comfort of those keys, helping me through this grief and celebration process. I kept pressing in to the idea of the water cycle, painting feelings through that. This song took weeks to complete, but most of it was formed that day, words and chords hastily scratched on paper before more came to me.

Hallelujah rain


written by Tanya Low

She was hurt, and wouldn't talk to me. I needed a way to process, to tell her what I felt.  I got down on the floor in a private space to say in a song what she wouldn't let me say to her.  I didn't understand, but now I knew that shifts in the world had shed light on places my friend had hidden well from me.  Our pain ran deeper than both of us.

I wrote thoughts on index cards. My emotions were too big to contain on one page at this point. I knew I needed to lay them down and find the higher ground of love and truth. I laid those cards on the floor and seeing them from above made me feel objective. I let them come together like surgery, making sense out of the chaos inside. With the music I wanted to slow down...instead of reacting to angry words, responding with love and openness. My longing was a connection. So it's a bit of a "lullaby." As it took shape, it became not just a song for her, but a song for my own defensiveness, for others around me who were angry or guarded. The music comes second to the words in this song.

Pain on Beauty

written by Tanya Low

I wanted this to be like a talk between my spirit and my soul, a beautiful lullaby. That's kind of my specialty on piano.  So I just really listened to myself, what we all long to hear when we're worn from pain and the melodies came out of my fingers. I felt-wrote this song as I remembered the feeling I had listening to Cindy Morgan's "How Could I Ask for More?"  And Sara Grove's "Fireflies and Songs" and "Roll to the Middle,"  Jess Ray's "What Have we Found Ourselves In" and Steffanny Gretzinger's "No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus." I often start with a pen and paper, sometimes index cards with ideas all over the floor.  I was a little blurry-eyed.  So yes, feeling the pain. But things became clear as comfort rolled over me through this song. String parts were later written by Jim Frazier and so beautifully performed 

by David Davidson and friends.  Love how they spread more emotion all over the words!

Pain on Beauty

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