Francesca Battistelli: A song-by-song rundown of her 'If We're Honest' album

Sunday 13th April 2014

Nashville's FRANCESCA BATTISTELLI talks us through the tracks on her album 'If We're Honest' released on 22nd April 2014

Francesca Battistelli
Francesca Battistelli

"Write Your Story"
This is a song about being a blank slate and letting your life be open to whatever story God wants to write. I think for so many of us it's easy to feel like we have to come up with this great plan for how we're going to use the gifts God gives us for him, but I really feel like he just wants our willingness to be used however he sees fit. I've always tried to live my life with an open hand, trusting God to take me where he wants to go. Hopefully this song encourages others to hand God the pen of their lives.

"When The Crazy Kicks In"
This song is so my life right now. I have a toddler and a preschooler and they wake up before the sun most days. It's so easy to get overwhelmed by the day-to-day craziness if we don't take time to spend with the Lord first. I hope it's a song a lot of parents will relate to. It is definitely a good reminder to me to prioritize those moments with the Lord before I begin to get pulled in every direction.

"He Knows My Name"
I wrote "He Knows My Name" with Seth Mosley and Mia Fieldes. I love this song. To me, it's an anthem. How many of us feel defined by what people say about us? But God calls us by name. His words for us are: chosen, free, forgiven, beautiful, wanted, loved. THAT is the only voice we should be listening to.

I hope "Unusual" becomes an anthem for young people. I wanted to write a song for that 16-year-old girl who loves God and wants to stand out from the crowd but is facing a lot of pressure to conform to the world. This is the song she puts on in her car on the way to school to be encouraged before she walks into the mission field.

"Choose To Love"
This song is my life. It can be so easy to hide from people. People can hurt us more than almost anything else, and being in community with humans is a risk. But it's a risk God has called us to take. As a natural introvert, I tend to want to avoid getting close with people, so I have to make a conscious choice to invest into friendships and relationships and not be afraid of what's real. So this song is my challenge to myself.and hopefully to you too!

"Run To Jesus"
This was one of those songs that was started [by someone else] and then brought to me. They asked if I'd like to write on it and finish it to make it mine. The song was simple, but I loved it. We all need to be reminded that when everything seems dark or we're feeling disappointed, Jesus is always, always, always there, like a North Star.

"Find Rest"
This was one of the first songs we wrote for this record. Jared Anderson is a worship leader from Colorado who my producer Ian introduced me to. We all got together at Ian's place and Jared started singing this chorus. Ian and I looked at each other and just said, "YES." I feel honoured to have written on this song because it's really special. My favourite worship songs are the ones I turn on when I'm overwhelmed and need to find a quiet place with the Lord. I hope "Find Rest" will be that for people.

"If We're Honest"
The title track is my favourite song on the album. I believe there is a lie prevalent in the Church that tells us, whatever you do, don't show anyone your brokenness. God calls us to live a life of authenticity and honesty with him, with ourselves, and with each other. If we can tear down the walls we've built to hide behind, we can find healing. That's what this song is about. It came from a very true place in my life, and writing it with two great friends, Jeff Pardo and Molly Reed, made it even more meaningful.

"Giants Fall"
This song began with a 14-year-old girl named Mallory. When she was 11 she started an organization that has raised over $20,000 to help children in Uganda. She's an amazing girl who had a vision to do something for the Kingdom of God that was bigger than herself. She reached out to me about singing at a benefit luncheon, and in her email she said, "People are telling me I'm crazy to even write you, but if I've learned anything the past few years, it's that God is able to do so much more than I could ever imagine if I would just step out in faith and ask." I was so moved by her faith that a few days later I wrote this song for her (again with Jeff Pardo and Molly Reed). The song is a reminder that no matter how small the gifts or talents you are holding in your hands might seem, if God is able to use a tiny stone to make Goliath fall, he can do absolutely anything. All it takes is mustard seed sized faith.

"Hands Of God" (ftg Matt Hammitt)
I wrote "Hands Of God" with Seth Mosley and Matt Hammitt from Sanctus Real. We were talking about our lives and careers and the turns they've taken. In particular, we were thinking about how amazing it is to have those people who are there throughout the ups and downs and we wanted to write a song to honour them. In particular I think of a group of women in the industry who get together monthly to pray for and encourage each other. They are the hands of God to me in so many ways.

"We Are The Kingdom
This was one of the first songs we wrote for this album, and I've loved it from the very beginning. It's a real anthemic song celebrating who God is and who he has made us to be, his Kingdom here on earth - his city on a hill, shining for the world. I hope this song will encourage and inspire a generation to look beyond the fear and doubt the world tries to throw our way and to live for him, boldly!

Deluxe Edition Tracks

"Holy Spirit"
This has been one of my favourite worship songs since I heard Bryan and Katie Torwalt sing it a year or so ago. It is such an anointed song and I am honoured to get to cover it on this record. Leading people in worship is my true heartbeat and this song is an incredible moment every night we get to play it on tour. Can't wait for you to hear it!

"Keeping Score"
I wrote this song for my friends who were walking through a very difficult time in their marriage. The husband had done some pretty awful things, but he was incredibly broken and ready for God to change him. It's been two years now, and God has worked so much restoration. It's amazing to me that this song is just now getting heard, and what a testimony that their marriage is healed by the time they will ever hear this song! It's so easy to think that God has a scorecard of our life, and that he is ticking off things in the "good" and "bad" columns. But thankfully he doesn't work that way. Hallelujah, he's not keeping score.

"I Am Home" Ian Eskelin, Tony Wood and I wrote this song the same day we finished "When The Crazy Kicks In", also, ironically enough, on my fourth wedding anniversary. I am SO glad it made the record! It's a fun song that sort of tells the story of my life. It's so true that home is comprised of people, not places. Anywhere I get to be with my husband and kids is home.

This song is almost a lullaby. It's a beautiful prayer asking for God's hand to guide us through the day. It was an honour to write and perform this song with All Sons And Daughters. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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