Below are the songs of Third Day's eighth studio album Revelation (2008), explained by the men of Third Day themselves. Read what the songs mean to them, why they wrote them, and how they feel when they perform these songs. (The name before the explanation is the Third Day member who is explaining, not necessarily the person who wrote the song.)
This is Who I Am :
Mac Powell: "We have songs that talk about being in a place where you’re ready to make a change, a time of prayer where you are asking God to fix things in your life, and then there’s that process of taking what God has done for you and moving forward. That’s definitely one of the ‘early stage process’ songs [saying] ‘This is the person I am. These are the things that I’ll be in my life, but I know I’ve still got some growing to do and some changing to do in my life.’ It’s really a prayer to God saying, ‘This is who I am. You know who I am, take me and change me and make me into someone who is so much more, so much better than I am now.’”
Slow Down :
Tai Anderson: “This is one of our favorite songs and it was one of Howard’s favorite songs, but he wasn’t willing to just let it go. He kept on pushing. The song started out in the past tense and the chorus and said “You taught me to slow down. You taught me to turn around. You taught me to be still, and know that you’re God.’ He challenged that. He said, ‘You know, here’s the problem with Christian music for me: You guys always talk about how you used to have problems and you met God and now your life is better and it’s all in the past tense. Guess what? I don’t care. I don’t care because I’m going through something right now and I can’t relate because you already have your life figured out!’ He challenged that and it’s a sting, but we pushed through and the song moved to the present tense. It moved the struggle to the present tense and it became more of a conversation."
Call My Name :
David Carr: “ ‘Call My Name’ is one of the first ones we worked on in Charlottesville in the initial writing session and it’s one that I kind of gravitated to immediately mainly because of the lyric. Working with Howard Benson took it to the next level. As a drummer it challenged me because it’s very easy for me to want to make my parts complex, but the drum part on it is so basic, it just works really well. Plus I just think there’s an energy in the way Mac sings the bridge. I’ve played it for a few people and I say, ‘Just don’t talk to me until you get past the bridge, I want you to hear this.’ It’s so amazing the way he belts it out and everyone I’ve played it for totally agrees. I’m really anxious for people to hear it. They are going to be blown away with just the vocal performance and the passion behind what is actually a pretty simple lyric. It’s crying out to God and calling out his name.
Run to You :
Mac: “I remember coming up with the idea at a festival somewhere in the Midwest. I was taking a nap and it was almost like you wake up in a dream. For some reason I just started singing these words. It’s about realizing that you’re in a place where you really need help. So I wrote the song and I remember thinking I want it to be very much like ‘Consuming Fire,’ but more up-to-date and more up tempo. When we actually recorded the song, we thought it would be great to have Lacy from Flyleaf sing on it. So she came in and just did an awesome job. I remember being in the studio listening to her sing and we reached the end of the song, and we didn’t know exactly what she was going to do, and Tai and I were saying ‘Just cry out to God. Just pray as you’re singing. Just let it be your cry out to God.’ She did and she sounded amazing on it!”
Mac: “’Revelation’ is evidence that we didn’t want to settle with this record. When we recorded the album, we had plenty of songs to make the album, but we knew that we still wanted a couple more ideas. ‘Revelation’ was one of those prayer songs that I had written. A lot of people see the title of it and assume they know what it’s about, but it’s not really having to do with finding a revelation as with needing one. I’m really praying ‘God, I’m at this crossroad in my life and I genuinely don’t know what to do.’ It’s asking God to give guidance in that time of question.”
Tai: “‘Otherside’ is a pretty unique track for us. It’s kind of a jam song. This is exactly what I wanted this song to be and I knew it could be. Mac started doing his ‘Mac thing’ and coming up with a great melody and even came up with the idea of ‘take me to the other side.’ It’s a very positive, upbeat thing. As Christians the idea of eternity is something that we should be excited about. It’s pretty clear already that this song is going to be a staple in our live shows.
Let Me Love You :
David: "This is one of the first tunes we worked on in our initial songwriting sessions. One of the things that I love about the way we all have written over the years--and especially the way Mac writes--is he can take a very simple idea and put so much meaning behind it in the way he sings it and the way it’s delivered. I think things in life that are believable are the simple things. There’s this profoundness in the simplicity, so the love song theme is something that applies to our father in heaven and our relationships here on earth. Just to say, ‘Come on, let me love you now, let me hold you through the storms, I’ll keep you safe and warm.’ You know we all have storms in our lives and we all have times of questioning and times of really being in a dark place, but I hear the heart of God speaking in that song.”
I Will Always Be True :
Mac: “This song is about someone who’s never going to leave--someone who, no matter what the situation is whether good or bad, is going to always be there for you. We as husbands want to be that person to our wives and to our families and to each other, to our friends and our extended family. It’s really just a commitment and a promise saying ‘I’ll always be true, I’ll always be there for you.’”
Born Again :
Mac: “I was doing some chores at home. I was sitting down on the floor folding laundry, and I had that song in my head. All of a sudden it just came out--a full first verse literally. It wasn’t like I said a line and worked out a few other lines, it literally just came out. I just spoke it and sang it and it scared me, because that never happens. So I got up and I was running around the house, throwing stuff everywhere looking for a pen and a piece of paper and [my wife] Aimee says, ‘What are you doing?’ and I said, ‘I’ve got this song and I’ve got to write it down right now.’
Tai: “That’s a very Christian expression, ‘born again,’ but it’s become a cliché also, but this song, like “Revelation”, sort of digs beneath the cliché. It’s actually what born again is supposed to mean, that experience and that feeling of getting a fresh start. What a great sentiment! I think that’s a sentiment and a feeling that people need to experience.”
Give Love :
Mark Lee: “Every time we go into the studio, there’s one song--and a lot of times it’s something we record towards the very end--that just becomes a really special moment. It’s like we’ve already made all the musical statements that we need to make and then we kind of just have fun with one and I think “Give Love” is that song on the record. I somehow wound up playing a banjo on it. I have no idea where that came from. I really like the lyric of that song, just the sentiment of that, just the idea that God’s giving us this love and it’s kind of our job to give it in return. It just keeps going around. It’s that whole ‘pay it forward idea.’ It’s a real fun song.”
Mac: “As I talk about this record being a prayer kind of record where you come to a place where you know you need to change, you seek God, you change and then you move on, I think ‘Ready’ is definitely one of those songs where you’re moving. You’ve seen all of the stuff, you’re taking it in, you’ve prayed and you think you heard from God and you think you are really ready to make a change not only in your personal life, but in lives around you and in your own world, in your community. So that’s definitely a song to motivate you to get up and do something about life and about your faith.”