The album is called ‘Pines’ by A Fine Frenzy (the pseudonym for Alison Sudol, one of the songwriters who inspired me to first start writing). I listened to this record non-stop, daily during Fall 2012 – Spring 2013. It was literally therapy. I would walk around campus with my headphones on listening to this album. I would both cry and dance to this music, sometimes at the same time. Now before you think I’m crazy, I’ll assure you that I’m not. This is completely normal … at least for me hahaha! Maybe there is a record that means this much to you too.


There is a song on this album called “Riversong.” I think this song could be overlooked, because it’s kind of slow and about 7 minutes long. Or maybe because it’s kind of sad. But to me, it’s hopeful. It made me feel like maybe I wasn’t crazy for feeling how I was feeling, and I remember being completely mesmerized by the lyrics and what she was saying.

“I laid down by the river’s edge
I laid down wondering where it led
I laid down by the river’s edge
And I woke up in a river bed

There were flowers in my hair
River flowers floating everywhere
And all the fishes came and kissed my feet
Dear old fishes, they said to me

They said oh, we could love you
But we are not yet what you want
Because oh, anyone could love you
You’ve got to find where you belong

Now the boulders
I know they heard me cry
But they were stone-faced
And they stood aside
So I went on at the river’s pace
With my eyes closed, I thought I heard them say

They said oh, we could love you
But we are not yet what you want
Because oh, we would only crush you
You’ve got to find where you belong”

From my perspective, this song is about that journey to “find your place.” Maybe it’s in the wake of a broken relationship. Or maybe it’s because of a move, or a professional situation. Maybe you’re working so hard to be included in that “special club” in your career or community, and you realize that no matter how hard you try, it’s not enough.

When she sings “oh, we could love you / But we are not yet what you want / Because oh, we would only crush you / You’ve got to find where you belong,” it seems clear to me that she is alluding to waiting for what’s right, rather than settling for instant gratification. Sure, anyone could “love” you. But what is real love. Real respect. And WHY do we want that love? These are all questions that come to mind when I think about this. Is it to feed our ego? To be “loved and admired (or envied?)” by a large group of people, or is it to really reach out and care for those in our path with real love and respect. Because there is a difference between superficial, ego-boosting love and real, truly sacrificial love. And we were created to love and be loved.

I struggle with this all the time. But I am someone who believes in a God who loves us unconditionally. We are already accepted. That, of course, does not mean that we will get whatever we want. I really think that, sometimes, the answer is “no” because there is something better on the way. Something real, and something right.

Maybe it’s because I feel everything super deeply, or maybe it’s because I live next to a river now (which you can read more about here)- but I love this song, and am grateful for people who write deep lyrics that make us think. Also, Alison Sudol, if you plan to release new music or tour any time soon: CAN I PLEASE OPEN FOR YOU? I would die. ;p