Let It Go

by John Riggio

This song is available as a single.

It happens to everyone. Someone says or does something to hurt us. So we bottle up the hurt and the anger, thinking "I'll NEVER forgive that person," as if forgiving them would be letting them off the hook somehow.

We've got it backwards. We don't forgive to set the offending party free, although that can play a part if the offender is sorry for their actions. No, we forgive to set ourselves free. Forgiving people have a better shot at being happy and enjoying life, and it can bring healing to relationships. Unforgiveness is a breeding ground for bitterness, a poor disposition, and even health issues.

This song has a syncopated feel, and there are some tricky rhythms. In particular, measures 23 and 24 are tough. What we did in the studio to learn these measures was to speak them before we sang them. John just clapped his hands in time and we spoke the phrase "Life's too short to hold a grudge, and I want to be free" over and over until it was ingrained in our singers. Then, once the music kicked in, they did great. It's a basic rehearsal technique, but it works well.

At 29, the song has a breakdown section complete with drum loop and gospel styling. It's a lot of fun, so encourage your singers to clap along. For movement, just stepping side to side would look good during this section. Part 2, which is optional, starts at measure 33 and continues to the end. If you prefer, you can have part 1 sing this line and either continue (letting a second group sing part 1 at its next entrance), or switching back to part 1 where it feels natural to keep it in unison. Another good idea would be to have everyone sing part 2 and bring in a soloist to sing part 1. The soloist could even do some improvising starting at measure 29 and using either pop and/or gospel stylizing.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.