Step By Step

Album: There You Are Again (2002)

Songfacts®:

  • This song tells the story of a man who repents for his sins, coming back to Jesus after losing his way and finding himself in jail. His journey proceeds step by step as his gives up his vices for a shot at redemption.

    Most songs of this nature are personal testimonials, but Livingston Taylor (brother of James) was writing in character. "I've never been in jail," he said in a Songfacts interview. "You try to write an empathetic character that people can identify with and then you put a melody to it and that's what happens."

    Many of Taylor's songs have spiritual themes, but they are part of his narratives and not written with any agenda.
  • Taylor moved to Massachusetts when he got older, but he was raised in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where worship music is much more expressive. He was inspired to write this song after noting the distinctions between the subdued worship style in Massachusetts versus what he remembered in North Carolina.
  • Taylor considers this song of his best work. "Lyrically, 'Step By Step' is a fantastic song," he told Songfacts. "You can go to virtually any song on There You Are Again, and every one is just exceptionally written. That was a very, very strong period for me."

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