I've Been Here Before

Album: Floodplain (2015)

Songfacts®:

  • This song finds Sara Groves reflecting on the intense anxiety that used to plague her when she started trying to write songs for an album. She recalled to NewReleaseToday: "Every time I sat down to write, I didn't know where to start. My life felt like a closet full of hockey gear, and every time I would open the closet, the gear would fall out on top of me. That was my state of mind, and I was easily overwhelmed. I had a whole afternoon to write a song, and I was staring a blank page wondering why I couldn't do better."

    "A big part of my process in dealing with my anxiety and depression has been getting counseling," Groves continued. "Both my mom and my therapist have shared this same phrase with me over and over again: 'Sara, have you been here before?' and 'what happened?' Those have been the questions they've asked me. As I sat there to write, I thought, I'd been here before, and I thought about what happened."

    "My friend tells me that she takes a call from me about this same time every album where I have tears and anxiety about song writing and feeling overwhelmed," she added. "I was sitting at my piano and realized that those were song lyrics: 'I've been here before.' It was delightful when I figured out how to close the loop by declaring in the third verse, 'I've been here before, quiet in a pasture, honey on my tongue, resting by still water, I've been here before, feasting at a table in a barren land, saying I'll never doubt, never doubt again.'"
  • Asked what the takeaway message in the song is, Groves replied: "I was excited when the song made the full loop of saying, 'I'll never doubt again' and realized that 'I've been here before' as well, saying that I'd never doubt and here I am again. It's about looking back on the stories of God's faithfulness."

    "In the second verse I deal with my depression, being wrapped up in a blanket with a lot of rocks in my backpack and not being able to move and go where I want to, thinking I can do better than this. Still He's leading me by still waters, even when I'm grossly incompetent. The themes I've been circling around are 'who will save me from this body of death?' and 'Praise be to God in Jesus Christ.' What does that look like?"

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Van Dyke ParksSongwriter Interviews

U2, Carly Simon, Joanna Newsom, Brian Wilson and Fiona Apple have all gone to Van Dyke Parks to make their songs exceptional.

Ian Anderson of Jethro TullSongwriter Interviews

The flautist frontman talks about touring with Led Zeppelin, his contribution to "Hotel California", and how he may have done the first MTV Unplugged.

Director Mark Pellington ("Jeremy," "Best Of You")Song Writing

Director Mark Pellington on Pearl Jam's "Jeremy," and music videos he made for U2, Jon Bon Jovi and Imagine Dragons.

Dave MasonSongwriter Interviews

Dave reveals the inspiration for "Feelin' Alright" and explains how the first song he ever wrote became the biggest hit for his band Traffic.

Grammar In LyricsMusic Quiz

Lyrics don't always follow the rules of grammar. Can you spot the ones that don't?

Chris TomlinSongwriter Interviews

The king of Christian worship music explains talks about writing songs for troubled times.