Journal, Studio, Tour

Stories Behind The Songs: I Won’t Let You Go

September 28, 2016 — Jon Foreman

There ain't no strength that's strong enough that could tear this love apart

Last year was a really tough year for me. This album (WHERE THE LIGHT SHINES THROUGH) was, in many ways, an attempt to find a path towards hope, armed with the flashlight of melody and lyric. “I Won’t Let You Go” is a song that faces the darkness head on.

I tried to sing this one from the other side- from the inside of love, from the conclusion of the story. If the author of time and space, the one who breathed my soul into existence, were to sing me a song about trust, it might go something like this, “I love you and I won’t let you go.” I believe that where you put your trust begins to define you. This is a song about learning to trust in a transcendent love that will never leave me.

You want peace but there’s war in your head.

Maybe that’s where life is born. When our façades are torn. Pain gives birth to the promise ahead.

Categories: Journal, Studio, Tour

  • Sara G

    Its my favorite song because it’s one of those that came right on time. When I was weak, when I was hurting and lost. When I didn’t know why the one I’m supposed to put my faith in felt so far away from me. That last line in this entry especially. I made art to meditate on God’s promise. It’s still in progress (like me. like you.)

    • Gene Dascher

      This is an awesome piece of art! Any chance that you’ll sell prints when it is complete? I’d love a copy to hang in my home.

  • Marcos Valles

    Definitely my favorite on the new album! Inspiring lyrics and great melody. Excited to see you in Boston!

  • Sportsphotogirl

    One of my most favorite from this album. The lyrics resonates with my soul. Thanks.

  • Helen

    Praying for you all the time Jon – I hope you’re hearing that song sung back to you from God more and more through this journey ♡ Thank you for sharing, it’s precious ♡

  • Scott Cernich

    This might be my favorite song on the new record. Hearing it live brought tears to my eyes again just like it did the first time I heard it when I got the album. As Jon described it live, it is a song about unconditional love. As I stood there at the concert with my son in my arms singing with me, I was completely overtaken with emotion of thankfulness and gratitude. “There ain’t no darkness strong enough that could tear you out from my heart. There ain’t no strength that’s strong enough that could tear this live apart.” Love that lyric.

  • greeklily11

    Trust and Belief go hand in hand…Our 23 yr old son as a birthday present took me to the KC show.. I just turned 64 Sept 14. We moved from Tacoma,Wa were we would hear More than Fine on Spirit 105.3 Seattle. His older bro had cancer 3 xs over 9 years.. When M hear More than Fine he would be jammed in our mini van on the way to and from school..M went home Nov 6 2003 and as a video of his life we opened with More than Fine…. He as your song says would blow into pieces everyday… He lived 80 years in 12 1/2 yrs… We have only missed you guys once since we have lived here moving in 2004. I had to leave at 1020p sad sad sad I could not stay for the whole night being I have to get up at 415a to go to work in surgery…To breath in Reliant K (first time ) and 45 min of you guys was like gold to me ! What a great night…. Only wish you would come thru on the Weekend… I come see the whole show… Blessings… You are all so much fun….. may I be able to live and breath..Oh… the time I was sick and we rode to joplin u guys were there to support the Bridge.. and we were able to meet you and my camera didn’t work… whoa I’m done…Keep on xoxoxoxoxo!!

  • Chip Maurer

    Great song. As my wife and I approach 30 years together, I think of her every time I hear it. See you in Boston in a few weeks!

  • Steve Allin

    Once again you have written a song that touches the soul. Songs like Where I Belong, 24, Only Hope, or On Fire trigger deep emotions for me … I think because they are such an honest expression of your love for God. Thank you for 15 years of inspiration. Look forward to seeing you guys in Hollywood!

  • Emily

    I absolutely loved this song! Thank you so much!

  • Lydia Ellen Hicks

    This one is my favore on the album. Gives me hope that I too can find a path towards hope. Thanks Jon!

  • Carol Miller

    Thank you for writing this song. So many of your songs bring us closer to God. “I Won’t Let You Go”
    is my favorite on the new album. It helps us in a gentle yet strong way on our journey. “Dare you to Move” helps too only by grabbing you by the jugular so that you have no choice but to listen to what Yahweh is saying.

  • Pragya Tripathi

    Thank you for sharing Jon. Love this song so much, definitely a favourite on the album. These lyrics resonate with me so much, thanks for the inspiration

  • Karen Pennison McWhorter

    ❤️ Thanks for sharing this with us!! Since the first time I heard it, it was my favorite song on the album….as tears streamed down my face….I knew it was God’s message to me! Thank you for sharing music that touches my soul. ❤️

  • Heidi

    The first time I heard this song I had tears streaming down my face. I felt like this song was written from the Father to my very soul. I lost my son when I was 20 weeks pregnant over 2 years ago and have felt like God abandoned us. Each word of this song describes my pain and frustration. The words ” I won’t let you go” where exactly what my hurting heart needed to hear.

  • Ron Dunbar

    jon, thanks again for your honesty. i have many brothers and sisters in Christ who are praying not only for you but for your band-mates and crew. for sure, the Lord WILL NOT let you or any of His children go!. great song, fantastic album, and quite frankly, i would have no idea how to top this one!!. God bless you all. traveling mercies my friends!.

  • Nick Reitenour

    This is a song I’ve listened to a hundred times and it never gets old. It has the same personality as Fix You by Coldplay. Starts off somber and then explodes with hope and life. Thanks so much for the incredible song!

  • Shawn Newman

    As I mentioned to my sister – “This song is straight up miraculous.” That’s really the only way I can explain it.

  • John Trenter

    Personally, I have not heard a worship song like this for a long long time. Several folks have commented on hearing this and crying, which was also my experience. I also liked very much the condition in the song “if.” One must trust and believe for this mercy and grace. People often go to works as the condition or to nothing at all, but this is for me the Biblical evangelical position of faith alone. Works will and must follow if there is true faith. Thanks for this great song Jon. I loved that it was on your setlist when we saw you guys live at the Myth in the Twin Cities.

  • Jeff Cagwin

    LOVE this song. It is ministering powerfully to our family in a hard time. Thank you, Jon!

  • Evan

    For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    Romans 8:38‭-‬39 NIV

  • Jozi Woods

    one of my favorite songs on the album. gives me chills when i listen to it

  • Andy

    One of my favorite songs you guys have ever made! Would love to see a live video of this 🙂

    • Andy

      Just watched the live video from New York and it was amazing! Thankyou so much guys!

  • I’m losing my mom to a brain disease. Boy does this song hit home! Grateful for the promises and hope “The Great Mystery” has filled my heart with.

  • David Dabney

    I started listening to your music in some really dark times and God used a lot of your songs to make the pain bearable. I’m sure you hear that kind of stuff all the time, but I’m sure there are plenty of people who you’ll never meet, who have wept tears of relief hearing this song and many others, because somehow the music breaks through when words alone can’t. Thank you for sharing your pain with all of us, and I’m looking forward to meeting you some day on the other side.

  • Todd White

    Love you guys…awesome concert it Cbus last week. Your music blesses me, comforts me and challenges me. Thank you for sharing so much from the depth of your soul and your walk with God. If we have lived long enough, we call all related to having our facades worn…thank God that if we tune into His plan, we can truly see that pain give birth to the promise ahead! Praying for everyone in the band and those who support you and your families. Also, saw Dr. John Perkins on 10/8 and he sends his warmest regards to you all as well…

  • Victoria Zacharias

    At first I couldn’t listen to this song without crying. So thankful for this song. I’ve had a few difficult years myself but the beautiful tapestry of God’s Love is revealing itself 🙂 Your music really has been like a soundtrack to my wee little life starting 10 years ago! Thanks guys!

  • My birthday’s September 28, I’ll count this one as your birthday gift Jon…

    Thank you Jon. ?

  • Kevin Suarez

    Jon I would like to thank you personally, as far as being personal online goes, haha for you and the crew to put together real, quality music that whispers, screams, and breaths inspiration for all generations.

    My brother Patrick has meet you and has said that you all are amazing and unique people. I have seen you preform 3 times at ‘Soulfest’ and have been extremely impressed. My mom and I sing your music in the house, (you should hear my mom sing, she truly has an outstanding voice) And she also has high praise for all of your art.
    Thank you for singing and standing for what is good- John Perkins said it right, love is the final fight. Keep fighting, a day will come where the sun shines through all cloud and doubt.

  • Ashley

    After having two miscarriages in 6 months, losing 3 children total, this song immediately brought me to that time and how God helped me get through it. I wish I’d had this song throughout the last year but I’m so glad to have it now. You guys have been my favorite band since you started, thank you!

  • Chelsea Hamilton

    I really love this song!!! My boss was a total jerk to me for a year and half, plus some things of the past I went through… God used this song to lift me up and to teach me to forgive and forget. My boss is no longer that way towards me, but I still carry pain and what not. Every time I hear it I am reminded of how much God cares for us! 🙂

  • Becky Peraza

    After losing my husband very suddenly & unexpectedly 7 1/2 months ago, pain is almost all I feel these days. Most days I feel like it was just yesterday, time hasn’t really changed the way I feel or the pain. Maybe pain does give birth to the promise ahead. I don’t know why this happened but I trust God has a plan for me.

  • Robert Lemmon

    This song spoke to me like no other. I’ve been divorced over two years after a 10 year marriage of being married to an addict. So much hurt and still so much pain. Hearing the lyrics let the pain of the past go is so true. It’s hard but until you do you’ll never be able to move forward. Love you guys. Hope to see you in Seattle.

    • Daniella

      Robert – I have only just heard this song today, never heard it before. And it has been on repeat in my headphones since. I had to suss out the meaning behind the song…

      I saw your comment. It seems it was ministering to us both in similar ways, a year apart. I have just had to walk away from my relationship with my fiancé for similar reasons. The absolute hardest decision I have ever made. Although my relationship wasn’t 10 years, the hurt and pain that comes from a relationship with an addict no matter what the length of time, cuts so deep. I’m going to keep this song on repeat (like other similar ones) until the hurt starts to be washed away. I hope you have since reached a similar place 🙂

  • Melissa R

    I heard this song at your concert in the fall and loved it at the time. In the meantime, my mother who was given 3 months to live in 2013, has succeeded in fighting a terminal cancer diagnosis for over 3 years. Since Thanksgiving, she has finally experiencing a downward turn and the cancer is starting to win. She is still fighting, although we only occasionally see glimpses of her former self, which makes every day a struggle to watch. She has been a lifelong Christian, but I sense in her such a struggle to stay on this earth even though things are difficult. I will see her tomorrow and want to somehow reassure her of what your song says – that regardless of her desire to fight, I hope she can experience peace in that Jesus won’t let her go…

  • IfYouBuildItThey

    Maybe this is what the soul says all of life until death finally loses a grip, but man it’s so helpful to be reminded from “the inside of love.” An intimate creator, the Word as flesh, this pain meaningful, if we could learn to trust Him somehow. I agree, at least tied for the best Switchfoot song of all time so far.

  • michael otitoju

    Admitting God’s love is one of the toughest statements to embrace, considering the realities of our world. The questions never stop coming to me… Thanks Switchfoot.

  • Patrick Maguire

    just found this song….eyes have little wet things welling up…sending a text to my niece…whose life has not been so happy…does not really want to be here most of the time….pretty sure this was written for folks like her……at 16 the world probably looks a little confusing…praying she hears the voice inside this song…

  • Karen

    I just had to write and share my story. I have been an alcoholic for 2 decades. I am 53 so I am not a pup. My disease got progressively worse. I was spiritually dead. I knew I needed to get help and admit that I had no control over this any longer. I had a difficult time accepting that Jesus could see me through this. After 5 days of detox I was ready for Vietnam to face my fight in a rehab. I was being transported to rehab on the 91 freeway feeling scared and uncertain about if this would work. I was feeling shame and scared about my future. As I stared out the window thinking these thoughts, this song came on the radio. It played at the exact moment I needed to hear it. I gave it over to Jesus and allowed him to forgive my past and trusted him for my healing but that song will forever be a love song from him to me.


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