Music Discussions

Before You Go

before-you-go

Before You Go – Lewis Capaldi

Main Point:  Even when we wrestle with dark thoughts, we have hope in a loving God who has been good to us.

Vital Info Before You Get Started: The following info should help you contextualize this very popular song so you can have a great discussion about it with your kids.

  • IMPORTANT NOTE TO PARENTS: We at The Source for Youth Ministry believe that certain elements in our youth culture can serve as good discussion jump starters with students. At the same time, we would never hope to introduce teens to a negative influence that they haven’t already encountered. This balance is a delicate one. In our experience most teens, churched and unchurched, keep pretty current with music and music videos like this one. Thanks to YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music, the most popular music videos and songs are free to access only a click away. If you decide to use this, do so by catering it to fit your family’s needs.
  • Scotland born Lewis Capaldi was the youngest of the four childre. He discovered his love for music at the age of 4, when he performed at a holiday camp. His early love for music and performing live fostered determination to be a professional musician by the time he was 12.
  • Capaldi often performed at pubs and venues, building his career by working on original tracks, recording himself, and releasing his songs on YouTube. The success of his single Bruises led to mainstream recognition, and he was soon signed by Virgin EMI Records and Capitol Records.
  • After releasing two EPs, he announced his debut album, Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent, which was released in May of 2019.

Introducing the Song – Say Something Like This:  Speaking of the song, Lewis revealed, It’s about suicide…not necessarily the act of it, but, like, after it happens, the aftermath of it. And…people kind of blaming themselves or starting to think, you know, ‘What could I have done to kinda help that person?’ or whatever. Capaldi wrote the song based on events that happened in his own family. When I was five or six…my aunt committed suicide and I just remember recently speaking to my mom about her feelings, about going through that sort of rigmarole in your head of like, you know, ‘What could I have done here? Could I have done anything?’

Song Lyrics – Before You Go

I fell by the wayside like everyone else
I hate you, I hate you, I hate you but I was just kidding myself
Our every moment, I start to replace
‘Cause now that they’re gone, all I hear are the words that I needed to say

When you hurt under the surface
Like troubled water running cold
Well, time can heal but this won’t

So, before you go
Was there something I could’ve said
To make your heart beat better?
If only I’d have known you had a storm to weather
So, before you go
Was there something I could’ve said
To make it all stop hurting?
It kills me how your mind can make you feel so worthless
So, before you go

Was never the right time, whenever you called
Went little by little by little until there was nothing at all
Our every moment, I start to replay
But all I can think about is seeing that look on your face

When you hurt under the surface
Like troubled water running cold
Well, time can heal but this won’t

So, before you go
Was there something I could’ve said
To make your heart beat better?
If only I’d have known you had a storm to weather
So, before you go
Was there something I could’ve said
To make it all stop hurting?
It kills me how your mind can make you feel so worthless
So, before you go

Would we be better off by now
If I’d have let my walls come down?
Maybe, I guess we’ll never know
You know, you know

So, before you go
Was there something I could’ve said
To make your heart beat better?
If only I’d have known you had a storm to weather
So, before you go
Was there something I could’ve said
To make it all stop hurting?
It kills me how your mind can make you feel so worthless
So, before you go

Three Questions to Ask in the Car (with thoughts to dive deeper with your kids):

Q: Why do you think suicide is such a big issue among teenagers?
A:  A pretty simple question that will hopefully get them talking on the topic.

Q:  Why do you think it’s hard for people who are feeling depressed to talk about it? 
A:  Again, keeps it from directly being personal but gives insight into how they are thinking about depression and those who deal with it.

Q:  Have you ever thought about hurting yourself or taking your own life?
A:  As a parent, this is a question worth asking. It’s risky, but you’ll know by how they respond if they have been in a place of darkness. Be bold and take the risk.

Where to Take It from Here:  Wherever it feels natural. If these questions lead to a longer discussion on the topic, wonderful!  (There is a guide just after this paragraph that helps you do just that.)  If your kids are barely uttering grunts, don’t get discouraged – the next time it feels right, try out another song.  Keep engaging them

For Deeper Discussion: 
(If your kids seem into diving in deeper and looking at what the Bible has to say on the subject, the following discussion guide can help take you there.)

Want help getting your teenager engaged in conversation? CLICK HERE for a helpful article from our “Parenting Help” page providing you with 3 Essentials to Talking with Today’s Teens.

Transition Statement – Say Something Like This:  This song focuses on a subject that has likely impacted all of us in some way. Lewis Capaldi asks some difficult questions as he wrestles with the question of how to be helpful to someone who is contemplating suicide. It’s possible some of us here right now have struggled with these dark thoughts, so let’s take some time and talk about this song and then look and see what the Bible says that might be helpful.    

Discussion Questions:

  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Lewis Capaldi is from Scotland, so let’s hear a few of you do your best Scottish accent.
  2. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS:Obviously this is going to be a heavy discussion, but let’s start by having a few of us share about how suicide has impacted our lives. (Allow them to share from their own lives how they’ve encountered it, likely through friends but it’s possible someone might share something more personal)
  3. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: As you read through the lyrics, what kinds of things do you think Lewis Capaldi might have been feeling as he wrote this song?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: When you hear the words, If only I’d have known you had a storm to weather, describe both your emotions and the thoughts that come to mind.
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS:Look at the part of the song that says; Was never the right time, whenever you called, Went little by little by little until there was nothing at all. Our every moment, I start to replay. But all I can think about is seeing that look on your face. What are some things that you observe when you read these lyrics?
  2. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What do you think he means when he sings, It kills me how your mind can make you feel so worthless?

Read the following passage:

Verses: Psalm 13:

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.

  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Reading through Psalm 13, what are some things you observe from this passage?
  2. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS:Who would admit at some point they have felt like David, the writer of this Psalm? Who might be willing to share a bit about that time in your life when you related to this Psalm?
  3. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Why do you think it’s so easy for you and I to think we have been forgotten by God and maybe He is even hiding from us?
  4. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What do you think David means when he writes, Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes?
  5. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: When someone takes their own life, often it’s because they hit a wall that they think they will never overcome. When you look at verses three and four, how do you think David is feeling in these moments?
  6. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: David articulates his despair in his writing. Have you had someone share their darkness with you? How did you respond?
  7. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: In verse 5, David declares that despite his overwhelming feelings of defeat, he will continue to trust in the Lord. He reminds himself the Lord has saved him and has been good. How do you think remembering God’s goodness can help us in times of darkness?

Wrap Up – Say Something Like This:
It is no secret that suicide is the second leading cause of death among teenagers. Almost every teenager either knows someone who has struggled with suicidal thoughts or has walked into that darkness themselves. In this song, Lewis Capaldi is moved by his mother asking if there was something she could have done to prevent her sister (Lewis’ aunt) from taking her own life. While it’s extremely difficult for someone to keep someone from suicide in many situations, there are some things we can do. First, it is absolutely okay to ask them about it. Sometimes we fear that bringing it up might put the idea in their mind, but that is simply not true. The question “hey, you seem pretty down and I wanted to ask, have you thought about hurting yourself or even taking your own life?” Many people don’t speak out about their suicidal thoughts out of fear of rejection, and inviting them to talk about it has been proven to reduce psychological pain. Second, listen to them. Give them your attention. The song lyric, “If I only knew you had a storm to weather” is powerful because it conveys the regret about not knowing what she was going through. Take the time to listen to someone who is hurting, giving them your attention and trying to offer hope in any way possible. Finally, get them help. Take them directly to someone who can help them, get them to commit toward help, and consider asking them to commit to not hurting themselves and get help.

Maybe right now there’s someone who comes to mind that you know might be dealing with dark thoughts, depression, and maybe even contemplating suicide. Take a moment and pray for them, asking Jesus to be their hope and to give you an opportunity to care for and listen to them.

(Pause and give them a quiet moment to mediate and pray silently.)

As you think now about your own life, how has God been good to you? What are five things that He has done in your life that are worth celebrating? What are things that you can point to as signs of how good God is? Take a few moments and talk through those things with Him.

(Pause and give them a few moments to pray silently.)

Loved ones, Even when we wrestle with dark thoughts, we have hope in a loving God who has been good to us. We have the privilege of sharing that hope with others in this dark world. Let’s be people who project the hope of Jesus Christ in all circumstances, and people who listen to others and care enough to ask the hard questions. God has been good to us, and there are many things to celebrate. Let us turn our eyes to Him and ask Him to continue to help us see past the darkness and to fix our eyes on Him no matter what we walk through.

CLOSE IN PRAYER

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Rob Chagdes

Rob Chagdes is one of the pastors at Prairie Lakes Church in northern Iowa. In the years since he met Jesus as a sixteen year old, Rob has spent his life working to raise up the next generation to love God and invite others into His unending story. He spends most of his free time with his wife Leslie, their three amazing daughters, and their energetic dog Jedi. You can reach Rob at chagdeswrites@gmail.com

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