When we first heard Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” we were inspired by its message. In a world where we too often talk about our differences, we have at least one thing in common. We all struggle. Not in the same way, nor at the same level, but we all want a fighting chance. And we all share in one gift: The will to make the most of our lives. To take what we’ve been given and turn it into something better could be considered the sentient measuring stick of success. But to do so seldom is simple and more often requires we fight. Not against each other. But against the current threatening to drown the ambition in us.
There is tremendous purpose in struggle. It is when the struggle becomes so fierce that we must fight to swim or sink. John Newton, who penned “Amazing Grace,” worked on a slave trader ship and condoned inhuman atrocities. It was when his ship was on the verge of being torn apart in a violent storm when he called out for Grace. When his feet were once again planted on firm soil he determined to change. His covenant was written into these words,
“I once was lost, but now I’m found; was blind, but now I see.”
Grace is the defining moment when we face and fight a monster poised to define us or destroy us.
This song and video for us was a struggle, but a beautifully defining one. We chose the Scottish culture to depict the dichotomy between Grace and struggle. Who else is tough enough and yet delicate enough to don a kilt in battle? And the Scottish pipe and drum are the ultimate conveyors of melody and cadence. One represents Grace, the other the indomitable fight. Our dream was to film one of the most iconic castles on the Earth, Eilean Donan Castle in Dornie, Scotland.
Grace somehow made this video possible. We had to postpone our trip to Scotland several times, and when we could no longer postpone we had to leap in faith because just before we left everything had fallen through. It wasn’t until we were in the moment and had to let go of our pride and anxiety when everything Gracefully came together. We want to give special props to Paul. When the drone capturing our aerial footage took a nose dive into the frigid waters surrounding Eilean Donan, he took one for the team and jumped in after it, heroically saving the scenes you are seeing today!
From our youth we’ve been taught that when faced with insurmountable, unthinkable odds, we cheerfully do all that lies within our power, and then stand still with the utmost assurance to let fate, destiny, karma, or to let God do the rest. It isn’t easy, but every time we have an opportunity to practice it we get a little better. We’ve found, as John Newton discovered, the closer we get to the furnace of the affliction the more our obstinance and pride burns off revealing the best way to win a fight in ourselves is to let Grace fight the battle instead.
We recognize that this video is far less important than a fight for one’s life. We hope this music will serve as an anthem for those that are in the fight of their lives. We have people close to us who inspire us every day with their grace in the face of such a struggle. This video is dedicated to them: The superheroes in our lives that don’t wear capes, but wear a smile under villainous pressure — those that have been through so many defining moments that they are intimately acquainted with Grace and know it be close cousins with hope. They know that when they can’t fully understand the purpose of a struggle, they instead recognize that knowing there is a purpose is enough. We pray that “Grace will bring them safety through.”
Finally, we feel grateful and we’d like to say, with John Newton, “When we’ve been [here] ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun, we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we’d first begun.”
Amazing Grace (traditional) – lyrics by John Newton
Scotland The Brave (traditional)
Piano Guys arrangement produced by Steven Sharp Nelson
Arranged by Al van der Beek & Steven Sharp Nelson
Reocorded and performed by
Jon Schmidt: Piano
Al van der Beek: percussion, vocal textures
Steven Sharp Nelson: cello, percussion, piano
Scottish drum and pipe recorded by members of the Wasatch & District Pipe Band:
Daniel Schneider, William Gunn, Michael Postma, Ross Morrill, Andrew Morrill, Justin Howland, Erik Abbott & Nicholas Lawyer
Performed in the video by
Video filmed & produced by Paul Anderson & Shaye Scott
Edited by Shaye Scott
Special Thanks to:
Russ Parker & Mike Postma of the Wasatch & District Pipe Band http://www.wdpb.org/
Eilean Donan Castle and its very friendly and helpful lads and lasses!
“If you don’t believe in God, have enough faith that if there is a God, He believes in you.”