Song of the Week

Song of the Week: “Twenty-Four”

I still remember the first time I listened to “Twenty-Four” on Switchfoot’s album, The Beautiful Letdown. I was 18 at the time and 24 seemed far in the distance. However, as 25 creeps closer and closer (now, a few hours away) the song has grown deeper in meaning.

Of “Twenty-Four,” frontman Jon Foreman has said, “I wrote this song near the end of my 24th year on this planet. Wherever we run, wherever the sun finds us when he rises, we remain stuck with ourselves. That can be overwhelming. Sometimes I feel like my soul is polluted with politicians, each with a different point of view. With all 24 of them in disagreement, each voice is yelling to be heard. And so I am divided against myself. I feel that I am a hypocrite until I am one, when all of the yelling inside of me dies down. I’ve heard that the truth will set you free. That’s what I’m living for: freedom of spirit. I find unity and peace in none of the diversions that this world offers. But I’ve seen glimpses of truth and that’s where I want to run.”

It was just two years ago tomorrow that I was scheduled to interview Switchfoot drummer Chad Butler — on my birthday. I always dreamed of interviewing notable bands, but never imagined it becoming a reality. I’m grateful the first band I interviewed for You Sing, I Write was Switchfoot.

In an interview I had with Foreman two years ago, I asked him about his songwriting process and his answer stuck out to me:

“My inspiration for each song is the specific place where I’m at in life. I’ve heard that books come from locations and I think songs are the same way. Songs can be a little bit more ethereal. So maybe it’s a little bit more of an emotional, spiritual place than a physical location. For me, most of my songs come from the problems in my life. When I’m happy I hang out with my friends and go surfing. That’s not when you write a song. You write a song when you’re depressed, angry and bitter and you’re trying to figure out the world.”

I guess what I’m saying in this lengthy blog post is, I never expected all the things I have accomplished by the age of 24. While my “job” isn’t the typical 9-5 and took a while for family members to accept, life is never what you originally thought it would be, it’s even better when you follow through with things that give it meaning. For me, it is writing about music and I’m just lucky I’ve been able to meet some of my favorite musicians in the process. As the hours close, in Jon Foreman’s words: at the “end of my 24th year on this planet” I find comfort in 25. Only bigger and better things can develop from here, right?

Watch the video for “Twenty-Four” below and take a good listen to the words.


Related Links:
Q&A; with Jon Foreman
Q&A; with Chad Butler of Switchfoot
Audio Interview with Tim Foreman of Switchfoot
Switchfoot Raise Over $67,000 on Tour Benefiting Habitat for Humanity