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We’ll never know if Horatio Spafford thought that the lyrics he penned over 150 years ago would still be sung today, but we know for certain that he never would have foreseen his song being sung from the lips of a 40-year old country singer who was praying for a miracle.
Spafford penned the gut-wrenching lyrics after a tragic series of events. The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 ruined him financially, and a shipwreck took the lives of all four of his daughters. His wife was traveling with their daughters on that fateful day, but survived. While en route to pick up his grieving wife, Spafford wrote the now famous lyrics to “It Is Well With My Soul.”
In the song, Spafford pours out his soul to God and declares that no matter what trials may come his way, he knows that “it is well with my soul.” Similar words have been spoken by Joey Feek who near the time of her performance, was fighting a difficult cancer battle. The country singer and her husband went into the studio just one week before starting aggressive cancer treatments in 2015 to record a project that Joey has wanted to do for a long time.
“…..an album of nothing but old traditional hymns,” Rory wrote. “Since this is a project that has been a dream of hers to do since she was very young, I let her choose all the songs. Most of the ones she chose I knew fairly well, and some I’m still getting familiar with. Songs like… ‘It Is Well With My Soul’, ‘Old Rugged Cross’, ‘I Surrender All’, ‘How Great Thou Art’, ‘He Touched Me’ and a many others.”
Rory confessed that he didn’t grow up on hymns or gospel music, but learned to love them because of his relationship with God and with Joey.
“As a songwriter, I’ve also fallen in love with how simple, yet brilliant, the lyrics and melodies to these songs are. They say so much, with so little.”
Joey+Rory’s album, Hymns That Are Important To Us, was released on February 12, 2016.
Sadly, Joey passed away shortly after the album’s release, on March 4, 2016.
Listen to Joey Feek sing “It Is Well” in the video below.