Let It Go

  1. Let it Go Kirk Franklin 5:01

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This powerful, soul baring song is a rap/mix using the 1984 song “Shout” by Tears For Fears as the backing track.  Only Kirk Franklin would be bold enough to release this song…as a “gospel song” no less…which, in essense, it is.

The story behind this song is quite deep and I’ve taken narrative from several sources to cobble together the following writeup.  It’s long, but worth the read…but let me start with the lyrics to the song so you can read along as you listen the first time through.

Let It Go

My mama gave me up when I was four years old
She didn’t destroy my body but she killed my soul
Now it’s cold ’cause I’m sleeping in my back seat
Understand the spirit’s willing but my flesh is weak
Let me speak, I never had a chance to dream
Ten years old finding love in dirty magazines
Miss December you remember I bought you twice
Now I’m thirty plus and still paying the price
Had a sister that I barely knew
Kind of got separated by the age of two
Same mama different daddy so we couldn’t fake it
I saw my sister’s daddy beat her in the tub naked
Take it serious the demons in the man’s mind
The same daddy with rape charges now he’s doing time
Crack followed and like daddy prison thirteen years
Haven’t her but she’s traded tears for fears

Shout. Shout
Let it all out
These are the things I can do without
So come on
I’m talking to you
So come on

Sex was how I made it through
Without someone to teach you love what else is there to do?
So where I’m from they call you gay and say you ain’t a man
Show them you ain’t no punk
Get all the girls you can
A simple plan that still haunts me even now today
Back to seventeen and got a baby on the way
No G.E.D. all I see is failure in my eyes
If you listening then remember I apologize
I was raised falling in the church
Made mistakes heard the Lord’s calling in the church
After service on the parking lot getting high
Wanted to be accepted so bad I was willing to die
Even tried to tell the pastor but he couldn’t see
Years of low self esteem and insecurities
Church taught me how to shout and how to speak in tongues
But preacher teach me how to live now when the tongue is done, help me

See I’m. See I’m
Soul surviver. Soul survivor
World survivor
I just wanna let it go
World survivor, soul survivor
Just wanna let it go

Jesus please on my knees can’t you hear my crying
You said to put it in your hands and lord I’m really trying
You wasn’t lying when you said you’d reap what you sow
Like that night mama died
Hard to let it go
You adopted me
Cared for me
And changed my name
But I cursed at you
Lied to you
Left your pain
It’s not strange I can still see it in my head
To know for hours you were laying in that bed
If you listening to this record,
If it’s day our night
If my mama still living treat your mama right
Don’t be like me and let that moment slip away
And be careful cause you can’t take back what you say
To my real mama if you listening I’m letting it go
To my father I forgive you ’cause you didn’t know
The pain was preparation for my destiny
And one more thing lord let my son be a better man than me

As the minor keys of the piano trickle in the background at the beginning of the heart wrenching “Let It Go,” Franklin raps about the trials and tribulations that have marked his short 35 years. From tales of being abandoned by his mother at the age of four and being separated from his sister to his battles with low self-esteem and pornography, “Let It Go” has the aura of Tupac backed by the wisdom of a minister.

In his book “Church Boy” published in 1999, Franklin detailed his difficult childhood where he was abandoned by his parents, abused and took solace in pornography and sexual promiscuity. Why record a song about those struggles now (2005) he asked rhetorically? He responds, “What’s funny is that the idea for that song came in 1999 but I didn’t have an album to put it on.  I was in New York and God just kind of dumped that idea for that song. But I couldn’t do that song on my 2002 ‘Rebirth’ album because it would have stuck out like a sore thumb.”

In December 2005, Kirk Franklin appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show to talk openly and honestly about his battle with pornography.  The song “Let It Go” seems to benchmark a moving on from the issues of his youth. “The song IS part of the healing,” he admits. “The healing may take a lifetime, totally, but doing this song was the beginning of that process.

“Let It Go” also talks about other areas of emotional damage from the childhood abandonment and sexual promiscuity which still has a knock-on affect today.

In the early days of his ministry, Kirk Franklin has confessed that he was living a double life, playing gospel music on stage and in church but behind the scene he was sleeping around. He even fathered a child outside of wedlock. He’s not proud of these things and I wondered what impact his sin had on his ministry. How could he think about doing gospel concerts when his personal life was in such a mess? He speaks honestly, “There were many times that I would wonder, how somebody as jacked up as me could be in full time ministry? I guess because God saw 2006 and saw that it would become part of a testimony that would help other men; that would help other women. It was a very painful season. It was a very convicting season and I just really felt condemned a lot. And just really struggled. That was a major struggle for my life and I’m just very grateful that his grace and his blood doesn’t count me out. He’s more patient with me than I am with myself.”

 

2 thoughts on “Let It Go”

  1. Wow- that’s heavy. Best testimony is realness. It’s is good to hear a gospel song that’s really deep.

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