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  • Writer's pictureSteven Stewart

"Do Not Be Afraid"

Updated: Nov 24, 2018

The first time I heard the song "Do Not Be Afraid," I knew that if I ever recorded a Christmas album that I would have to include it. It felt like the perfect companion to the gorgeous "Mary, Did You Know." The lyrics have such a powerful message of comfort and peace that is just as relevant today as it was when it was first delivered. "You will get through all that's asked of you... God is bending near, and He will stay. Do not be afraid."

Do Not Be Afraid (Music and Lyrics: Scott Krippayne and Jeff Peabody) 1.

How fast did you fly, oh, Gabriel?

Winging your way to a worn out world?

What was it like as an angel?

Sharing the plan with one shaken girl?

What did you say?  

* "Do not be afraid.  Do not be afraid.

You will get through all that's asked of you.

Heaven's child is here.  There's no need to fear.

God is bending near and He will stay.

Do not be afraid."

2. How bright did you shine in that moment

breaking the news that could finally be told?

How did you reach someone dreaming?

Speaking to Joseph's agonized soul?

Only one thing to say,

* "Do not be afraid.  Do not be afraid.

You will get through all that's asked of you.

Heaven's child is here.  There's no need to fear.

God is bending near and He will stay

Do not be afraid."

# And on that midnight.  How loud did you sing?

Filling up the air with a thundering choir.

How did you settle the shepherds?

Replacing fear with a burning desire.

You said,

"Do not be afraid.  Do not be afraid.

You will get through all that's asked of you.

Heaven's child is here.  There's no room for fear

Peace and goodwill have won the day.

A perfect love will drive your fears away.

Do not be afraid Vocals: Steven Stewart Backing Vocals: Eeppi Ursin Piano: Lenni-Kalle Taipale Bass: Juho Kivivuori (Frigg) Violin/ Viola: Laura Airola Cello: Riikka Lampinen String Arrangement: Jyri Sariola

Song Intro: Luke 1:30-33

Before this song plays on my album, on Track 2 my son Toivo Stewart reads Luke 1:30-33 over the music to "Angels We Have Heard on High" to set the tone for the song. The angel Gabriel is delivering tidings of great joy to Mary, but also comforting and giving strength to her because even though the journey will be miraculous and wonderful, he knows it will not be easy. Video Visuals When I decided that "Do Not Be Afraid" would be the first single from the album, I thought about what I wanted the video to look like. My sister's daughter, Isabella Zentner, is a talented graphic artist. I had just seen some of her unfinished drawings and I loved the organic feel of the hand drawn characters which didn't erase the sketch lines. I asked Izzy to listen to an early piano-vocal demo of the song and illustrate it in that style. She exceeded my expectations. There is such a beautiful humanity to Gabriel, Mary, and Joseph in her drawings that makes the Christmas story so much more immediate and real.

Behind the Song

The song is written by Scott Krippayne and Jeff Peabody from Scott's timelessly perfect album "Not So Silent Night" (Both of his holiday albums are on repeat throughout the season in our home every year. Scott is not only a tremendous songwriter, but a soulful singer who also does incredibly moving arrangements that transform the familiar carols into truly extraordinary new songs. (He also wrote "All Roads Lead Home" and did the piano arrangement for "O Come O Come Emmanuel" on this album. If you haven't guessed, I am a huge fan and so humbled to be given his blessing to put my heart into his songs.)

Eeppi Ursin (Solo Artist, Club for Five) is the voice of the angelic choir. A one woman gospel choir. She wrote and recorded all of those gorgeous harmonies that really lets the listener live vicariously to imagine what the shepherds heard from heavenly hosts praising and glorifying the birth of Christ.

Jeannie Gould transcribed the piano sheet music which kickstarted this project from dream to reality. When I could play and sing the song with the piano music, it helped me find the right dynamics of the piece to be able to really tell the story correctly. (And it always helps to have real sheet music to give to the studio musicians, no matter how good they are are improv. To me, Scott's original piano arrangement was perfect, so I didn't want to risk messing with what worked so well.

My brother Scott Stewart designed the single artwork. Because the title of song isn't obviously Christmas, we needed to find an image that would help someone browsing an online music service to immediately understand that this was a Christmas song about the angel Gabriel. I love it and how Scott infused the angel with elements from the album cover as well. (Fun fact... Gabriel is my middle son's middle name. We love the angel Gabriel)

"Do Not Be Afraid" Single Cover Artwork

The single mix is a bit different than the album. It has additional percussion and fx. I hope that in listening to this song, you find the blessed comfort and peace the angel Gabriel promised. "Do Not Be Afraid."

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