Sing What You Know – Shaun Groves And His Ragamuffin Melodies

As I’ve been writing and collaborating for my next album, I am reminded that writing music is tough.
It sucks. I have been struggling for melodies, fighting for words that penetrate the heart. Wrestling with the music…
And then I remember I can only write, I can only sing, what I know.

What is real. What is truth. What I have lived.

My friend, fellow Compassion Blogger, and silver haired freak, Shaun Groves, knows this. Lives this.
I was blessed to be able to go to Uganda with Shaun a few years ago and literally saw his heart beating in the shape of the unloved.
For them and with them.
The forgotten.
His new album, Third World Symphony,is a reflection of this truth.

I mean, listen to his words from his song, No Better:

There’s no justice here
It’s just as well you know
We’ve all got hell to pay
And grace pays all we owe

Lay me down with the liars
Brawlers, thieves and backbiters
Lay me down with the others
‘Cause I’m no better

This is the stuff that my generation not only needs to be singing, but needs to be living.
It’s funny. Shaun consistently makes light of his self by calling himself a soft rock star.
Lay me down with the liars
Brawlers, thieves and backbiters
Lay me down with the others
‘Cause I’m no better
There is nothing soft about that.
Listen. This is not a sponsored post.
He is not paying me for this.
Shaun is a ragamuffin among ragamuffins and his music is necessary in our lives.
So I’m asking you to go give this fellow ragamuffin some love.

Our world is better with these melodies filling her.


Author loswhit

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  • Bought the record back when he was kickstarting it…it’s a BRILLIANT record. Shaun’s best. Period.

  • I’ve been listening to this every day for weeks. It awakens my soul. Period.

  • Thanks, Los. When I grow up I wanna blog just like you ; )

    And, you know, if you ever need a co-writer…

    Thanks, man.

  • I don’t know that I’ll BUT it, but I will BUY it :-).

  • Wow, that’s incredible. I’m not super familiar with Shaun, but I think I need to be. I’m a missionary and just spent the summer in Sierra Leone, and it sounds like this record might bring some clarity to the thoughts that have been jumbled in my mind for a few weeks now. Going to go pick that one up.

  • By the way, come to Minneapolis already, sheesh!

  • Same deal…bought it during Kickstarter and so so so glad…amazing worship music that speaks to my heart and awakens me again each time I listen.

  • Misty

    “we’ve all got hell to pay
    and grace pays all we owe” love that!
    I’ll be picking the album up! thanks!

  • My wife bought this album for a gift to me. I love this album. Awake My Soul is out of this world awesome.

  • I love this album! Unfortunately, my pre-ordered copy hasn’t shown up yet, but I still listen to it every day through Shaun’s generous links.

  • Kim S.

    I love Shaun’s music!! There are very few singers out there that I could listen to over and over again, and continuously buy their music and their music still penetrate the heart. He is one of those few singers.

  • I’ve been reading his blog almost as long as yours. LOVE how he writes. Thanks for reminding me he had a new CD, I went and bought it.

  • Marcelo

    The songs are brilliant! I love Shaun Groves’ music and I will buy it… but I’m not sure about using a cold-war term for a 21st century album.

    • I went back and forth on that myself, Marcelo. I wound up chatting with some formerly sponsored Compassion “kids” about it, getting their opinions. They’re pastors, social workers, teachers, etc today. I asked them if it was offensive at all and they unanimously said they liked using the term. One pastor from Uganda said he liked that the album “redeemed the label third world.” It’s still a label people in the first world still use – though, you’re right, it’s outdated.

  • Ron

    Hi Carlos, I just came to this site thru a friend of mine… and I like what it says and means. I like singing what I know. I had a bit of an epiphany a few years ago… a small voice says to me, ” Ron, love your music. I give you the notes, those are my gifts to you… but, all the rests belong to me.” The power of God is not in the music, it’s in the silence where it isn’t.

    Thot I would share that with you… I have myself wrapped around it. Nice blog… take care!

  • Jay

    Another comment from someone who got the CD from Kickstarter – worth every penny! I’ve listened to Shaun for years and this is some of his best writing. “All is Grace”, “Come By Here” and “I’ve Got You” are on repeat right now on the CD player. Thank you, Shaun, for sharing your gift with us, and thank you, Carlos, for talking about it.