Sara Groves is well-known in Christian music for her thought-provoking lyrics. I had especially enjoyed “You are the sun” and “The first song that I sing” on her previous albums, so last Christmas, my husband purchased Groves’ new Fireflies and Songs album for me. We usually just purchase songs we really like, so I wasn’t sure whether buying the whole album was a good move. However, over the next few weeks, I found myself playing it again, and again, and again.
Fireflies and Songs is not necessarily a Christian album; it is more about life, and it genuinely captures the way that faith can intersect with many experiences, including marriage, relationships, and common struggles. “Different kinds of happy” is a beautiful song about honesty in marriage: “It’s a sweet, sweet thing, standing here with you with nothing to hide, light shining down to our very insides.” Later, “It’s me” lyrically captures the pain that can come quickly during marital discord: “Run for your life, all tenderness is gone.” The sweet joy and true connection of special friendships are the subject of the upbeat track “Twice as good.”
There were some songs on the album that I didn’t connect with as well as others. In “This house,” Groves recounts going with her daughter to visit the home where she grew up, but the track’s lyrics are so personal that they might not feel relevant to a wider audience. Additionally, the fast beat and bluegrass sounds of “Setting up the pins” are catchy but seem out of place on the album.
The album’s final track, “Joy is in our hearts,” is a song of encouragement in the Lord, reminding listeners that Christ is our joy and strength.
I resonated with this album’s authentic, acoustic sound, and with Groves’ poignant words, which expressed experiences and feelings that can sometimes seem as elusive as fireflies in the night.