Around my neck’s a beautiful stone
I made it from the good that I’ve done
It is close to my heart with a meter of its own
But the weight it bears on me
From the good who I want to be
O it cuts me in half, a blade, a sword, a golden calf
Now I’m sinking under the load
I see it was only fool’s gold
And it falls on me, brings me low
Around his neck he carries a stone
He takes my burden, makes it his own
And it takes him down
The bread, the wine, the golden crown
A rose shoots up from the ground
Sky cracks open, sun through the clouds
The old has changed, the earth, the bride, the family name
Broken down and shot through, all the good I mean to do
The prison shakes, the man goes free
I am him and he is me
This might be my favorite song. The lyrics are incredible. The music is phenomenal. It’s everything a final song on an album should be. It starts low then accelerates. It feels like a rose breaking through the ground.
Theologically it is also so direct, so honest and so truthful. I hide behind my good deeds, thinking they are beautiful. But they weigh me down. Fortunately, we have a savior who bears our burdens, and now the old has changed, the earth is different, the bride (the church) is different, and we have a whole new name.
“Free” is just shot through with biblical imagery. I won’t even try to name it all. Yet everything fits. There is so much joy in this song that I can’t even express it. The moment when they sing “Free” after the second verse and the guitar and drums drop out absolutely knocks me down. A perfect match of musicality and lyric.