Song Snapshots is a column featuring the stories behind new and classic Southern Gospel songs.
About twelve years ago, co-writers Belinda Smith and Joel Lindsey got together for a writing session one day. They knew the Perrys were looking for songs, and Joel brought the idea for “Love Brought Me Back.”
He told Belinda Smith that it would be a prodigal son song. “I was like, ‘I don’t know,’” she recalls. “I don’t know, I’ve heard a million prodigal son songs. Sell this to me.”
Joel said, “I said that I would be just fine without him.”
“I’m like, ‘okay,’” Smith recalls.
Then Joel shared the second line: “Oh, the things a foolish heart will say.”
Smith replied: “Okay, done, sold. Finished.”
“It was a really sweet session,” she remembers. “That’s also a song that I could not have written without co-writing it with someone that’s a friend to me like Joel is. Joel’s family.”
The Perrys recorded it on their 2001 Changed Forever album. Over a decade later, the raw honesty and vulnerability of the message still resonates with Smith. She says: “There’s something about the honesty of what we wrote during that song. Ninety percent of the people you write for are not going to go, ‘Yes, I want to be vulnerable, to stand on stage and I have doubts.’ I understand that; I totally get it. And so I didn’t know if the Perrys would be okay with being a little vulnerable.”
“Based on all the artists who tend to lean away from those types of songs,” she adds, “I felt like it was a risk for them to take. I already loved the Perrys, but after they recorded ‘Love Brought me Back’ … I drink their kool-aid! Whatever they do, I’ll buy!”