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Head Above Water

Avril Lavigne

Head Above Water Lyrics

[Verse 1]
I've gotta keep the calm before the storm
I don’t want less, I don't want more
Must bar the windows and the doors
To keep me safe, to keep me warm
Yeah, my life is what I'm fighting for
Can’t part the sea, can't reach the shore
And my voice becomes the driving force
I won't let this pull me overboard

[Chorus]
God, keep my head above water
Don't let me drown, it gets harder
I'll meet you there, at the altar
As I fall down to my knees
Don't let me drown, drown, drown
Don't let me, don't let me, don’t let me drown


[Verse 2]
So pull me up from down below
’Cause I'm underneath the undertow
Come dry me off and hold me close
I need you now, I need you most

[Chorus]
God, keep my head above water
Don’t let me drown, it gets harder
I'll meet you there, at the altar
As I fall down to my knees
Don't let me drown, drown, drown
Don't let me, don’t let me, don't let me drown
Don't let me drown, drown, drown
Don't let me, don't let me, don't let me drown (keep my head above water, above water)


[Bridge]
And I can't see, in the stormy weather
I can't seem, to keep it all together
And I, I can't swim, the ocean, like this forever
And I can't breathe

[Refrain]
God, keep my head above water
I lose my breath, at the bottom
Come rescue me, I'll be waiting
I'm too young to fall asleep

[Chorus]
God, keep my head above water
Don't let me drown, it gets harder
I'll meet you there, at the altar
As I fall down to my knees


[Outro]
Don't let me drown (don't let me, don't let me drown)
Don't let me drown (don't let me, don't let me drown)
Don't let me drown (don't let me, don't let me drown)
Keep my head above water, above water

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About “Head Above Water”

On her comeback ballad “Head Above Water”, Avril Lavigne sings about fighting for her life. The song is a piano-driven pop-rock anthem, in which Lavigne tries to stop herself from drowning under the immense pressure from her battle with Lyme Disease, of which she had not been open about for a long time. She also prays to God and makes references to religion.

The song is her first single in 3 years since her 2015 song “Fly“ for the Special Olympics. During her break from making music, Lavigne had an extensive life or death battle with Lyme Disease. She opened up about her battle in an interview for ABC News in 2015 stating "it was literally the worst time of my life” and despite seeing the top specialists and doctors she could, they were misdiagnosing her with depression and chronic fatigue syndrome.

In a letter written to fans weeks before the single’s release, Lavigne stated that she wrote her most personal and deeply song from her bed, while fearfully coming to terms with the possibility of losing her life.

The song was released as the first single from her sixth studio album AL6. A music video for the song was released on September 27, 2018.

  • What have the artists said about the song?

    On September 6th, Avril Lavigne dropped a letter to her fans on her website:

    Thank you for waiting so patiently as I fought through and still continue to fight, the battle of my lifetime. The first song I am choosing to release is called “Head Above Water.” It is also the first song I wrote from my bed during one of the scariest moments of my life. I had accepted death and could feel my body shutting down. I felt like I was drowning. Like I was going under water and I just needed to come up for air. Like I was in a river being pulled in a current. Unable to breathe. Praying to God for Him to help me just keep my head above the water. To help me see through the stormy weather. I grew closer to Him. My mother held me. In her arms, I wrote the first song that I am releasing to tell my story. I later met a beautiful soul, Travis Clark, and we sat down at the piano and sculpted the rest of the song. Then I took it to the genius, Stephan Moccio and love what he did to the music."

  • What caused Avril to begin writing this song?

    One night, I thought I was dying, and I had accepted that I was going to die. My mum laid with me in bed and held me. I felt like I was drowning.

    Under my breath, I prayed, ‘God, please help to keep my head above the water.’ In that moment, the songwriting of this album began, it was like I tapped into something. It was a very spiritual experience. Lyrics flooded through me from that point on.

    —Avril in a statement to People magazine.

  • What influenced Lavigne in writing the song?

"Head Above Water" Track Info

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