Christian trailblazer TobyMac tapped nine-time Grammy Award-winning mainstream singer Sheryl Crow to collaborate on his new single “Promised Land.”
“Promised Land” was initially released in 2021, but the newest collaboration released on YouTube last week features the recognizable vocals from 59-year-old pop/rock/country star.
“Well, I’ve run this Earth for many years/ If there’s one thing I know/There’s nowhere on this side o’ Heaven/ Where streets are made of gold/I’ve long laid down my grand illusions/Lookin’ toward the day that I’ll be home,” Crow is heard singing on the song’s bridge.
Although not known for being religious, Crow does have some connection to faith. In 2016, it was reported that the “All I Wanna Do” singer built a church at her 50-acre Nashville residence.
The Wall Street Journal revealed that Crow purchased a dilapidated church online, which was shipped to her home and then restored for her personal use.
The Missouri native considers herself a Christian. In the book, The Words and Music of Sheryl Crow By Christopher Gable, the author says Crow became “Born again” at age 17.
However, the musician seems to have adopted a universalist and ecumenical type of faith. Although she grew up in a Presbyterian household, The Wall Street Journal reports that she doesn’t subscribe to specific religious rules. She once suggested that God could be female.
“Since I was 21, I’ve always had a strong relationship and an everyday, ongoing dialogue with a higher power,” she told WSJ. “He or She seems to be most evident in nature, which I guess is why I’m so environmentally driven to preserve what we have around here.”
After being diagnosed with breast cancer, Crow did further “soul-searching” and realized “the one thing” she was missing from her elaborate life was her “roots.” That encouraged her to make her Nashville home a sanctuary with a church building.
The singer told PEOPLE her in-home church is “A great gathering place. We’ve had a lot of really good fund-raising events here.”
“Promised Land” has two versions — one produced by Paul Mabury (Lauren Daigle, Needtobreathe), TobyMac, and Micah Kuiper (Newsboys) and the other produced by TobyMac and Kuiper. It was written by TobyMac and former Audio Adrenaline 2.0 frontman Adam Agee.
“Never would have dreamed that @sherylcrow would sing a song I wrote. And she absolutely crushes it,” Agee wrote on Twitter. “Thanks @tobymac for making this song what it is and congrats on this collab!!!”
The lyrics point out that today’s world leaves one desiring for the promised land. The term “promise land” comes from the Old Testament of the Bible and refers to a specific region God set apart for His chosen people as part of their heritage.
“I think if we’re honest, every one of us has wondered at one time or another, ‘Where’s my promised land? Where’s the blessing for me and my family that I thought would come my way on this earth if I chose to follow the King of Kings,’” TobyMac said in a video about the vision behind “Promised Land.”
The former DC Talk member continued: “Is that really the promise of the promised land? I know that with everything we’re walking through these days, man, you might be wondering where’s the promised land.”
TobyMac, who recently lost his firstborn son to an accidental overdose, added: “Can we find a promised land on earth or is it eternity? Can we find it in our pain and valleys and maybe even our beautiful days?”
As the song progresses, the lyrics turn from “where’s my promised land” to “You’re my promised land.”
“Maybe the promised land we’re looking for isn’t a place at all but a person named Jesus,” TobyMac insisted.
Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic