I remember when I heard Possession on the radio the first time. I was driving home from work and I was immediately in love. The music was stunning, her voice was stunning and I was captivated. Who is she, I thought to myself (I had no idea that Sarah McLachlan had two previous albums). I found the Fumbling Towards Ecstasy CD as fast as I could. It is a fantastic album. There is not a bad song on it.
When Surfacing came out in July 1997, I snatched it, too. It was released to coincide with the Lilith Fair. Though Fumbling Towards Ecstasy remains my favorite of her albums, Witness is my favorite single. The sixth track, it was never released as a single, has no chart information what-so-ever and it remains in the shadow of Building A Mystery, Sweet Surrender, Adia and, in particular, Angel. The album is one of two that reached #2 on the Billboard 200. It was the #1 album on Billboard’s Canadian Albums chart on August 2, 1997 and on Canada’s RPM Top Albums/CDs chart on July 28, 1997.
As an odd bit of trivia, this album is mentioned in the Starr Report, Ken Starr‘s investigation of the Monica Lewinsky Scandal, as was Altoid Mints, the movie Titanic, Billie Holliday, Elvis, Spinach Dip, Starbucks and Leaves of Grass. Monica apparently liked track #5.
This song speaks to me on so many levels. It’s a beautiful piece with beautiful lyrics… ~Vic
Make me a witness
Take me out
Out of darkness
Out of doubt
I won’t weigh you down
With good intention
Won’t make fire out of clay
Or other inventions
Will we burn in heaven
Like we do down here
Will the change come
While we’re waiting
Everyone is waiting
And, when we’re done
As we carried the weight
And died for the cause
Is misery made beautiful
Right before our eyes
Will mercy be revealed
Or blind us where we stand
Lilith Fair @ 20 (Billboard Article/Gil Kaufman/07-05-2017)
Sarah McLachlan Named In Starr Report (MTV News/09-16-1998)
Starr Report Unearths New Bedfellows (The Hartford Courant/Rock Critic Roger Catlin/09-17-1998)
The Pop Life: Musical Damage In Starr Report (The New York Times/Neil Strauss/09-24-1998/Web Archive)
No Official Video
Live From Mirrorball
Sarah Discussing The Surfacing CD
I love her voice!
Nice song and interesting to hear in the interview about her songwriting process. I thought she also did, “If God was One of Us” but that is Joan Osborne (but their voices sound similar.)
I remember that song.
good song I’d forgotten about. I was a fan of hers back when ‘Vox’ was getting airplay up my way as an indie single…what a voice! I think ‘Fumbling Towards Ecstasy’ was her crowning achievement but this album had some really good tunes on it too.
I agree. I didn’t even hear any of her first two albums until 2010. I neglected to say this in my post but, my second fave song, where she was a guest singer, is Silence by Delerium.
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I really enjoy several of her songs. Her voice is an amazing musical instrument. This one I hadn’t listened to as much, but I am appreciating it now. I love this addition to the draft.
Thanks, Diana. And, I totally agree.
I was not familiar with this song, though I know her hit singles well. She has a gorgeous voice and is a phenomenal songwriter. I think “Building a Mystery” is my favorite of her songs, but “Witness” is a terrific selection.
Building a Mystery is really good, too.
Good example of music moving us (you)
I charms my soul.
It’s been a long long time since I heard this one…Building a Mystery is the one I identify her with but I liked this one also.
It was a good album and charted better than Fumbling Towards Ecstasy. She could sing me the phone book.
Yes she could…I always thought she would be heard a lot more after that.
US Billboard can be finicky with music outside our borders. Only independent stations, what few are left, would play more diverse stuff.
They are finicky with everything
I don’t think it is American Music tastes that are the problem. I think it is the industry gatekeepers.