The Tabernacle Choir Blog

Photographer: Kristin Saastad

Watch Sissel’s Moving Performance of “Slow Down”

When guest artist Sissel performed “Slow Down” during the annual Pioneer Day concert for The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, she brought close to 20,000 fans to a screeching halt. The song, which began approximately 48 minutes into the concert, started with no introduction but ended with a minute-long standing ovation. After the cheering subsided, an emotionally moved Sissel said, “Thank you very much! That song, ‘Slow Down,’ describes an experience many of us have—to be able to hear the still voice in our hearts, we have to slow down.”

“Slow Down” was written by Chuck Girard and released in 1975. As a singer, songwriter, and worship leader, Girard is a pioneer of Contemporary Christian Music, and a Co-founder of the group Love Song.

“Slow Down” is based on Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God,” which is simple enough that it speaks to the heart of many people. Regarding the slow tempo of the song, composer Girard explained, “In retrospect, I always felt that the song was too slow and mannered in general. It seems a bit labored and stodgy to me, but perhaps this is what adds to the effect of the lyrics. I've had many people tell me that the exaggerated hold on the word ‘Slow,’ actually ministers in a positive way to the patience of the listeners who want the note to end sooner. Go figure, it's God's business at this point.”

After her performance of the song in the summer of 2019, Sissel even got a special email Girard, congratulating her on this impressive performance!

Sissel released a video where she talks about “Slow Down,” and why she chose to sing it. “Today’s song, ‘Slow Down’ is a song for those moments when you feel time is just passing by and you feel like it’s hard to manage your time. Maybe you think ‘what’s the meaning of your life.’ It’s hard to find the solutions. Everything might seem problematic. And then it’s time to take a deep breath and slow down—get an overall picture, and maybe you want to consider what you want to fill your life with.”