Music Discussions

Underdog

underdog

Main Point: Through Jesus, God can bring lasting change in our lives that goes far beyond our circumstances.

About the Artist  Alicia Keys

New York born Alicia Augello-Cook (professionally known as Alicia Keys) started music at a young age. From piano lessons at the age of seven to graduating from the Professional Performance Arts School at the age of sixteen, Keys signed a record deal right after graduation. After four weeks at Columbia University, she decided to go all-in with music and start creating albums. Her first album Songs in A Minor went platinum five times over, and sold more than 12 million copies. Her seventh studio album Alicia will be released in early 2020. In July 2010, Keys married hip-hop producer Swizz Beatz. They welcomed their first child together in October 2010, a son named Egypt Daoud Dean. In December 2014, they welcomed their second son, Genesis Ali Dean.

Song Lyrics: Underdog

She was walking in the street, looked up and noticed
He was nameless, he was homeless
She asked him his name and told him what hers was
He gave her a story about a life
With a glint in his eye and a corner of a smile
One conversation, a simple moment
The things that change us if we notice
When we look up, sometimes

They said I would never make it
But I was built to break the mold
The only dream that I’ve been chasing is my own

So I sing a song for the hustlers trading at the bus stop
Single mothers waiting on a cheque to come
Young teachers, student doctors
Sons on the frontline knowing they don’t get to run
This goes out to the underdog
Keep on keeping at what you love
You’ll find that someday soon enough
You will rise up, rise up, yeah

She’s riding in a taxi back to the kitchen
Talking to the driver about his wife and his children
On the run from a country where they put you in prison
For being a woman and speaking your mind
She looked in his eyes in the mirror and he smiled
One conversation, a single moment
The things that change us if we notice
When we look up, sometimes

They said I would never make it
But I was built to break the mold
The only dream that I’ve been chasing is my own

So I sing a song for the hustlers trading at the bus stop
Single mothers waiting on a cheque to come
Young teachers, student doctors
Sons on the frontline knowing they don’t get to run
This goes out to the underdog
Keep on keeping at what you love
You’ll find that someday soon enough
You will rise up, rise up, yeah

Everybody rise up
You’re gonna rise, yeah

I sing a song for the hustlers trading at the bus stop
Single mothers waiting on a cheque to come
Young teachers, student doctors
Sons on the frontline knowing they don’t get to run
This goes out to the underdog
Keep on keeping at what you love
You’ll find that someday soon enough
You will rise up, rise up, yeah

Introducing the Song – You Say This: Keys song Underdog is an inspiring tune about overcoming challenges. In the song, Keys sings about things from homelessness and discrimination to single motherhood and military deployment. The song is intended to motivate people to not to let certain circumstances keep you from pursuing our passions and achieving our goals, no matter how unlikely the odds may seem. Keys says about the song; “Some people may think of the word underdog as a negative word, but I see it as a powerful word representing people who may be underestimated and yet still rise to the challenge and exceed expectations…we’ve all been in a place in our lives where we’ve had to defy the odds. It’s never easy.”

The Music Video:
The music video can be viewed for free at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izyZLKIWGiA

Hand Out Lyrics and Play the Song.  

Transitional Statement – You Say This: This song is about overcoming challenges and not letting our circumstances determine our direction. It’s ultimately about changing the course of our lives and defying the odds. You are sure to feel inspired when you hear it, and it raises the question of how we can produce lasting change in our lives. How can we overcome the challenges we face from our circumstances and beyond? Does God offer anything that can take us beyond motivation and inspiration?

Divide into Small Groups: Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.

CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format – a great resource to equip your small group leaders.

Discussion Questions:

  1. AROUND THE CIRCLE: What comes to mind when you hear the word “underdog?”
  1. ASK A FEW: How does this response to a homeless person differ from how you might engage them? She was walking in the street, looked up and noticed, he was nameless, he was homeless, she asked him his name and told him what hers was. Talk about why we usually don’t respond this way when we interact with a homeless person.
  1. ASK A FEW: Part of the chorus goes: This goes out to the underdog, keep on keeping at what you love, you’ll find that someday soon enough, you will rise up, rise up, yeah. What comes to mind when you hear these words? Do you believe they are based on truth? Explain why you think the way you do.
  1. ASK A FEW: What do you think Keys means when she sings about rising up?
  1. ASK A FEW: It’s been said that direction – not intention – determines destination. That means the steps we take will determine where we go, and what we intend is far less significant. In what ways have you been more about intention in your life rather than actually taking steps in the direction you need to go?
  2. ASK A FEW: Why do you think we tend to value inspiration so much? What are some things that have inspired you? Talk about how you’ve been inspired and what happened after that inspiration.
  1. ASK A FEW: If we were honest, each of us has some circumstances in our lives that we’d like to see be different. What do you think keeps us in those circumstances instead of rising up and bringing some sort of change in our lives?

Read the Following Passage:

1 Peter 1:18-19
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

  1. ASK A FEW: Read 1 Peter 1:13-21. Who do you think is the intended audience of these verses? Share a few things that stand out as you read them.
  1. ASK A FEW: What does the word perishable mean? What are some perishable things we might look to in order to bring change in our lives?
  1. ASK A FEW: What do you think Peter means when he writes about the empty way of life handed down by our forefathers?
  1. ASK A FEW: What does it mean to be redeemed from something? Give an example of a way you’ve seen redemption happen.
  1. ASK A FEW: According to these verses, what brings true and lasting change? What do you think that means for you and I?
  1. ASK A FEW: Do you think we consider the power of the cross beyond the way it helps us come to Jesus and be saved? How does Jesus death on the cross continue to help fuel us as we live out our faith?
  1. ASK A FEW: If a follower of Jesus has been redeemed from the empty way of life they were headed for, what should this mean about who God says they are? How should this impact them when they face challenging circumstances?
  1. ASK A FEW: How can a follower of Jesus stay “motivated” and “inspired” to remember who they are in Christ when they face challenges?

Wrap Up – You Say This: If we are honest, we love songs that motivate us to action, songs that inspire us toward greatness. For some, this will be one of those songs. Alicia Keys sings with passion and purpose as she reminds us that there is always hope, no matter how much of an underdog you might be. During our time together, we talked about going beyond that motivation and inspiration and grabbing hold of our identity in Christ – and through Him we can overcome obstacles and challenges. Perhaps right now you find yourself in a place where you see a situation or circumstances where you need to rise up. Take a few moments and ask God to give you His perspective, to align your heart with His, and to remember who He says you are. 

(Pause and give them a quiet moment to mediated and pray silently.) 

When we remember who we are in Christ, when we can grab hold of the reality that if we have surrendered our lives to Jesus – we are set free from the empty ways of life, and we have everything we need to rise up and defy the odds. Maybe there’s a situation right now that feels overwhelming, and you feel like an underdog. Take a minute and remembering who God is, ask Him to do what only He can do – and work through this situation in big ways. 

(Pause and give them a few moments to pray silently.) 

God can bring lasting change in our lives that goes far beyond our circumstances, and that change starts at the cross – but doesn’t end there. The power of the cross continues in our lives as we live out our faith each day. Let’s be people who turn to Him and His Word for motivation and inspiration, and let those things move us toward action. Let’s be people who are willing to trust Him, take bold steps, and follow Him wherever He may go. 

Close in Prayer

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Rob Chagdes

Rob Chagdes is one of the pastors at Prairie Lakes Church in northern Iowa. In the years since he met Jesus as a sixteen year old, Rob has spent his life working to raise up the next generation to love God and invite others into His unending story. He spends most of his free time with his wife Leslie, their three amazing daughters, and their energetic dog Jedi. You can reach Rob at chagdeswrites@gmail.com .

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