Surrender (Stop Struggling)

by Kaitie Ty Warren

I have a hard time going with the flow. I often find myself fighting life on life’s terms, swimming against the current, or questioning everything. And then I get mad at myself for being so uptight, or mad that I have to deal with whatever I’m facing at the moment, and it gets worse.

One day I found myself chanting this – all 4 parts tumbling through at once – so I sat down and recorded it. With the 4 voices, it becomes a conversation (either with myself – the various voices in my head – or with others when singing it in a group). It asks the question: what if I just stop struggling? with a hopeful tone as the thoughts bounce off each other. You can hear the original on Soundcloud (embedded below). The song speaks to the comfort I feel whenever I finally stop struggling for a moment and let life’s current do its thing. I have found time and time again that beautiful, bittersweet, awe-inspiring things happen when I get out of my own way and accept what is. Life has taken me on a much grander adventure than I could have dreamed up myself, and it’s always looking out for me. When I can remember this, I actually start to feel safe.

Karly Loveling taught Surrender at Song Village in 2016 – a year before I attended the festival myself. It was the first song of mine to ever be “released” into the wild by another song leader – and it traveled across the country before I taught it myself. I love hearing from people who learned it far away, from someone I’ve never met. And I love the fact that, depending on who’s carrying it, the song can invoke laughter, or tears, or dancing. Here’s how I teach it:


Alto and Tenor:
What if I just stop struggling?
What if I just stop struggling?

Let it go…
Let it go…
(or, if you have enough breath, you can sing What if I let it go?)

Can I surrender?
Can I surrender?


*please note I’ve labeled them SATB but all 4 parts can really be sung by any vocal range*





Live recording with 90-something people at LA Community Songfest, 2019

The Original:

Thanks for listening.