Song Snapshots #9: Not That You Died (Legacy Five)

Song Snapshots is a column featuring the stories behind new and classic Southern Gospel songs.

One year, Belinda Smith, Tony Wood, and Barry Weeks went up to the National Quartet Convention, just to hear the evening’s program.

“I think that as a writer, the moments that hit me might be a little different than the moments that hit other listeners,” Belinda Smith recalls. “That night, the Gaither Vocal Band sang ‘Had it Not Been.’ It has this gorgeous melody, and sparse lyrics. It is amazing; it just makes you want to stand up and hold your imaginary lighter! There was something so simple and perfect about that performance.”

On the way back home, the three writers talked about how flawless the performance was. Later that week, Tony Wood and Belinda Smith were scheduled to write together. “When we got into the writing room,” Smith said, “Tony had already come up with the lines ‘not that you died for the whole world / but that You died for me.’”

Smith and Wood wanted the song to have a similar feel to “Had it Not Been.” While the two songs don’t sound alike, “Not That You Died” was defined by “”the scarcity of the lyric, and the rise and fall of the melody.”

“So that was totally inspired by an old song,” Belinda Smith concludes. “Legacy Five did an amazing job on it.”

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5 Letters to the Editor

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  1. I have always called this one of L5’s top five songs…

    Great writing – and great singing…

    JEB

    • Agreed, on all counts. Few would be the instances where Legacy Five has ever equalled this, let alone surpassed it!

  2. Of all the songs on the Monuments record, which is porbably Legacy Five’s strongest record even still, this is in the top three of that record. Love it. And the arrangement isn’t half bad eihter 😀

    • I still think that L5 has never topped their debut album, but Monuments is one of the ones that sure comes closest.

  3. Great song from Legacy Five………i know Bro. Fank Seman is no longer with them….but there was never a sweeter guy , than Bro. Frank….i am Southern Gospel Promoter in Temple, with Crimson River Ministries……many years ago, my son-in law ,started promoting gospel music,and in those days Frank had a group called the Sound out of Houston,Tx…..then later Tony and i had hime when he was with Legacy Five………i think now he is a music director in the Houston area………enjoying all you comments about the wonderful world of Southern Gospel Music…….thank you, Jame Rhoads,3209 poplar road, Temple,Tx 76502