“Highlands (Song of Ascent)” by Hillsong UNITED
This song is based on a number of religious themes, particularly within the context of Christian ideologies. One is the ever-present faithfulness and love of God, despite the fact that the singers do not always feel worthy of such. Another is their stated willingness to traverse challenging terrains in search of His “grace”. However, alluding to the first theme mentioned, they acknowledge that such is “not that hard to find”.
The titular “song of ascent” is apparently an ode of praise the singers are compelled to sing “wherever” they find themselves, including in “the valley of death” and “through the shadows”. Or put differently, they are committed to acknowledging God even when faced with the most-dire of circumstances.
And these are the overall sentiments expressed throughout this track. First is that “in the highlands and the heartache” God’s mercies remain the same. Second is that the singers also keep their focus transfixed on Him “in the highlands and the heartache all the same”. Thus the term “highlands”, which is used to contrast “heartache”, appears to be synonymous with when things are going good in life. And Hillsong United is ultimately expressing that, regardless of the situation, their faith is not going to waver.
Facts about “Highlands”
- Hillsong United recorded this track live. The venue was in Sydney, Australia at the Hillsong Worship & Creative Conference, presumably the one held last year from 14-16 November 2018.
- “Highlands” was officially released on 26 April 2019.
- This song was written by Benjamin Hastings and Hillsong United member Joel Houston.
- Joel Houston also produced the track along with another member of Hillsong United, Michael Guy Chislett.
Is “Highlands” on an album?
Yes. The song appears as the 8th track on the group’s 14th live album which is entitled People (Live). On that same album appears the group’s 2019 hit song “Another in the Fire“.