Avril Lavigne recounts her battle with Lyme disease on “Head Above Water,” her first new song in five years.
The power ballad finds Lavigne belting over a steady-building mix of piano, strings, synths and thunderous drums. In the lyrics, Lavigne searches for hope and faith while her body fights the disease, and she injects a potent urgency into her voice as she sings, “God keep my head above water/ I lose my breath at the bottom/ Come rescue me, I’ll be waiting/ I’m too young to fall asleep.”
In a statement, Lavigne spoke about the night that inspired the song, saying, “I thought I was dying, and I had accepted that I was going to die. My mom laid with me in bed and held me. I felt like I was drowning. Under my breath, I prayed ‘God, please help to keep my head above the water.’ In that moment, the song writing of this album began. It was like I tapped into something. It was a very spiritual experience. Lyrics flooded through me from that point on.”
Lavigne revealed her nearly year-long battle with Lyme disease in 2015. To coincide with the release of “Head Above Water,” the Avril Lavigne Foundation has launched a charitable t-shirt campaign that will raise money to benefit individuals affected by Lyme disease who can’t otherwise afford treatment.