Accompanied by her band on a minimalist set, Lavigne appeared to float on stage while wearing whispy, all-black jumpsuit with cascading sleeves and a large crucifix as she performed the pop-rock anthem, her first single in three years. “God, keep my head above water/ Don’t let me drown, it gets harder/ I’ll meet you there, at the altar/ As I fall down to my knees/ Don’t let me drown, drown, drown/ Don’t let me, don’t let me, don’t let me drown,” she sang while backed by a string quartet.
Lavigne’s emotional track off her sixth studio album (due out on Feb. 15), follows the singer-songwriter as she fights for her life in her battle with Lyme Disease. She described to Billboard last October why she wrote the song. “This song is a song that’s very personal and close to me because I obviously just took five years away from the spotlight, three of those years being battling and fighting Lyme Disease,” she explained. “I was able to write songs from my bed and ‘Head Above Water’ is a song that I wrote a night that I felt like I was actually dying and had kind of accepting it.”
Watch Lavigne’s performance of “Head Above Water” on The Tonight Show below.