“Were You There”

With another Holy Week upon us, I’ve been dwelling on my favorite hymn of the season, “Were You There.” The definitive version, or at least my personal pick for the best one, has to be by Johnny Cash–his craggy voice is well suited to this kind of somber gospel tune, and the assistance of the angelic voices of the Carter Family on most recorded versions makes it even more heavenly.
The take below is from the Grand Old Opry in 1962, in a much less “produced” rendition than the more common studio releases one typically hears.

There are many other versions of “Were You There,” of course, and its origins as a Negro Spiritual are well documented. Go here for the lyrics as printed in a hymnal in 1926.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s