Songs from Genesis

Make no mistake, Southern Gospel songs focus on many of the highest themes known to mankindβ€”songs of Salvation, the Cross, the Resurrection, and eternity. Yet from time to time, critics have claimed that Southern Gospel songs focus on these themes to the exclusion of other Biblical themes which are appropriate and perhaps necessary to address in song.

Today, let’s examine that. Let’s start with the first book of the Bible, Genesis. For how many chapters in Genesis can we find Southern Gospel songs addressing their themes?

Here’s a start (edit: with some of your suggestions):

  • Genesis 1: “God Did it All” (Booth Brothers)
  • Genesis 1: “Biblically Correct” (Kingdom Heirs)
  • Genesis 1: “God Made It” (Kingdom Heirs)
  • Genesis 1: “Nobody Knows the Answer But God” (Kingdom Heirs)
  • Genesis 1: “If God Said It, I Believe It” (Mark Trammell Trio)
  • Genesis 1: “In the Beginning” (Statler Brothers)
  • Genesis 1: “It’s All Good” (McKameys)
  • Genesis 1:2: “One Step at a Time” (McKameys)
  • Genesis 1:3-30: “When It’s Said, It’s Done” (McKameys)
  • Genesis 1:26: “In the Beginning” (Statesmen)
  • Genesis 1:27: “Created in His Image” (Bill Gaither Trio, Blackwood Brothers)
  • Genesis 1:27: “Biblically Correct” (Kingdom Heirs)
  • Genesis 2-3: “Eve” (Statler Brothers)
  • Genesis 2:3: “In the Beginning” (Statesmen)
  • Genesis 2:15: “He Gave” (McKameys)
  • Genesis 3: “For God So Loved” (Brian Free & Assurance)
  • Genesis 3: “God Saw a Cross” (Kingsmen)
  • Genesis 3: “Death Has Died” (Cathedrals)
  • Genesis 3:8,19: “In the Cool of the Day” (McKameys)
  • Genesis 4: “It’s the Blood” (Mark Trammell Trio)
  • Genesis 4:9: “My Brother’s Keeper” (Statesmen)
  • Genesis 5: “However I Go” (Mark Trammell Trio)
  • Genesis 5: “Gone Without a Trace” (to be announced)
  • Genesis 5:22-24: “However I Go” (Mark Trammell Trio)
  • Genesis 5:24: Go Home With Me (McKameys)
  • Genesis 5:25: When They Send Down the Chariot (Inspirations)
  • Genesis 6: “All in God’s Own Time” (Cathedrals)
  • Genesis 6: “Didn’t it Rain” (Speer Family, Dove Brothers)
  • Genesis 6: “Ol’ Brother Noah” (Dixie Echoes)
  • Genesis 6: “It Wasn’t Raining when Noah Built the Ark” (Hemphills)
  • Genesis 6: “Noah” (Hinsons)
  • Genesis 6: “Noah” (Jordanaires)
  • Genesis 6: “You’d Better Have a Boat” (Tribute Quartet)
  • Genesis 6:8″: “Noah Found Grace in the Eyes of the Lord”
  • Genesis 6: “Get On Board” (Isaacs)
  • Genesis 6:13-22: “What Noah Knew” (Collingsworth Family)
  • Genesis 8:6-12: “The Dove” (The Hoppers)
  • Genesis 8:6-12:Β Wings of a Dove (Blackwood Brothers, Blue Ridge Quartet, Cathedral Trio, Cathedral Quartet, Dixie Echoes, Dove Brothers, Florida Boys, Harvesters, LeFevres, Spencers, Wally Fowler & the Oak Ridge Quartet)
  • Genesis 8:6-12: “Open Up the Window Noah” (Bishops)
  • Genesis 8:22: “Thank God For The Promise of Spring” (Bill Gaither Trio)
  • Genesis 9:12-17: “God Put a Rainbow in the Clouds” (Statesmen)
  • Genesis 12-22: “Have a Little Faith” (Abraham)
  • Genesis 14: “Prophet, Priest, and King” (to be announced)
  • Genesis 22:2-13: “The Blood of the Lamb” (McKameys)
  • Genesis 22:8: “God Himself the Lamb” (Cathedrals)
  • Genesis 22: “God Has Provided a Lamb” (Greater Vision)
  • Genesis 22: “God Will Provide” (Gold City)
  • Genesis 22: “The Father and the Son” (Freemans)
  • Genesis 22: “Abraham’s Ram” (Down East Boys)
  • Genesis 22: “God’s Chosen” (Squire Parsons)
  • Genesis 22: “Taking Isaac Up The Mountain” (Roy Knight Singers)
  • Genesis 22: “If This is What God Wants” (Ernie Haase & Signature Sound)
  • Genesis 22: “Called In, Called Up, Called Out” (Mark Trammell Trio)
  • Genesis 22: “Prophet’s Admiration” (Bishops)
  • Genesis 22:17: “All in the Family” (Todd Allen Family)
  • Genesis 28:10-22: “Back to Bethel” (Cathedrals)
  • Genesis 28:11: “I’m Going Through, Jesus” (McKameys)
  • Genesis 28:12: “We are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder” (Chuck Wagon Gang, Kingdom Heirs, Thrasher Brothers, Ann Downing)
  • Genesis 28:12: “Jacob’s Vision” (Wendy Bagwell & the Sunliters)
  • Genesis 31:13: “Let Us Go Back” (McKameys)
  • Genesis 31:13: “Back to Bethel” (Cathedrals)
  • Genesis 32:22-30: “Rasslin’ Jacob” (Gaither Vocal Band)
  • Genesis 32:22-30: “Wait For the Morning Light” (McKameys)
  • Genesis 32:24-32: “Jesus Showed Up” (Kingdom Heirs)
  • Genesis 35: “Back to Bethel” (Cathedrals)
  • Genesis 37: “Dream On” (Ernie Haase & Signature Sound)
  • Genesis 37: “God’s Point of View” (McKameys)
  • Genesis 37-42: “The Dreamer” (Statler Brothers)

What others come to mind? What about the curse (ch. 3), Cain and Abel (4), the tower of Babel (11), Abraham’s call (12), Melchizedek (14), the Abrahamic covenant (15), Isaac (21), Jacob wrestling with God (32), Joseph (37, 39-45), Jacob’s and Joseph’s final blessings, deaths, and deathbed prophecies (48-50)?

Update: We came out of today’s discussion with twenty-five songs. Not bad! And is it a good thing or a bad thing that our list would be fourteen were it not for the contributions of one writer, Dianne Wilkinson?


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67 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. On Cain and Abel, a beautiful MTT and Dianne Wilkinson song called “It’s the Blood”.

    There are lots of songs about Abraham’s offering of Isaac. Another good one is “God Has Provided,” by Greater Vision. By the way, that’s ANOTHER Dianne Wilkinson song. I wonder where she gets most of her ideas for lyrics… πŸ™‚

    • Well, I’m already thinking ahead to my Exodus post … her knowledge of the Old Testament certainly goes past Genesis! πŸ™‚

      • We need to call her up and tell her to work on something about Melchizedek. Something about tithing would be good. We need more tithing songs.

      • You know, there is a Melchizedek song bouncing around the far corners of my brain, just out of reach. Problem is, I’m not sure if it’s Southern Gospel, or from my pre-SG days as a Michael Card fan. (Talk about some great theological lyrics there!)

      • It’d be tough to rhyme, though.

        (bouncy Wilkinson-type jazzy melody)
        Just when it seemed my life was nothing but an awful wreck
        I met the Great High Priest, the order of Melchizedek

  2. How about classic Chuck Wagon convention-style…”We Are Climbing”. Or as the Kingdom Heirs would say, “Climbing are we…llujah-halle!”

  3. You know you can get songs from the genealogies, too. From Genesis 5 and the story of Enoch, I think of another MTT song, “However I Go” from the great Once Upon a Cross project.

    • Yes (and that was a great project, no matter how much I was criticized for saying so at the time!)

      I do plan to go through all comments this evening and update the list. Of course, I hope that by then, other brains besides yours and mine will be in on this! πŸ™‚

      • You and I share a very strong interest in songs and their scriptural basis. It’s only natural we’d jump on it. πŸ™‚

      • True, and I hope we’re not the only two!

  4. Ann Downing recorded “Climbing Jacob’s Ladder” several years ago, and there’s a great convention song that was recently recorded (but don’t remember by whom) called “God Will Provide,” reflecting on the story of Abraham and Isaac.

    • Are you talking about “God Will Provide” by Gold City on their Are You Ready album? (2000) It’s a great ballad, but it’s not a convention song.

      • No fair…you probably get immediate comment updates. πŸ™‚

      • I get them rather quickly. πŸ™‚

      • It was in Ben Speer’s 1998 convention music and was written by Gary D. Tucker. Doubt it’s the same song. It was a lesser-known group that recorded it, but I heard the recording I think on YouTube.

    • Don’t know the convention song, but that does remind me about a Gold City song from Are You Ready, featuring Daniel Riley, also called “God Will Provide”.

  5. “As It Was in the Days of Noah” by the Cathedrals.

    • Samuel – that’s a great song, but I was thinking of citing it more when we get to Matthew 24, since that’s the focus, though it does mention Noah.

  6. “For God So Loved,” the first verse.

    • Excellent, excellent song – my favorite out of the many great ones you’ve written. Yes, it belongs on the list, and I’ll put it there when I update it tonight.

  7. There IS a Dianne Wilkinson song that deals with Melchizedek, I think it’s called “Prophet, Priest, and King.”

    • I knew I’d heard it somewhere! I believe the title is “It’s Jesus” – cut by the Mark Trammell Trio and the Talley Trio, neither of which are trios any longer.

      In other words, we need to talk Greater Vision and the Booth Brothers into also cutting the song. πŸ™‚

      • Interesting…it doesn’t really reference Melchizedek directly, but it would be appropriate to associate the lyric of “prophet, priest, and king” with the order of Melchizedek.

        That’s thinking outside the box!

  8. The Dove by the Hoppers the first couple verses at least

  9. What about God Saw a Cross. It does start in the garden of Eden, and while I guess it is more about the cross, it is speaking about God looking ahead from when man first sinned to the cross ( at least the first verse ).

    • Great one! I’ll add that to the list.

  10. God Has Provided a Lamb. Greater Vision recorded it, but my memory fails me on the author.

  11. Don’t forget “Didn’t It Rain?”
    By the way, before KH did “Climbing Jacob’s Ladder” backwards, the Thrasher Brothers did it.
    I just dated myself on that one! 😎

  12. The first verse of When God Has Another Plan by The Greenes

  13. The Statler Brothers did Noah Found Grace, and the Dixie Echoes do one called Oh Brother Noah.

    • The Statler Brothers actually had several on their _Holy Bible_ recording.

      The first five tracks were from Genesis:
      1. In The Beginning
      2. Eve
      3. Noah Found Grace In The Eyes Of The Lord
      4. Have A Little Faith
      5. The Dreamer

      For Exodus, there’s:
      6. Led Out Of Bondage
      7. The Ten Commandments

      For Judges:
      8. Samson

      There’s also..

      Psalms (or maybe one of the earlier historical books):
      9. Song Of David

      Song Of Solomon:
      10. Song Of Solomon

      Daniel:
      11. The Fourth Man

      The final track on their Old Testament set is The King Is Coming, which is not an Old Testament song. I guess they thought it would set up their New Testament album in title alone, even though the content is about the second coming.

      • Correction: Song Of David is from the historical books…him and Saul, killing Goliath, etc., not from the book of Psalms.

      • Another correction: And the same goes for Song Of Solomon. It had been a while since I’d heard those!

      • I’m not familiar enough with those songs to know exactly where to place them – e.g. whether The Dreamer is about Jacob or Joseph!

      • “In The Beginning” is Genesis 1

        “Eve”” is Genesis 2 and 3. It mentions the creation of Eve from chapter two, then proceeds to place all the blame for man’s fall on Eve. Key line: “Look what you did to Adam the father of man.” I don’t think you’ll hear too many covers of that one!

        You already have chapter and verse for “Noah Found Grace”

        “Have A Little Faith” covers the period from when Abraham left Ur until he took Isaac for sacrifice…so Genesis 12-22.

        “The Dreamer” covers from the coat of many colors to when Joseph’s brothers reunited with him in Egypt…so Genesis 37-42.

        “Led Out Of Bondage” is Exodus 3-15, starting with the promise and ending at the Red Sea.

        “The Ten Commandments” is Exodus 20 and 32.

        “Samson” is one I’m surprised more groups haven’t covered, but I guess some could view it as generally demeaning to women also. They don’t just sing about Delilah, they sing “How could you let a woman get the best of you?” They do sing “Delilah” on the tag. It comes from Judges 14-16.

        “Song Of David” – 1st Samuel 16, 17, and 2nd Samuel 11-12

        “Song Of Solomon” – 1st Kings 3

        “The Fourth Man” – Daniel 3

      • Thanks! I just updated the list with the Genesis entries. Yes, I can see why “Eve” didn’t have that many covers. πŸ™‚

      • I used to love that Statler Brothers’ album! (For some crazy reason. πŸ˜• )

  14. Sorry, I just realized you already mentioned Noah Found Grace

    • Yes, and I was trying to bite my tongue and not say so! πŸ™‚

  15. I am enjoying this thread today! Thanks for all your kind words. I was privileged to write “God Has Provided a Lamb” which was recorded by Greater Vision. I also had the story of God providing a lamb as a substitute for Isaac in “The Father and the Son”. I LOVE to write songs from Genesis, especially starting right in the Garden of Eden. Terry is right, I have a new song called “Prophet, Priest and King” (you should hear him on the demo!), and it’s a quartet song. It’s being considered right now by Scott Fowler (Hey, Hon…sounds just like L5 to me!!!). Since I’m shamelessly pitching, I have a song about Enoch called “Gone Without a Trace” that is a quartet song that has been on hold but not recorded. I thought Enoch had been overlooked by us as writers, and my MY what a great story…”he was not, for God took him”! I’m excited now. I think I’ll concentrate on Joshua for a while today. πŸ™‚

    • Ah! Sorry for the mix-up! “It’s Jesus” uses the phrase “Prophet, Priest and King,” so I’d thought that must have been the song on his mind. I can’t wait to hear those two!

  16. The Statesmen recorded “In the Beginning” on The Bible Told Me So (RCA 1683) Genesis 1:1.

  17. I just updated the list. Is it a good thing or a bad thing that the list would be about half as long were it not for the contributions of one writer, Dianne Wilkinson?

    • I’ll answer my own question: It’s not good that it would be half as long … but praise God we have someone writing that many good songs from Genesis!

  18. How about “Dream On” (GVB, EHSS). There have to be more songs about Joseph, but non come to mind immediately.

  19. The old spiritual “Rocka My Soul (Down In The Bosom of Abraham)”?

    • That’s referring to something else…

  20. After a few searches on SGHistory.com…

    “As It Was In The Days Of Noah” (Cathedrals)
    “It Wasn’t Raining When Noah Built The Ark” (Hemphills)
    Two different songs titled “Noah” (Jordanaires, Hinsons)
    “Walkin’ Like Abraham” (Florida Boys, Jim Hamill)
    “Abraham’s Ram” (Down East Boys)
    “Jacob’s Vision” (Wendy Bagwell and the Sunliters)

    I know I’m a bit late to the party…

    • Thanks! I updated with most of them. I wasn’t quite sure where to put “Walkin’ like Abraham.”

  21. Genesis 6: β€œGet On Board” (Isaacs)

    • Thanks! I’ll edit that in.

  22. Daniel,
    Do you remember a song from one of Bill Gaither’s DVD’s called something like “No Hoof Shall Be Left Behind”? Bill said it was one of his worst songs, but I kind of liked it. The DVD it was on was the one about Bill and Gloria’s Songs w/Mark Lowry as the interviewer. Starts out on the Indiana rooftop. Hope you all had a good Easter….Later, Me

  23. Just added: When They Send Down the Chariot (Inspirations, 1989) to Genesis 5:24. πŸ™‚

  24. Just added “On the Wings of a Dove.” Should have thought of that one sooner! πŸ™‚

  25. Hey, what about Tribute’s “You’d Better Have a Boat”?

  26. “All In The Family” – The Todd Allen Family

    Here’s the reference, I’ll let you place it:
    “Count the stars if you can, or the sands by the sea, and that is how big I’ll make your family. This promise to Abraham was made on that day, and by faith in our God we now can stand up and say”

    • Just added (to 22:17) – thanks!

  27. Just added to Genesis 1:27: Created in His Image (Bill Gaither Trio, Blackwood Brothers)

  28. Just added for Chapter 22 – God’s Chosen – Squire Parsons

  29. Just added the McKameys’ “Go Home With Me” to 5:24. πŸ™‚

  30. Just added two very different songs to Genesis 32:22-30: “Rasslin’ Jacob” (Gaither Vocal Band) and “Wait For the Morning Light” (McKameys)

  31. Hey there I have been looking to get my hands on a copy of the inspirations when they send down the chariot for me. Any clue where I can obtain this?

  32. Just added “If This is What God Wants” to Genesis 22, courtesy of Chris Henry’s suggestion in another thread.