Songs from John

This is the forty-third entry in a series on Songs from the Books of the Bible.

Southern Gospel songs focus on many of the highest themes known to mankind—songs of Salvation, the Cross, the Resurrection, and eternity. But critics claim that they focus on these themes to the exclusion of other Biblical themes which are appropriate and perhaps necessary to address in song.

For how many chapters in John can we find Southern Gospel songs addressing their themes?

  • John 1:6-37: See Matthew 3
  • John 1:12-14: Remember When (McKameys)
  • John 1:23: Preach (Talley Trio)
  • John 1:29: Behold the Lamb (Palmetto State Quartet)
  • John 1:29: Behold the Lamb (Songmasters, Hoppers, Jerry & the Singing Goffs, Dove Brothers) (allusion)
  • John 1:29: Behold the Lamb (Rambos) (different song) (allusion)
  • John 1:29: Behold the Lamb (Down East Boys) (different song) (allusion)
  • John 1:29: Look No Further (Perrys)
  • John 1:29: Sing a Song About The Lamb (McKameys)
  • John 1:32: See Matthew 3:16
  • John 1:39: Come and See (Kingsmen)
  • John 1:39: Come and See (Roy Knight Singers, LeFevre Quartet) (allusion)
  • John 1:45: But I Met a Nazarene (Perrys, McKameys)
  • John 2:1-10: He Turned the Water into Wine (Couriers)
  • John 3: The Only Way (Greater Vision)
  • John 3: If You Want to Go to Heaven (Isaacs)
  • John 3:1-21: Nicodemus (Statesmen)
  • John 3:14: High and Lifted Up (Cathedrals)
  • John 3:16: For God So Loved (Brian Free & Assurance)
  • John 3:16: For God So Loved (Blackwood Brothers, Blue Ridge, Cathedrals, Florida Boys, Rebels, Stamps) (different song)
  • John 3:16: For God So Loved The World (Bishops)
  • John 3:16: For God So Loved the World (Blue Ridge)
  • John 3:16: John Chapter 3 (Wilburns)
  • John 3:16: How Deep the Father’s Love For Us (McKameys, Talleys)
  • John 3:16: He Gave (McKameys)
  • John 3:16: Blame it On Love (Hoppers)
  • John 3:16: The Old Love Letter (McKameys)
  • John 4:1-16: Bucket at the Well (Inspirations)
  • John 4:1-16: Close To The Well (Ivan Parker)
  • John 4:1-16: Drink from the Well (Gold City)
  • John 4:1-16: Go to the Well (Dixie Melody Boys)
  • John 4:1-16: Going to the Well (Dixie Echoes)
  • John 4:1-16: He’s Still Waiting by the Well (Greater Vision)
  • John 4:1-16: Jacob’s Well (Perrys)
  • John 4:1-16: Mighty Deep Well (Kingdom Heirs)
  • John 4:1-16: Paid in Full Through Jesus, Amen (Greater Vision)
  • John 4:1-16: Keeper of the Well (Cathedrals, Chris Allman)
  • John 4:1-16: One Well (Liberty Quartet)
  • John 4:1-16: Still Drinking Water from the Well (Cathedrals, Cross 4 Crowns, Legacy Five)
  • John 4:1-16: This Well Travels (Hoppers)
  • John 4:1-16: Water at the Well (Beene Family)
  • John 4:1-16: Weary at the Well (Mark Trammell Quartet)
  • John 4:1-16: The Well of Grace (Kingsmen)
  • John 4:1-16: Well of Life (Booth Brothers)
  • John 4:1-16: Well Water (Martins)
  • John 4:1-16: You’re at the Well (Gold City)
  • John 4:1-16: You Can’t Draw Water from a Dry Well (Wendy Bagwell & the Sunliters)
  • John 4:1-16: Too Good to Not Be True (Perrys)
  • John 4:6-29: There Is A River (Greater Vision, Cathedrals)
  • John 4:7-42: Something More (McKameys)
  • John 4:10: I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say (Bill Gaither Trio)
  • John 4:10-14: It’s Beginning To Rain (Bill Gaither Trio)
  • John 4:11: Fountain of Living Water (Crist Family)
  • John 4:11: I’ve Found Living Water (Cumberland Quartet)
  • John 4:11: Jesus is the Living Water (Old Time Gospel Hour Quartet, Heartland Quartet, Perfect Heart)
  • John 4:11: Living Water (Gaither Vocal Band)
  • John 4:11: Living Water (Hoppers) (different song)
  • John 4:11: Living Water (N’Harmony) (different song)
  • John 4:11: Living Water (Paid in Full) (different song)
  • John 4:11: Living Water (Talley Trio, Won by One) (different song)
  • John 4:11: Mighty Deep Well (Kingdom Heirs)
  • John 4:13-14: If You Drink This Water (You Will Never Thirst Again) (Statesmen)
  • John 5:2: See Matthew 9:20-22
  • John 5:6: Do You Want To Be Well (Gaither Vocal Band)
  • John 6:1-14: See Matthew 14:13-21
  • John 6:10: He Had to Rise (Kingdom Heirs)
  • John 6:15-21: See Matthew 14:22-33
  • John 6:35: Living Water, Bread of Life (Booth Brothers)
  • John 7:38: Rivers of Living Water (Daryl Williams Trio)
  • John 8:1-11: Free To Go Home (Statesmen, Bill Gaither Trio, Collingsworth Family)
  • John 8:12: Light of the World (The Martins)
  • John 8:12: Jesus, the Light of the World (The Rebels, Gaither Homecoming Friends)
  • John 10:1-21: Gentle Shepherd (Bill Gaither Trio, Cathedrals, Dixie Melody Boys, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, Gaither Vocal Band, Mark Trammell Quartet, Statesmen)
  • John 10:1-21: Gentle Shepherd (Perrys) (different song)
  • John 10:1-21: The Shepherd’s Call (Crabb Family)
  • John 10:1-21: The Shepherd’s Point of View (McKameys) (allusion)
  • John 10:3: When He Speaks (McKameys)
  • John 11:1-46: Hey, Lazarus (Dove Brothers)
  • John 11:1-46: Bring Lazarus Back (Mark Bishop)
  • John 11:1-46: Free To Go Home (Collingsworth Family)
  • John 11:1-46: I’ll Live Again (Bishops)
  • John 11:1-46: Lazarus Come Forth (Bishops)
  • John 11:1-46: My Name is Lazarus (Greater Vision)
  • John 11:1-46: Take Off Those Rags Lazarus (Rex Nelon)
  • John 11:1-46: Come and See (Roy Knight Singers)
  • John 11:1-46: Behold, the Master Cometh (Kingsmen)
  • John 11:1-46: Four Days Late (Karen Peck & New River)
  • John 11:1-46: The Voice I Could Not Resist (Greater Vision)
  • John 11:1-46: When God Moves (Mark Trammell Trio)
  • John 11:1-46: When Jesus Speaks Life (Kingdom Heirs)
  • John 11:1-46: Grave Clothes (Gold City)
  • John 11:1-46: On Time God (Talley Trio)
  • John 11:1-46: Power in God’s Son (McKameys)
  • John 11:15: Weep (Nelons)
  • John 12:13: See Matthew 21:9
  • John 12:32: High And Lifted Up (Cathedrals)
  • John 13:1-20: God Washed the Dirty Feet of Men (Florida Boys)
  • John 13:1-20: He Washed My Feet (Greater Vision)
  • John 14:1-3: Coming Very Soon (McKameys)
  • John 14:1-3: In My Father’s House (McKameys)
  • John 14:1-4: When I Think About Heaven (McKameys)
  • John 14:2: In My Father’s House Are Many Mansions (Cathedrals)
  • John 14:2: Mansion Over The Hilltop (Cathedrals)
  • John 14:3: High And Lifted Up (Cathedrals)
  • John 14:6: One Way (Bishops)
  • John 14:27: When He Speaks (McKameys)
  • John 15:5: Without Him (McKameys)
  • John 15:13: What Will You Do For Jesus? (narration) (Cathedrals)
  • John 15:13: Greater Love Hath No Man (Statesmen)
  • John 19: See Matthew 27
  • John 19:16-30: Between Twelve and Thirty-Three (McKameys)
  • John 19:17: See Matthew 27:31-33
  • John 19:23: Close to the Cross But Far From the Blood (McKameys)
  • John 19:25-35: All Is Well (McKameys)
  • John 19:28: I Thirst (Cathedrals)
  • John 19:30: It is Finished (pretty much everyone)
  • John 19:30: It Is Finished (Bishops)
  • John 19:30: He Said it All (Bishops)
  • John 19:30: It is Finished Started it All (LordSong)
  • John 19:30: It is Done (Ernie Haase & Signature Sound)
  • John 19:34: Oh, How Precious Is The Flow (McKameys)
  • John 19:38: See Matthew 27:57-66
  • John 20: See Matthew 28
  • John 20:5: Jesus Has Risen (Cathedrals)
  • John 20:6-7: At The Breaking Of Day (McKameys)
  • John 20:7: The Garden Tomb (Primitives, John Bowman)
  • John 20:10-18: Death Has Died (Cathedrals)
  • John 20:10-18: I Am The Way (Kingdom Heirs)
  • John 20:11-18: The Garden Tomb (Primitives, John Bowman)
  • John 20:24-29: My Lord and My God (Inspirations)
  • John 20:24-29: Even Thomas Couldn’t Doubt It (Mark Trammell Trio)
  • John 20:26-28: I Don’t Have to See the Tomb (Inspirations)
  • John 20:30: Story Untold (McKameys)
  • John 21:1-6: The Other Side (McKameys)
  • John 21:15: Lovest Thou Me (pretty much everyone)
  • John 21:15: Feed My Sheep (Primitive Quartet)
  • John 21:15: My Jesus, I Love Thee (pretty much everyone)
  • John 21:15: More Than You’ll Ever Know (Kingdom Heirs, Mark Trammell Trio)

Where a song is inspired by something in multiple Gospels, I’ve listed it under the parallel passage in Matthew.

What others come to mind?

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35 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. Two I looked for right away and didn’t see: Four Days Late (I think the name was) by Karen Peck and New River (John 11) and Tony Gore’s Meanwhile in the Garden (John 19).

    • Jim, thanks! I’ll add Four Days Late here, and Meanwhile in the Garden to the parallel passage in Matthew (since I’m listing parallels where they first appear, to avoid duplication.)

      • Post above should say John 20, by the way, but while I have no problem with you listing “Meanwhile in the Garden” under the songs in Matthew the lyrics actually fit the John account better.

      • OK. Well, if there’s a specific verse where the wording is obviously connected to John, I’d be happy to list it for that verse, too. 🙂

  2. The most famous of all Lazarus songs: “Four Days Late”!

    More off the top of my head from Lazarus: Rodney G’s “The Voice I Could Not Resist”, KH’s “When Jesus Speaks Life”, Gold City’s “Grave Clothes”.

    From Nicodemus’ conversation with Jesus in John 3, GV’s “He’s the Only Way”.

    From the woman at the well, GV’s “Paid in Full Through Jesus, Amen”.

    From Jesus’ conversation with Peter in John 21, “More Than You’ll Ever Know,” recorded by MTT and KH.

    • Thanks! I’ve added all of these.

      I’d make the case that “My Name is Lazarus” is actually the most famous SG Lazarus song. That song and the Karen Peck & New River song came out within a couple of years of each other. One catapulted its respective trio to a long run as Favorite Trio, its writer to a long and ongoing run as Favorite Songwriter, and all sorts of other album awards. The other didn’t. 🙂

      • That would be an interesting debate, though it’s hard to prove something like “what is most famous”. I will say that when I think of songs about Lazarus, “Four Days Late” is the first one to come to mind. Probably because “My Name Is Lazarus” is actually not a narrative of the Lazarus story. It just uses Lazarus as an illustration of a larger point.

      • OK. Well, is there really any other metric for most famous than impact on radio presence, awards, and general visibility for the group following said song’s release? 🙂

      • Your metrics are measuring song impact, not necessarily song fame. Which song is known about by more people, and is known better by people? That’s a little harder to measure. 🙂

      • Perhaps a song’s impact is the best metric of its fame. 😀

  3. Karen Peck and New River’s bio on their website cite Four Days Late as being voted the song of the decade in 2010.

    • …by who?

      And meanwhile, “My Name is Lazarus,” though only a couple of years older, belongs to the previous decade. So it wasn’t beaten out. 🙂

      • “Four Days Late” was chosen Song of the Decade by the readers of Singing News Magazine. It was a number one for multiple months, if I’m not mistaken, and solidified the career of Karen Peck and New River, becoming their signature song. If anyone doubts that, go to one of their concerts as I recently did, and even after all these years, it’s pretty clear that people come to hear that song. Probably one of the few songs to rival “God On The Mountain” in terms of expectation at a concert. It is a mood-changer when the intro starts and Karen sings those first familiar words, “The news came to Jesus…” “My Name Is Lazarus” is not a song about Lazarus. It is a song about the crippled man who was lowered through the roof by four men who took him to see Jesus, of which the writer took poetic liberty and asked us to “supppose” that one of the four men was Lazarus. I honestly do not think it would occur to me to think that this song was about Lazarus, even though his story is the central theme of the chorus. If I were naming Lazarus songs, it would be way down on the list.

  4. If this is a poll we have going on here…
    I’ll put my vote on Four Days Late… for the same reason mentioned above, which song comes to my mind first when thinking of songs about Lazarus.

    Really, I was just looking for a reason to comment 😀

    Great job again Daniel!

    • Thanks! Well, I guess it is a poll now, and I guess I’m currently being outvoted 2-1!

  5. What about the Perrys’ “Too Good to Not Be True” (John 4)?

    • Good one…what a beautiful song.

    • Added – thanks, Lauren!

  6. On Time God by the Talley Trio? I think there is some reference to Lazarus in that song. John 11
    Close To The Well by Ivan Parker? John 4

  7. I haven’t been home today and just got in. Love this I see a few

    John 1:29 (allusion) – “Look No Further” – The Perrys

    John 3:16 – “Blame It On Love” – The Hoppers (not sure if that one is fitting but I thought I would give it a shot lol)

    John 14:1-3 – “In My Father’s House” – The McKameys

    John 3:16 – “The Old Love Letter” – The McKameys

    John 20 – “The Garden” – The McKameys

    Lets face it the McKameys song library is so huge and Bible based it’s easy to forget some. But that’s why they are so great!!!

    • I remembered another McKameys song that is a “Lazarus” song – “Power in God’s Son” from the “With His Power” album – probably one of my all time favorite McKameys album. That song is so unique wish they would bring it back…

    • Thanks! I added most of these; “The Garden” is already listed under the parallel passage noted for John 20. To avoid duplication, I cover songs that cover multiple Gospels in the first Gospel for which they’re applicable.

      • Understood!!! =) I couldn’t remember if it was posted or not, and I didn’t go back to check.

      • OK! 🙂

  8. It is Done – EHSS (John 19:30)

  9. John 5:6 – Do You Want to Be Well (Gaither Vocal Band)

  10. Just added My Lord and My God (Inspirations) to John 20:24-29. (I’ve been on an Inspirations listening marathon today!)

  11. I believe this should apply:

    John 19:28 – I Thirst (Cathedrals, EHSS)

    • Yes, sir! It definitely applies, and is one I ought to have thought of far before this point! Thanks!

  12. You have “Come and See” by the Roy Knight Singers, but not by the LeFevre Quartet

    • Well, at the time this came up, I’m not sure the LeFevre Quartet rendition was out yet (and if it was, I probably didn’t have a copy yet!)