I was singing "Were you there..." to myself while planting potatoes yesterday evening after the Good Friday service, I got to the stone being rolled away and I couldn't help but think there were a lot more verses to this song when I was a kid and it just kept going on and on forever.

Is there a complete list of verses (perhaps in multiple hymnals and by different authors) to the verses of "Were you there when they Crucified my Lord"?

  • Wikipedia and Hymnary.org each show four verses, but only two of those in common. This is a call-and-response song, with any suitable six syllable phrase such as "they crucified my Lord" enabling a new verse. So with a little thought it should be possible to extend it substantially, and in effect indefinitely.
    – Henry
    Apr 8, 2023 at 15:52

1 Answer 1


The African American Heritage Hymnal lists five verses:

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However, the original version may have been shorter, and additional verses have been added through folk process. The word "tree" in verse two is often replaced by "cross." One version adds "Were you there when he rose from out the tomb?" I also remember people singing "Were you there when he came into my life?" or "Were you there when he died and rose again?" The first verse is often repeated at the end.

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