The crucifixion now is past,
And Christ is in His tomb at last,
And at the door the stone is fast.
The tumult and the shouting’s done.
His friends have left Him one by one;
To them He seemed a setting sun.
Despair-black is this evening’s light.
There is no star at Heaven’s height
As on an earlier holy night.
There are no angels in the sky.
There are no shepherds standing nigh.
There is no babe in crib to lie.
Just a body killed and torn
From some fishers now forlorn–
A Savior killed who once was born.
Once the Savior’s life was spent,
The temple veil in two was rent.
Darkness on the earth was sent.
About this Song:
Although I can only be sure I’d written the lyrics for this song sometime prior to 1972, when I used it in my rock opera, The Identity of Divinity, I can trace the tune back to the fall of 1966. I had started taking a college course in 20th Century Poetry, and our first assignment was either to practice reading a particular poem aloud or, if we desired, to set it to music.
I opted for the second choice. I have no idea what the poem was, but fortunately I didn’t forget my tune and chord progression.
You can tell my lyrics are not recent by the way they rhyme. Although I rarely rhyme anymore, I also don’t use words like “nigh” and “forlorn.” Furthermore, since we know baby Jesus lay in a manger, I would’ve driven myself crazy trying to find a one-syllable synonym for manger. Although “trough” would be an accurate substitute, the very sound of that word would have destroyed the effectiveness of the two preceding lines.
The important thing is that this is a very slow and somber view of the situation following Jesus’s crucifixion and how different things were from the joy surrounding His birth. It’s also quite a contrast from the Palm Sunday song I shared last week: “Our King, Triumphant.”
Next week will feature an appropriate Easter song. Look for it next Wednesday. Better still, subscribe to receive these weekly posts by email.
Links you might be interested in:
- Roger’s other blog, On Aging Gracelessly
- Roger’s website, RogerBruner.com
- Roger’s free Christian lead sheets
- Roger’s books on Amazon