Family Bible –written in 1956 by Willie Nelson who, pre-Nashville days and country music stardom, was a former Sunday school teacher for a Baptist church in Fort Worth. It speaks of that slowly vanishing family tradition of children gathering around the father as he reads from the Bible. He got the inspiration from his early memories of his grandmother. Without fail, she would always crack open the Bible and sang the hymn, “Rock of Ages” after their evening meal.
It was recorded by various music artists including Claude Gray (who enjoyed the song’s success in 1961 peaking at 7), Ernest Tubb, Texas Troubadours, George Jones and Merle Haggard.
Through the years, Nelson endeared Family Bible that he would often sing it during his live performances.
So folks, how are the bibles faring in your homes? Have they become worn from frequent use? Or are they merely collecting dust? Thanks to Willie, this song of his would always remind us the significance of Bible reading in shaping up not only our family values but our nation as a whole.
There’s a family Bible on the table its pages torn and hard to read
But the family Bible on the table will ever be my key to memory
At the end of day when work was over and when the evening meal was done
Dad would read to us from the family Bible
And we’d count our many blessings one by one
I can see us sitting ’round the table when from the family Bible dad would read
And I can hear my mother softly singing rock of ages rock of ages cleft for me
This old world of ours is full of trouble but this old world would also better be
If we’d find more Bibles on the tables and mothers singing rock of ages cleft for me I can see us sitting.
First, listen to the composer’s mellow take on his song.
And now, the countrified spin of Bradley Walker featuring the Oak Ridge Boys.