The beloved hymn “Were You There” has taken on many forms and has varied lyrically throughout the decades, but one thing stays the same – it is still one of the most cherished and favorite gospel songs that became a popular choice for music artists to record. One of the many legendary singers to do so was none other than Johnny Cash.
Cash recorded “Were You There” off his album Gospel Glory, where he covered ten treasured hymns and Southern gospel standards. It also featured guest appearances from his wife, June Carter Cash, the Carter Family, and the Statler Brothers. Other Johnny Cash gospel songs found in the album are his rendition of “In The Sweet By and By,” “Softly And Tenderly,” “He Turned The Water Into Wine,” and “Amazing Grace.”
In 2002, Cash’s recording of “Were You There” during a 1969 concert at Madison Square Garden was also released.
A Tale of Jesus’ Pain During Crucifixion
While he’s been known for his rough outlaw image, Johnny Cash showed an eager desire to live according to the Gospel of Jesus. So, it was no surprise when he recorded “Were You There,” which centers on Jesus’ crucifixion. The song finds Cash passionately addressing the listener as he details the pain Jesus must have endured just to save the entire humanity.
Cash also created his own arrangement for his version of “Were You There,” which placed him at the lead, channeling raw emotion through his distinct singing voice. Cash often performed this heart-wrenching hymn with the Carter Family, who never failed to provide sweet harmonies.
Anyway, you can listen to Johnny Cash’s beautiful rendition of “Were You There” by playing the video below.