Were You There

Composer
Arranger
Difficulty
Moderate radio_button_checked radio_button_checked radio_button_checked radio_button_unchecked radio_button_unchecked
Season
Voicing(s)
Instrumental Only?
No
Description

SATB a cappella (with separate SATB echo).

Notes: This arrangement of this popular spiritual introduces an echo choir in the manner of Britten’s ‘Hymn to the Virgin’. Position the echo choir at some distance from the main choir and ideally out of sight to the congregation e.g. at the back of the church or hall, in a balcony or side chapel. Verse 1 can be sung by the alto or bass from the Echo choir or from the main choir. Verse 3 is a duet for two soloists who can also be part of either choir. Make sure the dynamics are observed; the last tremble must be pianissimo. The piece should end quietly. In some versions of this spiritual, the last verse is: ‘Were you there when he rose to glorious life?’ Feel free to add this verse but end the piece loudly and strong.

Audio
Lyrics

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh!
Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Oh!
Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?

Were you there when they pierced him in the side?
Were you there when they pierced him in the side?
Oh!
Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they pierced him in the side?

Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Oh!
Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?