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Tune Information

Meter: 10.10 with refrain
Incipit: 51333 21321 13555
Key: E♭ Major
Source: Afro-American spiritual


Were You There

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?

Go to text page...


The congregation could sing the entire spiritual, but the tune has a call-and-response structure; try singing unaccompanied with a soloist asking the initial questions in each stanza and the congregation joining in at "Oh, sometimes." The soloist could take significant liberty with the melody and rhythm, and congregations could also treat the "tremble" figure with freedom. Try having the choir hum the parts as background for the solo voice. Although the preferred practice is to sing unaccompanied, 'Were You There" could be accompanied by flute or guitar. The harmony was composed by C. Winfred Douglas (PHH 342).

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook


Baptist Hymnal 1991 #156
Text: Were You There
  • Bulletin Score (PDF)
  • Full Score (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)
Christian Classics Ethereal Hymnary #108
  • Four-part harmony, full-score (PDF, NWC)
The Cyber Hymnal #7233
Text: Were You There?
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #377
Text: Were You There
Worship and Rejoice #283
Text: Were You There


Instances (1 - 66 of 66)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
African American Heritage Hymnal #254TextFlexScorePage Scan
Ambassador Hymnal: for Lutheran worship #83
Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #184Text
Baptist Hymnal 1991 #156TextAudioPage Scan
Baptist Hymnal 2008 #254TextFlexScorePage Scan
Celebrating Grace Hymnal #192TextPage Scan
Chalice Hymnal #198Text
Christian Classics Ethereal Hymnary #108ScoreAudio
Christian Worship: a Lutheran hymnal #119TextPage Scan
Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #403TextPage Scan
Common Praise (1998) #192TextPage Scan
Common Praise: A new edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern #126
Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #721
Discipleship Ministries Collection #12Text
Evangelical Lutheran Worship #353Text
Gather (3rd ed.) #511Page Scan
Gather Comprehensive #416TextPage Scan
Gather Comprehensive, Second Edition #438Page Scan
Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #228Text InfoTextAudio
Hymnal 1982: according to the use of the Episcopal Church #172Text
Hymns and Psalms: a Methodist and ecumenical hymn book #181
Hymns for a Pilgrim People: a congregational hymnal #184
Hymns of Promise: a large print songbook #170Page Scan
Hymns of the Saints: Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints #267
Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #810
Lead Me, Guide Me (2nd ed.) #301
Les Chants du Pèlerin #188
Lift Every Voice and Sing II: an African American hymnal #37TextPage Scan
Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #166TextFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Lutheran Service Book #456TextPage Scan
Lutheran Worship #505TextPage Scan
Moravian Book of Worship #354Text
Oramos Cantando = We Pray In Song #428
Praise! Our Songs and Hymns #228Page Scan
Presbyterian Hymnal: hymns, psalms, and spiritual songs #102Text
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #377Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Rejoice Hymns #324
Secular Hymnal: 144 hymn tunes made inclusive for all #91TextPage Scan
Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal #158
Sing Joyfully #266TextPage Scan
Singing Our Faith: a hymnal for young Catholics #125TextPage Scan
Singing the Faith #285
Small Church Music #405Audio
Songs for Life #167TextPage Scan
The Celebration Hymnal: songs and hymns for worship #315TextPage Scan
The Christian Life Hymnal #161
The Covenant Hymnal: a worshipbook #240
The Cyber Hymnal #7233TextScoreAudio
The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration #181TextPage Scan
The New Century Hymnal #229Text
The New English Hymnal #93aTextPage Scan
The New English Hymnal #93bText
The New National Baptist Hymnal #485
The United Methodist Hymnal #288TextFlexScore
The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement II #195Text
The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement II #196
The Worshiping Church #218TextFlexScorePage Scan
This Far By Faith: an African American resource for worship #81Text
Together in Song: Australian hymn book II #345
Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #260TextFlexScorePage Scan
TTT-Himnaro Cigneta #82TextAudio
Voices United: The Hymn and Worship Book of The United Church of Canada #144Text
Worship (3rd ed.) #436TextPage Scan
Worship (4th ed.) #488
Worship and Rejoice #283TextScoreAudioPage Scan
Worship in Song: A Friends Hymnal #111TextAudio
Include 30 pre-1979 instances