I Lay It Down

Written by Elton Smith and Larry Holder
Links to contributors: Larry Holder, Steve Israel

This may be the hardest song to write that we have attempted. I wrote the music and some of the lyrics. Then Larry and I started working on the remainder of the lyrics. We got into all sorts of theological discussions, and at one point Larry even checked with his pastor to make sure we weren't out in left field. The scriptures tell us what Christ said in the garden, but not exactly what he was thinking. We have tried to build the lyrics around what he might have thought. This is in some ways a companion song for "The Ballad of the Cross" and should be sung as a solo or duet. We have provided alternative notes for the bridge in the music score in case you can't hit the high parts. Be sure to visit Larry's popular web site for more great music. - Elton, August 25, 1998

Languages for this song:
Dutch/Flemish, Portuguese, Spanish



(Verse 1)
In the Garden of Gethsemane I ponder,
With a sorrow unto death, to You I cry.
Though my calling leads me onward
To the suff'ring of the cross,
I pray this cup would pass me by.

(Verse 2)
I'm alone for all my friends have grown too weary.
In the darkness of the hour, I am undone.
Yet again, I plead and pray,
Dear Father, take this cup away,
And spare the suff'ring of Your Son.

(Chorus 1)
Must I lay down my life in agony,
Must I bear all the sin and shame?
Must You soon turn Your face away from me,
As the people mock my Name?
There is nothing that You cannot do,
So once again, I cry:
My Father, let this cup now pass me by.
My Father, let this cup now pass me by!

Abba, Father! I cry,
Must I be crucified?
Must I shed my blood upon the ground?
Must I be led to wear a thorny crown?
Must I face the coldness of the tomb?
Please, Father must I die?

(Peal of Thunder)

(Verse 3)
I awaken those who close their eyes in slumber.
Now the hour has come; betrayal drawing near.
Soon the soldiers will descend,
And all the suff'ring will begin,
And my disciples flee in fear.

(Verse 4)
For this moment I was born; I cannot falter.
As the Lamb I come to give my life for all.
Since before the world began,
My death was in our master plan,
And I must answer to the call:

(Chorus 2)
If the shadow of death must pass this way,
As the wages of sin are borne,
Though the wrath and judgement I must bear
Leave me battered, bruised, and torn,
If the bearing of the cross must come
Before I wear the crown,
I yield my life to You; I lay it down.
I yield my life to You; I lay it down!

(Short Orchestra solo)

Though I dread the torture, death and grave,
Though I pray my life somehow be saved,
If the bearing of the cross must come
Before I wear the crown,
I yield my life to You; I lay it down.
I yield my life to You; I lay it down!

Copyright © 1998 Elton Smith and Larry Holder

Comments -  Leave a comment

Bessie2011-02-11what a wonderful and timely message. PRAISE GOD from whom all blessings flow.
Jocelyn2011-02-02Hi guys, you know i really really like the message of this song, thanked GOD that i found the lyrics of this..i am touched with every word on it.
Margie N.2010-07-03Thank you for this song. True salvation has at last come to me. I thank God for inspiring this song. If it has touched no one but me, thank God for that touch. I was blinded and fooled for so many years, thinking I was saved, now I know. Keep up the work.
2009-04-04Amazing cry of the Spirit to the the Holy God.
Sandy2009-03-02very very nice god bless you
2008-03-27wonderful song. it really "speaks" . God bless
alli2008-03-19a wonderful song i felt like crying i would love to sing the song at church. thank you to everyone that help produce this song
C. O'Connor2008-03-17Words: beautiful!
Music: totally unsuited for the moment!
Good Lord, Jesus is literally sweating drops of blood. I hardly thing a party-calypso beat captures the spirit of the occasion.
Might I suggest something more akin to what Michael Card achieves so beautifully in his song "In The Garden". Might I also suggest keeping these beautiful words but setting them to a melody that is a tad more solemn and (dare I say it) mournful?
Yvette Franklin2008-02-20Your hymns have helped me a lot with my Choir in Pakistan and I heard "I lay it down" some time ago but was not able to use it as I am not so good at the guitar but my son will be singing it for a Passion play on Good Friday with a key board playing. Thank you for all your help.
Fran2008-02-16I have been searching high and low for songs for our outdoor Easter drama. This is PERFECT. I loved it, it brought tears to my eyes. It is all in there for the garden scene. I hope I am free to use it. Thanks and be blessed.
The singing was not shabby either.
Gloria2007-12-23I am always seeking music for our worship team for our church. Thank for your great selection of songs...so meaningful and biblical in thought for the messages being sung in the songs. May you be blessed as you continue to do the above.