Song Recommendation – “To See the King of Heaven Fall (Gethsemane)”

With the season of Lent a little over one week away, and Holy Week and Easter in the not-too-distant future, I wanted to recommend an excellent song called “To See the King of Heaven Fall (Gethsemane)”, which was written by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty.

This song would work well all year round, but it seems especially fitting for Maundy Thursday or Good Friday services when a song conveying the terrible sorrow that Jesus endured in being obedient to giving up his life on the cross is needed.

It’s not enough to sing a song that says Jesus was crucified and leave it at that. A sad sounding, minor-key song might set the right mood, but not point people to why Jesus died and what he accomplished on the cross. This song is a gift for worship leaders looking for a song that derives its emotion out of the truth it contains.

Here are the lyrics:

To See the King of Heaven Fall (Gethsemane)
To see the King of heaven fall
In anguish to His knees,
The Light and Hope of all the world
Now overwhelmed with grief.
What nameless horrors must He see,
To cry out in the garden:
“Oh, take this cup away from me –
Yet not my will but Yours,
Yet not my will but Yours.”

To know each friend will fall away,
And heaven’s voice be still,
For hell to have its vengeful day
Upon Golgotha’s hill.
No words describe the Savior’s plight –
To be by God forsaken
Till wrath and love are satisfied
And every sin is paid
And every sin is paid

What took Him to this wretched place,
What kept Him on this road?
His love for Adam’s curséd race,
For every broken soul.
No sin too slight to overlook,
No crime too great to carry,
All mingled in this poisoned cup –
And yet He drank it all,
The Savior drank it all,
The Savior drank it all.
Stuart Townend & Keith Getty Copyright © 2009 Thankyou Music

You can download the sheet music here, and purchase an mp3 of the song from iTunes here.

Here is a YouTube video of  a live recording of the song from Stuart Townend’s church. This version can be found on Church of Christ the King Brighton’s CD called “Have You Heard”.  The video starts off with a reading of Mark 14:32-36 and an instrumental prelude. The song starts around 1:45.

3 thoughts on “Song Recommendation – “To See the King of Heaven Fall (Gethsemane)”

  1. A March 3, 2010 / 4:25 am

    it is a great song, I am planning to use it,
    BUT
    it is a rather low setting,
    and the music leans heavily on This Fragile Vessel, also by Keith Getty.

    • Jamie Brown March 4, 2010 / 10:15 pm

      Thanks for stopping by – and I’m glad you’re using this song!

      This recording has the song in the key of D. Yes, it feels a bit low on the verses, but once the “refrain-ish” section hits, I think it’s a good thing the song is in this key. The high notes end up being “D”s, but if the song was any higher, these could be more uncomfortable “Eb”s, or “E”s… I’m using the song this weekend and keeping it in D. We’ll see how it goes…

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