Friday morning: Sydney Carter

by Richard on April 6, 2012

It was on a Friday morning that they took me from the cell
and I saw they had a carpenter to crucify as well
You can blame it on to Pilate
You can blame it on the Jews
You can blame it on the Devil
Its God I accuse
It’s God they ought to crucify instead of you and me
I said to the carpenter, a-hanging on the tree

You can blame it on to Adam
You can blame it on to Eve
You can blame it on the apple,
but that I can’t believe
It was God that made the Devil
And the woman and the man
And there wouldn’t be an apple
If it wasn’t in the plan
It’s God they ought to crucify instead of you and me
I said to the carpenter, a-hanging on the tree

Now Barabbas was a killer
And they let Barabbas go
But you are being crucified
For nothing that I know
And your God is up in Heaven
and He doesn’t do a thing
With a million angels watching
and they never move a wing
It’s God they ought to crucify instead of you and me
I said to the carpenter, a-hanging on the tree

To hell with Jehovah
To the carpenter I said
I wish that a carpenter
had made the world instead
Goodbye and good luck to you
our ways will soon divide
Remember me tomorrow
The man you hung beside
It’s God they ought to crucify instead of you and me
I said to the carpenter, a-hanging on the tree

Sydney Carter

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Jen 04.08.12 at 6:21 pm

Still got it upstairs from that Maundy Thursday service…

2

Jen 04.08.12 at 6:21 pm

It’s a good song.

3

Richard 04.09.12 at 9:48 am

Sadly, I’ve lost my copy of the music.
I wish we’d recorded that service.

4

Andrew 07.31.13 at 3:07 pm

More than a song… David Watson quoted this in his book ‘My God is Real’ (1971) and I can still quote it from reading it then, over 40 years ago. That book and that poem cleared the way for me to make the decision for the Lord that has blessed me ever since. As Watson said, it WAS God they crucified, a-hanging on that tree! That the Lord did make it all, and takes responsibility for it, and enters it, and joins with us in it, and gives us a Way, the Way…. And 40 years on I can tell you that that Way is True.

5

Bob Gilston 08.05.13 at 7:28 pm

I assumed the tune would be from “Twas on a Monday morning when the gas man came to call” Flanders and Swan?

6

Ritchie Way 03.12.14 at 12:17 am

From whom do I get permission to quote the first two verses of this great poem in a forth-coming book?
Ritchie.

7

Richard 03.12.14 at 12:27 am

I’d contact Stainer & Bell - they are his publishers.

8

Kim 03.12.14 at 10:03 am

Ritchie Way, I’m pretty sure that, for just a few verses, all you need to do is properly footnote the quote. Your publisher would be able to confirm that. It was certainly the case when I cited 6 lines from an R.S. Thomas poem in an epigraph to a book a few years back.

9

Ritchie Way 03.13.14 at 11:48 pm

Thank you Richard and Kim. I appreciate your help.

10

Richard 03.14.14 at 11:38 pm

You’re very welcome

11

Frank Roberts 06.03.14 at 7:22 pm

I only ever heard this song once when Carter sang it on TV Must have been 1965? I was overwhelmed when I heard it and have never heard it since
I think it the greatest Christian song (hardly a hymn!) of the last century

12

Toby 10.07.15 at 11:54 pm

Thanks Andrew, your comment helped me today.

13

Lavinia Hand 06.22.16 at 4:15 pm

I guess that Sidney Carter assumed that it didn’t need an explanation. God in the person of Jesus the carpenter,did take the blame for which I shall be eternally grateful

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