This file is the author's own work and represents their interpretation of the song. You may only use this file for private study, scholarship, or research.

Words and music: Christopher Wren
Performer: Johnny Cash (1969)
From: Guitar Picker -
Jesus Was a Carpenter

D                            G                     A7
Jesus was a carpenter and He worked with a saw and hammer
        D                             G                  A7
And His hands could form a table true enough to stand forever
       D                   G                D              G
And He might have spun His life out in the coolness of the mornings
       D             G            D                  G
But He put aside His tools and He walked the burning highways
   D                  Em
To build a house from folks like you and me

And He found them as they wandered through the wild Judean mountains
And He found them as they pulled their nets upon the Sea of Galilee
And for a thousand evenings while the day behind Him emptied
He walked among the poor and He stopped to touch the dying
And He built His house for people just like these

It was on a shining Sunday when He rode into Jerusalem
And the palms they cast before Him were the crimes they laid against Him
It was on a storming Friday when He climbed the streets to Calvary
And where He died, today, why they’re sellin’ beads and postcards
And they tell us too, that that was long ago

But would He stand today upon the sands of California
Or walk the sweating blacktop in New York and Mississippi
Where the mighty churches rise above the screaming cities?
Would He be a guest on Sunday, a vagrant on a Monday
With the doors locked tight against His kind you know

Come again now Jesus, be a carpenter among us
There are chapels in our discontent, cathedrals in our sorrows
And we dwell in golden mansions with the sand for our foundations
And the raging waters rising, and the thunder’s all around us
Won’t you come and build a house on rock again?