“Christ in the Garden”


The singer, wandering in a garden, meets a sorely troubled man. It proves to be Jesus. The singer kneels and begs forgiveness; Jesus grants it, and the singer goes out to spread the word

Supplemental text

Christ in the Garden
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Helen Hartness Flanders and Marguerite Olney, Ballads
Migrant in New England, pp. 210-211. From Mrs. Edwin C.
White, Naugatuck, Connecticut. Collected in 1949.

All nature was sinking in silence to rest.
The sun in its glory sank low in the west.
I walked in the garden and there on the ground
Was the loneliest creature that ever was found.

(5 additional stanzas plus a half stanza)


This is rather a complicated mix of Biblical themes. Jesus's prayer before his arrest is said to have taken place in a garden in John 18:1, but Gethsemane is not called a garden in the other three gospels.

The mention of "blood, sweat, and tears" is unquestionably a reminiscence of Luke 22:43-44 -- verses which, however, are likely not part of Luke's original Greek; of the earliest seven Greek witnesses, six -- those known as P75 Aleph(1) A B T W -- omit, as do some later witnesses of great weight. The verses are found in the King James Bible, though, so English hymn-writers would certainly know them.

There is no known mention of visitors to Jesus in Gethsemane -- but, of course, the witnesses (Peter, James, John) were dozing off. - RBW


  1. Flanders/Olney, pp. 210-211, "Christ in the Garden" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Flanders/Brown, pp. 79-80, "Christ in the Garden" (1 short text)
  3. ST FO210 (Partial)
  4. Roud #4682
  5. BI, FO210


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1931 (Flanders/Brown)
Keywords: Jesus religious
Found in: US(NE)