Appalachia Music

The Gospel According to John

Today’s post was written by Paul.

man holding bible

“The Gospel According to John” is a song we learned from our friends, the Marksmen Quartet. We never did really get a take that we liked well enough, but I found the video below after Pap passed away and decided to upload it anyway. Pap’s voice breaks on him a couple of times, but the harmony is good overall, and normally, he had no problem reaching the tenor on the highest notes. We love the story the song tells. The speaker or narrator doubts not only his fellow man but also the power of the Word of God and is happily proven wrong on both counts.

The Gospel According to John

Down on the corner of Maple and Main
Dirt on his face and his heart in his hands
Stood a ragged old creature with hard rugged features
He’d written My name is John on a sign and say can you spare John a dime

How often I’d seen him both time and again
Should I offer help or could I just pretend that I don’t have a dollar
For all that it mattered I just gave him my Bible instead
Still I wondered if John ever read

Where it says whosoever will come to the father
Drink from the life flowing river
For God so loved the world that he gave
Let my life point to the giver

I was making my rounds over town yesterday
Thought I hadn’t seen John in a while anyway
He’s probably pushing up daisies drunk or half crazy
But I couldn’t help stopping to stare
Because you wouldn’t believe who was there

He was down on that corner of Maple and Main
Smile on his face and a Bible in his hand
Now there’s a new creature and Sunday School teacher
Singing I’ve found that crucified one

That’s the Gospel according to John

I hope you enjoyed the video and I hope each of you have a great Sunday!


Subscribe for FREE and get a daily dose of Appalachia in your inbox

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    September 1, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    Hearing Pap and Paul sing The Gospel According to John was the first time I ever heard of it and I was instantly drawn to it so now it is a favorite of mine. I love how Pap looks at Paul and smiles when he sung the part ‘ I just gave him my Bible instead” a very touching moment between Father and Son.
    Their harmony is just so beautiful to my ears.
    I am so glad I found your blog and your music.

  • Reply
    July 30, 2018 at 9:05 am

    Love that ..

  • Reply
    July 29, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    Thank you Paul,tears in my eyes.Going to go back and hear it again.God Bless all.Jean

  • Reply
    betty stephenson
    July 29, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    beautiful song dont think i have heard it before love it have a great week

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    July 29, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    That was a nice song. I like Paul and Pap’s voice in “According to John”.

    I was talking on the phone with my oldest daughter, and lost her on Balsam Mountain somewheres. She’ll be here by 2:30 or thereabouts. Hadn’t seen her in almost a year, so this will be nice. …Ken

  • Reply
    July 29, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    Loved it! Thanks Paul for sharing. Good message for us all.

  • Reply
    July 29, 2018 at 10:43 am

    A woman in a ankle length hot pink dress and hot pink shoes approached me in a grocery store. She was very polite. She said, “Sir, can you help me out? I have three kids and they haven’t had anything to eat today.” I explained that I didn’t carry money and only had one dollar bill to my name. I gave it to her and managed to scrounge up another dollar’s worth of change from my pocket. I had seven cents left. I said “Here is two dollars. That will buy a loaf of bread if you buy the store brand.” She thanked me and I went back to shopping. As I was loading my stuff in the truck a particular sound caught my attention. I looked up to see the lady in the long hot pink dress and shoes. Now she has on a matching hot pink helmet and was astride a matching hot pink motor scooter.
    “This is good!” I thought to myself, so I decided to follow her. She didn’t get far down the road before another scooter (likker cycles is what we call them around here) fell in beside her. All the way across town we went. I stayed a couple of cars behind not wanting to appear intrusive.
    The next to last light in town caught me. As I sat there waiting the duo disappeared from my view. On the move again a color on my right caught my eye. A lady dressed in hot pink and a scrawny grungy looking man walking side by side into the last convenience store in town. “She got me” I thought to myself. Two dollars will buy “a tall one” a 24 ounce can of beer. Strangely though I didn’t feel like a fool though. I laughed all the way home. I still see a rerun in my mind whenever I see something in that shade of pink again. It has been well worth two dollars in entertainment value.
    I must admit though, I had devilish thoughts in mind when I was following The Lady in Pink. I just knew she would get going a little too fast and that dress tail would blow up over her face and cause her to wreck. I had already formulated what I was going to say as I stopped to pick the scooter up off her. “I hope you didn’t lose your kids’ bread money!” Oh well, it was still worth $2.

  • Reply
    Kenneth Ryan
    July 29, 2018 at 10:03 am

    I’ve heard the Marksmen do this song a number of times on their yearly trips to Texas. I love the song too. You and your dad did a good job and I enjoyed it a lot.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    July 29, 2018 at 9:57 am

    Great sermon in a short song.

  • Reply
    Tom Deep
    July 29, 2018 at 9:22 am

    Very enjoyable rendition of the song, thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    July 29, 2018 at 8:26 am

    Wow – beautiful!!! I read the words first and thought I’ve never heard that song. Then I listened to it and the music and Paul’s singing it with Pap was more beautiful.

  • Reply
    July 29, 2018 at 8:04 am

    Enjoyed it. The story behind this song reminds me of a Song that Bradley Walker an Alabama raised native, sings call A little Change,, Bradley was in a group called the Trinity Mountain Boys at one time, who was made up of some of my wifes cousins, Bradley moved on with the help of Carl Jackson an outstanding song writer, promoter, and an all around nice person, and has done really well, despite all his physical problems.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    July 29, 2018 at 7:51 am

    Our pastor has a story kinda like that. He was in prison, at rock bottom, when someone gave him a copy of the Gospel of John. Inside the cover was written simply “from John”. He read it through about five times I think he said and the last time it became intensely personal. He was – is still – completely changed. And he told all 51 of the people in his barracks. Some scoffed and said it was jailhouse religion that wouldn’t last. Some were glad for him. Some were indifferent.

    The story didn’t end there. It just began. He doesn’t give any specifics but I think he did what he could to make amends to those he had wronged. And after he got out he was contacted by officials on their initiative to have all of his rights restored and his record expunged to align with his reformed nature.

    I would not post this but he does not hide from his past. Nor does he said, “Look at me.”

    Redemption is still alive and well and present.

    • Reply
      July 29, 2018 at 5:12 pm

      I totally agree with the “make amends” part. That’s is the most important part of asking for forgiveness. “I’m sorry” don’t mean a thing if you haven’t tried your best to rectify the situation you caused. God doesn’t forgive you until you have made it right with those you have harmed. God doesn’t forgive you until Judgement Day when He considers your case. When he looks at you and only sees Jesus in you then all your misdeeds are erased.
      Sorry, I’m getting preachy again.

    Leave a Reply