Softly and Tenderly

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Softly and Tenderly
by Will L. Thompson

Softly and Tenderly is an old american folk songs with christian lyrics. It was composed by Will L. Thompson and first published in 1880. The song was recorded by many different artitst like Bill Anderson, Eddy Arnold, Pat Boone, Johnny Cash or Roy Drusky. A famous version was made on December 4, 1956, when the Million Dollar Quartet (Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash) played it during his informal jam session, the "Sun Session".


Softly and Tenderly, 1956 (version by the Million Dollar Quartet)

The following are the original lyrics, written by Will L. Thompson.

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling for you and for me;
See, on the portals He’s waiting and watching,
Watching for you and for me.

Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!

Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading,
Pleading for you and for me?
Why should we linger and heed not His mercies,
Mercies for you and for me?

Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing,
Passing from you and from me;
Shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming,
Coming for you and for me.

Oh, for the wonderful love He has promised,
Promised for you and for me!
Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon,
Pardon for you and for me.


  • Lyrics provided by "Timeless Truth" - the free online library