Bill and Gloria Gaither have been singing Christian music together since the early 1960’s and have composed over 800 songs. One of those songs, the ageless “Because He Lives,” was written 50 years ago in 1971. The Gaithers were preparing for the birth of their third child, Benjy, when they penned the song that has impacted churches throughout the world. The Gaithers wrote ‘Because He Lives‘ during a time of uncertainty and explained to Baptist Press that their goal was to provide “hope” to the world that their soon-to-be born son would inhabit.
Bill told Baptist Press that he and his wife just wanted to create a song of hope that would resonate with people. But they had no clue just how God would use it. “I don’t think we understood the depth of what we wrote at the time when we wrote it,” said Bill Gaither.
Gloria reflected on the popular culture during the time they wrote the song saying, “The drug culture was in full swing, existential thought had obviously saturated every area of our American thought, the cities were seething with racial tension, and the God-is-dead pronouncement had giggled its way all through our educational system.”
‘Because He Lives‘ has the timeless relevant lyrical phrase:
We can face uncertain days because He lives
And because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Bill explained the meaning behind the lyrics, saying, “Children of God are not meant to live in paralyzing fear. God did not mean for us to live in fear. We are people of faith, not people of fear.”
Gloria, who was 29 when they wrote the song, said she wrote the second verse first before writing the rest. Her explanation brings fresh understanding to the song’s personal lyrics:
How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
and feel the pride and joy he gives,
but greater still the calm assurance.
this child can face uncertain days
because He Lives.
Mrs. Gaither believes the personal lyrics are what made the song so successful because others can immediately relate to it.
Gloria explained the hope Jesus’ resurrection continues to give Christ-followers in this world. “The resurrection is not a one-time event,” she said. “It is a principle for all time that life wins. A child can face uncertain days, not because the world is stable, but because the resurrection is true.”
Even if your church doesn’t sing songs from hymnals anymore, it’s likely you either know or have heard the classic, beloved 50-year-old tune — and you might even be humming it right now. You can hear Carrie Underwood sing the song here.
‘Because He Lives’ Recorded by Popular Artists
The Gaithers have written other songs that were recorded by popular musicians like Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. Recently David Crowder, Tori Kelly, and Johnnyswim recorded the hymn for a Passion City Church Easter service in 2020. Crowder recorded a version of ‘Because He Lives‘ that featured Bill Gaither on his 2014 deluxe album release of ‘Neon Steeple.‘ Multiplatinum recording artist Carrie Underwood recorded her version of ‘Because He Lives’, which was released in March 2021 on her album ‘My Savior.’ Harry Connick, Jr. also released his version of ‘Because He Lives‘ in 2021 on his new album ‘Alone With My Faith‘.