Come into the Streets with Me

"...see a strange and gentle king on a donkey travelling."

Music by Ron Klusmeier
Words by Shirley Erena Murray
Tune Name: TUATAPERE

Lyrics as Poetry

Come into the streets with me!
Come to where the crowds will be,
see a strange and gentle king
on a donkey travelling.

Come and follow my leader,
come and follow my leader,
Jesus Christ is riding by,
come and follow my leader!

All the people shout his name,
waving branches, sing his fame,
throw their coats upon his road,
glad to praise the Son of God.

Come and follow my leader,
come and follow my leader,
Jesus Christ is riding by,
come and follow my leader!

If the soldiers draw their swords,
will we dare to sing these words,
be his friends for just a day,
cheer him on, then run away?

Come and follow my leader,
come and follow my leader,
Jesus Christ is riding by,
come and follow my leader!

Jesus goes where things are rough,
Jesus knows when life is tough,
always comes to us, his friends,
so his story never ends.

Come and follow my leader,
come and follow my leader,
Jesus Christ is riding by,
come and follow my leader!


Words by
Shirley Erena MurrayCopyright © 1992 by Hope Publishing Company
Carol Stream, Illinois • USA

Comments About Song

“Come Into the Streets with Me” was included in Shirley’s first book, “In Every Corner Sing” (#12), published in 1992. Her hymn texts were first called to the attention of Hope Publishing Co. by Brian Wren. He believed her to be a hymn writer of the first rank, and that she deserved to be introduced to the world outside Australasia.
Brian proved to be correct in both respects.


In Every Corner Sing
is published by:Hope Publishing Company
Carol Stream, IL USA


A Reflection by
WALTER FARQUHARSON

We can all live with the first two verses of this song. Most of us have remembrances of playing follow-the-leader when we were children – or when, as adults, we played with children. The game began with a simple invitation. Depending on the leader, the game could be simple or complicated, asking little or demanding dexterity and stamina. The game might be short lived or long lasting. Usually it remained light, fun to be part of. Sometimes there was an agreed upon goal that would mark the end of the game and possibly the beginning of another with a new leader. Often these games just petered out as interest or energy waned.

“Come into the streets with me! Come to where the crowds will be…”. This sounds like a child calling out to friends and to other children perhaps from another neighborhood or even visitors to the city for Passover. Adults too would be invited. What the child has spotted is a strange parade and an even stranger gentle king riding on a donkey. The child is happy to claim some familiarity with this Jesus who is at the centre of attention in this peculiar and out of place drama that is unfolding. “Come and follow MY leader.” The child can confidently echo what he has heard others closer to this king proclaim. “All the people shout his name, waving branches, sing his fame, throw their coats upon his road, glad to praise the Son of God. Hosanna!”

But wait! Not everyone is happy. Not everyone is shouting words of praise. Not everyone sees this man on the donkey as a king and certainly they do not see him as their leader. There are temple police and Roman soldiers. The Romans are not happy. There is no king but Caesar. The temple authorities are not happy. The man they see is a trouble-maker, an agitator, a radical, perhaps even a revolutionary. “If the soldiers draw their swords, will we dare to sing these words, be his friends, for just a day, cheer him on, then run away?” The crowd begins to fade away. Participants become observers, enthusiasts become sceptics. The bold decide to wait and see what happens.

The hymn becomes increasingly uncomfortable to think about. When we read it aloud or sing these words we become aware that a mirror has been held up and we see the image in that mirror. It is us. ‘Us’, not some ‘them’ who can be judged, some ‘them’ that must be held accountable, some ‘them’ we can feel superior to.

There have been times we failed to listen, times we failed to speak, times we have betrayed others, times we have not seen our call to follow the leader who welcomed outcasts and those looked upon as ‘not mattering’ or not deserving attention and compassion. We need to see and name those times. We need also to see and remember the times when we, and when others, have seen, have listened, have spoken out, have sought justice and practiced mercy.

We follow the leader and we know that “Jesus goes where things are rough, Jesus knows when life is tough, always comes to us, his friends, so his story never ends. Come and follow my leader!”

An activity for all ages: Make a placard that could be used in a protest or march. Ask yourself these questions:
• Why did I choose this cause?
• What misgivings did I feel?
• How do you think your family or neighbours would react if they saw you at a protest holding your sign up?
• Would you actually do it?

                                                    Audio Sample for "Come Into the Streets with Me"

One verse and refrain
played on piano

Scripture References

  • Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
  • Micah 6:6-8
  • Zechariah 9:9
  • Matthew 21:1-11
  • Matthew 25:31-45
  • Mark 11:1-11
  • Luke 19:28-40
  • John 12:12-16

Season, Theme
or Subject

  • Jesus∶ friend
  • Jesus∶ gentleness
  • Jesus∶ leader
  • Palm Sunday

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