Contributor Two Contributor Two
"I Know Where I Am Now"
Contributor Two Contributor Two
"I Know Where I Am Now"
They loaded him in and drove to the Opry;
He was old now, and weary and very near blind.
They pulled in the alley that led to the stage door;
They’d granted his last wish, just to be kind.
Many the time he had stood by the curtain,
Waiting his turn to walk out on the stage.
Thund’rous applause once welcomed the entrance
Of this old performer now crippled with age.

Don’t worry ’bout me; I know where I am.
Thanks for the hand, but now I can stand.
I’ll walk on alone—
The voices and faces—I know them all well now;
I can hear; I can see—don’t worry ’bout me—
I’m finally home!

In life’s traveling road show, I’ve been a performer,
When burdens were heavy, when days were too long.
When there was a part for an old country singer,
When folks needed hope, I sang them my song.
One of these days Someone will lead me
Through heaven’s stage door and into the wings.
There’ll be a place in that final performance—
I know my part, and I’m ready to sing.

Don’t worry ’bout me; I know where I am.
Thanks for the hand, but now I can stand.
I’ll walk on alone—
The faces of loved ones, the voice of my Father
I hear and I see—don’t worry ’bout me—
I’m finally Home!

Lyrics: Gloria Gaither / Music: William J. Gaither / Copyright c 1997 Gaither Music Company. / All rights reserved.


The story is told that Roy Acuff, legendary star of country music, asked his friends to take him back to the old Ryman Auditorium one last time before he died. He was old and very nearly blind.

The Ryman had been abandoned when the beautiful Opryland auditorium was built to be the new home of the Grand Ole Opry. Mr. Acuff had performed to sellout crowds in the new facility, but his heart remained at the Ryman, where so many struggling artists had gotten their start and then risen to fame. If Nashville, the Music City, were a play, the Ryman itself would be a leading character. It had been built as a revival tabernacle by a converted riverboat captain, Thomas Ryman, in honor of preacher Sam Jones, who had been used by God to turn his life around. For many years, it housed revival crusades, then it came eventually to house the premier country music live show called “The Grand Ole Opry,” which was radio broadcasted nationwide by WSM in Nashville.

Who over 50 doesn’t remember sitting with family or grandparents in front of the console radio on Saturday nights, straining to hear through the static Hank Williams, Little Jimmy Dickens, Hank Snow, Red Foley or Minnie Pearl saying “How-dee!”?

There was no real backstage area at the converted revival house. There was, however, a generous alley that ran along the side of the building onto which the stage door—such as it was—opened. There, winter and summer, the artists and singers who had been invited to sing would hang out until their turn came to perform.

And so it was that some of Roy Acuff’s friends granted his last request and drove him in their comfortable automobile up the Ryman’s alley to the stage door. They helped the old gentleman out and led him up the two or three steps of the tiny stoop, through the stage door and to the homemade wooden ramp that leads to the stage area itself. As soon as Mr. Acuff got his hand on the worn railing that runs along the ramp, he turned to his friends and said, “I’m all right now; I know where I am.” Then he straightened, squared his shoulders, and walked onto the stage before the empty auditorium…alone.

It’s anybody’s guess what went on in the old man’s mind as he made one last journey to center stage. His performance that night was in his memory, but one thing was sure: he had come home. His friends could see it on his face.

When Bill and I heard this story, we couldn’t help recognizing it as a metaphor for us all for the song of life each of us is singing. And we couldn’t help writing a song with a longtime gospel singer in mind — our friend, Jake Hess. Jake shared our song with audiences across the country both in concerts and on video. It reminded us that, as Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”

How well we sing our song here, how clearly we tune in to the eternal music of the Spirit, will determine how at peace we will be with the song of heaven. While we are here, if we move to the rhythm and the tempo, learn the words and the music, show up for every chance to share the song no matter how small the audience, we will and that our performance there will be natural and beautiful.