Above All - Story
Behind The Song
By Paul Baloche and Lenny LeBlanc
Crucified laid behind a stone You lived to die rejected and alone
Like a rose trampled on the ground You took the fall and thought
of me Above all
On a Tuesday morning a few years ago at my church, alone
at the piano, I began worshiping The Lord. As I sang, I started
thinking of how Jesus is so much greater than all the temporal
things that our culture esteems as great - power, fame, riches,
wisdom, etc. The words just came out…."Lord, you are
above all kingdoms, above all thrones, above all wonders the world
has ever known..." Over the next year, I tried to write a
chorus that fit the verses, but I never felt like it was "the
Then one day, Lenny LeBlanc and I got together to write. I played
him about twenty ideas for songs and the only one that caught his
ear was the verse for " Above all" that had no chorus.
He woke up the next morning and said, "How about.... 'Crucified,
laid behind a stone...like a rose trampled on the ground....'" " Whoa!" I
thought, "What a contrast, what a picture - that's Jesus.
The One who is and always will be above all, was willing to be
crucified and rejected, just to demonstrate His love for an unappreciative
By the time we got to "You took the fall and thought of me....above
all," Lenny and I were in tears. The revelation hit us and
broke our hearts. It made us realize how worthy He really is. That
He truly deserves our worship.
This song means a lot to me because it came from an honest place.
I wasn't " trying" to write a song originally. I sincerely
just wanted to worship Him and praise Him for His greatness. Getting
to finish the song with Lenny was such a bonus since he has been
such a mentor and friend to me for years.
I have had many people tell me through tears that they feel such
love for the Lord as they sing "Above All." The revelation
that The God of the universe was willing to humble himself to the
point of crucifixion and death, just to reveal His love for us
inspires a broken and contrite heart - like a fragrance of worship
coming from a broken jar of perfume.
I remember one time in particular that I heard people singing "Above
All" in worship. I was sitting on the floor with my children,
watching the inaugural prayer service for President Bush on Fox
News Live. Michael W. Smith walked up to the piano and began to
sing "Above all powers, above all kings....." Tears began
to pour out from my eyes. My 8 year-old daughter asked, "Are
you all right Daddy? What's wrong?" I replied, "Honey,
these are happy tears." I'm humbled and blown away that a
simple prayer of worship, started at my little piano, found its
way to The President of the United States. The possibility that
this song could be an encouragement to Him is such an honor. " I
pray that he would draw strength and wisdom from The One who is
above him......and above all. It blesses me to know that Jesus
will be worshiped with this song for years to come.
When Paul Baloche and I finished writing "Above All," I
somehow knew in my heart that it would touch millions of people.
It all started when Paul and I got together to write some songs
for my soon to be recorded project for Integrity Music. Paul flew
in and arrived late in the afternoon. We spent the rest of the
day talking and kicking around song ideas that we had started.
As the evening progressed, Paul played me the verse to "Above
All" except for a few lines that we later changed. Something
about the verse really touched me and I told him I thought it was
a great idea. He shared with me that he had written several different
choruses for the song and had even sung them in various forms during
worship times at his home church. He also said he wasn't happy
with any of the versions he had written. We chatted for while then
headed off to our rooms.
Early the next morning before Paul woke up, I started playing
around with a chorus idea. Later on that morning, we started and
finished the song " Closer." After a short break, I played
my idea for an "Above All" chorus. Paul really liked
it and we began fine tuning the song. Every time we got to the
line, "Like a rose trampled on the ground," we would
both begin to weep. Here we were - two grown men in a puddle of
tears trying our best to finish writing a song.
I think the reason "Above All" has impacted us so powerfully
- and many others including Michael W. Smith, is because it's such
a beautiful picture of how a God that is above everything, would
become like a rose trampled on the ground, take the fall and think
of us….above all."