Gospel Song – I Shall Wear A Crown

Gospel Song – I Shall Wear A Crown

Gospel Song – I Shall Wear A Crown. 

This popular version of “I shall wear a crown“, apparently composed by Richard Smallwood, is very different than another song with the same name, composed by Thomas Whitfield. Smallwood’s rendition is a very up-tempo traditional gospel song, very triumphant, very joyful and hopeful. Rev. Smallwood is a classically trained pianist, and he often creatively fused the classical style with traditional gospel. He also gave a nod to the traditional  style, as he did with “I shall wear a crown.” Rev. Smallwood is a contemporary legend born in 1948, and has worked with such luminaries as Quincy Jones, Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston. He was formally training on the piano at the age of seven, and by the time he was eleven years old, he had formed his own gospel group comprised of neighborhood kids. He has earned six Grammy nominations and one Grammy award in his career. His personal performances reveal his deep Christian faith, and is often described by those who know him as “a true representative of Christ.”


LYRICS – I Shall Wear A Crown.

Watch ye, therefore, you know not the day

when the Lord shall call your soul away.

If you labor, strivin’ for the right,

you shall wear a robe and a crown.


I shall wear a crown, I shall wear a crown,

when the trumpet sounds, when the trumpet sounds.

Oh I shall wear a crown, I shall wear a crown,

I shall wear a robe and a crown.


Soon as my feet strike Zion, lay down my heavy burden

Put on my robe in glory, shout and tell Him my story

Soon as I can see Jesus, tell Him all about my trouble

Put on my robe in glory, shout and tell Him my story.


Crowns in the New Testament tended to denote two things: victory and virtue. A crown was the victor’s prize at the end of a race. The crown, usually a laurel wreath, was given to honor the victor and certify the victory. The crown also signifies the status of righteousness. In heaven each believer will wear a crown that certifies the work of Jesus… that the heavenly believer has been purified, declared pure by the power of Jesus’ cleansing blood of salvation. So, first, in heaven each believer will be declared the winner of the earthly race, willing to sacrifice even unto martyrdom. And, second, each believer will be declared essentially good, perfectly virtuous, purely righteous, because of Jesus’ death on the cross and His Resurrection from the dead. In heaven, each Christian will receive the victorious and the righteous crown of eternal life.