Steve Earle - Over Yonder (Jonathan's Song) Lyrics

The warden said he'd mail my letter
The chaplain's waitin' by the door
Tonight we'll cross the yard together
Then they can't hurt me anymore

I am going over yonder
Where no ghost can follow me
There's another place beyond here
Where I'll be free I believe

Give my radio to Johnson
Thibodeaux can have my fan
Send my Bible home to Mama
Call her every now and then

I suppose I got it comin'
I can't ever pay enough
All my rippin' and a runnin'
I hurt everyone I loved

The world'll turn around without me
The sun'll come up in the east
Shinin' down on all of them that hate me
I hope my goin' brings 'em peace

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Steve Earle Over Yonder (Jonathan's Song) Comments
  1. Liz C

    Goosebumps or tears. Everytime.

  2. Laura Berg

    This is the only song I’ve encountered that captures what it’s like to say goodbye to a friend the state is executing.

  3. ese Famoso

    2018. Remembering all those human beings who died never getting a second chanse.

  4. Lee Hudson

    If Jonathan's Song doesn't tear your heart out, then you don't have one. I grew up in a poor, violent and dysfunctional home in a very isolated area. Was never removed from the situation though that should have happened. I understand how a Jonathan can happen and could easily have been me.
    Steve, your song makes me cry every time, and I don't cry easily. God keep you and God keep Jonathan.

  5. Daniel Oconnell

    Thanks Jaclyn.😇

  6. julie brtek

    Fantastic song, always enjoy Steve Music though years.

  7. Jaclyn Nobles

    This song is so special to me. It's about my cousin Jonathan Wayne Nobles. He was so lost for his whole life until he went to prison and became friends wit Steve and found God. He turned his life over and part of this song is about him accepting that he'd done wrong and even tho he'd changed her didn't expect forgiveness from the people he hurt and he played that him losing his life for his crimes would bring some peace to all the people he hurt during his addiction. Beautiful song!

    dim kau

    Jaclyn Nobles I was reading about this!! It's really heart breaking!

    Adelaide Kestrel

    I hope that Jonathan, your family, those he harmed and their families have all found peace.

    ernie bilko

    when he sings "I hurt everyone I loved" that is heartbreaking. I was you and your family well.

  8. Daniel Oconnell

    About a man. Facing. The. Death penalty.

  9. Don Lowe

    An amazing song. If the world was right, 5 trillion people would like this song.

  10. michael truax

    He never holds back and sings about those who are unfortunate, unlucky, and just messed up....his mantra is they came from the poor, minority, and addiction....he is a great writer for society

  11. Darron Kloster

    Just a powerful song. My Fave Steve Earle

  12. Flower

    Steve Earle says "He makes recordings". I once used the word "yonder"

  13. Francis Straightnose

    cause I'm going over yonder there's another place beyond where I believe I supposed I got it coming shinning down then they hate I'm going over yonder that's what I believe no turning back I hope my going makes em believe en happy

  14. MrSunlazer

    My favorite Steve cd. Luv it!

  15. mary conner

    Love this

  16. Debby Ledbette

    I get this song in my head every so often, my own reasons...So I put it on & just play the hell out of it.... Thanks Steve!

  17. Peter O'Brien

    Great song! Authentic music! This was never written on 'Tin Pan Alley'!  This one was written 'somewhere down in the United states'!

  18. Alan Pat

    No, you need a conscience to be sorry. Sociopaths haven't got one. The only person who can get through is Jesus. Don't knock it pal, there are no Atheists in a fox hole!

  19. Garrett Eshom

    First of all; you're an idiot. That pretty much sums it up because you can't read well enough to see that those videos i liked are covers.
    I try to promote and spread the music of artists that I believe have talent. So, way to be an idiot and put your two cents in on a comment almost a year old.

  20. Todd Freeman

    u suck... dont judge other peoples lives...

  21. darlincommitme

    Did you even read my post? I said there are true sociopaths, but that is not Nobles or the majority of people who commit murder. A true sociopath is unlikely to convert because it is a serious mental disorder. The great majority of people who murder are fueled by desperation that involves them in criminal activities, alcohol or other drugs, and/or anger and pain from past experience. We disagree about religion (though you caricature of Chrisitanity is not my belief), but those are facts.

  22. Garrett Eshom

    "darkness of childhood abuse, addiction and poverty" is not a reason to justify anything. People will continue to do whatever they please; their past doesn't make a difference. There will always be sociopaths who murder innocent people for no reason. They turn to a god after such crimes due to the fact that they feel horrible for committing them. They seek something to ease the regret they feel.
    Jesus doesn't exist. He will never "come" for you, them, sinners, or anyone else.

    Caleb Morris

    Thats where you are wrong. But you have your opinion and I got mine.

  23. darlincommitme

    Jesus said he came for sinners. There are some true sociopaths, but Nobles and others like him are dragged down by darkness of childhood abuse, addiction and poverty. That is not an excuse, but it is an explanation and calls for empathy. The bigger shame is that we as a community allow those conditions to exist. I thank God for those who do find some peace in the end, but also pray that I can be part of helping those who might become like him.

  24. darlincommitme

    I think it contains those themes, but the fact is the song was written for a particular man and friend of Earle's who did find God on death row and believed in heaven in the Christian sense.

  25. thunderbolt

    this song is not about finding god after murdering someone. this is about someone who feels he;s paid and paid and realizes what he did and those he hurt but feels he cant do anything about those who hate him and no matter what they will. death if going over yonder to a place where he';s free from the hate of those he hurt.....

  26. Graham Rutter

    its a sad fact that after a killer is convicted of murder that he converts to some form of belief in God its a shame they didnt or dont ever think of that at the time of their crimes

    Jennifer Seward

    Perhaps some do - before they hit bottom - and therefore don't murder.

  27. nilradem

    RIP Troy Davis

    Wilhelm Heinrich

    nilradem he never killed anyone.

    Laura Berg

    Wilhelm Heinrich True. He was innocent.

  28. Gez Gold


  29. nilradem

    Correction - he was a lay Dominican.

  30. nilradem


    You may have discovered this, but this song is very personal to Steve Earle, who wrote it after witnessing the execution of a friend of his - Jonathan Nobles. He wrote to Nobles while Nobles was on death row, and they developed a friendship. Nobles was a murderer, but he converted to Catholicism while on death row and became a lay Franciscan. Steve has written an essay about the execution.... google his name and "A Death In Texas."

  31. puglaw2

    It is sad that this type of music is not "popular".

    Touching, filled with emotion and intellectual significance. Even people who prefer rap, hiphop or anything similar would have to admit that many of Earle's songs are poignant and heartfelt.

    In particular his songs concerning the death penalty are emotionally rivetting songs..."Billy Austin", "Ellis Unit One" and this gem of "Over Yonder" are classics that far too many people have yet to discover.

  32. Cori Jacobs

    @mkn1948 Yes, Steve Earle did write this. It's featured in the end credit in a Documentary called "Deadline".
    The vibe is so real that I had to seek it out myself. I love how raw it is.

  33. mary conner

    i love this song. did steve earle write this? let me look around and check. however, if any of you guys know, would ya let me know. thxs in advance ........maryc

  34. Julia Stevens

    Totally agree! Think I'll post it on FB for my "friends" to hear...most have probably never heard Mr. Earle, much less this classic.

  35. Stephanie Budden

    my all time favorite...all the best songs are the best kept secrets though...more people need this song in thier lives...peace =steve earle

  36. Steven Albery

    here here!