Tom Morello details why he wrote the Garden of Gethsemane for Chris Cornell

Publish Date
Sunday, 4 April 2021, 5:42PM
Getty Images

Getty Images

As Easter approaches, Tom Morello is opening up about his song "The Garden of Gethsemane," and how the biblical reference pertains to his friend Chris Cornell.

On Thursday (April 1), the Audioslave guitarist shared a live clip of the song on Instagram and captioned it with a detailed story about its origin.

"Today is Holy Thursday," he began. "In between the Last Supper and his eventual arrest/trial/execution Jesus meditated among the olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem and had his 'moment of doubt'. He was greatly troubled and asked his apostles to stay awake with him. They all promptly fell asleep. Alone and contemplating his imminent torture and death he was in an emotional agony. According to the Gospel of Luke 'his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.' He prayed that the 'cup be taken from his lips' but in the end accepted divine will and his fate. At the conclusion of the Gospel narrative, Jesus at peace, accepts that the hour has come for him to be betrayed."

"I was raised Catholic and was always fascinated by this story and contemplated how one rose of certainty can be shrouded in one hundred thorns of doubt," Morello continued. "With that in mind I wrote this song for my friend Chris Cornell."

See his post below.

This isn't the first time Morello's discussed the song's connection to Cornell. In 2018, he recalled the dark times the frontman endured during the early days of Audioslave.

“It was during a sort of not great period in the early part of Audioslave where Chris had been missing for some time," he explained at the time. "We didn’t know where he was, we were very concerned about him. In the middle of the night he texts me some very cryptic couplets which was: ‘If you swallow the coin from the wishing well, your dreams will come true in heaven or hell.’ I thought, well that’s not great [laughs]. I’m like, ‘How are you? Where are you? Do you need any help?’ And he texts me back that."

"The next day I wrote the song ‘Garden of Gethsemane’, which is of course in the New Testament, where Jesus had his moment of doubt," he continued. "It’s a song that I play at the shows for my buddy Chris.”

This article was first published on and is republished here with permission

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