Country music veteran Vince Gill is adding a new verse to his classic hit "Go Rest High on that Mountain" twenty five years later. With its uplifting Christian message of eternal life, "Go Rest High" has long been considered a standard across funeral and memorial services. And it's one of Gill's indispensable songs on his concert setlist.
"Go Rest High" was released in August 1995 as the sixth single from Gill's MCA Nashville Records album When Love Finds You. It is a eulogic ballad. Gill began writing the song following the death of country music superstar Keith Whitley, who died in 1989. Gill did not finish the song until a few years later following the death of his older brother Bob of a heart attack in 1993.
While the first verse is a sober acknowledgment of the end of a troubled life. The second verse expresses both grief and the assurance of life after death. Now, the new verse arrives with the blessed promise of a heavenly reunion: "You're safely home in the arms of Jesus / Eternal life, my brother's found / The day will come I know I'll see him / In that sacred place, on that holy ground."
"In all seriousness, as I looked at it as a piece of work, I thought it was unfinished in a way that a song should close the door and have an end and tell the whole story," Gill tells PEOPLE.
The song won the CMA's Song of the Year award in 1996 and a BMI Most-Performed Song award in 1997. It also received two Grammy Awards for Best Male Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Song in the 38th Grammy Awards.