Today’s Theme Song: Why Me Lord

KRIS KRISTOFFERSON 

Why Me Lord

“Why Me”
album: “Jesus Was A Capricorn” (1972)

Why me Lord what have I ever done
To deserve even one of the pleasures I’ve known
Tell me, Lord, what did I ever do
That was worth lovin’ you or the kindness you’ve shown

Lord help me, Jesus, I’ve wasted it so
Help me Jesus I know what I am
But now that I know that I’ve needed you so
Help me, Jesus, my soul’s in your hand

Try me, Lord, if you think there’s a way
I can try to repay all I’ve taken from you
Maybe Lord I can show someone else
What I’ve been through myself, on my way back to you

Lord help me, Jesus, I’ve wasted it so
Help me Jesus I know what I am
But now that I know that I’ve needed you so
Help me, Jesus, my soul’s in your hand

Lord help me, Jesus, I’ve wasted it so
Help me Jesus I know what I am
But now that I know that I’ve needed you so
Help me Jesus my souls in your hand
Jesus, my soul’s in your hand.

Writer(s): KRIS KRISTOFFERSON

 

Background source: Wikipedia

Kristofferson had become the toast of Nashville in the early 1970s, with the massive success of compositions including “For the Good Times,” “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” and “Help Me Make It Through the Night“, among many others. He had a hit of his own as well, with “Lovin’ Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again).”

“Why Me” was recorded by Kristofferson in 1972, featuring backing vocals by soon-to-be wife Rita Coolidge and up-and-coming singer-songwriter Larry Gatlin. It was released on the album Jesus Was a Capricorn in 1973, and became the biggest hit of his career.

According to country music historian Bill Malone, Kristofferson wrote the song during an emotionally low period of his life after having attended a religious service conducted by the Rev. Jimmie Rogers Snow.[1] Malone wrote, “‘Why Me, Lord'” – as the song is sometimes known – “may seem greatly out of character for Kristofferson, but it can be interpreted as his own personal religious rephrasing of ‘Sunday Morning Coming Down.’ In this case, he is ‘coming down’ not from drugs, but from the whole hedonistic euphoria of the (1960s).” Malone described Kristofferson’s gruff vocal styling as “perfect” for the song, since “he sounds like a man who has lived a lot but is now humbling himself before God.”[1]

Kristofferson said he went with friends to the church service where he was moved by Larry Gatlin’s song “Help Me (Lord)“. He said that he had never thought of needing help, but he was at a low point in his life. When the pastor asked the congregation, “Is anybody feeling lost?” “Up goes my hand,” Kristofferson says. The Pastor then asked, “Are you ready to accept Christ? Kneel down there.” “I’m kneeling there,” Kristofferson continues, “and I carry a big load of guilt around…and I was just out of control, crying. It was a release. It really shook me up.” Kristofferson later said, “It was just a personal thing I was going through at the time. I had some kind of experience that I can’t even explain.”[2]

Kristofferson met June Carter Cash and Johnny Cash in a hotel room in 1972 to play them two songs he had written. Kristofferson had just attended a rough screening of a movie Johnny and June were heavily involved in, entitled The Gospel Road. Johnny Cash’s memoir Man in Black, reiterated the story that Larry Gatlin sang “Help Me” at the Evangel Temple, which inspired Kristofferson to write the song. Kristofferson also played Cash the song “Burden of Freedom,” which was used in The Gospel Road.

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4 Comments on “Today’s Theme Song: Why Me Lord

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