For a remarkable artist and a country legend like Alan Jackson, it’s natural to want to come up with a catchy title. There were several that popped-up, but none seems to be sufficient to give him justice. So instead of frying my brains with options, l went for KISS; keep it short and simple.
His career has spanned for more than a decade since his debut album, Here in the Real World in 1990. Since then, Country music fans worldwide have loved him and his songs.
In 2006, with his mother Ruth’s urging, he cut a Gospel album titled Precious Memories. People got excited about Jackson’s crossover to the religious genre. Many wondered, speculated even if he’s now going to be a Gospel artist. Jackson’s response?
“In the past, I’ve seen artists in the country field who’ve decided they want to be a little more active in Christian and gospel music, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But I thought if I’m going to be a mainstream country act, I don’t want people to get confused.”
(lifted from ChronCom)
Precious Memories was Jackson’s Christmas present to his mama. This was following his recording of Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus. It’s a dedication song for his father-in-law’s funeral who died in 2005.
Regardless of his intent on how he ended up recording Gospel tracks, fans didn’t doubt Jackson’s Christian identity. Though he has maintained mainstream acts for the last 15 years, his songs were noticeably peppered with themes that can only be channeled by a singer-songwriter who had some religious background.
So on that note, here’s a list of Alan Jackson songs that may not be heavy in sanctimonious language but were undoubtedly from a Christian perspective.
Celebrating Love with His Life-long Love, Denise
Our favorite crooner has only good words to say about his childhood sweetheart and wife, Denise. And if you’re a fan of Jackson, admit it. Regardless of your gender, you will also love the following song.
It’s Alan and Denise’s love story in a song! And if you’re one of those who never noticed, the two lovebirds danced, kissed even, in the music video. Aw… Aren’t they perfect?
As with all relationships, they’ve had their share of personality frictions and misunderstandings. Infidelity, as most of us have already known, was their greatest blow. Regardless, God was the glue that kept them together.
As for their spectators, their mutual willingness to work and save their marriage is a testament that anything can be repaired by letting God in a relationship. Weak human beings that we are, it’s nigh impossible for us to forgive offenses as grave as adultery. Denise, herself, admitted to that fact. But by submitting to God and allowing Him to take over their marriage, Denise found the strength to forgive and to trust Alan again. Both were healed and their love for each other restored.
“Forgiveness. That goes for everybody. Un-forgiveness, after all, hurts us more than the person who did us wrong.
CHART PERFORMANCE: Released in October 2003, it’s Billboard’s No. 1 Song of the Year and remained strong at No. 2 in 2004.
Monday Morning Church
A song from songwriter Brent Baxter and music student Erin Enderlin. Both spun the song from different inspirations. Baxter got his inspiration from a line in his mother’s poem that says, “Empty as a church on Monday morning.” Enderlin, on the other hand, lost a friend who died from an automobile tragedy.
On the process of mending his marriage with Denise, the song just fits Alan Jackson. The song speaks strongly on the pain of losing a loved one. While the theme is on striving to live again after a spouse dies, Jackson can relate to the thought of missing your other half as memories come flooding in.
In an interview with Billboard, he revealed that Monday Morning Church was supposedly for Lee Ann Womack. But as if some unseen forces intervened, Jackson got the song instead.
CHART PERFORMANCE: Released in October 2004, it reached 5th on Billboard and still was found in the 34th of US Country Songs in 2005.
I’d Love You All Over Again
Another love song for his wife Denise in celebration for their 10th wedding anniversary. Love-bug husbands have a lot to learn from this tune. Staying together for years proves nothing. Staying in love is. Most forget, however, that marital love is a lifetime work by both spouses.
CHART PERFORMANCE: Released in 1991, this Jackson penned song went No. 1 on the country charts both in the US and Canada.
Livin’ on Love
My first Alan Jackson song! I especially love the line that says,
Love can walk through fire without blinking
It doesn’t take much when you get enough
Living on love
Realistically speaking, lovelorn couples won’t be able to live in peanuts for long. That led Alan and Denise to both works in the hope of a brighter future. Through Denise’ initiative of pitching her husband’s talents to Glen Campbell, their breakthrough came.
CHART PERFORMANCE: Released in 1994, which spot would you think it reaches other than 1? No doubt about it. It’s real Country to the core!
I’ll Go On Loving You
A mature man’s perspective on love. Lyrics were artistically arranged to clearly make a distinction between real love and mere call of the loins. Added to that is the unmistakable call to faithfulness. That made this song, though it tackled a sensitive theme, honorable than an embarrassment.
I’m reminded that what I feel for you
Will remain strong and true
Long after the pleasures of the flesh…
CHART PERFORMANCE: Not one of Alan Jackson’s self-written songs, but still peaked at No. 2 for RPM and No. 3 on Billboard in 1998. Ballad was written by Kieran Kane, owner of the independent Dead Reckoning Records.
Singing About Issues He’s Most Compelled With
What made Alan so well loved besides his talents? It’s his compassion and genuine interest in the plight of the common people. While he’s unapologetically a natural love balladeer, he’s far from a self-centered and egotistical artist. He may have done some mistakes in life, but fame and wealth did not blind him from the things that were happening in his community.
Small towns. Good people trying to make an honest living. Families and simple traditions. It truly is frustrating to even think of their demise. The Big Bucks did nothing to improve communities. They just robbed us of our real happiness.
An amen to God bless the Little Man!
CHART PERFORMANCE: 3rd on US Hot Country Songs, 39th on Billboard’s Hot 100, and 4th on RPM in 1999.
Small Town Southern Man
Does anyone miss his rural upbringing? Then this your Alan Jackson song.
Given an A rating by Country Universe, this is also a fitting tribute to any man who understands the value of family. It goes beyond just bringing home the bacon. It’s about making memories with the children and raising them to be gentle, kind and upright.
CHART PERFORMANCE: Written by Alan Jackson and released in November 2007. It shot at No. 1 for Country and crossed-over to Pop reaching 89th on the chart. By the end of 2008, it secured the 3rd spot on Billboard’s US Country Songs.
Hard Hat and a Hammer
A typical Alan Jackson song. Similar to most stars who have had humble beginnings, Jackson was never ashamed of his past jobs. Prior to moving to Nashville, he experienced full day manual labor from being a mechanic to a forklift driver. Hard Hat and a Hammer then, is his anthem for blue-collar workers to not be ashamed of what they do. Hmm… It sounds like that’s Jackson’s Daddy Gene’s trait coursing through his blood.
CHART PERFORMANCE: Released as a single from the 2010 Freight Train album. The track ended at 17th in US Hot Country Songs and 7th on Billboard’s Bubbling Under Hot 100.
Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)
The song that healed everybody after the 9/11 tragedy.
One of his songs that I wouldn’t tire listening to. Sad that people, envious of the song’s success perhaps, accused him of taking advantage of America’s pain. His message is one of solidarity by not giving up on God’s mercy. And isn’t that what our world needs? None of our armies, wealth, and current powers can secure us a bright future. Only by trusting God, his plan for humanity, and by following his ways.
CHART PERFORMANCE: Even Alan had reservations about the song’s release in 2001. Naturally, it’s No. 1 on the Hot Country Tracks that year and won awards in 2002 (Song of the Year, ACM) and 2003 (Single of the Year, CMA). CMT listed it as the 28th of the 100 Greatest Country Songs.
Don’t Rock the Jukebox
Alan Jackson isn’t only a down-home lover boy (or should I say, man?). He’s always been a staunch lover of honky-tonk music. Since his emergence in the 1990’s, he has stayed true to that conviction.
Missing George Jones? See his cameo appearance in the following music video for Don’t Rock the Jukebox.
CHART PERFORMANCE: The Single from Jackson’s 1991 album Don’t Rock the Jukebox topped the Country Charts in the US and Canada. Given the track’s significant contribution to the lament over the decline of traditional Country, its popularity did not wane. It’s now Platinum Certified by the RIAA.
Channeling Life Wisdom through Words and Melody
The Older I Get
There’s no need for additional commentary for this powerful song. The lyrics say it all.
CHART PERFORMANCE: Written by Adam Wright, Hailey Whitters, and Sarah Turner. As it reflects a lot about how Jackson feels reaching his 59th year, he cut the song. Three days after his birthday in October 2017, The Older I Get was released. It’s a track from his upcoming 2018 album. No definite date yet.
Jackson’s tribute song to his parents. He described how the older couple turned a tool shed into a home. Additionally, he mentioned the values they were taught growing up. These remained in him in the years that came. Thank God for giving Alan his parents! They may not have given their children a mansion to live in, what they left were more valuable than riches.
Trivia: Alan Jackson’s Mama, Ruth Musick, opted to live in that Home until she passed away in 2017 at a ripe age of 86.
CHART PERFORMANCE: Included in his 1990 debut album Here in the Real World and 1995 compilation album The Greatest Hits Collection, it reached No. 3 in the US and No. 4 in Canada’s RPM.
And Now Singing About His Faith
An often misunderstood trait of a master story-teller, Alan Jackson knows how to divide his words. When something irks him, he’s not one to drop lengthy admonitions. But boy, they sure hit hard.
He’s consistently on point in all his interviews. Naturally, the same goes for his faith songs. Jackson favors the practical over the preachy songs. That disposition was even evident on his famed Gospel albums Precious Memories Volumes I and II.
Other than those old hymns, he also sang several Contemporary penned Gospel tunes.
It’s All About Him
Denise’ faith expressed in her 2007 memoir It’s All About Him: Finding the Love of My Life, prompted Alan to write a song that vividly describes God’s tangible presence in their marriage.
Many who’ve heard of the song were more than touched by the song. They were grateful that Alan put it on records. As the message of God’s love is universal, It’s All About Him is every Christian’s avenue to share the hope that’s in them to their yet unbelieving friends and loved ones.
CHART PERFORMANCE: A track included in Jackson’s 2nd CD for his Precious Memories album released in 2013. The album did well on charts; 2nd on Billboard’s Top Country Albums and 1st as Top Christian Album.
When God Paints
Penned by Troy Jones and Greg Becker, Jackson thought of Hank Williams Sr. , Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley who’ve incorporated Gospel tracks in their acts. Seeing the bigger picture, Jackson’s affirmed that there won’t be any Country Music today without what he termed as “the Christian stuff.”
Beautiful and inspirational. It’s about seeing life from God’s perspective. The little things we oftentimes missed or even take for granted were among the best of God’s gifts.
Another poignant part of this tune was when Alan sang of the pretty little sparrows. If God can take careful thought on their colorful feathers, how much more with his children?
CHART PERFORMANCE: When God Paints is the 9th track from Jackson’s 2015 album Angels and Alcohol. As expected from an Alan Jackson craft, the album did well on various Song Charts. No. 1 in the US, 4th in Australia and Canada. Songs in the album also fared well in the UK and Norway.
If Jesus Walked the World Today
If Jesus walked the world today
He’ll probably be a hillbilly
Open-mindedness and understanding are required to listen to this song. Otherwise, one might get Alan’s message wrong. By calling Jesus a hillbilly, he’s reminding us that much as Jesus is God’s Son, he’s every man’s personal Lord and Savior. Contrary to the usually stoic and angry deity depiction, Jesus is within everybody’s reach. That is if only people will call for him.
CHART PERFORMANCE: The last track in Jackson’s 15th Studio Album released in 2008. The album efficiently became No. 1 in its first week as per US Billboard 200. By the end of the year, it remained the sole chart-topper on US Top Country Albums. Sales were high and The Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) certified the album Gold on top of RIAA’s Platinum.
What’s New About Alan Jackson?
On June 14, Alan Jackson was inducted into Nashville’s Songwriters Hall of Fame. He formally took the stage for the induction in the 2018 Induction Awards Gala in New York City. It’s a prestigious honor for him as he’s now officially among the 400 Honorable Songwriters of the century.
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Alan Jackson, Denise Jackson, Elvis Presley, George Jones, Hank Williams Sr., Johnny Cash
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