“Why Me Lord” was George Jones’ one simple question that brought many to tears. In 1974, the legendary singer released his version of this beautiful hit off his album In a Gospel Way. This was actually Jones’ fifth collection of spiritual music – his affinity for gospel music dated back to his childhood when he learned to play the guitar at the church where his mother played piano.
A Gospel-Tinged Song From Someone Who Had An Epiphany
“Why Me Lord” was both written and recorded by Kris Kristofferson in 1972. It was released on the album Jesus Was a Capricorn and became the biggest hit of his career. Reaching the No. 1 chart position on Billboard’s U.S. Hot Country Singles and No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100, the track featured backing vocals from his former wife, Rita Coolidge.
In this song, Kris Kristofferson had an epiphany and asked Jesus why he has blessed him so. “Why me, Lord, what have I ever done todeserve even one of the pleasures I’ve known. Tell me, Lord, what did I ever do that was worth loving you or the kindness you’ve shown,” the song goes.
The song was inspired by a church service Kristofferson attended that featured Larry Gatlin’s “Help Me, Lord.”
“Country singer Connie Smith took me over to church the next day to Jimmie Snow’s church. And I had a profound religious experience during the session, something that never had happened to me before. And ‘Why Me’ came out of it,” Kristofferson recalled.
He continued, “Jimmie said something to me like, ‘Are you ready to accept Jesus Christ in your life?’ And I said: ‘I don’t know.’ I didn’t know what I was doing there. And he put me down, said, ‘Kneel down here.’ I can’t even remember what he was saying but, whatever it was, was such a release for me that I found myself weeping in public, and I felt this forgiveness that I didn’t know I even needed.”
During an event to honor the great Kris Kristofferson in 2016, of which we must say one of the most impressive gatherings in the history of country music, an incredible performance stood out the most.
It was the single performance from the stellar country artists where they all came together on stage to sing “Why Me Lord.” Hank Williams Jr., Jack Ingram, Alison Krauss, Lady Antebellum, Larry Gatlin, Reba McEntire, Rosanne Cash, Willie Nelson, Martina McBride, and Darius Rucker were just some of the artists who stunned everyone in this heartfelt tribute.
The Song Has Since Been Covered By Many Artists
Many artists have covered this gospel-tinged song, including Elvis Presley, David Allan Coe, Willie Nelson, Conway Twitty, and Merle Haggard, among others. You can check out George Jones’ version of the age-old classic country gospel song, “Why Me Lord,” in the video below. The way Jones poured his heart and soul into this performance makes it one of the most powerful performances you will ever see!