March 24

‘Help Me Make It Through The Night:’ A Provocative Song of the 1970s

The 1970s was the time provocative songs like ‘Help Me Make It Through The Night’ was unwelcome. Well, they were unwelcomed, but listeners secretly craved for it. And surprisingly, its success is incredible in a way no one expected it.

The Struggling Songwriter’s Hit Song

Kris Kristofferson was the original singer and composer of ‘Help Me Make It Through The Night.’ The song is a country music ballad included on his 1970 album Kristofferson. In a dialogue, the country crooner revealed how he got the inspiration. He said it was from an interview of Frank Sinatra in Esquire magazine. When Sinatra was asked what he believed in, he replied:

“Booze, broads, or a bible…whatever helps me make it through the night.”

Like most struggling songwriters during that time, Kristofferson was in the dumps. He stayed in the home of his good friends and co-singer, Dottie West, and her husband, Bill. They lived on the suburban of Shy’s Hill Road in Nashville’s Green Hills.

He first offered the song to West, but the latter declined it. She said it was “too suggestive.” Yet, she will eventually include it on her ‘Careless Hands’ album.

Raunchy Details and Hit Charts

Being in the “pivot of change era” has its advantage. For example, people are learning to be open-minded over food, music, and culture. And in this case, listeners became open with a provocative song.

‘Help Me Make It Through The Night’ lyrics don’t talk about country music’s usual theme. It shied away from love or breakup themes, jail time, or life in the south stories. No, it fearlessly dives into the world of seduction. Kristofferson masked it as an innocent romantic song to a raunchy one-night stand.

Moreover, ‘Help Me Make It Through The Night’ has chords that don’t differ from the usual country music. It’s catchy and has a classic vibe. More so, the tempo goes from slow to mid-fast. Listeners love reviving this song from the 70s.

The success of the ‘Help Me Make It Through’ song is evident in its rendition. From Sammi Smith to Elvis Presley, many big names love recording a song cover. It’s unimaginable how did it become a hit. But thanks to its era, listeners enjoyed its unconventional theme and lyrics.

You can hear it again in the video below.


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kris kristofferson


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