Kris Kristofferson has led one of the most interesting lives of a songwriter in country music, and it shows on the richly textured and subtly nuanced songs he writes.
Kristofferson’s varied life experiences literally bent and shaped him into one of the unique songwriting voices of his generation. His songs have been covered by artists as diverse as Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Ray Price, Ronnie Milsap and even Janis Joplin.
Today, we are featuring three of Kristofferson’s gospel songs that touched the country world with the depth of their message.
Kristofferson is known for the gritty realism of many of his best songs, but “Why Me” is a stark contrast. The gospel song came from the heart and without the poetic bent and hard-nosed worldview of some of his other efforts.
Kristofferson was inspired to write the song at a low point in his life after attending a church service where Larry Gatlin sang a song called “Help Me, Lord.” Gatlin sings the backing vocals for this track, which is the direct plea for divine intervention:
Lord, help me Jesus
I’ve wasted it so help me Jesus
I know what I am
Now that I know that I’ve needed you
So help me Jesu, my soul’s in your hand
The song, written by Larry Gatlin was one of Kristofferson’s single in his album, “Jesus Was a Capricorn.” The songs asks God for a help through the narrator’s life venture. The narrator further recognizes that he cannot survive this life if he walks alone. He needs the guiding light from Jesus. Perhaps the highlighted message from this song is humility. Everyone must realize that they are nothing without God before they could ever get help from Him.
I never thought I needed help before
I thought that I could do things by myself
Now I know I just can’t take it anymore
With a humble heart, on bended knee
I’m beggin’ You, please help me
“Jesus Was a Capricorn”
The song talks about Jesus as a social activist and political reformer in a culture dominated by religion. It relays that Jesus brought a message of love to all mankind. Jesus teaches us to walk a simple life filled with compassion.
Jesus was a Capricorn
He ate organic food
He believed in love and peace
And never wore no shoes
Long hair, beard and sandals
And a funky bunch of friends
Reckon may just nail Him up
If He come down again
Kris Kristofferson continues to inspire us with his songs with many different messages. His life story was written and excellently narrated in his songs. Country Daily profoundly promote these artists who sing by heart. Indeed it’s worth sharing and broadcasting artists like Kris Kristofferson.