Not much in the mainstream, but embedded video of his faith testimony is widespread on Christian Blogospheres. They have loved the song for a long time, but they never knew the backstory, and rather than type out what he said, I’ve thought it best that you folks hear it straight from the man who has experienced the grace that inspired him to write the said song. This way, you’ll feel the raw and organic emotion that go with his words.
“…I felt this forgiveness that I didn’t even know I needed.”
A longtime favorite in churches and an anthem to new believers, “Why me Lord” is the undying testimonial song. How and why? The lyrical description is a common experience of nearly every Christian who had come to faith. It describes exactly how one could be humbled through one spiritual encounter of Jesus. Hence, its influence is still far-reaching across continents.
In 1973, it was number 1 both on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles and Canadian RPM Country Tracks.
Other famous singers who made a cover for it were Conway Twitty, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Randy Travis, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley.
Powerful and moving, “Why me Lord” still is a tear-jerker to those who have had the similar experience as Kris Kristofferson. Naturally, it’s an indispensable plus in most Gospel Tracks. Same with that classic “Amazing Grace,” every line is relatable. So like other God and Bible-themed songs that reached #1 from the bygone eras to date, its success was credited to God. From the lingo of Christianity, it takes a Divine intervention for a faith-based song to be recognized and to become widespread in the secular.
The song was so personal to Kris Kristofferson that he did not need to pitch it to recording companies. When the opportunity came, he did not pass it to another artist but sang it himself.