This classic gospel was penned by Thomas A. Dorsey. Although, the song was originally written for Mahalia Jackson, the Queen of Gospel. “Peace in the Valley” was one of the first gospel recordings to sell one million copies making it a huge success back then.
“Why can’t Men live in Peace?”
This is the question that haunted Dorsey while coming up for an idea to the song. During the writer’s time, the world is at war with itself. It was specifically during the time when Hitler was about to send war chariots into Western Europe.
“I was on a train going through southern Indiana and saw horses, cows and sheep all grazing together in this little valley. Everything seemed so peaceful. It made me question, “What’s the matter with mankind? Why can’t men live in peace?”
And so, Dorsey wrote “Peace in the Valley” to inspire the people. The message coupled with George Jones’ distinctive tone really made it one of the best classics.
Peace in the Valley’s Legacy
Did you know that this song was used in the funeral Lyndon B. Johnson? Yes, this was used in the funeral of America’s 36th President. And, this was performed by Anita Bryant.
The song stayed true to its message. With the rendition done by other country artists, it reached the ear of Elvis Presley. He performed the song together with The Jordanaires on his first Christmas album. The profit made was able to send emergency aid for 250,000 refugees fleeing to Hungary.
Also, with the performance of Elvis on a television show, they raised contributions amounting to US$6 million. The donations were given for the refugees in both Vienna and London. This is with the help of the International Red Cross in Geneva and the US Army.
Moreover, the song was essential during the war. It lived up to its message to bring peace in the valley and in the world. We sure do hope that songs like this will continue to inspire other people to be more understanding with each other.
To listen to the song, click here: