The 1970s isn’t complete without Sammi Smith’s ‘Help Me Make It Through The Night.’ It’s a phenomenal hit that’s better than the original. Sammi Smith showed how she could own a song like it’s no one’s business. It’s also notable how this hit song is one of the artists’ favorites for revival. But the most prominent is Sammi Smith’s rendition.
Decoding ‘Help Me Make It Through The Night’
‘Help Me Make It Through The Night’ is a song that fits television and film soundtracks. With this, numerous covers are a hit on the charts. Going back to the beginning, Kris Kristofferson wrote and composed this piece. He originally released it for his 1970 ‘Kristofferson’ album. Sammi Smith covered it in the same year with the song as her album name.
Moreover, the ‘Help Me Make It Through The Night’ lyrics picture a sexually frustrated man. It even became controversial in 1970 as Smith covered the explicit song. Women, at that time, are very conservative.
The lyrics start romantic like a typical love song. It creates a surreal feeling of love. But later on, the narrator will reveal he only wants a one-night stand. He referred to the woman’s soft hair in the first verse, a metaphor for a fleeting feeling.
Kristofferson revealed that the inspiration came from a Frank Sinatra quote. It goes like this: “Booze, broads, or a bible… whatever helps me make it through the night.” This was the answer of the legendary singer during an interview for Esquire Magazine. Sinatra was asked what he believed in.
Additionally, ‘Help Me Make It Through The Night’ chords is also easy to learn. Its verses only have C, F, and Dm chords. For the chorus, you only need the F, C, D, and G chords. This is one of the reasons why many artists covered this song.
After Kristofferson and Smith released their versions, many artists followed suit. Famous singers, including Elvis Presley, Lynn Anderson, and Andy Williams, made their covers. June Carter and Johnny Cash made a duet of the song.
Kristofferson became famous as a songwriter. He even earned himself a Grammy for Best Country Song in 1971. Smith also received a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance Female. Almost all the versions were part of the hit charts, especially Sammi Smith’s. It was also revived in 2007 by Annie Blanchard, translating it to French. The rendition proved to be successful as it is on the Top 20 for 26 weeks.
‘Help Me Make It Through The Night’ have an interesting back story and history. It’s a song that changes from romantic to provocative, which excites listeners. It’s a classic where a cover song is more popular than the original.
Click on the video below to hear Sammi Smith’s version.
kris kristofferson, Sammi Smith