January 1

Praise-Singing in “I Saw the Light” by Country’s Greats

What makes a song a classic? Could it just be the singer? The songwriting process and the inspiration? Or perhaps the content? Regardless of our pick, nobody will object to the following gospel tune’s songwriter and original singer, Mr. Hank Williams Sr.

Below, we will be seeing Hank Williams Jr. channel his father’s spirit in performing I Saw the Light. He was joined by other country stars like Roy Acuff, Randy Travis, and Chet Atkins to name a few. More than our appreciation seeing these legends sing gospel together, let us pay close attention to their heart of worship. Let us make their singing in chorus our reminder and inspiration that when Jesus is at the center of everything, then it is never impossible to co-exist in peace and harmony.

Country Stars singing “I Saw the Light” led by Hank Williams Jr.


Hank Williams Sr. wrote I Saw the Light in the early 1940’s. Thanks to his mother Lily who, after their show in Alabama, drove him and his band back to Montgomery, this song was birthed. She did not sermon nor give a religious lecture. She just made a remark that she saw the light upon seeing the Danelley Field Airport lights. That simple and passing phrase stayed with Hank though. Eventually, he made a song out of it.

Being both a country and a gospel standard, I Saw the Light was covered by not a few country legends. That includes Roy Acuff and His Smoky Mountain Boys, Bill Monroe, Cowboy Copas, Ernest Tubb, Ferlin Husky, Emmy Lou Harris, Wanda Jackson, Connie Smith, Merle Haggard and The Carter Family.

In 2005, CMT ranked I Saw the Light first among the 20 Greatest Songs of Faith.

Indeed it is. Aside from its catchy melody, we can also greatly benefit from the lyrical substance.


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