When it comes to the world of country music, Vince Gill’s voice is one of the most easily recognizable. His vocals are very unique that finding a duet partner to match his abilities seems impossible.
However, in 1993, when Gill covered “Let There Be Peace on Earth,” he was given the incredible opportunity to sing with who we believe was the perfect match for the country legend: his daughter Jenny.
The song became the title track of Gill’s first Christmas album, and it peaked No. 1 on the Billboard Top Holiday Albums chart.
A Song About For World Peace and Understanding
Written by Jill Jackson-Miller and Sy Miller in 1955, “Let There Be Peace on Earth” was originally sung by the International Children’s Choir created by Arthur Granger and Easter Beakly of the Granger Dance Academy in Long Beach, California. Ever since then, the song went on to be the theme for this children’s group who represent a host of nations and even sang in Washington, DC at the JW Marriott next to the White House in 2002.
The beautiful song was first developed in 1945, with the words written by Jill Jackson and the melody by her husband, Sy Miller, after Jill emerged from a dark period in her life.
“When I attempted suicide [in 1944], and I didn’t succeed, I knew for the first time unconditional love – which God is. You are totally loved, totally accepted, just the way you are,” she explained. “In that moment, I was not allowed to die, and something happened to me, which is very difficult to explain. I had an eternal moment of truth, in which I knew I was loved, and I knew I was here for a purpose.”
A decade later, the Millers went to a mountain retreat with a diverse group of teens in California. “One summer evening in 1955, a group of 180 teenagers of all races and religions, meeting at a workshop high in the California mountains locked arms, formed a circle and sang a song of peace,” Sy Miller explained on how the song spread like wildfire from California mountaintops to the world.
“They felt that singing the song, with its simple basic sentiment – ‘Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me’ – helped to create a climate for world peace and understanding.” When they finally came down from the mountain, these inspired youngsters brought the song with them and began sharing it. As if the song has wings, “Let There Be Peace on Earth” started an incredible journey worldwide.
The song became even more famous when Vince Gill released it as a duet with his daughter Jenny. With these two vocal powerhouses singing this beloved tune, it won’t be a surprise if you get emotional listening to it!
Today, the song is performed worldwide throughout the year, and most especially during the Christmas season, which has led to it being considered a Christmas song. Several other artists have covered “Let There Be Peace on Earth” too, including Patti Page, Johnny Mathis, Nat King Cole, Danny Kaye, Andy Williams, Bing Crosby, and Bob Hope.
Check out Vince Gill and Jenny’s beautiful rendition of “Let There Be Peace on Earth” in the video below!