Mindlovemisery's Menagerie

A dose of fetish. Good friends. An incomparable muse.

Help Me Make It Through the Night – Challenge #173

‘Help Me Make It Through The Night’ is a country music ballad written and composed by Kris Kristofferson and released on his 1970 album Kristofferson.  Sammi Smith’s recording of this song reached #1 on the U.S. country charts and won the Grammy Award for Best Country Music Female performance.  On February 20, 1971, it reached #8 on Billboard’s U.S. pop singles chart, while also enjoying success in Canada and it became he biggest hit and signature song.  Adult-Contemporary stations took to the song, and it peaked at #3 on Billboard’s Easy Listening chart.  Additionally, it spent three weeks at #1 on the Country chart and it became a gold record.  The Highwaymen performed this song live at Nassau Coliseum, 1990.

Kristofferson was a Golden Gloves boxer, a Phi Beta Kappa college graduate, and a Rhodes Scholar who spent time at Oxford University in England and he was trained as a Ranger and a helicopter pilot, eventually reaching the rank of Captain during the Vietnam War where he was stationed in Germany, before becoming a commercial helicopter pilot.  He turned down a teaching position at West Point to work as a janitor at Columbia sweeping floors and emptying ashtrays because his first love was country songwriting.  It took some persistence and theatrics for him to finally break into the music business.  Kristofferson said that he got the idea for this song after reading an Esquire interview with Frank Sinatra, where Frank was asked what he believed in, and he replied, “Booze, broads, or a bible… whatever helps me make it through the night.”  Kris said that he got the inspiration to write this tune when he was working as a helicopter pilot.  To pass time one evening, he sat down on the platform in his helicopter and started strumming the guitar.  He gazed at the star and the writing of the song became easy.

He served in the Tennessee National Guard and he stole a helicopter and landed the chopper on the lawn of the Hendersonville house in Johnny Cash’s yard to hand-deliver demos tapes of his original songs in an act of desperation to get the famous Country singer’s attention.  His persistence and unconventional tactics paid off handsomely for the multi-talented Kristofferson and Johnny Cash ended up recording ‘Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down’.  Kristofferson went on to score a series of big hits with this song, as well as ‘Me And Bobby McGee’ (a #1 hit and an enduring rock classic for the late Janis Joplin), ‘For the Good Times’, and ‘Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again)’.  In 2004, Kristofferson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and in 2014, he received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award to go along with his many awards, gold records, and top 40 hits.  Rolling Stone called him “one of America’s finest songwriters.”

Take the ribbon from my hair
Shake it loose and let it fall
Lay it soft upon my skin
Like the shadows on the wall

Come and lay down by my side
Til the early mornin’ light
All I’m takin’ is your time
Help me make it through the night

I don’t care what’s right or wrong
I won’t try to understand
Let the devil take tomorrow
But tonight I need a friend

Yesterday is dead and gone
And tomorrow’s out of sight
And it’s sad to be alone
Help me make it through the night

And it’s sad to be alone
Help me make it through the night
I don’t want to be alone
Help me make it through the night

The challenge today is to focus on this song and use it for a short story, a piece of flash fiction, or a poem that you can share with the WordPress writing community.  There is no need to stick with this song, as if you like to write about another Kris Kristofferson song, or a Sammi Smith song, or a Willie Nelson song, or a Johnny Cash song, or a Frank Sinatra song, or a Janis Joplin, then go with that.  You might also go with a song that has something to do with the night, or being sad when you are alone, or needing a friend.  Maybe you could write a post about ribbons in somebodies’ hair, or knowing the difference between what is right or wrong, or looking at shadows on the wall.  If you would like to write about the early mornin’ light, or taking up someone’s time, that would also work.  The whole point of this MM Music challenge is to get you to think, to trigger something so that you can show how creative you are and everyone is welcome to participate.  This challenge is very loose, so pretty much whatever you come up with will be acceptable.  I try to throw some ideas out there for you and if they seem right, then go with it.  You could write about a ride that you got in a helicopter, or serving in the National Guard, or a trip that you took to Germany.

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie brings you a dose of fetish, good friends and an incomparable muse and Dylan Hughes will be here next Friday on January 15 with her First Line Friday and she will provide the first line for your post and then you get to write whatever comes afterward, with the length, genre, and structure being completely left up to you.  I will be back on Friday, January 22 with another MM Music Challenge where we will discuss the song ‘Up Where We Belong’.  When you are finished writing your post, create a ping back to this post, but you can also place your link in the comments section below if you desire.  This Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Music challenge has a special feature called Mr. Linky, which will allow you to instantly link your post after you click the Mr. Linky Button, and permit everyone to read your post sooner that way, and then follow the directions that are given.

About newepicauthor

My About Me section is meant to provide my readers with an honest picture of myself that gives a little bit of background information on who I am and I will wrap this up with a catchy image. I am a story teller and I like to use my imagination. I am interested in many things, but a few of my favorites are watching the NFL and playing golf. I do not like onions and I always make sure that my food does not contain any. I had two wonderful parents, my dad Herb Adams was a television repairman and my mother Mary Adams was mostly a stay at home mom. They are both deceased now and I miss them. I am a retired Electrical Engineer specialized in control systems. I held many different positions because I worked mostly as a consultant. I did work as a Substitute Teacher, for a while, but the kids were awful. I am happiest when I am writing, as this gives my life has a purpose. Forming a sentence with meaningful words that articulate my inner feelings is an everyday quest for me. Every writer needs to tell their story, and all writers have their own style. All stories starts off with characters, who are able to entertain the reader. Creating realistic lovable characters is the best way to tell a story. If you are able to develop characters that become real to you, then you will know exactly what they will do say and do next and this lets your story progress to the completion. Writing changes everything and having the calling to create something new through the power of words is much more than just making marks on a page. Once written, a book can be used by many people to learn and be entertained. The act of writing can be compared to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle as it contains an inherent fuzziness, because various people may derive different meanings from reading the same words. You can never know the true nature of written words and the best I can do is hope is that people will understand the meanings that I am trying to convey. There are no clear-cut laws on how to write and it is impossible for me to determine how my readers react to my books.

11 comments on “Help Me Make It Through the Night – Challenge #173

  1. newepicauthor
    January 8, 2021

    Reblogged this on A Unique Title For Me and commented:

    Kris Kristofferson is 84 years old now and he has lived an interesting life. He started writing songs, and recording under the name Kris Carson. He was down on his luck, living with Dottie West and her husband Bill in Nashville when he wrote ‘Help Me Make It Through the Night’. Many Kris Kristofferson songs became Top 40 singles and most of these songs were made famous by other artists like ‘Good Morning John’ which Willie Nelson recorded in 1985. In 1979, Willie Nelson recorded an entire album of Kristofferson covers, Willie Nelson Sings Kristofferson. Kristofferson wrote one of the most heartbreaking songs, one that ranks 18th among the 40 saddest country songs of all time and when Ray Price recorded ‘For the Good Times’, this song brought him back to the top of the country charts after a nearly 11-year absence. Ray Stevens recorded Kris’s ‘Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down’ in 1969 by before Johnny Cash made this song into a #1 hit on the Billboard US Country charts. To date Kristofferson has released 29 albums, including three as part of the Highwaymen alongside Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings and three with singer Rita Coolidge, his second wife.

  2. pensitivity101
    January 8, 2021

    I had this by Gladys Knight and the Pips. I didn’t realise Kris Kristoffersen had written it though.

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