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April 27, 2017
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#216:  Why Me, Lord? (Kris Kristofferson)


Instructions:  Listen to the youtube video above and fill in the blanks in the transcript below (or write your answers on a piece of paper). Beginners can use the list of missing words and phrases, but if you're an advanced student, try to fill in the blanks just by listening to the video, without looking at the missing words and phrases.  The answers are given at the end of the transcript.

Main Features:  There are two main features in this lesson.  1) The initial "h" is often silent in words that aren't stressed in the sentence.  Examples that you will hear in this video include the words "have" ("av"), "had" ("ad"), "he" ("ee"), and "him " ("im").  2) The word "to" can sound like "ta", "da", and "na".  In this lesson you will hear the sound "ta" 3 times and the sound "da" 7 times.

Missing Words and Phrases (17):  and [an]; because [cuz]; bunch of people [bunch uh people]; have [av]; he [ee] (2 times); him [im]; to [da] (7 times); to [ta] (2 times); to me [ta me].

Background:  Kris Kristofferson and the other singers on the stage got together to create a collection of songs.  Here Kris talks about a spiritual experience he had which inspired him to write his song "Why Me, Lord?".  He sings this song at the end of this video, but before that the narrator asks him to tell everyone the story behind it.


And Kris, before we do it [1], I'd like you ___ tell the story of "Why Me, Lord?".  I think it was inspired by Larry Gatlin [2], wasn't it?  In a way?

Well, I was moved by a song I heard _____ singing in church. 

Was it "Help Me"?

"Help Me", as a matter of fact, yeah, it was.  It was at Jimmie Snow's church [3].

You took Connie Smith ___ church or she took you ___ church.

She took me ___ church, yeah.  We had [4], uh {stops}.  The night before we'd been down in Cookville [5] with a _______________ doing a benefit [6] for Dottie West's high school band or something?  And uh, and then, uh, Connie, uh, took me over ___ church the next day, ___ Jimmy Snow's church. 

Mhmm. [7]

And uh I had a profound religious experience, uh, during the session.  Something that I hadn't ever had happen ______ before.  And uh "Why Me?" came out of it.

It was a very personal experience then.

Yes, it was.  It was, uh…  Everybody was kneeling down, and uh Jimmy said, uh, something like, "If anybody's lost, please raise their hand."  And I was kneeling there.  I don’t go ___ church a lot and uh the notion of raising my hand was out of the question [8].  And I thought, uh, "I can't imagine who's doing this" and all of a sudden I felt my hand going up and I was hoping nobody else was looking, ______ everyone was {stops, changes} had their head over, bent over praying.  And then ____ said, uh, "If anybody, uh, is ready to accept Jesus" -- something like this -- "come down to the front of the church."  And, uh, I thought, "That would never happen."  And, uh, I found myself getting up ____ walking down with all these people and going down there.  And I don't really know what he said ___ me.  He said something to me like, "Are you ready to accept Jesus Christ in your life" or something.  I said, "I don't know!"  I didn't know what I was doing there.  And he put me down, said, "Kneel down here" and he -- I can't even remember what ____ was saying though.  Whatever it was was such a release for me that I {stutters} I found myself weeping in public and uh I felt this, uh, forgiveness that I didn't, that I didn't know I even needed.

Could we get you and Janie Fricke and Willie [9] ____ do this?

I'll sing harmony.  You bet! [10]

Well, we'll try it.  I'll do it in G [11] and, uh, hope that I don't mess up the band again!

Why me, Lord?
What ______ I ever done
To deserve even one

Of the pleasures I've known?

Tell me, Lord.
What did I ever do
That was worth loving you
Or the kindness you've shown?

Lord help me, Jesus.  I've wasted it so
Help me, Jesus. I know what I am.
Now that I know that I needed you so
Help me, Jesus.  My soul's in your hands.

Try me, Lord.
If you think there's a way
I can try to repay
All I've taken from you.

Maybe, Lord,
I can show someone else
What I go through myself
On my way back to you.

Lord help me, Jesus.  I've wasted it so
Help me, Jesus. I know what I am.
Now that I know that I needed you so
Help me, Jesus.  My soul's in your hands.

Jesus, my soul's in your hands.


[1] Before we do it = Before you sing the song.
[2] Larry Gatlin = a famous country singer.  Other singers country mentioned in this video are Connie Smith, Dottie West, Janie Fricke, and Willie Nelson.
[3] Jimmie Snow is a country singer who became a preacher.  He started a church that was attended by many country music stars, including the guy in the video, Kris Kristofferson.
[4]  We had = Note that the initial "h" is silent and so the word "had" sounds like "ad".  In the next sentence "we had" sounds like "we'd".  So there are three ways to say "had" -- 1) "had" (the full sound), 2) "ad" (the "h" is silent), and 3) "d" (the full contraction).

[5] Cookeville = a city in the state of Tennessee.  Nashville (another city in Tennessee) is the home of country music, so a lot of country singers go there a lot.
[6] doing a benefit for = he was raising money for Dottie West's high school band.

[7] Mhmm = Another way of saying "yes".
[8] Out of the question = Something that will never happen.

[9] Janie Fricke and Willie = Two singers in the group.  "Willie" is "Willie Nelson" who is probably the most famous singer in the group.
[10] You bet! = Of course I will.  In other words, if you bet that this will happen, you'll win!  It's a sure thing.

[11] In G = In the key of "G".


1) to [da]
2) him [im]
3) to [da]
4) to [da]
5) to [da]
6) bunch of people [bunch uh people]
7) to [ta]
8) to [ta]
9) to me [ta me]
10) to [da]
11) because [cuz]
12) he [ee]
13) and [an]
14) to [da]
15) he [ee]
16) to [da]
17) have [av]

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