One of the marks of a good song must surely be the number and variety of cover versions. If that is the case then Kris Kristofferson’s “Help Me Make It Through The Night” must by rights be judged a good, if not great, song. From it’s humble roots as a country ballad on his debut album in 1970 (an album that incidentally included at least another three classics – Me and Bobby McGee, For the Good Times and Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down) the song has established a life of its own and could rightly be considered a standard.
Popularised in the US by Sammi Smith, within months it was being covered by the likes of Elvis Presley, and soon was the subject of sultry soul interpretations (Gladys Knight), reggae (John Holt) and moody suaveness (who else but Bryan Ferry). And that’s before you include the countless country versions (Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash). Somewhat bizarrely (given the subject matter) it as also performed by child sensation Lena Zavaroni at the age of 10!
A song of yearning for sexual intimacy, needing comfort, succour and relief, it has been popular with both male and female singers alike, the latter being the source of some controversy in the somewhat conservative echelons of the early 1970s country music establishment (the past truly was a different country).
So here’s the songsheet. Nothing tricky, nothing clever. Just a good song sung straight. This is in the same key as the Kris Kristofferson version above, but feel free to adapt for your reggae / soul / thrash metal version, as you see fit. Enjoy!