Craig Morgan’s new single, “The Father, My Son and The Holy Ghost,” hit a emotional chord with fans the moment Craig first performed it on the Grand Ole Opry stage.
The poignant tune, Craig’s first in three years, was written solely by the 55-year-old singer about the passing of his son Jerry at the age of 19. The teen lost his life in a tubing accident on the Tennessee River near Kentucky Lake. The cause of death was ruled accidental drowning.
In the lyrics, Craig talks about going through each day dealing with the pain of his loss and knowing the his son may not be with him but he’s not gone.
“I cried and cried and cried until I passed out on the floor / Then I prayed and prayed and prayed till I thought I couldn’t pray anymore / And minute by minute, day by day, my God, He gave me hope / I know my boy ain’t here but he ain’t gone.”
“In the mornings I wake up, give her a kiss, head to the kitchen / Pour a cup of wake-me-up and try to rouse up some ambition / Go outside, sit by myself but I ain’t alone / See, I’ve got the Father, my son, and the Holy Ghost,” Craig sings in the chorus.
The song has gotten rave reviews from fans who can relate to it’s message about loss. Even fellow country star, Blake Shelton, was so moved by the song that he began promoting the song and declared in a Tweet, “I would gladly give up my spot on country radio to get this song on.. Wow @cmorganmusic you blow me away brother.. There’s nothing easy or fun about writing a song like this but sometimes it’s just something you gotta do.”
Turns out it was something that Craig just had to do. Craig sat down with One Country to talk about the heartfelt song and the fact that he didn’t want to write it at all.
Tell me about “The Father, My Son and The Holy Ghost?”
“We know that story about us having lost our son…or we didn’t lose him, our son passed away. He had an incident on the lake. And when you lose a child, there’s no process. There’s no healing process. The healing is something that is never ending. And in this song, there’s a line in particular that I attribute to that emotion and that feeling and that is at the end it says, ‘I won’t really heal until I go home, until I get there.’ So that’s what it’s about.”
How did the song come about?
“It came about one morning maybe three or four months ago. I’d pretty much finished all the recording for my new record. And about 3:30 in the morning, I woke up with that chorus in my head because my wife— it’s just tough. It’s an emotion that never goes away. And seeing her cry just breaks my heart, but there’s really nothing I can say or do. I woke up about 3:30 in the morning with that chorus. And so I thought to myself, I need to write this down or I’ll forget it. I felt something was pressing me to get up and write it down. So I got up, I went downstairs to my little office, and I wrote that down. And then I picked up my guitar and I started playing the melody for the chorus that I had heard in my head, that I was dreaming about and went through that. And one thing led to another. Before you know it, I had been down there for about four hours and I’d written that song from beginning to end the way it is right now.
It just flowed out of you?
“That’s it. It was never any fight. I literally had a harder time keeping up with myself, writing the lyric down than I did trying to spit it out. And I tell people, ‘This wasn’t me. This is a God thing.’ It was that kind of an experience that was almost out of body. I was just there and this stuff was coming out, and I was having to write it down. And I would almost forget what I said before I could get pen to paper to write it down, and I was struggling with trying to remember the things that were coming out of my mouth and through my head and put them on paper. But like I said, about four hours later, this is what I ended up with”
What made you want to release the song and share it with others?
“I didn’t. I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to record the song because I knew how difficult it was to write. It drained me so bad that I laid back down that day and slept for like four hours. I knew that singing it was going to have the same physical effect on me because it’s such an emotional thing. I played it for some friends and some family members, and finally I played it for my wife. I played it for my band and they loved it and they worked it up and we did it out in Colorado last January.”
“Then I decided I wanted to do it. I wanted to see what people thought. Was it just me? Was it just because it was my story, or was this song that impacting? Was there more to it than just my own personal thing? So I did it, and I struggled through it. I barely got through it, and the response was over the top. I had people talking to me afterwards saying things like, ‘This gives me hope. My faith is sparked again. It hurts, and knowing that you feel that same thing and hearing your faith gives me faith,’ you know those kinds of things. So we did it, now let’s just be on with it. And then I decided one night to do it on the Opry, and I did it on the Opry and barely got through it there as well. And again, I walked off stage and I’ll never forget this. This is what made me record this song. Ricky Skaggs was standing there and he had big old tears in his eyes. And I was crying because I’d just finished it. I told Ricky, I said, ‘Ricky, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to sing it again. It’s just too much.’ And he put his hands on my shoulders and he said, ‘You have to sing this song. You must sing this. People need to hear this. The world needs to hear this kind of music.’ And I said, ‘Ugh.’ So I walked off, and I thought about it, and I put it off for a while. And finally my managers came to me and said, ‘Hey, you need to record this. This needs to be on this project.’ I said, “Okay, I’ll record it.”
“And again, this isn’t me. And I’m not relating myself in any way to the disciples. I don’t want anyone to ever think that. But I think about their lives and what some of them were doing. They didn’t choose the path that was put before them. Christ made it happen. He did it and he made them. He made Moses a great speaker. He made those people do the things they do. And I attribute this to him. He made this song. He just made it. He allowed me to be a part of this. But through me, he’s written this song. And I think, through me, other people needed to hear this, and so that’s my hope. I’m hoping that radio plays it because I think we can reach a broader audience, but if they don’t, I just hope that I get it out there enough so the person and the people that need to hear this get to.
Do you have advice for other people going through the same thing?
“No, in fact, I’ll tell them that they know as well as I do that there’s no advice. I wished I had healing and encouraging words, but I don’t. All I can tell you is that my faith is what’s kept me going. My faith is what gives me the light in those dark days. My faith encourages me to remember all of the wonderful times that I had when I’m angry or hurt or discouraged because I miss my son so much. And that’s what I tell him, and most of them say, ‘Well, that’s the exact same thing we say when someone asks us.’ So it’s kind of a universal thing. When you lose a child, it’s just not— you’re part of a group you don’t want to be a part of, but you are. And it is what it is.”
As other people share their stories with you, do you find comfort in that?
“It’s a double edged sword. It is. But it’s also emotional. It’s draining. Like even these interviews. I told everyone for some time, this is what’s really ironic, I didn’t want to talk about it. And then I go and write a damn song. It’s all about it. So I got no choice. But again, that’s not me. It wasn’t my choice. I don’t want to do it, but I feel like I’ve been forced here and it’s what I’m supposed to do. Don’t want to, but I have to. I mean sometimes there’s encouragement. My encouragement comes from knowing that having done this, is helping someone else in some way. That does encourage me. But it also brings on a lot more emotion. It makes your heart really heavy, and your pain is always there when you’re doing something like this. So the next few years of my life are going to be filled up with the very thing I didn’t want to talk about.”
One of the lines in the song is, “I heal a little more each day inside.” We know the pain never goes away but does it get any easier for you?
“Well, here’s the deal. It doesn’t get easier, but how you live with it, you become better at living with it. So the healing, there’s not necessarily a scar that scars over and loose skin comes about. This scar will forever and ever be there. You’re just learning how to medicate it a little differently.”
How did your family react to the song when they heard it?
“Oh, [Karen] can’t listen to it. I mean, it’s just too much. It’s tough for my wife to listen to. She has, but rest assured that if it came on the radio and she’s in the car, she’s going to change the channel. And I’m okay with that. Her way of dealing with it is not through this song. And I’m okay with that. Same with my children. The other kids, they hear and I know it hurts their heart. So I don’t really want them to listen to it if it hurts them. My oldest daughter, I think she’s a little more like me. She finds a little encouragement in it because we all feel the same way about this and the lyric of the song is the way we feel, which most people do. But at the same time, it’s not something that they want to listen to every day.”
With Blake Shelton’s help, Craig’s song, “The Father, My Son and The Holy Ghost,” is currently sitting at #4 on the Itunes Country Chart.