The other day I was sitting there, playing one of my absolute all-time favorite songs on guitar: A Country Boy Can Survive by Hank Williams Jr.
For 33 out of the 40 years I have been alive here on this earth, I have been cranking this song up, and singing it as loud as I possibly can. In all honestly I have probably played this song more than any other song in my library! That’s how epic it is to me.
I simply cannot get sick of this song. I love everything about it! From the sound of Hank’s voice, to the acoustic guitar licks in the background, to the thump of the bass drum, to the lyrics. This song is amazing to me.
So, here I am, playing it guitar once again, strumming the opening chords. I open my mouth to sing the opening line:
The preacher man says it’s the end of the time, and the Mississippi River she’s a going dry….
…and all of a sudden I just started seeing the song in a much different light than I ever had before! As Hank is singing this song every single line of this song hinges on the opening line: The Preacher man says it’s the end of time.
This song is a song about the last days. It’s a song about survival. It’s a song about enduring to the end.
Am I suggesting that in any way, shape, or form that this is a Christian song? Nay! But what Hank is singing about surely is signs of the times.
That’s when it hit me:
Prophecy, signs, and the end of time
Everybody’s acting like things are fine.
What came next was a total shock and surprise to me. I had no plans of writing new lyrics to this iconic song. But it happened!
I began to follow the theme that Hank had set with original: Enduring these last days.
Actually, there’s a verse in the Bible that speaks to that, and that verse is the verse in which the rest of the song is based around:
But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
– Matthew 24:13
A Jesus Man Can Survive is basically a message to the Body of Christ to stop playing church and to toughen up because time is running out.
Eric Johnson wears many hats! Husband, father, organic church planter, pastor, preacher, conference speaker, worship leader, songwriter, cancer survivor, and a semi-retired professional stand-up comedian, Eric has been really blessed over the years to have the following artists close the show for him: Hawk Nelson, 7eventh Time Down, The Josh Gilbert Band, and Shinebright. Eric makes his home in majestic mountains of Bristol, Tennessee, with his amazing wife, Crystal and their son, Kyle. Follow him at @EricIsGuitarted.