Give Thanks

Album: Give Thanks (1986)

Songfacts®:

  • This worship song was written in 1978 by Henry Smith. The young seminary graduate penned it during a difficult time in his life when he was struggling to find work and coming to terms with a degenerative eye condition that would eventually leave him legally blind. Smith's inspiration was the scripture, "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich." Finding hope in 2 Corinthians 8 v 9's description of God becoming human to save man, he penned this simple song of trust and giving thanks.

    Following the introduction of the song during a worship service at the Williamsburg New Testament Church in Virginia, a military couple reintroduced it to a congregation in Germany. It eventually caught the attention of executives at Integrity Music, which is known for producing praise and worship music series under their label, Hosanna! Music.

    In 1984, a young worship leader named Don Moen was hired by Hosanna! Music. This song was recorded as the title track of his debut album, which was laid down during a live worship service at Covenant Church of Mobile, Alabama in July 1986. Give Thanks was a tremendous success, becoming Hosanna's best-selling release, with more than one million copies sold worldwide. Church congregations around the world picked up on the song, and it is now recognized as one of the most popular contemporary hymns.
  • When Moen originally recorded the song in 1986, the author was unknown, so Hosanna! Music copyrighted it. After the Give Thanks album came to the attention of Smith, he contacted the label with authorship information. His name was included on the songwriting credits for all the subsequent releases.

Comments: 1

  • Stevesevy@gmail.com from Long Beach, CaGreat to find out about Henry Smith.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Amy Grant

Amy GrantSongwriter Interviews

The top Contemporary Christian artist of all time on song inspirations and what she learned from Johnny Carson.

Benny Mardones

Benny MardonesSongwriter Interviews

His song "Into The Night" is one of the most-played of all time. For Benny, it took him to hell and back.

Ramones

RamonesFact or Fiction

A band so baffling, even their names were contrived. Check your score in the Ramones version of Fact or Fiction.

John Parr

John ParrSongwriter Interviews

John tells the "St. Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)" story and explains why he disappeared for so long.

Dave Mason

Dave MasonSongwriter Interviews

Dave reveals the inspiration for "Feelin' Alright" and explains how the first song he ever wrote became the biggest hit for his band Traffic.

Dan Reed

Dan ReedSongwriter Interviews

Dan cracked the Top 40 with "Ritual," then went to India and spent 2 hours with the Dalai Lama.