Jesus and Elvis

Album: Cosmic Hallelujah (2016)
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Songfacts®:

  • Kenny Chesney paints a picture during this prayerful song of a bar being decorated for Christmas.

    Jesus and Elvis, painted on velvet
    Hanging at the bar here every night
    It's good to be back again, oh me and my old friends
    'Neath the neon cross and a string of Christmas lights


    Chesney told Radio.com that he values the unspoken tradition that he sings of on the song. "People get so caught up in chasing this idea of what they should have, getting ahead or needing this thing or the other," he said. "The reality I've found is when you look around, you've probably got it pretty good. If you'd just appreciate where you are, you'd be amazed at how happy you can be."
  • The song was written by:

    Nashville songwriter Matraca Berg whose credits include Kenny Chesney's "You and Tequila."

    Country-folk singer Allison Moorer, who is the sister of Shelby Lynne. Her ballad "A Soft Place to Fall" garnered an Oscar nomination in 1999.

    Texan singer-songwriter Hayes Carll whose "Another Like You" was selected by American Songwriter as their #1 song of 2011.
  • Alison Moorer told American Songwriter how the three songwriters penned the song one summer afternoon in Matraca Berg's living room:

    "The three of us were writing together for the first time. It ended up working out for us, so maybe there was indeed some fairy dust in the air. After only a few minutes of catching up, we sat down with our guitars and Matraca said, "I've been thinking about this title, 'Jesus and Elvis.'"

    Everyone liked it. We started throwing around lyric ideas, talking about where it could go, and how to draw the parallels. I suggested it might be a waltz. We decided it wasn't. Hayes started finger picking around on a chord progression. Matraca started singing what ended up being the chorus. We had a new song before 6 p.m. and celebrated with a few beers and with Matraca's husband, the singer-songwriter and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band member Jeff Hanna, on their back porch. I should mention he liked it first."
  • According to Hayes Carll, the song has roots in a visit he made to North Austin Dive bar Lala's Little Nugget.

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