Daily Digital Download: Randy Travis ‘Three Wooden Crosses’ [VIDEO]
“Three Wooden Crosses” was written by Kim Williams and Doug Johnson, and recorded by Randy Travis. It was released in November 2002 from his album, Rise and Shine. The song became Travis’ sixteenth number one single. In addition, it was named Song of the Year by the Country Music Association in 2003 and won a Dove Award from the Gospel Music Association as Country Song of the Year in 2004.
Throughout the song there is mention of “three wooden crosses on the right side of the highway.” This is a dual reference to roadside memorials and to crosses that, in 1984, funded by Reverend Bernard Coffindaffer, began appearing on the sides of highways across the country. These crosses stand in the traditional Christian formation of a tall cross in the middle and two slightly shorter crosses on each side representing the Crucifixion of Jesus.
The song describes four passengers, a farmer on vacation and a teacher seeking higher education, a hooker and a preacher both of whom were “searching for lost souls”, on a bus traveling from the United States toMexico. The bus is involved in a fatal accident which kills three of the four passengers; because there are four people featured in the song excluding the driver of the bus and the 18-wheeler which hit it, neither of whom presumably died in the wreck, the lyrics ask why there are only three crosses and not four.
The song mentions that the farmer and teacher were killed in the wreck, with the farmer leaving a harvest and a son who would follow in his footsteps, and the teacher leaving knowledge in the children she taught. It also mentions that the preacher lays his bloodstained Bible in the hands of the hooker, asking her if she could “see the Promised Land”.
The end of the song reveals that the story was being told by a preacher during Sunday church services. However, in a twist, it reveals that the hooker survived and had a son . The preacher telling the story is in fact the son of the hooker (holding up the bloodstained Bible as proof), who read the Bible that had been given to her by the dying preacher; in turn, her son eventually became a preacher himself.
If you would like to download the song to your device, here are the links: