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Tim McGraw Sings 'It Wasn't His Child' on 2020 CMA Country Christmas

Tim McGraw stunned viewers with his gorgeous, stirring rendition of "It Wasn't His Child" on the CMA Country Christmas Special, which aired on Nov. 30 on ABC.

Written and first recorded by country singer-songwriter Skip Ewing in 1989 for his album The Will to Love (it's also featured on Ewing's album Following Yonder Star), "It Wasn't His Child" has turned into one of country music's modern classics over the past 20 years. The song, which is written from the point of view of Joseph following the birth of Jesus, has been recorded by Trisha Yearwood, Sawyer Brown and more.

Ewing, who's penned songs for George Jones, Kenny Rogers and more, said he started writing the song one Christmas Eve.

"I originally started with the melody," Ewing told UPI. 'The way the acoustic guitar starts off was just a melody in my head. It was Christmas Eve when I was messing with it. I thought it would be neat to write a Christmas song. It's not something I do a lot of...I started thinking what could I say that's different than what somebody else has already said. I thought, 'gosh, the way everything happened like that I wonder how those people must have felt.' I actually finished it on Christmas Day. My whole family was in my grandmother's living room around the piano singing Christmas carols. I was in my cousin's room with my hands over my ears trying to hear myself think."

The song's unique point of view has made it a Christmas standard, right along with "Mary Did You Know" and "Little Drummer Boy."

"As a writer I'm always looking for some way to say something differently," Ewing continued. "That allows me to express whatever emotion is inside of me. It was a real way to say that. It's more than maybe about Mary and Joseph."

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McGraw said "It Wasn't His Child" has long been one of his favorite holiday songs.

"I'm performing 'It Wasn't His Child,' it was written by Skip Ewing, who I'm a big fan of and I've know this song gosh since the late '80s I guess and I've performed it several times at Christmas because it's always one of my go to Christmas songs to perform and I always love it, I love the message of what it says and the story behind it," McGraw said (quote via Country Now). "Just so well written, Skip's a great writer."

The 2020 CMA Country Christmas, hosted by Thomas Rhett and Lauren Akins, featured performances from Gabby Barrett, Kelsea Ballerini, Dan + Shay, Florida Georgia Line, Lady A and Little Big Town.

'It Wasn't His Child' Lyrics:

He was her man, she was his wife
And late one winter night,
He knelt by her
As she gave birth
But it wasn't his child,
It wasn't his child
Yet still he took him as his own
And as he watched him grow,
It brought him joy
But it wasn't his child
It wasn't his child
But like a father he was strong and kind
And I believe he did his best
It wasn't easy for him,
But he did all could,
His son was different from the rest
It wasn't his child,
It wasn't his child
And when the boy became a man
He took his father's hand
And soon the world
Would all know why
It wasn't his child,
It wasn't his child
But like a father he was strong and kind
And I believe he did his best
It wasn't easy for him,
But he did all could,
He grew up with his hands in wood
And he died with his hands in wood
He was god's child,
He was god's child

 

 

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Tim McGraw Sings 'It Wasn't His Child' on 2020 CMA Country Christmas