Craig Morgan virtually stopped by the Today show on Monday to celebrate Memorial Day, appearing on TODAY with Hoda and Jenna to perform a cover of Gavin DeGraw's "Soldier." Morgan appeared from his home in Nashville, sitting at a microphone to sing as an acoustic guitar player sat by his side and provided harmonies for the song, which is all about being there for the person you love when they're going through a hard time.
"Soldier" appears on Morgan's just-released album, God, Family, Country, which is his first album in almost four years. The project contains five new songs along with remastered versions of some of Morgan's best-known songs recorded for Broken Bow Records from 2002 to 2008. Before his performance, Morgan told Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager why he thinks the album is most personal to date. "One of the obvious is the song 'The Father, My Son and the Holy Ghost,' a song that talks about the loss of my son," he said. "That is not a negative song, it's a positive song. A song that hopefully will inspire people's faith, to have faith. But also songs like 'Soldier.'" Morgan spent 17 years in the military in the Army and Army Reserves and has received the Army's Outstanding Civilian Service Medal for his contributions over the years.
"To me, this song truly talks about the personality and the character of those people who share that gene," he continued on Today. "The soldiers, the doctors, the law enforcement officers, the first responders, nurses. It talks about the character of those people. I am and have been one of those people for most of my life. I joke and say, people ask me how I transitioned to the military from civilian life and I tell them that I'm working on it, even though it's been a while."
Morgan has performed "Soldier" live for some time and told Forbes that he instantly connected with it when he first heard DeGraw's version. "I fell in love with the song when I heard a live version of what Gavin had done," he said. "Every lyric of that song really does represent the soldier. Generally, I would write something like that, but it was so good it was one of those things where I felt like even though Gavin had done it, I could put a little bit of my own twist on it and I could separate myself from him enough without losing the character of the song."