Jerrod Niemann just released his latest single, "Old Glory." Niemann, who wrote the song in honor of the military men and women who sacrifice so much for their country, was inspired to pen the tune after spending time overseas on a USO Tour.
"I've had the great honor of going overseas a couple of times doing the USO Tours and, definitely got a lot of inspiration. In fact, I've never had so many memories that I genuinely can't get out of my head and my heart, and when that happens, you can't help but it come out in your music. And so this is definitely my favorite song I've ever written," Niemann said.
Niemann wrote "Old Glory," but didn't play it for anyone until he got a chance to play it for those in the U.S. Armed Forces.
"It's from the perspective of a soldier, and if you're going to put words in somebody's mouth, the least you could do is hopefully get their approval," explained the Kansas native.
"So after the first year of going overseas I came back with some memories, some great memories, but also ones that do weigh on your heart. And I hadn't written any patriotic music for that very reason. I just didn't want to speak out of turn. I obviously had family and my grandfathers fought in World War II, things like that," Niemann said.
"But when you're over there as fly on the wall and you just get to see our brave men and women in action, it's overwhelming at first 'cause it's like whoa this is insane," he continued. "But then once you kind of settle in and start to visit with everybody you start having some realizations. The second time we went over there it all started coming together and I was able to absorb a lot more and really bring back some memories that I think other civilians would appreciate here."
Niemann and his wife, Morgan, spent Christmas on a USO Tour, creating one of the most memorable holidays of his life.
"It was special because after I came back from the first one I told her how amazing it was and that it was life changing," recalled Niemann. "And, I think that it really inspired her to want to check it out. So, obviously she's a lot easier to look at than me and I knew that our military would appreciate that. And she's also very intelligent, and a supporter of course of anybody that's kind enough to fight for our freedom. I think she just heard me talk about it for a year."
"And so, when it came up it was a no-brainer for her to go over there too," he added. "I really do wish every civilian could be a fly on the wall in these places and I really think that it would change a lot of lives, a lot of perspectives and add a lot of unity."
The 39-year-old admits the holiday was much different than previous ones, but in the best way possible.
"We had the honor of eating many Christmas dinners," Niemann noted. "And so, of course some people would pick at it but I happened to indulge every single time. You're in these tents. You're in these weird – it's not what a Christmas dinner obviously back home would be, but when you're sitting around with your fellow Americans that spirit's still there and you know that they know you appreciate them whole-heartedly and they care that you've come half way around the world to just try to bring them home for a few minutes."
"So, here you are though with 100 degrees out, and there's tons of sand," he concluded. "It's not our average Christmas caroling vibe we'd had back home there still is that Christmas spirit and that's something that I was really happy to see, that there was a lot of people in good spirits even though they were sacrificing a lot by being away from their families."
Niemann just released This Ride in 2017, and doesn't know if "Old Glory" will make it onto his next album or not.
"You know the truth is this song just means so much to me and really everybody that's been involved with it that I don't know if we've even really thought that far," conceded Niemann. "It's just that sometimes a message needs to be heard and it's in the moment. And, to me I wouldn't say I don't care, obviously I care, but to me this is so special that we haven't even gotten that far."0comments
Download "Old Glory" on iTunes.
Photo Credit: Getty images/Rick Diamond