Kenny Chesney has released a brand-new tune, "Pirate Song," from his upcoming Songs for the Saints album. The song was inspired, not by the devastation Hurricanes Irma and Maria caused on Chesney's beloved Caribbean islands, but by the way residents banded together in the aftermath.
"'Pirate Song' emerged as a love song to everything the islands have always been: freedom, time slowing down, being calm and at sea," Chesney says in a statement. "Even when my friends and people I knew were coming through my house after the storms came through, I knew the essence of what those islands are couldn't be extinguished inside them."
"Pirate Song," which says "I wish I was a pirate out there under my own flag / Running for no reason and no reason to turn back / Salt and rum on my tongue, sails tattered and torn / Laughing in the devil's face, riding out a storm," isn't just for those who have overcome unimaginable obstacles, however. The tune, says Chesney, is for anyone who sometimes wishes they were somewhere else.
"Anyone who's got a job, a schedule, a list of responsibilities and people to answer to understands that yearning to be free," Chesney notes. "This song is about being unplugged, off the grid, sailing where the boat takes you and letting the cares drift away. It's never that easy, but I love that line about Saint Christopher on a silver chain, say a prayer, and sail away … because it is also that easy if you'll just surrender.
"That's why when they asked me to pick a song to send out early, I picked this one," he adds. "It's everything I wish for everyone in No Shoes Nation: the ability to let go and melt into the stillness. We all want to be pirates in some way or another. It's such a romantic idea, so rock & roll, and it's also so much more – and less."
Proceeds from Songs for the Saints will go to Chesney's Love for Love City Foundation, an organization Chesney started to provide ongoing help for those who need it most, especially in the wake of the devastating storms.
"I wanted to make a record that shows the spirit and resilience of the people who live on those islands, who are generationally tied to them, or are raising families there," Chesney says. "To me, it's about the hope, the strength, the joy and the courage they are bringing to the task of rebuilding after a kind of destruction no one has ever seen before.
"To let them know, they're not only not forgotten months later, but we're holding them up as inspiration – and offering help in any way that we can, including music," he adds. "Because music heals, it inspires, and this is for them."
Songs for the Saints includes guest appearances by Ziggy Marley, Jimmy Buffett and Mindy Smith. The album will be released on July 27, and is available for pre-order at KennyChesney.com.
Chesney is currently crossing the country on his Trip Around the Sun Tour. Find dates here.
Download "Pirate Song" on iTunes.
Photo Credit: Getty images/Emma Mcintyre