American country music singer Brad Paisley marked the one-year anniversary of the Russia-Ukraine conflict by releasing a song that features President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Paisley released “Same Here” on Feb. 24. While Ukraine is not specifically mentioned in the lyrics, the track ends with an audio clip from a Zoom call with Zelenskyy where he discusses his country and its citizens.
“There is no distance between our two countries in such values,” Zelenskyy says while talking about a desire for freedom during the three-minute clip.
“We speak different languages in our life, yes, but I think we appreciate the same things: children, freedom, our flag, our soldiers, our people — the biggest treasure we have — and friends,” the president adds. “And we are proud of our army, who defends our freedom and will defend our lives.”
“However you talk, whatever you think, from the songs that you sing to the drink that you drink, if you miss your mama and worry ’bout your babies, and love each other like crazy, and want someone to share your hopes and fears, same here,” the lyrics state, per Fox News.
While discussing the song’s release, Paisley said he felt compelled to comment on the war and that Zelenskyy “can give as many speeches as he can give, but it’s a lot easier to hear something with a melody maybe.”
“You can put us in different places with different flags and different languages, but we have so many similarities,” he told AP News. “I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I didn’t sort of swing for the fence with things like this.”
“For me, I’m happiest dealing with stuff as a songwriter that’s very true and very, very passionate,” he continued. “And sometimes I don’t know if you’d call it risky, but it’s more like it’s bigger than me.”
Paisley joined Zelenskyy’s UNITED24 in January as an ambassador to support the Rebuild Ukraine program. Zelenskyy launched the global initiative on May 5, 2022 to “protect, save, and rebuild” Ukraine.
“Ukraine itself knows best what is needed and can deliver aid directly,” according to the organization’s website. “Ukraine itself knows best what is needed and can deliver aid directly.”
By December of 2022, UNITED24 had secured $237 million in donations from 110 countries.
“I count myself very lucky to have been given a platform that will allow me to do that very thing,” Paisley said in a statement to CMT about his work with the initiative. “As an American, I see how very similar we are, how we share so many common values with these brave people in Ukraine, and I’m focusing my efforts on helping Ukrainian families rebuild and return to their homes.”
Proceeds from “Same Here” will be donated to UNITED24.
Paisley is originally from West Virginia and has won three Grammys for his work.
“Same Here” is the first song to be released from Paisley’s new album – Son of the Mountain – under Universal Music Group Nashville. The song was co-written by Paisley, Lee Thomas Miller and Taylor Goldsmith.