(NewsNation) — Country music star Brad Paisley has released a new song called “Same Here” that features Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
A recording of a conversation between Paisley and Zelenskyy plays in the song. Before Zelenskyy is included on the track, Paisley sings: “I’ve got a friend across the ocean/ Seems like a million miles away/ He says our worlds are very different/ Yeah that’s true, but I’ve got to say/ He’s got his own kind of football team that lets him down every year/ A wife he loves and a bunch of dreams for his country he holds so dear/ He prays for peace and freedom/ Same here.”
Paisley says he hopes the song shows the similarities between the people of the U.S. and those of Ukraine.
“Country music is really good at telling true stories and putting into words I think things that most of us feel and being an outlet for that. And this song actually came about because I had written about some things that after the invasion last year, I felt like I wanted to say, which was that when you boil it down to the things we want, there are so many similarities in us,” Paisley told NewsNation host Leland Vittert.
The release comes as some Americans say they feel the U.S. is giving too much aid to Ukraine. According to reports, Congress has approved more than $133 billion in aid to Ukraine so far.
The singer acknowledged the song was “risky” for him since it’s a topic not all Americans agree on right now.
“But I think the things I say in the song, my point is, these should be things we agree on. I really care about the fact that there are people who want to be free, and they’re not. And they’re fighting for that,” Paisley told Vittert.
Paisley says he does not claim to be an expert on government spending. As for his own money, Paisley said his royalties on the song will go toward rebuilding housing for Ukrainians who have lost everything.
“All I can do is what I’m doing, which is trying to raise awareness that this is a humanitarian crisis. These people have lost their way of life, and they’re fighting to have our way of life. And I think we should care,” Paisley said.
When he was learning about Ukraine and speaking with Zelenskyy, Paisley said he was “struck by humility” and called their talk a “really sincere and heartfelt conversation.” The end of Paisley’s song features a piece of their discussion, where Zelenskyy says the U.S. and Ukraine are “really the same.”
“Same Here” is part of an upcoming album that highlights the importance of freedom.