Old Crow Medicine Show Shares ‘Pray For America’

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Old Crow Medicine Show released a new song entitled “Pray For America” along with an accompanying video. The band wrote “Pray For America” as the first installment of NPR program Morning Edition’s song project, in which artists pen and perform an original written about the pandemic and other current events for the show.

“What I really wanted to do was to write a song that felt like ‘God Bless America,’ but I also wanted to have a little ‘This Land is Your Land,’ too,” explained OCMS frontman Ketch Secor of “Pray For America” to Morning Edition. “I think we, as songwriters, got to keep adding to the canon of songs about America because we need to update it. These are troubling times and we need new songs about our country to inspire unity.”

Secor wrote “Pray For America” before the death of George Floyd and the protests that followed. However, Ketch hopes the song resonates in response to the fight against racism as well. “You know when you write music, you’re trying to make universal statements. Great songs like ‘Blowin’ in the Wind,’ they’re not about particular vantage points, they’re not about any particular side or affiliation,” Ketch added. “Great songs are there for all to enjoy, and for all to see themselves in. So writing a song about COVID-19, if it’s any good, it ought to be able to translate from a global pandemic to a cry for justice.”

Ketch Secor and OCMS drummer Jerry Pentecost appeared on Morning Edition to discuss the song and their experiences before a live performance of “Pray For America.” Listen to the segment below:

Watch the “Pray For America” video, which premiered during the band’s Hartland Hootenanny livestream over the weekend: