I Just Came Back From a War

Album: Here And Now (2006)
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Songfacts®:

  • In April 2010, Worley traveled overseas for the eighth time to perform for US troops in Iraq. Supporting the troops is something that sits near and dear to his heart, having grown up with family members who experienced WWII, the Vietnam War, and the War in Iraq firsthand. In our interview with Darryl Worley, he told us: "I just realized, man, this was a huge sacrifice, and it affected so many people in so many different ways."

    Darryl is an outspoken advocate for war veterans and wrote this song as "almost like a cry out to say, 'Hey, be there for me. Take the time, don't expect miracles. I've just been through a hell of an ordeal. I need time to re-acclimate. Support me, be there for me.'" He feels the message was clear. "It was a great statement. I think people got it. To me, it was our way of saying, 'Guess what, folks? We've been through hell. And it's a tough gig, but we're not complaining about that. We're just asking you to understand that.' And we were even hoping that maybe some people would hear that and say, 'We need to do a better job of re-acclimating these soldiers and these marines and these troops when we bring them back home, instead of just throwing 'em out there in society and saying, Well, we hope you do okay.' And that's my take on it. I just really don't believe that the basic citizen out there walking around understands, or has any grasp, of what these men and women go through, what they're asked to do. And then 99 times out of 100, when they come home, they're just thrown right back into the mainstream of things. And that's very difficult, in my estimation. And I think if you don't have a supportive family group around you, somebody to really act as a buffer and absorb some of that shock… and there's a lot of kids that come home and don't have anybody, and just kind of get thrown right back into the thick of it. We didn't even think that that song would be a single. And then when it became a single, we all sat around and said, 'Maybe somebody'll hear it, and maybe somebody'll go, Hey, we're not doing the right thing by our troops. They deserve better than this. We should have a program by which we get involved and help them re-acclimate and just get their feet under 'em, and get their heads on straight before we fling 'em right back out into the middle of the craziness."
  • In his song "Awful, Beautiful Life," Darryl mentions his cousin Mike in Iraq. When we asked if this song is about Cousin Mike specifically, he responds, "It has to do with everybody that's ever served, and especially those who've been deployed. It's just a sentiment and a feeling that I got from interacting with a lot of troops over the years. And not just from recently, but from the Vietnam era and WWII. I've heard all those stories and talk and relate to those people."
  • Many people have mentioned to Darryl that they feel this song appears to be at odds with his #1 hit "Have You Forgotten?" He seems honestly baffled by that. "There are even people who felt like 'Have You Forgotten?' was written encouraging our invasion into Iraq. And when I wrote that song there was no war in Iraq. It was just the war that followed the events of 9/11, in Afghanistan. And I felt then like I do now, that you can't take a punch in the mouth like that and then just sit back and go, 'Well, let's be nice to the world. Maybe they won't do that again.' I mean, I firmly believed that we needed to get our butts over to Afghanistan and get after the people that attacked us on our own turf. And I don't have a problem with expressing that to anyone that would question my motives. I don't feel like I've compromised my feelings in either of those songs, and I stand by the message in both. As far as being a war hawk, someone who's just all gung-ho about going fighting, attacking people, that's not who I am at all. And I understand the casualties of war probably better than most, because I grew up in a family that has been affected on both sides by that."
  • Worley recorded the Here And Now album under the then-newly-formed record label 903 Records, which was run by his friend and fellow Country singer Neal McCoy. Worldy was the second artist on the label, with McCoy's debut being the first.

    The album was released, and this song began easing quickly up the charts. "It was selling the crap out of records," says Worley. "Everywhere they were playing that song on the radio, the record sales were just through the roof. Everybody was calling me and going, 'Wow, we sold out again today,' and they were re-ordering, and we were all excited."

    Then, after 2-3 weeks of the song climbing, McCoy made the announcement on May 4, 2007, that 903 Records was no more. His statement, short and to the point: "The truth is that after two great years of success due to the hard work of a lot of wonderful people, we flat ran out of money, end of story."

    Huge disappointment, to be sure, but Darryl says it's just something you have to deal with and move on. One of the most frustrating things about it is that the label still has several thousand copies of the album, and refuses to sell them even to the artist himself. "Because it's all contract stuff. The record labels are holding onto what they think of as the only property that they've got when everything goes south. You can't just take the product and make copies of it and sell it. I mean, I could , (laughing) but I'd probably wind up getting in trouble, because they own the product. I looked on iTunes the other day, and you can't even buy that album, because they've got all the product locked down. Which is stupid to me, because they're not making any money by it sitting in a warehouse somewhere."

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