This is the second single from Country music artist James Otto's third studio album, Shake What God Gave Ya. During a pre-release show that Otto gave, he explained that his wife Amy chose this song for the record. "She's picked her favorite song," said Otto, "'Soldiers and Jesus.' It's a really powerful song, something that only comes along once in a while and really moves people. It's about the only two people who ever died for me, soldiers and Jesus. It's really resonated with the country fan base."
This touching ballad addresses the sacrifice military men and women make. Otto explained to The Boot why he felt it was important to include a patriotic tune on Shake What God Gave Ya. Said Otto: "I thought it was something poignant for our time. Anything we can do to shine a light on those guys is a good thing. Even the press, they report on it every day but the sacrifice becomes minimized and it becomes a generalized idea of war vs. a personal thing. This family over here is suffering, and that is the more important story ... the sacrifice people make. We're doing it for a purpose, but those guys didn't go there on their own volition, they're doing a job they need to do. I don't know if people understand the sacrifice they make. But we all know people who have been affected by what's going on around the world, whether it's a friend or a family member. I think people in the country genre understand it; they're the ardent supporters of the military, and they're usually the ones being called up to go. They make up a lot of our men and women in the service. This song is one of those things meant to highlight that, and if they don't understand, maybe this song will help."
The lyrics to "Heartbreak Hotel" were written by a steel guitar player who was once a dishwasher repairman. He was inspired by a newspaper story about a man who killed himself and left behind a note saying only, "I walk a lonely street."
"Piano Man" was inspired by Billy Joel's time playing at a piano bar in Los Angeles. The "real estate novelist" was a guy who always talked about writing a book, but spent all his spare time in the bar.