Reba McEntire's new song is almost at the two-minute mark before she sings anything other than four powerful words, over and over: "please pray for peace." It's the repetition of that lyric that helps the tune and its heartstring-grabbing video hammer home the message that voices are perhaps the only weapons that can win the uphill battle for world peace.
"The idea to write the song 'Pray for Peace' came to me last year as I was walking on our place in Gallatin, [Tennessee]," the music icon writes in a Facebook post. "For days I'd sing, 'pray for peace,' over and over. It wasn't until several months later did the other parts start to fall in place. Some, not until we got into the studio to record it."
Longtime friend and sometime duet partner Ronnie Dunn joined McEntire in the studio, providing background vocals alongside a choir of singers. For the poignant video, the singer recruited people from all over the world — from her home state of Oklahoma to a village in Africa — to give the unspoken gesture to pray for peace. The song has prompted a flood of support on social media, including a video of Keith Urban, Nicole Kidman and their daughters asking to "pray for peace."
"I feel this song is a gift from God," says Reba. "I have never worked on a song as long as this one. It went from a bass drum, fiddle and singers to guest artists singing with me, adding more instruments and even a choir and a bagpipe! It's an act of perseverance, prayer, hope, fellowship and mostly love."
This is the first new music McEntire has released in almost four years. Her last album was 2010's All the Women I Am. There's no word yet if "Pray for Peace" will appear on a future LP. You can get a free download of the song by entering your email address on Reba.com.