Backed by piano and a string section, Kristofferson’s weathered voice gives the song a whole new outlook, going from proud and optimistic to full of regret and pain, but resilient all the same.
The epic miniseries, which tells the story Texas’s struggle for independence after the Alamo fell to Mexican General Santa Anna and the rise of the legendary Texas Rangers, spans 10-hours of programming over five nights beginning this Memorial Day.
In the video, Kristofferson tracks the song in a studio while violent battles rage and touching love stories develop.
And on top of singing, Kristofferson also portrays President Andrew Jackson, joining a star-studded cast that includes Bill Paxton, Brendan Fraser, Ray Liotta, Lost‘s Jeremy Davies, Grey’s Anatomy‘s Jeffrey Dean Morgan and many more. You can get a brief glimpse of Kristofferson looking presidential in his Jackson costume at the very end of the clip.
Along with “Won’t Back Down,” the miniseries’ soundtrack includes George Strait, who sings the Brandy Clark-penned title song “Take Me to Texas,” and new music from flamenco-influenced Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Jose Feliciano.
Texas Rising premieres May 25th at 9 p.m. ET/PT on History.