"Dear Santa Claus / I write to you because / I don't want toys this year / I just want my daddy here / He's gone to fight in the war / He's a Sgt. in the Corp / My mommy says he makes / The world a safer place."

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
October 28, 2020
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Credit: Todd & Chris Owyoung

As Veterans Day approaches on Wednesday, November 11, we're all carving out extra time to appreciate those who have served and continue to serve our country. Whether making a donation to a worthy cause, volunteering for a nonprofit that supports veterans, or simply order some food at Cracker Barrel to support their partnership with Operation Homefront, there are countless ways to honor these heroes.

Today, we'll be blasting Hootie & the Blowfish's new song, "Won't Be Home For Christmas." The new tune features Abigail Hodges, the daughter of Nashville musician and producer David Hodges, and is a nod of thanks to sacrifices made by the men and women of our armed forces. Written by Hootie & the Blowfish and produced by Jeff Trott, the new song is available everywhere now for your listening enjoyment.

Credit: Courtesy Essential Broadcast Media

The duet between Rucker and Hodges takes listeners on a heartfelt journey as a daughter pleas for her deployed father to come home in time for the holidays. “[Hodges] did a great job of adding that perspective to this song and really bringing the lyrics to life.”

And the lyrics certainly get the floodgates going: "Dear Santa Claus / I write to you because / I don't want toys this year / I just want my daddy here / He's gone to fight in the war / He's a Sgt. in the Corp / My mommy says he makes / The world a safer place / But I'm scared for him now 'cause he's not coming home for Christmas / We will talk on the phone but he won't be home for Christmas," Hodges sings in the touching opening lines of the song.

"Season's greetings flow across the radio / Dear family, hang in there with me / It's hard to rest at ease this Christmas overseas / Artificial green and red the blood we've seen," Rucker replies in character as a father serving his country away from home. "We have God on our side, but we won't be home for Christmas / When the fighting subsides all the angels will sing." While just a catchy and heartfelt song for many who listen, sadly for many others, the reality of having a parent in the service away from home for the holidays is all too familiar.

“We feel very fortunate to have the freedom to enjoy the holidays with our families, however we know that isn’t the case for everyone,” says guitarist Mark Bryan of the new release. “Whether they’re deployed overseas or stationed far away from their families, this can be a tough time for military members. We wanted to really pay tribute to that sacrifice and thank these men and women for everything they do to keep us safe.” Listen to the full song on YouTube below.

Love Hootie? Last month, we caught up with Rucker for our Podcast Biscuits & Jam and talked about okra soup, growing up in South Carolina, singing around the holidays, and more. Hootie & the Blowfish also recently released “Turn It Up (Walshy Fire Of Major Lazer Remix),” a new version of the track off their November 2019 album Imperfect Circle, the band's first new album in nearly 15 years, which was accompanied by their sold-out, five-country Group Therapy Tour. (Having seen the boys grace the stage ourselves—at points accompanied by a Waffle House-inspired backdrop, mind you—we assure you, they live up to every inch of their '90s glory and then some.)

WATCH: Listen to Dolly Parton and Michael Bublé's Amazing New Holiday Duet, “Cuddle Up, Cozy Down Christmas”

On that note, we're off to send this new song to every military family we know. We're keeping you in our thoughts and hoping those missives to Santas come true sooner rather than later.