Lyrics Uncovered: Reba McEntire, ‘Pray for Peace’
Reba McEntire's "Pray for Peace" lyrics came from divine inspiration.
The country icon has released more than 90 singles, but she admits that she doesn't write many of them. However, when it came to "Pray for Peace," McEntire dedicated herself to a laborious writing process.
"I don't write a lot," she tells Taste of Country, "but these words came to me. I kept building on this song, and what came from three words turned into the longest time I ever spent on a song."
The song is the closing track of McEntire's latest album, Love Somebody, which she released via Nash Icon. Reba has been working on it for years.
"It's a song that was started two or three years ago while I was out walking," she reveals. "My front yard is my church. That's where I talk to God and pray, and I walk and look at the beautiful things He's created. And so 'Pray for Peace' came to my mind. So I started praying for peace. A lot of things were going on at the time around the world that were really disturbing.
"Then a month or two later, I asked, 'Lord, what do you have in mind for me? What's my next project?'" she says. "And then He said, 'Why don't you pray for peace?' And that thought came to my mind, and I said, 'I've been doing that.' So I kept praying for peace. Then later, I kept thinking, 'Pray for peace, pray for peace.' Then a month or two later, He told me I should record it."
What came from three words turned into the longest time I ever spent on a song.
After praying more about the song, she then took it to her husband, Narvel Blackstock, and said she had to record it, but still only had three words for it. Despite that, she brought her band in and they started figuring it out. The "Pray for Peace" lyrics came about after her band leader suggested that she write a bridge: "There's power in the number of us praying here on Earth / We're asking for a miracle / Let your voice be the first."
After the lyrics felt complete, McEntire not only brought in a choir to sing in the background, but Caroline Kole, Ronnie Dunn and her daughter-in-law, Kelly Clarkson, also lent their voices to "Pray for Peace."
"It starts off with the bass drum, and my image of that is like these drummers come in with the mist and the fog in the woods in Scotland," Reba says. "And here comes the bagpipes. And it's just a very inspirational song."
Once the track as complete, Reba says God told her to give it away, which she did last July. It inspired fans all over the globe to show how they pray for peace. "So we put it on YouTube, and fans were sending in their pray for peace," McEntire relates, "and that's how we made the video with fans all over the world. There were people from Edinburgh, Ireland, all over, who were praying for peace. So we got [the clips] all together and put them on YouTube, and now it needed to go on the album, too, for the folks who didn't hear it, because it was a gift from God."