Georgia musician creates rallying cry for Ukrainian war victims through song: 'We didn't want your war'

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Peter Putnam, a native of Dalton, Georgia, said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine compelled him to raise his voice and rally around the cause of Ukrainian independence from its invasive neighbors.

He’s done so with a heartfelt song geared toward aiding those displaced by the war.

Thousands of miles away from his North Georgia community, conflict has been raging on relentlessly between Ukraine and its larger neighbor. 

“Once the war began, we started getting these daily images coming from various news outlets about the atrocities, and I’m sitting back and wondering, ‘What does this mean? What does this mean for for for Europe? What does this mean for the world? What does this mean for those who love freedom, seeing that a sovereign nation is being invaded?’” he told Fox News Digital in an interview.

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“I wanted a way to do something more, to create change,” he added.

“So I asked myself, What I could do to help raise awareness about what’s going on?”

Peter Putnam, a musician from Dalton, Georgia, poses in front of the American Recording Studio in Memphis. 

Peter Putnam, a musician from Dalton, Georgia, poses in front of the American Recording Studio in Memphis. 
(Peter Putnam)

The former professional bodybuilder-turned-independent artist turned to his muse in music.

He picked up a guitar and began strumming it until he found a chord that struck well.

“I was searching for ideas, and I came across a chord voicing and progression that I thought was really interesting,” he said. 

“So I just continued to play that. I happened to catch the news out of the television going. It was muted, but I saw the daily report coming out of Ukraine, and it just seemed to fit the emotion of what was being played on guitar,” Putnam said.

“It was chilling,” he added.

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Before long, Putnam added an entire first verse to the tune — and recounted it for Fox News Digital: “Fears growing in the streets, bombs exploding, we can’t sleep. Tanks rolling into town. Where’s the courage we need now?”

He added, “And that was just coming from the imagery that I saw on the news.”

When he heard the Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S. say, “This is Putin’s war. We did not want this war,” he said he knew he had his chorus and his title.

The Ukraine flag is shown here against a bold and dramatic sky. 

The Ukraine flag is shown here against a bold and dramatic sky. 
(iStock)

“We Didn’t Want Your War” came together with the help of Ken Steorts, a former member of the popular Christian rock band Skillet. 

Steorts is also the president of Memphis, Tennessee’s Visible Music College, where Putnam is an alum.

“I recorded an acoustic demo on my iPhone and sent it to [Steorts] and told him, ‘Let me know what you think,’” he said. 

Putnam’s cover art features a vibrant Ukrainian flag against a backdrop of smoke.

“He sent an email back to me the same day and told me he liked it.”

The project’s trajectory changed shortly after, and Putnam’s work moved to American Recording Studio in Memphis.

That’s the same studio, of course, where American music legend Elvis Presley recorded hit songs like “Suspicious Minds” and “In the Ghetto” for his 1969 studio album “From Elvis in Memphis.”

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At that point, the illustrious background vocals of Belarusian vocalist Dana Vasileuskaya entered the scene.

“When she came [to the studio], there was no guarantee that it would work,” Putnam told Fox News Digital. 

“But we didn’t have to worry about that because she just came in and killed it. She was such a huge asset to the song and complimented my vocals so well.”

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Putnam said Vasileuskaya is not the only European representative featured in the single. 

He pointed to the cover art, which features a vibrant Ukrainian flag against a backdrop of smoke.

The cover image of Peter Putnam's "We Didn't Want Your War." 

The cover image of Peter Putnam’s “We Didn’t Want Your War.” 
(Peter Putnam)

“A Ukrainian girl helped me do that artwork,” he said, adding that he viewed the opportunity to work with both contributors as a unique way to tie together Eastern Europe and the U.S. 

Since its release, the song has garnered attention from Putnam’s local community — as well as from people in Ukraine.

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“A Ukrainian news outlet featured the song and put a little write-up,” he said. 

“That meant a lot to me that some media outlet in Ukraine was sharing the song.”

Putnam said his goal for the song is to keep support for Ukraine alive.

He said he hopes to rally many others to do what they can to support the greater good.

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“Not everyone can physically step into a conflict zone, but we all can do something,” he said. 

“Why would we let an atrocity happen without speaking up or speaking out against it?”

“We Didn’t Want Your War” is available on YouTube Music, Apple Music and more.


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