This is the song that started it all.
When the idea for Project Hayseed was hatched, at some point, they knew they’d need some music to play. Joey took on the task of coming up with some lyrics. Knowing what the band was about and the multitude of conversations he and Luke had had about the American condition it seemed writing something that reflected how the current generations had forgotten the virtues of hard work and were growing ever more reliant on the Federal Government to play “Big Brother” and ATM. It seemed people couldn’t see the trap that was being set for them. They just couldn’t see. Taking that idea and laying it against the opening line of the Star Spangled Banner, “Oh Say Can You See?” was born.
Luke and Joey fiddled with the idea of a melody and chord structure for a day or so, coming up with nothing. Original band guitarist Bruce Bentley came in and totally “got it”. He wrote the song in about 15 minutes. His signature guitar riff opening and Southern Rock-ish groove for the song have been hallmarks of this gem since day one.
The song proved very popular at live shows and brought thousands of “Hayseeds” into the fold. It just had a certain charm to it and Conservative Patriots had a song to call their own. They totally understood the message and the motive behind the song and they completely identified with it.
The studio recording of the song was done after Bruce had left the band. So it was left up to Luke and Joey to cover all the parts. This song was actually the first song they started recording on the sessions for “These Days”. Knowing the song inside and out (after having played it live for years) they felt pressure to get it right as this would become the defacto standard version of the song. They had many conversations about tweaking the lyrics, tempo, feel and vibe for the recording. Being a song that had only ever been heard live, each performance was unique and had a different energy. So picking that apart and finding what it was that made the song work took some effort.
It was also an opportunity to couch the song with a cool album intro. The Star Spangled Banner, sine wave and then static, was a throw back to television stations shutting down and signing off at night. A feature that modern audiences would have no concept of, but one that older audience understood immediately. Still, the song is a favorite by audiences of all ages. The message is timeless and spans generations.