Singer-songwriter Jud Caswell said his new song “The Great Divide” was intentionally released now because it’s election season. But it also has a personal backstory.

Caswell’s grandparents celebrated 70 anniversaries together. “The Great Divide” opens with these lines about them: “Nana was a registered Republican, Pappy was a Democrat for life.”

Caswell said in a press release that a relationship like theirs seems almost inconceivable today, which makes him sad and worried. “It makes me want to find a way to reach out a hand, even when I feel it being slapped away.”

Caswell is well aware that there are plenty of political songs that get their energy out of playing “us against them” and social media only makes it worse. “Facebook knows this tactic all too well and I’m as susceptible as anyone — I do love a good rabble-rousing folk song. But when I look around today, I don’t think that’s what we need,” he explained.

His goal with “The Great Divide” was to capture the deep concern that many people are feeling without pointing fingers or casting blame. Caswell also hopes people find healing when they listen to it. “I know that I feel great healing when I play this song for a room of strangers, afraid that people might close themselves off in anger but finding time and again that they open themselves instead,” he said.

Caswell takes great pride that this song has been loved and shared by Democrats and Republicans alike and he hopes his grandparents would be proud.

Caswell has nothing to worry about because, rest assured, they would be.

Here’s “The Great Divide:” 

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