‘The Voice’ Finalist Karen Waldrup Co-Wrote a Song About D-Day with a War Hero Who Fought in Normandy

Eighty years ago today, more than 150,000 Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, France. D-Day was the largest seaborne invasion in history. More importantly, the massive operation set the Allied Forces on the path to victory in the European Theater of WWII. Country singer and former The Voice contestant Karen Waldrup was able to sit down with one of the American war heroes who lived through D-Day to collaborate on her 2022 song “Normandy.”

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According to Military.com, Waldrup’s co-writer was Jim “Pee Wee” Martin. He was a member of the 101st Airborne, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment—the famed “Band of Brothers.” Martin and other members of the 506th dropped into France and helped to secure two bridges, cutting off Germany’s ability to send reinforcements to the beaches of Normandy. He was just 19 years old at the time.

[RELATED: 3 Quick Facts About ‘The Voice’ Finalist Karen Waldrup]

A “Toccoa Original” and one of the “Battered Bastards of Bastogne,” Martin had plenty of stories to tell about WWII. After a chance meeting with Waldrup at a birthday party, he shared his memories of D-Day with her. Those memories became “Normandy.”

Karen Waldrup Recalls Writing About D-Day with Jim Martin

“He remembered so many details about 1944. It was completely unbelievable,” Karen Waldrup said. “I sat there with my computer and I just typed everything he said. My goal was to make the song in his words. So, if you listen to ‘Normandy’ they’re not my words at all. They’re all his words,” she added.

After a year of working on the song, Waldrup presented it to Jim Martin as a birthday gift. She brought a small battery-operated jukebox that contained the song. All he had to do was hit play and he could hear his words in the singer’s voice. At the time, Waldrup didn’t plan to release the song. She meant it to be a gift for a war hero.

However, after urging from several people, she released it on June 3, 2022—days before the 78th anniversary of D-Day.

“I asked Jim what he wanted people to remember,” Waldrup recalled. “He said he wanted people to remember that the paratroopers didn’t want to go in there, but we were the ones who were attacked. So, teenage kids put on their gear to go in for freedom around the world,” she added.

Featured Image: YouTube/Karen Waldrup

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