John Rich's third solo album, 2009's Son of a Preacher Man, includes one particularly personal song: "The Good Lord and the Man," written by the Big & Rich member, is for his grandfather, an awarded World War II veteran.

The third single from Son of a Preacher Man, "The Good Lord and the Man" peaked on the country charts in the Top 60. Below, Rich shares the story behind the song, in his own words.

"[The] Good Lord and the Man" is about my grandfather, "Papaw" Rich. He had six purple hearts in World War II. He lied about his age and told them he was 18 when he was really 17 so they'd let him in the Army. He went over and became a bonafide war hero.

There's a line in the song that says, "We'd all be speaking German or living under the flag of Japan / If it wasn't for the good Lord and the man." I don't think you can find an American who disagrees with that statement.

When I wrote that line, I looked down at the page and thought, "I don't know if I can say that or not." But then I realized it probably won't upset people, because it's the truth! The World War II generation saved the world.

This story was originally written by Beville Darden, and revised by Angela Stefano.

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