Billy Ray Cyrus Shares 'The Goddess of Democracy' Lyric Video on Father's Birthday

Steven J. Bradley
Billy Ray Cyrus

Spend any amount of time talking with Billy Ray Cyrus, and you can't help but feel excitement about what he is talking about -- such as the lyric video he decided to briefly post last week, "The Goddess of Democracy," which Billboard is pleased to bring you an exclusive second look at this week.

"I was actually a little ahead of schedule to be honest. We were going to wait to the fall, but I really felt that the Fourth of July was such a special event, and I just wanted to put the lyric video up," he admitted. Cyrus, who co-wrote the song with Don Von Tress (who penned his 1992 smash "Achy Breaky Heart") and John Brennan, says the song leaves a lot to your imagination.

"This song is about the words, the lyrics, and it really lends itself to one's own interpretation. I thought I would put it up for 24 hours on the Fourth of July. It started getting immediate reaction, and we picked up some really incredible reviews of the song. I left it up a little longer based on the response, and then I took it down. I told myself that no matter how it went, I had to take it down. Then, people kept talking about it – wondering when I was going to put it back up."

As it turned out, today (July 10) is a very special day for the entertainer. "Today happens to be my dad's birthday. His name was Ronald Ray Cyrus, and he was a longtime servant of the people. He worked at Armco Steel, spent over 20 years working on behalf of people through the AFL-CIO, retired after 20 years as a State Representative of the 98th District of Kentucky." He definitely influenced his son – who has supported candidates on both sides of the political fence.

"I rode the train with Bill Clinton when he did his train tour, and George W. Bush used 'We The People,' a duet I had with Waylon Jennings as his anthem in the election of 2000. I've been in and around politics my whole life. With my dad's birthday, I decided to let 'The Goddess' run one more time before I tuck it away."

The song, which will appear on Cyrus's forthcoming fall release, became a little more timely last week – when a certain protester made headlines for climbing atop the Statue of Liberty.

"Lo and behold, the video had only been up about eight hours, and I was leaving to go headline the show at Las Vegas on July 4. I was getting ready to board the plane, and see that a woman has climbed Lady Liberty. I did the natural thing – I took my phone out and took a picture of it, and tweeted 'I promise you I am not responsible for this. This is not self-promotion.'"

When asked how the song reflects his own belief, the singer chose to not show his deck of cards, stressing that the meaning is in the eye….or the ear... of the beholder.

"Inspiration comes from life itself and this world that we're all living in. You may recall at one time there were painters that dealt with impressionistic art. In some way, I think that's been my evolution into this moment and this particular music. When you see the art, some people might see an airplane – while others might see a cross. It's up to the viewer what you see. With this song, it's really open to the interpretation of the listener to draw his or her conclusion to what it's about. To me, that's the beautiful thing about music. It certainly triggers emotion, passion, and life. That's what democracy is. That's what freedom is – the ability to choose your own interpretation. That's a beautiful thing."