Willie Nelson Re-Records 1994 Hit ‘I’ll Be Seeing You’ for New PSA

by Emily Morgan

Country music fans may notice a familiar voice in a new sports-themed PSA encouraging Americans to get their COVID-19 vaccination. Willie Nelson recorded a new version of his hit, “I’ll Be Seeing You,” for the occasion. 

Nelson originally included the song on his 1994 studio album, Healing Hands of Time. The PSA version has the same familiar melody, but fans will hear a change in the lyrics. 

I’ll be seeing you / In all the old familiar places / That this heart of mine embraces / All day through,” Nelson sings in the updated version. “In that small cafe / The park across the way / The children’s carousel / The chestnut trees / The wishin’ well…”

The song was initially written in the 1930s by Irving Kahal and Sammy Fain. It also appeared in the Broadway musical Right This Way and a 1944 film titled I’ll Be Seeing You

In addition to Nelson, it’s been performed by artists such as Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. According to Wide Open Country, Nelson’s version is the soundtrack to the new Ad Council and COVID Collaborative PSA. The PSA creators gathered footage of sporting events from the NBA, the WNBA, the NFL, NASCAR, and other sporting leagues. 

Willie Nelson’s PSA Shows Human Connection Through Sporting Events

In the PSA, viewers see clips of unforgettable American sports moments. The PSA shows a montage of crowds, highlighting the importance of connections people make with each other at these events. It’s a nostalgic yet sad reminder of what used to be before the pandemic put a hiatus on social gatherings.

“The COVID-19 vaccines are here,” the PSA reads at the end of the clip. “We’ll see you soon.”

“I’m happy to be part of this new campaign with the Ad Council, COVID Collaborative and these sports organizations to empower millions more to get the answers they need and feel confident in getting vaccinated, like I did,” Nelson said.

Nelson fans will be happy to know that the 87-year-old got his first dose of the vaccine in January 2021. At the time, he posed for pictures while getting vaccinated in his car at a drive-thru site. Nelson, rocking his mask, proudly flashed a thumbs-up after getting his shot. The outlaw also added that “Getting your COVID vaccine is Willie cool!”

“There are things that we all miss and hope to see again soon, and getting vaccinated is the first step to returning to those people and moments we miss the most,” Michelle Hillman, chief campaign development officer at the Ad Council said in a statement.

“The song has already been used in another recent PSA of ours, showing a grandmother finally getting to hug her grandchildren, something that resonates with so many people. So, whether it’s getting back to family, or sports moments, the song which Willie Nelson so beautifully covered is a symbol for all that we hope to return to.”