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Darryl Worley fires up a smash wartime anthem and ignites a controversy

Darryl Worley's new song "Have You Forgotten?" has rocketed up the charts, but it's also put Darryl in a situation that makes him a bit uneasy.

"It's thrown me into something I'm not all that comfortable with," he admits. "I'm not a politician, and I don't want to be."

While "Have You Forgotten" recently topped the charts, not everyone is pleased with it. Some have accused Darryl of claiming Iraq was behind the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the song – and that's an assertion even the U.S. government hasn't officially made.

A handful of radio stations have resisted playing it for that reason. But Darryl says those people are misunderstanding what his song is all about.

"The beginning of the song says, I hear people sayin' we don't need this war," he explains. "I realized early on in this situation that people thought that 'this war' was the war in Iraq." Darryl points out that when he began writing the song, he was thinking more specifically about America's ongoing search in Afghanistan for 9-11 villain Osama bin Laden, who is mentioned repeatedly in the lyrics, along with references to the hijacked airliners that flew into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and the rural Pennsylvania countryside.

The song was inspired by a trip Darryl took in December 2002 to visit American troops in Afghanistan. "I've always known they were a fine group of people who take their job really seriously," says Darryl, still visibly moved. "But you can't feel that intensity until you've been there and seen it."

So upon his return, Darryl got together with friend Wynn Varble and wrote the tune. He debuted it on the Grand Ole Opry in January and a live version of his Opry performance made its way to radio stations. "I never dreamed it would be a hit," admits Darryl. "But stranger things have happened, I guess."

Fans will be able to buy "Have You Forgotten?" in mid-April, as the title cut of an album featuring several more new songs alongside cuts from Darryl's previous two CDs. "It's kind of a theme album," he reports. "Most of the songs are about war and peace, personal integrity and about this nation and how we became what we are."