Christmas is a time of year when thoughts turn to family and friends, especially those far away. Tanya Tucker captures that wistful longing in her new holiday single, 'Merry Christmas Wherever You Are.' (Hear our exclusive premiere of the song below!)

"It's been a while since I've had anything out, and I thought it was the perfect way to say, 'Hey, I'm still here and I'm wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!'" the country icon tells The Boot. "Christmas is such a sentimental time of year. It gives family and friends time to reconnect and go over their year's activities and what they've done and share those things with each other. This is my way of telling my fans 'Merry Christmas Wherever You Are.' I care about you. This is the perfect song to do that."

Listen to Tanya's 'Merry Christmas Wherever You Are'


Download 'Merry Christmas Wherever You Are'

The festive tune was written by Mack Vickery and Jerry Laseter. "I've had this song for quite a while, probably 10 or 11 years," Tanya says. "I've always wanted to release it, and this is the year."

The legendary singer says one of the interesting things about 'Merry Christmas Wherever You Are' is that it is open to many different interpretations. "There's lots of ways to look at this song," she tells The Boot. "Everybody makes their own story and sees it in a different way."

Tanya says she's been watching Nancy Grace's show on CNN, and that has put missing children top of mind. "I'm thinking about all the mothers that are missing their children this Christmas, especially the ones that have been kidnapped. I watch a lot of Nancy Grace," she says. "I can't imagine the feeling you'd have not knowing where your child was."

The song also makes Tanya think of our heroes serving in the military. "It makes me think of our guys and girls over the water who keep us safe and keep us free," she says. "They have to do their job, but their miss their families on Christmas."

Of course, when many people hear 'Merry Christmas Wherever You Are,' they hear it as a love song. "There's always the love of your life," Tanya says of yet another interpretation of the song, noting that the lyric definitely expresses a romantic feeling during the holiday season. "It says 'I will always love you and wherever you are, I'll be here loving you.'"