FIRST LOOK: See Pat Green's Touching Tribute to Long-Distance Parents in New Video

"This video is special because it reminds us that everyone has a common bond: love for our children," the musician tells PEOPLE

Photo: Courtesy HBPR

Ten studio albums and 20 years of on-and-off touring means Pat Green knows a thing or two about being away – mainly, that he’s not the only one doing it.

The singer-songwriter is introducing the new music video for “While I Was Away,” a tribute to the parents whose professions keep them from witnessing the day-to-day moments of their kids growing up.

“I think this song is doing so well because it tells the truth about the human condition, and dang it, it just pulls on the heartstrings!” Green tells PEOPLE exclusively of the tune, originally recorded as a love letter to his children – son Kellis and daughter Rainey with wife Kori, an attorney.

As fans kept thanking him for it after live shows, he realized the song’s universal sentiment. “This song is personal for anyone that has kids,” Green, 43, explains. “To tell the truth, I got misty thinking of my kids when I first heard it – that’s when I knew I needed to record it.”

When it came time for a video, it was important to Green that it honored as many of the situations and occupations he heard about from fans as possible. “This video is special because it reminds us that everyone has a common bond: love for our children … as well as the feeling that our ‘kids being kids’ goes by way too fast,” he says.

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