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Around The Fleet

Songs From the Sea

Behind the Music of Emay Holmes

Deep below the cold steel decks of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), Sailors moving busily around the decks stop momentarily and listen to the soft strumming of an acoustic guitar, accompanied by a somber voice singing about life at sea.


Airman Maxwell Holmes spends most of his very long days underway in the intense heat and chaos of the flight deck - moving carefully and quickly around aircraft and flight deck personnel. The high speed and intensity of his day-to-day life makes taking time to play his guitar not so much a want, said Holmes, but a need.

"I never really thought I was that good at playing or singing," said Holmes. "I thought my friends on the ship were just telling me that because they were my friends."

Although he considers himself shy, Holmes decided to sign up to sing and play guitar during deployment during the "Nimitz Idol" talent competition - and ended up winning 1st place.

Photo collage of Navy singer.



When asked to describe his music, Holmes said it's hard for him to place it in a specific genre or category. He said being at sea, writing music on the ocean, influences his music. He writes many songs about the hardships of life at sea, and being a Sailor.

Before going underway on deployment, Holmes wrote and released "The Deployment Song" - a song about what Sailors go through when saying goodbye to their loved ones to go to sea and accomplish their mission.

Holmes, a Houston, Texas, native, said he plans to continue writing music.

Editor's Note: To listen to Emay Holmes' song called "The Deployment Song" click here.