Travelin' Soldier

Album: Home (2002)
Charted: 25
  • This song was written and originally recorded by Austin-based Country music singer-songwriter Bruce Robison in 1996. The song takes place during the Vietnam War, and is about an American soldier who befriends a waitress shortly before he enters the army. He writes her letters, as he has no one else to write to, and when he dies, she is the only one who knows.

    In our 2013 interview, Robison told us the story of the song: "I was working with in a kitchen in Austin was getting called up in the reserves for the first Iraq War. And generally that was the situation that started me thinking about that. I set the song in Vietnam, but those were the things that I was thinking about. If you'll recall, it took a long time for us to send all the people over, and there was months of amassing our forces over in Kuwait in the first Gulf War. Those were the thoughts going through my head."
  • This was a #1 Country hit for The Dixie Chicks, but it dropped off the charts shortly after a March 10, 2003 concert in London where Natalie Maines introduced the song by saying, "Just so you know, we're ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas." This statement caused an uproar among Bush supporters, many of which were Country music fans. Radio stations responded by dropping this song from their playlists, and in some cases, banning The Dixie Chicks completely. Their 2006 song "Not Ready To Make Nice" is about this incident.

Comments: 9

  • Ashley from Bray ParkThat is my Fave song
  • Rose from Springfield Orgeron I love traveling soldier
  • Ava from Thousand Oaks, CaLove this song.
  • Chuck from Whtby, OnI love this song. When I first heard it right away I understood it was about a love-war story. I still love this some. Makes me think of my life.
  • Bay from Weaverville, Caits such a sweet song, i listen to it over and over. Love the dynamics, quiet then loud.
  • Mojo from Lafayette, In, InThis song's writer, Bruce Robison, is Dixie Chick Emily Robison's brother-in-law.
  • Tayluur from Binghamton, NyThis song is very touching. I listened to this alot when I was younger (7-11) and never really paid attention. One night last week, though, I remebered it and listened to it. Once I paid attention, I was very sad and I cried at the end. Amazing.
  • Berto from Northport, Flif anyone thinks this song is anti-war, they're stupid. this song says nothing about being against war. it's a pretty story, and simply that. whatever reality this somg may contain is specific to a select few and does not make sweeping generalizations to all hearers. it's about a soldier who had no one to write to so he sends letters to the waitress. unfortunately he dies, and when his name is announced at a local football game, she is the only one who knows who he is. similar situations happen everyday. it makes you think about how many people are out htere that we simply overlook because we're too busy or too self consumed. so this song is beauty in written form and a nice, possibly related story. nothing more.
  • Ron from Tyler, TxEveryone treats this song as "anti-war," and in the sense that it acknowledges that people die in wars, and it's sad, and pretty much senseless, it's anti-war. But even if the war is just and right, people die, and it's sad, and people at home cry, and that sadness just doesn't make sense. It's the price that must be paid for war, and the decision to go to war must acknowledge the price.
    Beautiful song; very very sad.
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