Soldier

Album: Sweeter (2011)
Charted: 59

Songfacts®:

  • This potential wedding song finds DeGraw promising his girl everlasting love, and when she needs someone he'll always be there fighting for her. It is one of three tracks on Sweeter produced by Butch Walker, who has also worked with the likes of Bowling For Soup (Girl All The Bad Boys Want), Pink (Mean) and Weezer (The Girl Got Hot). DeGraw said of Walker's contribution to the album in an interview with Billboard magazine: "He was able to listen to the songs and come in with the right arrangements, bring in the right players for the songs and the right gear for the performances. You don't always have a magic moment in the studio," he continued, "but you want those moments to happen. I remember when we were tracking 'Soldier,' in the second verse I was digging in hard, the groove was so good and everyone was jelling. I heard Butch go, 'Woo!'-a primal scream that said, 'This feels so good.' You can't fake that. We kept it because you can't re-create the performance that makes you do that."
  • The song was released as the third single from Sweeter. Said DeGraw: "It was time for me in my career to release a song that had a sentiment like this one. It's something that people from different backgrounds, with a lot of different stories can relate to. It's about love and sacrifice - stepping up to the plate when no one else does. I think people really understand that - and those stories and emotions are what make this song and video so powerful."
  • Carl Diebold directed the song's music video. He explained that the song jumped out on him the first time he heard it. "I always look for songs and projects that allow me to tell a story and to inspire people to move and do something," said Diebold. "When I first heard 'Soldier,' I could see the potential for weaving several stories into an epic video. Fortunately the song was released as a single, and Gavin shared my vision."
  • Country singer Craig Morgan covered this for his 2020 God, Family, Country album. Morgan served on active duty for nine-and-a-half years in the US Army as a member of the 101st and 82nd Airborne Division. He told Billboard for him the song "is truly reflective of the moral character and the personality of a soldier." Morgan added that knowing DeGraw had never served in the military seemed ironic; "it was like a soldier wrote that song."

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