Soldier's Song

Album: Blessed (2011)
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Songfacts®:

  • This is a track from the American alternative country singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams' tenth studio album, Blessed. The song mixes two storylines, a soldier on the battlefield and the routine of his wife and children. "I was struck by that Jimmy Webb classic, 'By the Time I Get to Phoenix,'" she explained to American Songwriter magazine. "That one, where there are two different things going on at the same time in two different parts of the world. My dad wrote a poem like that."
    Lucinda's father is the contemporary poet Miller Williams, who was selected to read at Bill Clinton's 1997 presidential inauguration.
  • The song makes its anti-war impact through parallel narratives rather than as a protest number. "For me," Williams told American Songwriter, "this is a statement about the whole general insanity of war, but just done in a different way."
  • Even when she's writing about someone else, Williams has to relate to the characters in her songs. "I have to know what it's like or I don't think I can write about it," she told No Depression, "But with this song, it was a little harder to place herself in a soldier's combat boots." She added: "Of course, when I wrote 'Soldier's Song,' I don't know what it's like to be over there, you know. God, I can't even imagine... I mean, I try to imagine what it might be like, but for me, I try to imagine what it's like to be the wife of the guy over there, or the girlfriend. You know, missing that other person.

    I got the idea for that song and the whole concept from two people at opposite sides of the world. He's thinking about her and thinking of what she might be doing at any given moment of the day. Kind of like that."

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