Man Down

Album: American Soldier (2009)

Songfacts®:

  • American Soldieris a concept album inspired by numerous interviews with veterans conducted by Geoff Tate, the group's singer and chief songwriter. He told AnybodyListening.net, that this song concerns the emotional impact of adjusting to society after returning from war. The singer explained: "This was a bizarre story to me. It's about a soldier who came back from his tour of duty and felt like he couldn't connect and fit comfortably back into civilian life. He felt like he could not stay in one place. He had to keep moving. So he bought a car, packed everything he had into it, and spent six years driving across the country, back and forth and up and down. That struck me as very David Lynch-like.
    The military has an expression, 'man down,' which identifies an injured soldier and is a call to organize a rescue. To me, this soldier was injured, in need of rescue because he didn't have the tools to handle his emotions. There are a couple of lines in it that are taken from his description of his never-ending road trip. 'The Cavalry of God' was a tour bus painted with religious slogans carrying pilgrims and gospel singers."
  • Like the rest of the album, "Man Down" uses a narrative-driven song to explore the complexities of war. Lead singer/songwriter Geoff Tate, who left the band in 2012, prefers to write personal, specific lyrics, as he feels they better illuminate the truest aspects of life as its experienced. The first-person perspective used in this song allows him to fully take advantage of this approach.

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