On This Day: The Chicks Release Sixth #1 Single ‘Travelin’ Soldier’ in 2002

by Emily Morgan
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It’s been 18 years since The Chicks released the prideful “Travelin’ Solider.” Since its release, the song’s impact remains. With every listen, it’s impossible not to feel the song’s gratitude for those who served. 

The theme of soldiers returning home from battle had existed long before wars began (think “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” from the Civil War). 

From early sheet music to today’s new releases, such songs have been big sellers due to the lyrics’ authentic emotion and sentiment. Losing a loved one is never easy, but tacking on the trauma of losing someone under violent circumstances adds to the impact. 

The Chicks Use Bruce Robinson’s Powerful Lyrics to tell Heartbreaking Story

Since the group formed, The Chicks have been known to be incredible songwriters— the proof is in their 12 Grammy wins. However, the trio of females has also recorded memorable songs written by other people. 

Composed by Texas singer-songwriter Bruce Robinson, “Travelin’ Soldier” was recorded by Robison in the 1990s. Despite lacking commercial success, he hit the jackpot when The Chicks recorded it for their Home album in 2002. The song soon climbed to the top of the country charts as a single.

The song tells the story of a small-town teenage girl waiting for a young soldier’s return. During a Friday night football game, the girl learns of the soldier’s fate.

One Friday night at a football game
The Lord’s Prayer said and the anthem sang
A man said folks would you bow your head
For the list of local Vietnam dead
Crying all alone under the stands
Was the piccolo player in the marching band
And one name read and nobody really cared
But a pretty little girl with a bow in her hair

It’s impossible not to have tears in your eyes as you listen to Robison’s powerful lyrics.

Besides being a well-written and emotional piece of work, the song couldn’t have arrived at a better time. The Chicks recorded the song while the U.S. sent troops to fight in Afghanistan. Even though Robison wrote the record about a Vietnam War soldier, the lyrics became perfectly relevant to the time.

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