Top 30 Soldier Songs: #3 – “American Soldier” by Toby Keith
As we draw to a close on this list of country music’s greatest soldier songs one song must have claim it’s rightful place well into the top five, a #1 hit from 2003 for the definition of the modern American, Toby Keith. As the second single from his huge project Shock’ N Y’all Toby Keith released what would become one of the most popular soldier songs in the history of country music appropriately titled “American Soldier”.
There is no other song out there that approached the soldier concept through the eyes of an actual soldier better than Toby’s dedication to the men of the armed soldiers. Spoken through the voice of an American soldier, Toby’s powerful balled was simple and dramatic, but in a way that allowed the very best to come out of it. Toby’s performance intensifies with the story and all it takes is one verse to really show what it’s like to be an American soldier and all the things they sacrifice and put on hold for the sake of their people and nation. Supported by a powerfully executed production, a closeout of army drums and a video focusing on American forces from today and yesterday, this song has gone down in history as one of Toby’s signature hits and one of the most celebrated works on American pride.
Written by Keith and Chuck Cannon, the song follows the deployment of a single American soldier. The one and only actual verse in this song lays out everything that’s on this soldier’s mind as far as his job is concerned explaining how he does it to provide for the futures of American citizens, he doesn’t get a vacation when he’s sick or on holidays, and vows to do his duty no matter what the price. All this is done while he is trying to provide for his family and give them a good life at home. The video features flashbacks of former soldiers, all who could have been preaching this same message that the present day soldier is trying to provide. All this leads up to a powerful and effective explanation of the American soldier and their commitment to their country, their people, and to each other as they fight their way to a hopefully better future.
Plain and simple, this is one of the most well known and celebrated songs on this list. Toby has made a name for himself as country music’s biggest American supporter and there is no better way to show support and loyalty to the troops than to make a hard core dedication to them in a song. Not to mention the lyrics are so simple and the production so well organized that it doesn’t take much for this single to bring tears to the eyes of even the most anti-war American in the world. The best thing, however, is that Toby managed to stray away from the actual idea that a war is going on today and focus completely on the fact that war or not these people put their lives in jeapordy for not only their families, but their people and they don’t even do it for the money or glory or the benefits, they do it because it’s what they believe in.