Top 30 Soldier Songs: #25 – “Heather Are You With Me Tonight” by Elizabeth Cook
Few times in any form of entertainment can a women voice a man i a work and actually be complimented rather than criticized for the result. That is exactly what Elizabeth Cook did with the second track from her album This Side Of The Moon. Although Cook has never really made any wave in he genre, she is a popular Opry favorite, although not a member, and is a critic favorite among many. To add to her artistic genius, Cook took on the soldier concept by focusing around a narrative of an airforce bombers personal views on his own actions.
Throughout the song Cook speaks through the persona of a bomber pilot, almost as if reading his last recollections in a letter or diary. As she reveals the deepest thoughts of the soldier he asks if the woman he loves, Heather, is with him tonight s he sits in the cockpit bombing towns and killing people he really doesn’t want to kill. He even goes so far as to ask “ain’t it funny how winnin’ feels like sinnin’” in reference to his actions and how his support for his country is causing him inner conflict as he is also taking the lives of people who believe they are fighting for the same cause as he is…serving and proteting their own way of life.
What makes this song so important is that Cook is able to address the inner torture of a soldier who is forced to choose between two things that he thinks are right to do, kill for his country or refuse to kill for his personal beliefs. Although Cook is far from popular among the contemporary country music crowd, her ability to convey a story and to express the power of the situation is a huge voice for today’s soldiers and yesterday’s veterans who are and have been forced to come to grips with the personal conflict between duty and beliefs.