Travelin' Soldier, by Dixie Chicks

Today we are going to talk about the Dixie Chicks for different reasons: we have never talked about them on MuzaW, they are from Texas (one of them lives in Austin), and we read an article on the Spanish newspaper ABC that doesn't make them any justice (not that it talks poorly about them, but the overall quality was not great)... and also because their music sounds really really good.

Dixie Chicks started in Dallas in 1989. Although it was not until 1995, with the departure of some of the founding members and the arrival of lead vocalist Natalie Maines, that the band started making a name for itself and having some commercial success.

This success was in part due to the change in the music style they played, still country in essence, but getting away from the bluegrass and getting closer and flirting with pop and rock.

Travelin' Soldier is a cover version of a song originally written by Bruce Robison, that was included in the album Home (2002). The lyrics tell the story of a young soldier that starts talking to a waitress and asks her to be his pen-pal while he is deployed, as he doesn't have anyone to write back to. Time passes, and before a football game they are announcing the names of local Vietnam dead, they call his name but nobody knows who he was, but the waitress that fell in love with him through his letters.

The song had a good public reception, even getting to be number 1 in the country music charts... but it will be associated also with a negative incident: during the prelude of this song at a concert in London, Maines made some comments against George W Bush and his role in the war, those comments soon got harsh criticism, and led many fans to boycott the band, and threat their safety.

Nevertheless, they persisted, and came back with a new album Taking the Long Way (2006) that blew all expectactions: Billboard's number 1, millions of copies sold, and 5 Grammys (including Best Song of the Year for Not Ready to Make Nice, a song that dealed with all the controversy created by those comments).

Article published on February 21, 2013.
This article has been modified since its original publication.