What does Travelin' Soldier mean?

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Dixie Chicks: Travelin' Soldier Meaning

Song Released: 2002

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Travelin' Soldier Lyrics

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Two days past eighteen
He was waiting for the bus in his army green
Sat down in a booth in a cafe there'
Gave his order to a girl with a bow in her hair
He's a little shy so she gives him a smile
And he said would you mind sittin' down for a...


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    Apr 25th, 2008 4:19am report

    The song is a ballad so pretty much tells the story itself. It's set sometime during the Vietnam war.

    a guy just turned 18 is enlisted in the army and getting sent to an army camp and he's kinda nervous about it all. He doesn't really have anyone in his life to care about him and feels alone. He's sat in some cafe and asks this young girl working there if she would mind talking to him for a while so when she finishes work they go to the pier and sit and talk. He explains how he doesn't have anyone in his life and asks if he could write to her and she agrees.
    He gets sent to an army camp in California then on to Vietnam and is writing her letters all the time. He tells her that he thinks he loves her and all the things that he's afraid of and how he thinks about her and when they met whenever he feels scared and it cheers him up. Then he tells her that he's not going to be able to write for a while but that she shouldn't worry.
    The story then picks up at a football game in the girls town and after the anthem has been sung and the lords prayer said a man asks everyone to bow their heads as he reads a list of the soldiers killed in vietnam. Under one of the stands is the young girl crying because the soldier she fell in love with is one of the names read.

    The chorus is basically talking about her crying and not thinking she'll ever be able to love anyone else again because she's still waiting for the soldier to come home. She doesn't want to believe that he's really never coming home so she waits for the letter telling her he's coming home safe and everyone is telling her she's too young to be spending the rest of her life waiting for the soldier to return and trying to convince her to move on but she refuses saying that she won't be alone once her soldier comes home.


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    Jun 14th, 6:59am report

    The line "nobody really cared but a pretty little girl with a bow in her hair" is obvious - the soldier told her that he had no one to write to (which means no one cares about him) therefore, the piccolo player is the girl with the bow in her hair, and her soldier, unfortunately, did die.


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    Jun 6th, 6:06am report

    i think that what is special about this song is that you can kindof interperate this song however you want- you can think that the girl is the picalo player and shes cring because of the death of her love, or you could think that the picalo player is some kid from the marching band who maybe had a sibling or cousin die and then a random girl came to comfort them. i prefer to think that the soilder DID come home because it makes the song more calming. Either way, i love the song and it makes me cry every time.


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    Feb 19th, 2:14pm report

    I love the song but at the end of the video it shows them together. So is he alive or not because it also showed her crying at his casket on the tarmac. And the lyrics make it sound as if he had died.


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    Dec 21st, 2017 12:27am report

    This is a touching song. It reminds me of when I was a teen, and my boy-friend didn't come home from the Army, and stopped writing, and nobody knew why, until I found out he had been killed. I cry everytime I hear it.

    The interpretations are so true, I don't feel there's really anything I can add to them.


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    Nov 17th, 2017 11:48pm report

    my interpretation? why was she at the football game? bc she’s the piccalo player in the marching band. when one name was read nobody cared but her. she’s referred to “the pretty little girl w the bow in her hair” again bc that who she was introduced as at the beginning.


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    Dec 10th, 2016 12:14am report

    Come on people. The soldier does die. And just like the soldier had no one to care for him when he was alive except the girl, the piccolo player-No one mourns him in his death but the girl. She almost the only person that will ever remember he lived. Its haunting really. Wrap yourself up in those emotions.


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    Aug 13th, 2016 8:54am report

    I am very confused, I see it as the piccolo player had a loved one announced then her soldiers name came up, unfortunately I am lost after that, hence why I am on this feed, either he really is dead,and she is in denial, he is dead and she is not in denial, or she thinks he is dead but he comes home after all, alive and well......?


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    Jul 4th, 2016 7:35pm report

    Well let me tell my meaning of the song I had cousin and who died 15yrs ago and I truthfully did have someone in the marines that I fell in love with and stuff and he died so this song has to me than some people think.


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    Jun 28th, 2016 6:46pm report

    I have watched many videos that people make of this song and some of the videos show that he did die and other videos don't.


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    Jun 24th, 2016 6:38am report

    Maybe at the end, the girl with the bow in her hair is actually the baby of the soldier and the girl....???


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    May 26th, 2016 5:49am report

    I love this song it is just so calming. I did love a soldier who always travelled around.


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    May 11th, 2016 5:18am report

    The man that sang "original song", as one person noted--unless there is an older one that I can't find--was Bruce Robison, who, at the time, was the brother-in-law of one of the Dixie Chicks. If you listen to his version, you can here that they are singing back-up. I don't know which actually sang the song first, though, although they were certainly sung around the same time.


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    May 25th, 2015 5:01am report

    Most of this song is self explanatory until you realise that the Dixie chicks version is a cover version and the original song was sung by a man.

    That's where the third person / first person stuff gets confusing.

    He sings about the boy and the girl in the third person, until the line 'I cried'.

    So what is his relationship to the girl?


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    May 4th, 2015 5:32am report

    I've never been able to tell from the lyrics "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" if that means she was the piccolo player and he died so she was crying or if the piccolo player is someone else and the pretty little girl with the bow in her hair sympathizes and comforts them.
    I used to think it was the latter but now that I'm older I've begun to wonder if he did die.


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    Feb 9th, 2015 2:43pm report

    i have two interpretations - one is that the soldier she fell in love with died, and one is that she wasn't the girl who played piccolo in the marching band and her soldier did come home.

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