Two Little Girls and a Soldier

May 30, 2024
I’ve always been intrigued by the way certain songs strike a chord. In fact, if I had to drill down to a single reason that Real Life Real Music, now in our 17th year, continues, it would be the exploration of that… What causes a song to connect?
Recently our girls, ages 8 and 11, heard the Dixie Chicks version of “Traveling Soldier” on my wife’s playlist in the truck. And for whatever magical combination of the story, melody, instrumentation, tempo, they insisted it stay on repeat. Timid humming and speaking of a word here and there soon gave way to the confident singing of memorized lyrics.
I had the opportunity to tell that story to the songs writer, Bruce Robison, at The Stella Hotel in Bryan, Texas this month as part of our Stella Sessions tapings. While we discussed the backstory and the whirlwind of a journey that the song has been on, I was left, still curious at what specifically pulled on my daughters heart strings. The relatability of the story of a young girl in love? The backdrop of the Vietnam War that their Grampy fought in? Connecting the loss in the song to the loss in their lives?
I’m guessing that the answer is “all of the above”. And after 17 years of RLRM and interviewing over 300 songwriters, that’s the thing that continues to make music so amazing to me – the way it connects with so many different people on so many different levels.
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