Song of the Day #2,726: ‘Soldier’s Song (acoustic)’ – Lucinda Williams

lucinda_blessedLucinda Williams recently announced that her 11th studio album, titled The Ghosts of Highway 20, will drop on February 5th. Williams has been reasonably prolific, releasing an album about every other year since 2001’s Essence. That’s after taking 18 years to release her first four records.

I’ve wanted to do another song-by-song album review on the blog, and I think the new Williams album might be just the ticket.

In the meantime, here’s a cut from the bonus disc of Williams’ 2011 effort, Blessed. For the special edition of the album, she released the entire set in acoustic form on a disc called The Kitchen Tapes. These recordings were in fact made at her kitchen table with just a guitar and a mic.

‘Soldier’s Song’ is rather stripped down in its original form, too, though the guitar accompaniment is electric rather than acoustic and a slide guitar makes an occasional supporting appearance. The song alternates between the experiences of a soldier at war and his family back home.

I met my enemy today
Baby sends the little one out to play
Enemy shot two of my buddies down
Baby rides the little one on the merry-go-round

By my post, I’m standing guard
Baby hopes for roses in the front yard
I don’t know my enemy’s name
Baby takes the little one to a baseball game

Why am I in this God forsaken place?
Baby washes the dirt off the little one’s face
Ten year olds in the killing fields
Baby’s planning the weekly meals

Bodies in a muddy ditch
Baby’s got supper to fix
My buddy’s got a hole in his head
Baby’s gettin’ the little one ready for bed

Today I shot my enemy
Baby gives the little one a hug for me
Both my buddy’s legs got blown off
Baby tends to the little one’s cough

I stare down the barrel of a gun
Baby’s out to have some fun
I hear ringing in my ears
Baby’s face is all wet with tears

I hear echoes of shots
Baby’s only thinkin’ sweet thoughts
Why in the hell did they send me here to fight?
Baby kisses my picture and turns off the light

I can’t look my enemy in the eye
Baby tells the little one, daddy’s gone bye-bye
Today I took a bullet through the heart
Baby’s gonna have to make a brand new start

I met my enemy today
Baby sends the little one out to play
Enemy shot two of my buddies down
Baby rides the little one on the merry-go-round

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2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #2,726: ‘Soldier’s Song (acoustic)’ – Lucinda Williams

  1. Dana says:

    An interesting juxtaposition, though, like a number of Lucinda’s songs I’ve heard, a bit too sleepy and slurry in presentation.

  2. Peg says:

    Wow powerful lyrics; very touching

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