Rightfully named one of the saddest country songs ever written, the Dixie Chicks paid tribute to the brave men of the United States military with a heart-wrenching performance of “Travelin’ Soldier”.
The country trio took the stage for a performance of their heartbreaking country ballad, emotion pouring from lead vocalist Natalie Maines. At the pinnacle verse of the song where the fate of the “Travelin’ Soldier” is revealed, Maines takes a momentary pause before singing the emotional lyrics.
The song takes you on the journey of a shy soldier who falls in love with a young girl he meets briefly before deploying to fight in the Vietnam War. In the last letter exchanged, the traveling soldier shares “it’s gettin’ kinda rough over here,” before assuring her “don’t worry but I won’t be able to write for a while.” Heartbreakingly, the soldiers name went on to be read at a her high school’s football game under “list of local Vietnam dead.”
“Travelin’ Soldier” was praised on Country Universe as No.17 on the list of “201 Greatest Singles of the Decade” for its ability to “drive home tragedy” for both characters in the story. Released in late 2002, the song went on to become the Dixie Chicks’ sixth and final No.1 hit on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs.
You can watch their performance of “Travelin’ Soldier” below.