American Soldier (song)

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"American Soldier"
Single by Toby Keith
from the album Shock'n Y'all
Released November 24, 2003
Format CD single, 7"
Recorded 2003
Genre Country
Length 4:23
Label DreamWorks B0002046
Writer(s) Toby Keith
Chuck Cannon
Producer(s) Toby Keith
James Stroud
Toby Keith singles chronology
"I Love This Bar"
(2003)
"American Soldier"
(2003)
"Whiskey Girl"
(2004)

"American Soldier" is a song co-written and recorded by American country music artist Toby Keith. It was released in November 2003 as the second single from his album Shock'n Y'all. It became a number one hit on the Billboard U.S. Hot Country Songs chart, keeping the top spot for four weeks. Keith wrote the song with Chuck Cannon.

Background and writing[edit]

Keith said that the song was written "for all the times that I get to meet the troops on these USO tours, and since Courtesy of Red, White, and Blue, the P.O.W.s and the families that have come and brought me back my old CD covers and stuff that they had and shown how much support they had (for me), this is my support for the American fighting men and women."

Content[edit]

"American Soldier" is about an American in the Army Reserves. He receives a call one night telling him that he is being called into Active Duty for the military. As he gets dressed and packs his bags for deployment, various clips show soldiers from different wars in different time periods in U.S. history, such as the Civil War and World War II. Although each soldier is in a different battle and time period, notably the American Civil War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam War and Iraq War; but all of them exemplify the traits of an American soldier - just, loyal, fearless and brave. Meanwhile, the family arrives at a U.S. military base where he will be flown off to training camp. After saying goodbye to his wife and children, he boards a cargo plane, ready to serve his country.

Critical reception[edit]

Ray Waddell, of Billboard magazine reviewed the song favorably, saying that Keith "makes his politics readily apparent on the gentle, powerful" song.[1]

Commercial performance[edit]

This song debuted at number 53 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart on the chart dated November 22, 2003, at the same time that his single "I Love This Bar" was at Number One.[2] It was certified Platinum by the RIAA on December 10, 2013, slightly more than ten years after its release.[3] The song has sold 927,000 copies in the US as of July 2015.[4]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Michael Salomon and was released on December 14, 2003. It was filmed on location at Edwards Air Force Base in Edwards, California and features off-duty soldiers, reservists and their families.[5] The video portrays a man who gets a phone call early one morning to go to war. He gets himself and his family ready in the morning, the guy acting like it's just another day, and they head off to a military base for him to leave for the war. He hugs his wife and kids, and gets on the plane, while his family watches sadly and wave goodbye from the gate as the plane leaves. Inter-cut between this are scenes of soldiers from the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam, and Desert Storm.

Charts and certifications[edit]

Preceded by
"Remember When"
by Alan Jackson
Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks
number-one single

February 21 – March 13, 2004
Succeeded by
"Watch the Wind Blow By"
by Tim McGraw


References[edit]

  1. ^ Waddell, Ray (15 November 2003). "Reviews". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 115 (46): 22. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  2. ^ Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved April 13, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "American single certifications – Toby Keith – American Soldier". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "United_StatesToby_KeithAmerican_SoldiersingleCertRef" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  4. ^ a b Matt Bjorke (July 13, 2015). "The Top 30 Digital Country Singles: July 13, 2015". Roughstock. 
  5. ^ "Inside AF.mil". Retrieved December 20, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Toby Keith – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Toby Keith.
  7. ^ "Toby Keith – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Toby Keith.
  8. ^ "Best of 2004: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2004. Retrieved July 11, 2012.