DIXIE CHICKS-“Travelling Soilder”

MASH was about Vietnam, not Korea.
Despite the lyrics this song is not about Vietnam, its about the new war, the tenuous war that has happened and hasn’t happened at the same time, the problem is that you cant really talk about something that hasn’t happened.
But Country and the Army often overlap when it comes to demographics, and for something that is on the mind of its listeners you cant avoid it.
This is what they do, they make a folk son ca 1967, a perfect pastiche- like The Ballad of Penny Evans, but with more respect for the Solider.
The lyrical details are trenchant: He’s 18. There is a football game, a wife is made widow too young, mention of prayer, of public grief and private mourning-of the letter home and the promise never to love again.
The music is stark, a voice as lovely as Baez or St Marie, some martial fife and drum, a mandolin keeping tune.
Its not the pop country, its not the usual good times-this is the band that made a novelty hit out of domestic abuse(Goodbye Earl)-its a common song about a common tragedy, that manages to be universal.