I never thought that this is where I’d settle down.
I thought I’d die an old man back in my hometown.
They gave me this plot of land,
Me and some other men, for a job well done.
A Soldier’s Story Inside a Song
The song Arlington refers to the Arlington National Cemetery and a young American soldier, who has recently passed therefore joining its ranks. This is a sacred place to Americans and has been the burial place for her veterans, particularly those who pass in military combat since our own Civil War. It lies just outside of Washington D.C. and is the final resting place of more than 400,000 American Veterans, Presidents, and other great Americans.
In one of the most memorable stanzas of the song, the young man meets his grandfather in the afterlife among those buried at Arlington. He is greeted by his grandfather in military tradition. He receives a high mark of respect and love from someone he has always looked up to in life, even though they have never met.
And every time I hear twenty-one guns,
I know they brought another hero home to us.
Yeah, dust to dust,
Don’t cry for us:
We made it to Arlington.
Moreover, the young man acknowledges that he has died and been buried in Arlington. He comes to terms with the loss of his future opportunities. The young warrior mentions the ceremony of a 21 gun salute when new veterans are brought to burial. He knows that be it from nature or warfare, those who are buried there with him are heroes in America. Also, he reminds listeners of the story that this is not the tragedy that we think it is. War is something natural and impossible to escape. There are those who are willing to fight for the protection of their nation and sometimes their reward is death. For these few heroes, we honor their sacrifice with a special place of recognition. They are the reason why our flag still waves.
The role of “Arlington” in Adkin’s career
In mid-2005, Trace Adkins went through a mid-career crisis in which he dropped what could have been one of the most successful singles of his career. This song stirred up a lot of controversies. It spoke from the perspective of a dead American soldier lying in his grace in the famous Arlington cemetery. Thus, the song was appropriately titled “Arlington.”
The song as well paved way for the huge comeback of Adkins because it established him as an artist who is willing to stand out for the sake of the song, not the fame.
Despite its moderate chart run and the controversy that came along with it, this song has become a signature ballad in Trace Adkin’s career. Further, it helped fuel what would become his eventual comeback parade. It inspired millions with a non-bias look at the afterlife. Most of all, it honors the soldiers who are buried in Arlington. The song narrates how these soldiers would likely to say; if they could express their emotions from whatever the other world they might have been.
The simplified production and low range that Trace and his producers apply to the ballad helped to make it all the more haunting. It also presented the imagery of this soldier’s “ghost.” Trace’s only job was to make sure it was heard loud and clear.
Country Daily salutes all our soldiers who fought and continues to protect our nation. We also thank their family who selflessly cares for them.God’s grace and protection be with you.
Arlington, soldiers, Trace Adkins