November 11.2015 – Story Behind “American Soldier” by Toby Keith


Hear the story here!

Toby Keith wrote “American Soldier” shortly after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. He said he wrote the song based on what he thought his father’s thoughts on the terrorist attacks would have been. Keith’s father was a veteran and a patriot

Keith penned this song with Nashville songwriter Chuck Cannon. Their other collaborations include “How Do You Like Me Now!?,” which spent five weeks at #1 on the Country chart and was the biggest-selling Country song of 2000.

Toby Keith told the CBS show 60 Minutes that he wrote this song in just 20 minutes, a week after 9/11. His intention was to play it for troops on USO tours but not to be part of a commercial release. However after playing it for Pentagon brass in Washington, the Marine Corp commandant said, according to Keith: “You have to release it. You can serve your country in other ways besides suiting up in combat.”

The song is about a soldier who is headed off to war. “It’s written for all the times that I get to meet the troops on these USO tours,” Keith explained to CNN’s Larry King. “Since ‘Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue (The Angry American),’ the P.O.W.s and the families and stuff that have come and brought me back my old CD covers and stuff that they had and shown how much support they had, and this is my support for the American fighting men and women.”

Released on November 24, 2003 as the second single from Shock’n Y’all, the song topped the country charts for four weeks. It was Keith’s second #1 hit with “America” in its title, following “Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue (The Angry American)” in 2002. The patriotic Oklaholma singer has since achieved two more, in 2009 with “American Ride” and “Made in America” in 2011.

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.
“American Soldier” was Number one on the Billboard Hot Country Singles the weeks of February 1.2003 – March 13.2003.

Buy Toby Keith’s American Soldier click here
LYRICS: Written by Toby Keith
I’m just trying to be a father,
Raise a daughter and a son,
Be a lover to their mother,
Everything to everyone.
Up and at ’em bright and early,
I’m all business in my suit,
Yeah, I’m dressed up for success from my head down to my boots,
I don’t do it for the money, there’s bills that I can’t pay,
I don’t do it for the glory, I just do it anyway,
Providing for our future’s my responsibility,
Yeah I’m real good under pressure, being all that I can be,
I can’t call in sick on Mondays when the weekend’s been too strong,
I just work straight through the holidays,
Sometimes all night long.
You can bet that I stand ready when the wolf growls at the door.
Hey, I’m solid, hey, I’m steady, hey, I’m true down to the core.

And I will always do my duty, no matter what the price.
I’ve counted up the cost, I know the sacrifice.
Oh, and I don’t want to die for you,
But if dying’s asked of me,
I’ll bear that cross with honor,
‘Cause freedom don’t come free.

I’m an American soldier, an American,
Beside my brothers and my sisters I will proudly take a stand,
When liberty’s in jeopardy I will always do what’s right,
I’m out here on the front lines. Sleep in peace tonight.
American soldier, I’m an American soldier,

Yeah, an American Soldier, an American.
Beside my brothers and my sisters I will proudly take a stand,
When liberty’s in jeopardy I will always do what’s right,
I’m out here on the front lines, so sleep in peace tonight.
American soldier, I’m an American, an American, an American soldier!

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About Robynn

Robynn Jaymes has spent her whole life in radio… 30 years!! And almost half of them have been at Star Country. Originally from Cincinnati, Robynn came to the area as a Liberty University student. Along with all things country music, Robynn is a big fan of Football!—The Virginia Tech Hokies, The Washington Redskins and, of course, the Cincinnati Bengals. And also, “I’m addicted to the Weather Channel,” she says. Right now, Robynn is a big fan if the music coming from Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum and Kenny Chesney! Robynn is also a winner of the Billboard Air Personality of the Year award. Hear all new Warm & Fuzzies with Robynn M-F at 11:45AM!

3 thoughts on “November 11.2015 – Story Behind “American Soldier” by Toby Keith

  1. Garrett anderson

    Where was the B1B Lancing Bomber that was shown behind Toby Keith in the video from.

  2. […] on an actual Air Force Base in California, Toby Keith’s American Soldier portrays the American soldiers spirit towards going to fight the […]

  3. shona greene

    I find it strange that I cannot find out the name of the actor who portrayed the soldier in “American Soldier” video. I thought he did a great job and would think his name would be somewhere. Even wrote to Keith’s managing firm, but no reply. Don’t understand this. So unfair.

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