Jamie O’Neal – “Soldier Coming Home”

Juli Thanki | June 11th, 2009

Jamie O'Neal When I was assigned Jamie O’Neal’s newest single “Soldier Comin’ Home” I mentally groaned. Another piece of crap written by a bunch of cliché monkeys filling in the blanks on their Patriotic Country Song Mad Lib. It seems that quality soldier songs like “Dress Blues” or “‘Til the Last Shot’s Fired” are few and far between these days, so my expectations were low, to say the least.

To my surprise, this song isn’t about war at all. Instead, O’Neal, with co-writers Roxie Dean (“When I Think About Angels”) and Patricia Ann Murphy, takes a scene that would claim center stage in other songs–a returning soldier joyfully reuniting with his wife–and unashamedly makes it all about her. No social or political commentary here, just the personal issue of a failing relationship. Caught up in the everyday hassle of work and life, neither partner treats the other “Like you were a soldier comin’ home/Like I counted the nights you were gone/Like each moment together is more precious than ever/’Cause you’re safe inside of my arms.”

Witnessing the soldier’s homecoming then becomes the impetus needed to make a personal change and begin loving one’s significant other as though he’s returning from a war zone on a daily basis.

O’Neal’s last two singles, “God Don’t Make Mistakes” and “Like a Woman” haven’t fared so well on the charts, barely breaking the Top 50. “Soldier Comin’ Home” may be her slump-breaker: it lacks the infectious, poppy fun of “When I Think About Angels” and is far from the feel good, family-friendly hit “Somebody’s Hero,” but O’Neal’s soulful delivery and catchy chorus, in addition to the song’s carpe diem message, should appeal to listeners. Now if only her label would quit postponing the release of new album Like a Woman, O’Neal might stand a chance at reclaiming her old spot as America’s Second Favorite Australian-born Country Singer.

Thumbs Up

  1. Stephen H.
    June 11, 2009 at 9:34 am

    I’m sort of suprised how much I like this song — I haven’t liked anything she’s released since her debut, “There Is No Arizona.” I don’t give it much of a chance of doing much on radio, however, as I don’t think 1720 Entertainment has gotten anything into the Top 40 yet, and it doesn’t have any clout and power to do so now. Which stinks as they finally have a hitworthy song on their hands.

  2. Rick
    June 11, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Juli, Keith Urban was actually born in New Zealand, so he is a Kiwi! (lol)

    I like this song and I’ve always liked Jamie’s voice. Jamie and Sara Evans are my two favorite “Top 40 friendly” female vocalists who have done really well on the charts. Since Jamie’s last couple of singles didn’t gain traction, I doubt radio will pay much mind to this on either as she is “old news”. Why spin a good song with real substance when the mainstream stations can be playing Miley Cyrus instead? Sheesh…

  3. Juli
    June 11, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    True, Rick, but I read an interview somewhere where Urban said that although he loves NZ, he doesn’t truly consider himself a New Zealander. What else could I do but respect Mr. Nicole Kidman’s self-definition? ;-)

  4. josh
    June 11, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Juli,

    Thank you for that kiwi/aussie background. It seems the awards are always referring him as an aussie.

  5. Jordan Stacey
    June 11, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    I’m liking this one.. but I doubt her label will be able to get her back into the top20. they almost got her in the top 40 though.

  6. Chris D.
    June 11, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    I like this song, but it seems too similar to “Like A Woman” in theme- this is a great song though.

  7. Stormy
    June 11, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    Actually, I don’t need any country right now. What do you have in a post-Pogues Irish punk?

  8. Jim
    June 12, 2009 at 1:54 am

    yep

  9. Krystina
    March 14, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    I love this song and it really hits close to home and makes me remember that feeling…I think she is a wonderful singer and will always be one of my fav. maybe not everyones but mine indeed! She really put into words/song how it feels to witness and experience your man coming home!

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