Trace Adkins isn’t just known for his incredible country songs and signature deep vocals. As many know, he’s also a proud supporter of the U.S. military. It can be seen through not just the charities and causes he supports, like Wounded Warrior Project, but also his music.
“Arlington” is just one of many songs he has performed in honor of the men and women who serve and have served this great country. Written by Jeremy Spillman and Dave Turnbull, “Arlington” was released in June 2005 as the second single from Adkins’ album Songs About Me. It peaked at #16 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.
The meaningful song is narrated by a soldier that was killed in action and is now buried at Arlington National Cemetery. The hit song was actually inspired by Tennessee-native, Corporal Patrick Nixon, of the United States Marine Corps. He died in battle on March 23, 2003 after being ambushed while trying to secure a bridge in Nasiriyah, Iraq. After speaking to Nixon’s father, Turnbull felt inspired to make his story into a song.
In an interview with CMT, Adkins admitted that he had been waiting quite some time to record “Arlington”.
“I knew that was the song I had been waiting a long time to record,” Adkins said, while adding that he almost recorded John Michael Montgomery‘s “Letters From Home”, but decided against it. That’s when “Arlington” fell into his lap.
“But then this song came along, and I said, ‘Oh, there it is. That’s what I’ve been waiting for.’ It’s just a nonpolitical song. It doesn’t glorify war at all or anything like that. It’s just simply paying tribute and homage and respect to the people who gave that last full measure.”
Billboard‘s Deborah Evans Price spoke the truth when she said, “Arlington is one of those singles that surpass mere entertainment.” Price goes on to talk about how well Adkins’ famous deep voice resonates perfectly with the story and emotion behind the song. Price states that Adkins’ “deep, resonant baritone is the perfect vehicle for this hauntingly beautiful song about sacrifice, honor, and the cost of freedom…”
The chilling song is represented well through Adkins’ official music video. It shows the country star walking through Arlington National Cemetery while he sings the haunting tune that is sure to cause the listener to shed a few tears, especially when he gets to the chorus.
Adkins honors not just Corporal Patrick Nixon, but every fallen serviceman and servicewoman that has selflessly sacrificed his or her life for this country with “Arlington”.