"Soldier's Daughter" as written by and Emerson Hart....
It's the way he looks at you
That says to me
This isn't over
From the outside looking in
You see there's nothing sacred here
Nothing sacred
You can bend
But you can't break
For the reasons out of our control
You try to make it roll
Like a dice away
But you say that you're all empowered here
This is obviously not clear enough
To meYou can bend
But you can't break
Hey little girl keep dancing
Hey little girl keep dancing alone
'Cause there's not enough time in your day
To keep you here
The soldier's daughter
Did your daddy
Did your daddy hurt you
Did he make you feel bad
Did he poison your views
With the water he was raised on
Oh you father's son says hang on
Hang on
Hey little girl
Keep dancing
Hay little girl
Keep dancing alone
'Cause there's not enough time in your life
To stay here
So over the hills he'd climb
Just to see her there in time
Just to watch the sun shine through her dress
The sweet soldier's daughter
The sweet soldier's daughter



Lyrics submitted by cucho

"Soldier's Daughter" as written by Emerson Hart

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Soldier's Daughter song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentFirst of all, obviously this song is about a girl and her father. I think that thier relationship as father and daughter isnt too well because he doesn't give her the love that a father should and treat her the way hes suppose to. I think when he says that You can bend
    But you can't break that he means you can take a break from trying to work at the relationship, but don't give up. Keep dancing, even if you have to be alone for a while.
    And when he says- For the reasons out of our control
    You try to make it roll, Like a dice away- i think hes saying that she keeps working at it but her father still isn't understanding and getting it through his head. i could be totally off... i mean sinces its soldiers daughter then maybe hes gone all the time so he cant pay enoguh attention to her. I really not sure if im close at all. But i love the song, its so powerful and meaningful.... :)
    Marle79on May 11, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have to say, this is by far my favorite Tonic song. I almost cried the first time I heard it (and a few times since for that matter), and I can tell you exactly what it means in my head, which is what matters really ;p

    This is a being sung by a man to his younger sister. They've both grown up, moved out, gone on with their lives, and then one day he realizes that all the crap from when they were young is still there. The relationship between his sister and his dad is still not right. She keeps wanting something, affection maybe, or just for him to say 'I'm proud of who you've become', and he's not giving it. Maybe he's oblivious, maybe he's just cruel. I don't think either of them know.

    I love a couple of the lines; "You can bend/But you can't break." I get this picture of a palm tree, standing alone, completely unshielded from the winds off the water. And yet it stays standing, stays rooted in the ground, because instead of fighting the wind it's trunk bends, so low sometimes that it touches the sand, but it always stands up again when the wind stops blowing.

    I had a friend tell me it's all about sexual abuse, but I don't get that from this song at all. I think he thought so because of the 'sun shin[ing] though her dress' bit. To me that's just this beautiful image, carried by the brother, of a time when they were kids and they'd play in the fields and she'd pretend to be a ballerina, dancing around in her sundress. It's a plea to not lose that completely, even though it was that innocence that allowed her to be hurt in the first place.

    See, now I'm getting all teary again. Maybe I need to stop drawing parallels between song lyrics and my life. Or maybe that's the mark of a good song.
    falln_angelon April 27, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is one of my favorite Tonic song. I never quite figured out the backstory, but I think the above comments captured my assumptions and ideas about it. It's a really good song. Emerson Hart is an awesome song writer.
    Chris Dixonon December 30, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGot to agree with pretty much everything said here... a strained father/daughter relationship... Not quite sure I agree with the sexual abuse idea. I think the song title "soldiers daughter" suggests an overbearing father.

    As for the last part...

    "So over the hills he'd climb
    Just to see her there in time
    Just to watch the sun shine through her dress"

    Looks like after all is said and done, the daughter has written off her father, only after his realization that he made mistakes in the past and wishes to repent.
    mdherringon February 03, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"So over the hills he'd climb
    Just to see her there in time
    Just to watch the sun shine through her dress"
    Im sure this song is about a sexual abused girl in her chilhood
    tommibon July 25, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"did he poison your views with the water he was raised on"

    This is about a girl who is trying to find herself.
    She has a bad relationship with her dad, but I don't think the song is dwelling on that. It seems to focus more on her life NOW!

    "there's nothing sacred here" meaning, ON EARTH.

    they are just saying, don't consume your head with hatred for someone who has done something wrong to you, instead, "keep dancing alone" because your life can still hold many great things/feelings before it's time to leave ...

    "sweet soldiers daughter ... " is moving in a way that you have to be in the right mindset and in the right setting for it to REALLY touch your heart and sink into your brain. But the combination is overwhelming!
    peaceypeaon April 30, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDon't think it's about sexual abuse...the imagery's too subtle. The 'watch the sun shine through her dress' line sounds like a symbol of womanhood. He wants to see the woman that his daughter has become.
    GotMeNowon July 08, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm not sure what this song is about, if I could ask Emerson Hart one question, it would be to ask him what his inspiration was for this song. It is one of the most haunting yet beautiful songs that I have ever heard. It always makes me think of a girl, a very good friend of mine, who thankfully has now found true love.
    Fasemanon June 14, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI was thinking the song could be a bit darker. Not sure, but I was actually thinking it was about sexual abuse. The hint comes forth to me in the very first lines of the song
    It's the way he looks at you
    That says to me
    This isn't over
    From the outside looking in
    You see there's nothing sacred here

    those lines are haunting and to me eluded to some sort of sexual molestation or abuse might have gone on between the father and the daughter and it's really messed up the girl and obviously cause a very weird relationship to be formed between them that wasn't able to be repaired and this is being talked about and observed in the song by either a relative of the soldiers daughter or a close friend
    EternalTearsOfSorrowon July 08, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJust a quick thought:

    "Did he poison your views
    With the water he was raised on"

    The father is an alcoholic.
    cdconnon July 23, 2010   Link

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