Kristy Lee Cook, ‘Airborne Ranger Infantry’ — Exclusive Song Premiere
For her debut single with Broken Bow Records, former “American Idol” contestant Kristy Lee Cook found inspiration from her father. Larry Cook served in the Army during the extraction period after the Vietnam War and wrote poems about his experiences, giving his daughter a wealth of knowledge when it came time to co-write the relevant “Airborne Ranger Infantry” with Luke Sheets and Michael Logen. It’s that viewpoint that allows the song to perfectly balance between telling the story of those who fight for our freedoms and paying tribute to them. (Listen below.)
“We took lines directly from the poems and put them into the song,” Kristy Lee tells The Boot. “I wouldn’t have written the song if my dad hadn’t written those poems, because he doesn’t really talk about much. The cool thing is that it gives perspective to someone who doesn’t know what it’s like to know how they feel and what they’re experiencing. It was really important for us to make sure it was right, and exactly what they would say.”
Listen to “Airborne Ranger Infantry”
That being said, war is not a light subject — no matter what country it is taking place in — and some of the lines in her father’s poems were hard to read. The second verse is taken word-for-word from his writings and depicts the feelings of leaving his best friend “in a pool of blood,” with the sad realization that if he could change things, he’d want to die there next to him.
“It’s a very humbling line for me to even read, because it’s so real,” the 28-year-old admits. “That’s how my dad feels, and that’s how most of them do. When they’re over there, the people they serve with are like their family. They call them their brothers and sisters in arms, because that’s their family. They protect each other. Even if I was serving and it was my brother or my best friend, I wouldn’t want to leave them.”
While her father — who does receive writing credit — loves the song, he does have mixed emotions when he hears it. “My dad’s reaction was, ‘That is the best song I’ve ever heard,'” she recalls. “I don’t think he’s ever stopped listening to it. It’s made him very emotional and, as he puts it, it’s healing, but it hurts as well because it takes him back.”
It’s been four years since the Oregon native’s debut album, Why Wait, was release on Sony Music Nashville, but fans can expect more new music soon. “Airborne Ranger Infantry” is the first song off her Jason Aldean-produced album on Broken Bow, due out next year.