It’s not like the Eli Young Band set out to write a song about firefighters dying in the line of duty. But then again, I watch Chicago Fire, so I at least have some concept of the dangers those heroes face every single day.
When I saw the new bonus video the band made for "Prayer for the Road,” a song from their 10,000 Towns album, the message got much, much deeper.
I’d already loved it in the way I love all country songs about the life of a road-weary musician. Maybe more, though, because this one has Mike Eli’s intoxicating vocals and lyrics about the note his wife left in his suitcase:
"May the angels fly beside you, down every mile you roll/May heaven hear this prayer, prayer for the road."
But then the video takes the emo up a few notches by featuring a fireman watching his wife crying over him as he's dying.
And here's how I know it's moving to the firefighters of the world: There are too many firefighter families to count, but this handful of comments shows there's a whole new group of Eli Young Band fans out there:
"Love love this song and being a Mom to 2 firefighters, wow, great job on this one, bless ya'll! My Sarah joined Jesus on Feb 16,2012 at 23, she would have loved this song, as she loved being a firefighter, And my oldest is still a firefighter."
"I am a firefighter and this song hits home. I showed it to my wife and it had her in tears. I think that is what you was looking for, mission accomplished."
"My sister's husband went to heaven a year ago this week. Scott Tanksley was an amazing Fireman, husband, dad, brother and friend."
"Video is awesome and the tears are flowing. This one really hits home! God bless our first responders and bring them home safe."
"This firefighter wife loved it too!! Amazing song!"
"As the wife of a firefighter, this song and video hits home. Bawled the entire video. Beautiful song!"
"I LOVE this. My husband and I are both firefighter EMT's and this definitely hits home. Love it. Thank you all."
"As the wife of a fire chief/paramedic, mother of 3 firemen/EMT, a daughter in law EMT, and an AEMT myself THANK YOU! Bless you for producing this."
The Eli Young Band will release Turn It On, a new four-song EP on March 10.