Billy Ray Cyrus, ‘Runway Lights’ – Song Review
If there was a competition for the title of most patriotic country singer, Billy Ray Cyrus would be amongst the finalists. Again and again he waves our country's flag proudly, never listening to detractors that claim he's playing upon popular sentiment to score a hit. 'Runway Lights,' the first single from Cyrus' album of patriotic songs due in stores June 28, is a bold yet soft-spoken tribute to what America's military members sacrifice to serve. Cyrus sings the song like a man who's served two tours himself.
"Graduated from Lincoln High / Somehow I made my way through VMI / Joined the Navy and I learned to fly / That's what I always dreamed of," Cyrus begins. "There's a hometown girl who wears my ring / Her name is painted on my starboard wing / Tonight I'm half a world from everything / And everyone that I love."
'Runway Lights' is the theme song to Cyrus's TLC series 'Surprise Homecoming,' which debuts on July 11. The singer reunites soldiers overseas with their families back home at times the families need it most. Lost amongst the drama that surrounds his personal life is the true benevolence of his offstage actions. During the chorus, listeners are onboard with the song's storyteller, dreaming of whatever they've left behind: "Lord knows I got a job to do / I can't wait 'til it's through / I keep dreamin' bout that homebound flight / Looking for those runway lights."
"Man if it was up to me / I'd be touchin' down in Tennessee / My baby standing there waiting on me / Tears in her eyes," Cyrus sings during the song's closing moments. The music is a little heavy for the lyrics, but much like John Michael Montgomery did with 'Letters From Home,' Cyrus is able to give a performance that will resonate even with persons who've never served in the military. We've all yearned from home, and that is truly what this song is about.
Listen to Billy Ray Cyrus, 'Runway Lights'