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Firefighter (Duty, Honor, Courage)

by Larry Long & American Roots Revue

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Minnesota musician Larry Long was inspired to write “Firefighter” – along with Eden Prairie’s retired-fire chief (and current MnFIRE president) George Esbensen – after he accompanied firefighters on a call to a business fire.

“While on that fire run I was so deeply struck by the brave and hardworking people that save our lives daily. The firefighter filled with ‘Duty, Honor, and Courage’ represents everything worth standing up and striving for as a nation,” said Long. “When I discovered the high rate of heart disease, cancer and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among firefighters, I felt the calling to write ‘Firefighter’. It’s one way to thank policymakers for supporting the physical and emotional well-being of those who serve us.”

“Firefighter (Duty, Honor, Courage),” was written with MnFIRE as an anthem for the state’s firefighters in 2020.

Since its inception in 2016, the Minnesota Firefighter Initiative (MnFIRE) has been dedicated to providing Minnesota's firefighters with the tools they need to prioritize and protect their health by focusing on the three health problems most commonly experienced by those in the fire service: cancer, cardiac and emotional trauma. In addition to spearheading the legislative initiative, MnFIRE trains Minnesota firefighters to become “MnFIRE Aware” of their higher risks for cancer, cardiac issues and emotional trauma. The organization launched a 24-hour peer support hotline for firefighters struggling with mental health issues in 2018. For more information, visit www.mnfireinitiative.com.


(Duty, Honor, Courage)

Here’s to the people who put out the fires
Fall into line seem never to tire
In helmets of red, white, yellow, and black
When they go in might never come back

Falling in line when danger apprears
Giving their life year after year
With a pre-connect as a life line
Never to leave their buddy behind

Duty, Honor, Courage

We are in trouble down here
There’s blood in the dirt
Looking up at the sky
For help on this earth

Friends, neighbors, and family
Heart disease, cancer, PTSD
For firefighters they’re the big three
Burning out the lives we hold dear

Duty, Honor, Courage

Firefighter crawling through flames
Firefighter each of whom has a name
Firefighter might be your life they save
Firefighter above a crib
Firefighter now holding him
Firefighter when the candle dims
Firefighter needs somebody who
Firefighter that they can turn to
Firefighter may that someone be you

Words & Music by Larry Long
Copyright Larry Long Publishing 2020 / BMI

*Lyrics written in partnership with retired Fired Chief George Esbensen, President of MnFire.


released January 1, 2020
Firefighter (Duty, Honor, Courage)
Larry Long & American Roots Revue

Larry Long – Lead Vocal, Acoustic Guitar
J.D. Steele, Robert Robinson, Tonia Hughes – Support Vocals
Billy Steele - Piano
George Parrish – Electric Guitar
Yonathan Bekure – Bass
Daryl Boudreaux – Percussion
Brian Kendrick – Drums
Joe Savage – Pedal Steel

Studio & Mixing Engineers: Steve Wiese & Miles Hanson
Recorded at Creation Audio Studio A; Minneapolis, Minnesota


all rights reserved



Larry Long Minneapolis, Minnesota

Larry Long is a chip off the old block of American hardwoods, a spoken
word poet, a singer-songwriter, rouser, seeker, storyteller and
conservationist. Well traveled across the world, wherever he
goes, he celebrates people and places in song.

Larry Long is a recipient of the prestigious In The Spirit of Crazy Horse Award for his work in forgotten communities.

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