20 Top War and Soldier Songs

Jim Malec | October 1st, 2007

War. It is the central issue of contemporary American political debate. It is also an unfortunate and deeply personal part of the American culture. War affects the way we see our place in the world, our duty to our nation and our role within our communities. It can bond families in solidarity and it can tear families apart. And although most of us will never be called to serve–and will, therefore, never have to witness the horror of the front-lines–the effects of war remain palpable in our everyday lives.

Since country music is, in so many ways, about the stark truths of everyday life, the genre (fittingly) has a long history of songs that tell stories about wars and the soldiers caught up in them. In this, the second installment of The 9513′s monthly playlist series, I list what I consider 20 of the top songs following in that tradition.

There are a number of noteworthy omissions from this playlist. I’ve avoided including songs that read like propaganda (even when those songs have been highly popular or commercially successful), instead focusing on songs that deal with the very real conflicts that war produces–conflicts of the heart, or morality, or mortality, or fear. “The Ballad of The Green Berets,” for example, undeniably an extremely popular song, has been omitted because it portrays a naive and mostly one-sided viewpoint. In the same sense, this playlist attempts to avoid “novelty” songs–a term which here means those songs that focus on a single detail, specific event, or isolated conflict, rather than on the human stories born from those situations. Marty Robbins’ “Battle of the Alamo,” an excellent song, falls into this category.

Likewise, many contemporary “patriotic” songs have been omitted. These include Darryl Worley’s factually debatable “Have You Forgotten,” and Toby Keith’s boot-in-your-ass anthem “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue.”

Finally, many of the artists who have, historically, recorded songs appropriate for this playlist made a habit of doing so. Johnny Horton, for example, has three or four songs that arguably deserve to be listed here. In an effort to create a diverse playlist which covers a broad spectrum of attitudes and viewpoints, I have limited each artist’s appearance to one song.

This list is not meant to be definitive–all rankings and opinions are, of course subjective and based on my own interpretations. Special thanks to Brody, Brady, and Matt for their contributions to this project.

20 Top War and Soldier Songs

  • Big & Rich - Comin 20. “8th of November(Live Rolling Stone Version) – Big & Rich
    A stark reminder of how the brutality of war stays with a person forever. Big Kenny’s lead vocals, more colorful on this live version than on the duo’s studio recording, are hauntingly appropriate for the story of the man who gave him his top-hat.
  • Kenny Rogers - Ruby, Don 19. “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town” – Kenny Rogers
    One of the most poignant songs of Rogers’ stellar career, “Ruby” dares to tell the hard truth about an extremely sensitive issue. The physical injury that threatens the narrator’s relationship is both a literal comment on the cost of war and symbolic reference to the mental torment faced by many who experience extreme violence.
  • SHeDAISY - Sweet Right Here 18. “Come Home Soon” – SHeDAISY
    SHeDAISY’s Kristyn Osborn is an excellent songwriter who often doesn’t receive the recognition she deserves because of her band’s sometimes poppy sound. “Come Home Soon” never says the word “war,” never talks about the conflict in Iraq, never mentions Afghanistan, and never invokes the usual images of camouflage-clad soldiers or American flags. It doesn’t have to. The lyric is mature and immensely intimate, and the plea, “come home soon,” is so simple that it’s heartbreaking.
  • Steve Earle - The Revolution Starts... Now 17. “Rich Man’s War(Live Version) – Steve Earle
    What I love about this song is that it illustrates the very real dichotomy between the expectations that young men and women have when enlisting in the armed forces and the violent reality that they are ultimately faced with. More than an “anti-Bush” or “anti-Iraq conflict” song, Earle twists the ending in a way that sharply makes his ultimate point–that the poor end up as willing pawns in a rich man’s game. Whether you agree or disagree, it’s a compelling message.
  • Chely Wright - The Bumper of My S.U.V. 16. “The Bumper of my S.U.V.” – Chely Wright
    “Support the troops” has become one of the most buzz-worthy phrases when talking about America’s current involvement in world affairs, and many in politics and the media would like to paint all Americans into one of two camps–those who “support the troops,” and those who don’t. “The Bumper of My S.U.V.” brings to light the complexity behind that issue–the fact that we are tied by blood and by love to our men and women in uniform (but that doesn’t mean we don’t question certain things about our nation’s foreign policy).
  • Garth Brooks - Sevens 15. “Belleau Wood” – Garth Brooks
    “We can hardly believe that we’ve been firing at them for the last week or two — it all seems so strange,” an unknown British soldier writes in a letter about the 1914 Christmas Truce. Brooks’ handles the narration of the scene (a true story) perfectly, and although he is not, by any means, the first artist to comment on the stillness of that Christmas Eve, his performance on “Belleau Wood” is the most moving.
  • David Ball - Amigo 14. “Riding With Private Malone” – David Ball
    The one semi-novelty song on this playlist–”Riding With Private Malone,” aside from being a splendidly crafted song, speaks to a certain solidarity between veterans.
  • Jimmy Webb - Letters 13. “Galveston” – Jimmy Webb
    Webb’s 1972 version of the hit he penned for Glen Campbell (1969) is very much a period piece. The individual parts of Webb’s “Galveston”–lyrics, melody, production–do not equal the sum value of a record which brilliantly captures the tone and social desperation associated with the later parts of the Vietnam War.
  • Elizabeth Cook - This Side of the Moon 12. “Heather Are You With me Tonight” – Elizabeth Cook
    Few of us could live with ourselves if we were made to kill another human being, yet we ask our warriors to do that very thing. “Heather Are You With Me Tonight,” about a bomber pilot’s internal moral struggle, is chilling as delivered by Cook’s undeniably country vocals. “Aint it funny how winnin’ feels just like sinnin’,” she sings.
  • Trace Adkins - Songs About Me 11. “Arlington” – Trace Adkins
    Reaching only #16 on the Billboard charts, “Arlington,” is one of the most under-appreciated songs on this list. Adkins’ calm and mature voice fits this song perfectly.
  • Tracy Lawrence - Then and Now: The Hits Collection 10. “If I Don’t Make It Back” – Tracy Lawerence
    If you’ve been wondering why Tim McGraw’s, “If You’re Reading This,” isn’t found on this playlist, here’s your answer. “If I Don’t Make It Back,” co-penned by Bobby Pinson, covers the same ground but is considerably more well crafted and moving. Whereas McGraw’s single, written with The Warren Brothers, relies on the popular trend of spiritual personification (“I’m up here with God and we’re both watching over you”) in an attempt to comfort the family and friends of the fallen, “If I Don’t Make it Back” makes no such attempt. The result is a hook that resonates much more soundly because of the way the song’s characters tangibly interact with the loss of their friend.
  • Merle Haggard - Hag 09. “Soldier’s Last Letter” – Merle Haggard
    Merle’s cover of this Ernest Tubb classic, also similar but superior to “If Your Reading This,” is a personal, vivid, and honest story which showcases a voice that is one of the genre’s truest gifts.
  • Johnny Horton - Johnny Horton 08. “Johnny Reb” – Johnny Horton
    “Johnny Reb” forgoes the slick and overly commercialized tendencies of Horton’s considerably more popular songs, “Battle of New Orleans” and “Sink The Bismark”.
  • Toby Keith - Shock 07. “American Soldier” – Toby Keith
    Not just another chest-pounding patriotic song. Despite his Big Dog Daddy persona, Keith is, at times, a deeply sensitive and insightful writer, and “American Solider” has both of those characteristics. “I don’t want to die for you,” in the context of this lyric, is profoundly resonating.
  • Loretta Lynn - I Like 06. “Dear Uncle Sam” – Loretta Lynn
    If I had to choose one artist to hold up as an example of what country music was, is, and should be, I would choose Loretta Lynn. Sung by any other artist, this poignant but average song would earn a far lower place on the list.
  • Montgomery Gentry - Something to Be Proud Of: The Best of 1999-2005 05. “Didn’t I” – Montgomery Gentry
    Wynonna once said that one important thing missing from contemporary country music is subtlety. For the most part, I agree with her. “Didn’t I,” however, is anything but subtle–and rightfully so. Aside from painting a truly frightening picture of war with lines like, “I’ve seen boys fall to pieces/Grown men cry out to Jesus/’Till their black and blue,” “Didn’t I” exudes the anger and frustration of so many soldiers who struggle with reintegration at war’s end.
  • Johnny Cash - Bitter Tears (Ballads of the American Indian) 04. “Ballad of Ira Hayes” – Johnny Cash
    Classic Cash, “Ballad of Ira Hayes” (1964) remains one of the most historically compelling songs in his catalog. Hayes is emblematic of the post-war turmoil faced by many survivors, and although the story is directly related to his service in WWII, the song’s timing–released on the cusp of LBJ’s escalation of U.S. involvement in Vietnam–adds greatly to its poignancy.
  • Dixie Chicks - Home 03. “Travelin’ Soldier” – Dixie Chicks
    Written and originally recorded by Bruce Robison, “Travelin’ Soldier,” never reached the heights of success that it deserved, because, in an ultimate example of irony, it was the Chicks’ single at the time of “the comment.” One of the best story songs I’ve ever heard, Natalie delivers one of the best vocal performances of her career on a song that’s not so much about travelin’ soldiers as it is about the people they leave behind.
  • John Michael Montgomery - Letters From Home 02. “Letters From Home” – John Michael Montgomery
    Even three years after it’s release, this song, an eerily accurate portrayal of life on both sides of the soldier/civilian divide, still gets me a bit choked up. Penned by Tony Lane and David Lee, “Letters From Home,” more than any song on this playlist, has a humanizing effect on our image of the soldier. We see him laugh, we see him cry, we see him proud, and this, I think, is a reality often overlooked in favor of the popular stereotype.
  • Sawyer Brown - Six Days on the Road 01. “Another Side” – Sawyer Brown
    You’ve probably never heard this song. And that’s a shame. Peaking at #55 (from a splendid album, Six Days On The Road) in 1998, the story of “Another Side” is narrated from the perspective of a Confederate soldier fighting in the Civil War. While every song on this playlist details some aspect of the pain and conflict brought on by war, none do so as holistically as “Another Side,” and none are as directly relative to our current conflicts. “I guess my daddy would be proud/But my mama, she’s ashamed,” Mark Miller sings–one example of how this song’s lyrics illustrate our social and political divisions. We are often stratified into two groups–those for war and those who are against war. But the issue is always considerably more complex than that. In the case of the soldier in “Another Side,” that complexity is brought on by many things, but none more than the fact that, as we learn in the song’s final verse, his brother has fought for the North.

Listen: 20 Top War And Soldier Songs

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  1. Alana
    October 1, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    Song #10, is one of my favorites, and everytime it plays on my ipod I just stop and listen because it makes me think of all the friends and family who have served in both this war and the vietnam war and the things that they went through and the small things that we do to remember them when they dont make it back and #20, the first time I heard it was live on one of the award shows and I had to stop and call my father a vietnam vet and just tell him how much he meant to me.

  2. Natalie
    October 1, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    Steve Earle did another great song about the contrasts in attitude from one war to another. In “Johnny Come Lately” he talks about his grandfather coming home to a heroes welcome from WWII. While the character coming home from Vietnam was greeted by no one “there’s nobody here, maybe nobody knows/about a place called Vietnam”. I also get the impression the soldier was seeking the same glory he knew from his grandfather’s stories, and was sorely disappointed.

  3. Hollerin Ben
    October 1, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    no “Good Christian Soldier” from Billy Joe?

    only the one Steve Earle number?

    12 of the top 20 are modern country?

    All and all its a good list and features some very insightful analysis, but its hard for me to believe that the top 3 country war songs of all time (and 4 of the top 5) have been put out in the last 10 years.

  4. Brody Vercher
    October 1, 2007 at 1:30 pm

    Ben, aside from “Christian Soldier”, what other songs would you have liked to seen mentioned (also taking into account the parameters of one song per artist).

  5. Jim Malec
    October 1, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    Hey Ben, thanks, as always, for reading and for commenting.

    I am not a traditionalist, and regular readers of this blog or any of my other music-related writing know this. I don’t believe that “older” is necessarily better or that “newer” is necessarily better–I guess I have a “big tent” attitude when it comes to country music.

    That said, I still wanted the list to show balance over an extended period of time (and it’s worth noting that the contemporary/traditional ratio is consistent to that of the much longer list generated by The 9513′s staff as we brainstormed).

    While there are certainly a large number of “older” war/soldier songs that were considered, I found many of those songs to fall into the categories I was trying to exclude–propaganda and novelty.

    I will admit that I probably have a contemporary bias–I am a product of the contemporary generation of artists, after all. As noted in another discussion, Garth Brooks is as emblematic of Country Music to me as Merle Haggard is to someone who was listening to Merle in his prime.

    Still, I think that if you look at the contemporary songs on this list, especially those at the top, you’ll find that the writing, when compared to those “older” songs that have been omitted, is more nuanced and more vivid.

    Earlier Country songs were able to get away with a number of things that today’s writers can’t. Many Cash songs are littered with phrases that would be considered cliche today, but were not then. As a result, I think contemporary writers often push themselves a bit further to find new stories and new ways to tell those stories.

    Often they fail, of course–as is evidenced by the very large portion of contemporary songs that could be described as utterly dreadful.

  6. Hollerin Ben
    October 1, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    I missed the little part about one song per artist. that’s my bad.

    its tough to say what other songs should have been included off the top of my head without doing some research, but if we use Jimmie Rodgers/The Carter Family as the place where “country music” begins, it would be surprising to me if 4 out of 5 top war songs of all time were recent to the last 10 years.

    I’m not saying that it neccesarily isn’t the case, but I’m sure you can see that given the 70 year period of time we have to draw from, a top 5 that leans so heavily towards recent material seems to indicate a bias.

    Personally I think that “letters from home”, though a great song, was placed a little bit high. Though I actually am all for Travelin Soldier being in the top 5 of all time.

    p.s. – Ira Hayes is of course jaw dropingly good, but Johnny Cash’s “Drive On” would be a better fit IMO. I’ve only heard the version on the VH1 Willie/Johnny Cash storytellers disc, but I’d put it as a strong contender for the #1 spot even.

  7. Kevin
    October 1, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    Huge kudos for topping the list with Sawyer Brown’s “Another Side.” What a mind-blowingly brilliant record that was. Love the video, too.

  8. Kevin
    October 1, 2007 at 2:28 pm

    Ben,

    The studio version of “Drive On” is on Cash’s “American Recordings” album from 1994.

  9. Dave S
    October 1, 2007 at 3:47 pm

    Nice list, Jim. Although, I was surprised you didn’t include “If You’re Reading This” by Tim McGraw. I’m not the biggest Tim fan by any means, but the writing is exceptional.

  10. Hollerin Ben
    October 1, 2007 at 4:43 pm

    it just crossed my mind, another good song for the list would be Tom T. Hall’s “Hero in Harlan” that Chris Jones recorded on his latest cd on Little Dog Records.

    Its kind of obscure I suppose and I don’t know how important “visibility” was in your appraisal of songs, but its a pretty awesome song and performance.

  11. Kevin
    October 1, 2007 at 6:43 pm

    Just realized a big one that you may have missed: Dolly Parton’s “Welcome Home.” That’s one of the best soldier songs I’ve ever heard.

  12. Chris N.
    October 1, 2007 at 7:56 pm

    I guess “Ira Hayes” has to be here, but jeez, “Drive On.” That’s tough to beat:

    I got a little limp now when I walk
    Got a little tremolo when I talk
    But my letter read from Whiskey Sam
    “You’re a walkin’ talkin’ miracle from Vietnam”

  13. Hollerin Ben
    October 2, 2007 at 1:08 am

    so I’ve been thinking about this all day long

    another good one would be the Flying Burrito Brothers song “My uncle” about draft dodging.

  14. Baron Lane
    October 2, 2007 at 9:12 pm

    Nice feature ya’ll. Very topical. Agree 100% on Earle, Haggard, Cash and the Chicks. Big and Rich still blows though….

  15. Brady Vercher
    October 2, 2007 at 9:35 pm

    We definitely missed a few good ones, but like Matt mentioned in the previous playlist, one of the goals is to discover new music. Y’all are keepin us on our toes and help contribute to the quality of these things, so thanks for that and keep ‘em comin’.

  16. BJ
    October 5, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    There are so many songs I think it must have been difficult to narrow the list down to 20. There is no way of doing it without leaving out some very worthwhile songs.

    One of my favorites has never made it onto an album. Dustin Evans’ song “If I Die Before You Wake” has become popular with soldiers. A video was put together and has been passed around the Internet. A google on it will turn up numerous copies of the video on the web. Dustin currently is lead singer of Western Underground. I first heard the song at one of their concerts.

  17. Peter Palisades
    October 5, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    I’d recommend Tom T. Hall’s “Mama Bake a Pie (Daddy Kill a Chicken).”

  18. Paul W Dennis
    October 7, 2007 at 7:22 am

    Dave Dudley’s “What We’re Fighting For” was one of my favorites and Johnny Wright’s “Hello Vietnam” (penned by Tom T. Hall) are a pair of songs that are on the border of being classified in several different directions, but both were well executed performances.

  19. Gecko
    October 13, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    Just stumbled across the site, while searching for patriotic songs for our Nov. 11th holiday/tribute to Veteran’s Day on our radio station.

    I love the info and the comments; especially seeing the obscure “Another Side” (Sawyer Brown) at No. 1. This is one of my favorite SB songs of all time. It was nice to see it get some recognition…even if is was because if fell into a “novelty” category.

  20. Jim Malec
    October 15, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    Hey Gecko–
    We saw Aggie 96 out at Big State this weekend. Thanks for checking out the list, and for your comment.

  21. WO1 Jeremy Cissell
    November 5, 2007 at 6:46 pm

    As I sit here in the giant sandbox, I stumbled across this
    awesome song list. All I can say is Thank you

    ~God bless

  22. 90272
    November 8, 2007 at 9:17 am

    I’d just like to mention a couple of gems I know of and listen to pretty frequently –

    Jeff Talmadge “A Soldier’s Christmas”
    Doug Spartz “Name on the Wall”
    and my sentimental favorite, “Billy Don’t Be a Hero”

  23. Brady Vercher
    November 9, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    Nobody should listen to “Billy, Don’t Be A Hero” unless they want the lyrics stuck in their head for all eternity.

  24. JENNIFER
    January 17, 2008 at 7:37 am

    What are you ain’t God are something. Tim McGraw’s If Your Reading This should of been on there and in the Top Ten. It is an expectional song that speaks to the families members of the solider. His heartfelt, honest performance of that song is very moving.

    Too bad your anti Tim rhetoric can’t be put aside to give kudos to s song that deserves it. Not everyone is ain’t God like you seem to be.

  25. Jim Malec
    January 17, 2008 at 7:58 am

    I’m neither “ain’t God” (as you wrote), or “anti God” (as you meant to write).

  26. Dr BLT
    February 15, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    Does anybody think this song would have made it, had it been reviewed for the list?:

    Home
    Dr BLT
    http://www.drblt.net/music/Home.mp3

  27. Justin
    April 8, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    merle haggard’s “The Fightin’ Side of Me” and Johnny Cash “Ragged Old Flag”. I’m fixin to become a lifetime member in The United States Marine Corp. thank yall for carin so much to put the songs up here and agree with them. HOORAH!!!!

  28. Jeremy Potts
    April 14, 2008 at 12:51 am

    I’m not sure if it counts as country (although I’d argue if Carrie Underwood does, it certainly does) by The Band’s THE NIGHT THEY DROVE OLD DIXIE DOWN (Last Waltz version) deserves a spot on the list.

  29. Mike Parker
    May 23, 2008 at 11:05 am

    That had to be a hard list to make… so many good songs from so many points of view to choose from. “Another side” is a great song. Some substitutions I’d have made (honoring the one song per artist rule)

    Garth’s “Ireland”
    Steve Earle’s “Johnny Come Lately”

    and would add Jason and the Scorcher’s “Shotgun Blues,” the Steeldrivers’ “Sticks that Made Thunder,” and CDB’s “Still in Saigon” off the top of my head….

  30. plain_jo
    May 23, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    POW 369- by either Doug Stone or Daryl Whorley is a great song too.

  31. Mark
    May 24, 2008 at 11:25 am

    Daryl Whorley have you forgotten and Toby Kieth red, white and blue both should have been on top of these list

  32. Mark
    May 24, 2008 at 11:26 am

    Carrie Underwood’s this is just a dream should be on there somewhere to

  33. northtexas
    May 24, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    “Carrie Underwood’s this is just a dream should be on there somewhere too”

    Hopefully “Just A Dream” will be her next single. My son-in-law’s brother was killed in Iraq last fall about the time “Carnival Ride” was released so this story of a military widow trying to find peace and understanding really hit home.

  34. Jim Malec
    May 24, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    First of all, don’t get me started on “Have You Forgotten,” possibly one of the most idiotic songs ever composed in any genre,

    As far as Carrie…I have some issues with “Just A Dream,” but those are not the reason why the song fails to appear on this list–the plain fact of the matter is that Carnival Ride came out three weeks after this list was published.

    Since we’re adding songs, look for Reckless Kelly’s “American Blood,” off their upcoming album. It’s fantastic.

  35. Mark
    May 24, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    Why is it idiotic. I think is make a great point that many forget.

  36. Mark
    May 24, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    Jim i think you let personal views influence your decides as i see a lack of songs that show the conservative side. in making a list you should not be bias.

  37. Mark
    May 24, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    only two of these songs i actually thought was a good war song and that was come home soon by shedaisy and american solders by Toby Keith

  38. Jim Malec
    May 24, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    It’s idiotic because it is factually inaccurate and panders to a certain group of people who would rather simplify things down to their simplest form rather than find the truth when that truth requires a fair bit of thought.

    The song tries to tie 9/11 to the war in Iraq, when the two are entirely separate matters. It reminds us not to forget about Osama…and since we haven’t forgotten about Osama, let’s go attack Sadamn, who has nothing to do with Osama?

    I’ll tell you what I will never forget.
    2,974 Americans were killed in 9/11.
    4,000+ Americans have been killed in the Iraq war.

  39. Jim Malec
    May 24, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    Mark, you need to stop double posting. If you want to add something, please click the “edit” link above your comment.

    As far as my “bias” — yes, I excluded, as I said in the outline, those songs which I felt presented more of an ideological argument than a commentary on the human issues related to war.

  40. Mark
    May 24, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    First those 4000 have saved many people also terrorist have been in Iraq and if is not secured thats where they are going.

    I hope you done forget all the Iraq people that were killed because of their religion. And those that had less supplies because of that

  41. Brady Vercher
    May 24, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    I dunno, lambasting “Have you forgotten?” and praising “American Blood” is kinda suspect. Is saying George’s daddy told him to go to war factually correct? I’m not defending “Forgotten” I just don’t think “American Blood” measures up to anything on this list.

    Corb Lund has a few songs from his last album that would make worthy additions, “I Wanna Be In The Cavalry” and “Horse Soldier” being two of them.

  42. Jim Malec
    May 24, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    How have those 4000 dead Americans saved many people? Have they made Iraq safer? Do you know anything about Iraq other than what Bill O’Riely and Sean Hannity tell you?

    Dude, terrorists are going to Iraq because it has destabilized since we invaded, not the other way around. I ain’t sayin’ Sadamn was a saint, but c’mon.

  43. Mark
    May 24, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    so you would continue for next few decades to have people die because of their religion

  44. Jim Malec
    May 24, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    Again, though, here we have a real and human issue–those who go to war expecting one thing and come away finding something very different. Is that factually correct? Yes, I think it is. Obviously the RK shots at George are leftist remarks, but I don’t think you can compare the story of a soldier who loses his limbs and spends his life drinking all day to that of a flag waving, chest-pounding, war-anthem that doesn’t contain a single drop of realism.

    So Mark, what you’re really saying is that anywhere people are “dying because of their religion,” America should go and start a war. What’s the point in arguing against something like that. I’m not going to change your mind. I have also decided that you’re thirteen years old, so I’m going to go read a book instead of continuing this argument. Wake me up when you go to college.

  45. Brady Vercher
    May 24, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    Jim, I agree that the contrast between preconceptions of war and realities is worth exploring, but I think “American Blood” is tainted by idealism. I mentioned Corb Lund and love what he did on the very subject with “I Wanna Be In The Cavalry” to kick off the album and the “Reprise” version at the end of the album that paints a different picture. I highly recommend it.

  46. Mark
    May 24, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    Oh this that what we do just decide someones age. It is the same as world war two because it was bout religion about Jews being killed many lost their lives their but we still did it.

  47. Mark
    May 24, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    Oh and I’m in college. I am 23. I also, go to this college called Penn if you have heard of it.

  48. Brady Vercher
    May 24, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    only two of these songs i actually thought was a good war song and that was come home soon by shedaisy and american solders by Toby Keith

    Honestly, Mark, how many of these songs have you actually listened to?

  49. Leeann
    May 24, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    You know, “Letters From Home” just came up on my playlist this afternoon and I was surprised that I still get a little choked up by it too.

  50. hairandtoenails
    May 24, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    My problem with “Have You Forgotten” is that it thinks it is making a pro-war argument when it really isn’t saying much of anything.

    The events of 9/11 were horrible, but we shouldn’t make a decision to go to war (or not) based on “how you felt that day.”

    Also, few people are saying we should not “wory bout bin laden;” that is a straw man agument.

  51. Cindy2
    May 24, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    Alright, first for the song that was left out: Brandon Rhyder’s “Mr. Soldier”.
    If I am by myself when I hear it, I nearly cry.

    Now, concerning the “Have You Forgotten” debate. I’ve seen it written here and elsewhere that Darryl Worley was tying Afghanistan to Iraq. I don’t think that’s true. He wrote it in Dec of 2002 right after coming back from Afghanistan. We didn’t invade until March 2003. The songs prime motivator, I believe, is a feeling that we are too comfortable and just don’t realize the stakes of what we are dealing with. The soldiers in Afghanistan know the stakes. Also, I know that he was aggravated with the sense of the media purposely putting people “back to sleep” by refusing to show the footage of 9/11: “We don’t want to upset anyone.” Well, guys, 9/11 is worth being upset about, on a number of levels. Simple fact is there are people who were at war with us for a long time before we decided to take it to them. I think this lyric backs me up:

    They took all the footage off my T.V.
    Said it’s too disturbing for you and me
    It’ll just breed anger that’s what the experts say
    If it was up to me I’d show it every day

    I am not saying the song deserves placement on this top twenty list-maybe it doesn’t belong there because it isn’t really a soldier song at its core.

    I was upset when I heard about the new RK song. It is so trite: “Bush is listening to Daddy and trying to help his oil friends.” It displays a real lack of intellectual understanding, not just about Bush, but about all wars and the history of conflict. There has been quite a lot we have done concerning Iraq that has been incorrect, but everytime a rock star or someone spouts off like this they are being quite juvenile. Now I am pretty conservative, but I overlook liberal artists that don’t look down there nose at me with an air of superiority or turn their songs into obvious political rhetoric. I can overlook the cuts that Jason Isbell’s “Dress Blues” takes against Bush and the War because the imagery of the songs focus, a military burial in a small town, is so strong and the melody is so beautiful.

  52. Stormy
    May 24, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    My problem with Have You Forgotten is that it locked to tightly into a single moment and mindeset that it doesn’t really resonate now that those thing have been disproven. Sadly, instead of telling the story of a war it became propganda for the war and that is always the shallowest and most forgettable kind of art.

  53. Stormy
    May 24, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    Cindy2: The song that shows the most understanding of this war is Steve Earle’s Rich Man’s War.

  54. Cindy2
    May 25, 2008 at 6:55 am

    Stormy:
    You’re going to have to do better than that song to make a point. I just looked up the lyrics. He says our soldiers are no different than Palestinian kids who have been taught to hate from birth and whose parents give them guns from the time that the are old enough to hold them when they should be shielding them and renouncing terror.

    Also, its hard to do a comment post within resorting to generalities; he talks about people signing up for the military because they have no choices. I’m sure that for a number of people that is true, but not for as many people as you think. I encourage all to look up the military bloggers, and people like Michael Yon who has done tremendous reporting from Iraq.

    Look, I am not talking about the man’s musical or lyrical talents at all.. but he doesn’t even think we should have gone to Afghanistan. Steve Earle is a socialist that is against all war unless it is class warfare. If Darryl Worley is propaganda from the right, this is even harder propaganda from the left.

  55. Lucas
    May 25, 2008 at 9:33 am

    This is completely opinion based, but I agree with it for the most part…
    I would have put Letters From Home at numero uno, Riding With Private Malone at #2, Belleau Wood at #3, and American Soldier at #4.

  56. antonio
    May 28, 2008 at 7:45 am

    i was just wondering…do they teach english (or rudimentary spelling) classes at penn?

  57. Leeann
    May 28, 2008 at 7:59 am

    No, Antonio, they expect people to already know those things by the time they enter Penn or any other college, for that matter.:)

  58. Chris N.
    May 28, 2008 at 9:54 am

    Note to self: Do not send children to Penn.

  59. Cynthia Allgood
    May 28, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    I step lightly through this topic. I find the list to be accurate, but maybe not long enough. I would have liked to have seen Jason Isbell’s song “Dress Blues” make the list. There’s nothing more true than a song about an actual soldier.

    As for the points being made here, all I can say is, there is an abundance of war and soldier songs that could’ve and probably should’ve been on the list. Maybe we should each make up our on list to share :)

    Hope you’re all having a wonderful day!

  60. Mark
    May 28, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    Antonio or Chris N. I would like to see you try to get into Penn.

  61. Mark
    May 28, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    Okay it not showing that i posted this so sorry if it there twice.
    Well my list would be
    1. Angry American-Toby Keith
    2. Have you forgotten-Daryl Whorly
    3. Come Home soon- Shedaisy
    4. American Solder- Toby Keith
    5. Just A Dream- carrie underwood
    6. I Just Came Back From A War- Daryl Whorly
    7. If your Reading This- Tim McGraw
    8. This Ain’t No Rag, It’s A Flag Charlie Daniels
    9. Only In America Brooks and Dunn
    10. American Child Phil Vassar

  62. Chris N.
    May 28, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    “Have You Forgotten?” was written about Afghanistan, but it hit No. 1 a week after the Iraq war began. Much of its appeal was owed to the conflation of 9/11 and Iraq by people who didn’t know (or didn’t care) that one had nothing to do with the other.

  63. Mark
    May 28, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    So that would include Jim who said the song that tied together with the iraq war even when the lyrics didn’t suggest this at all. Just because people thought that and didn’t take the time to look at the lyric doesn’t take away from the song

  64. Mark
    May 28, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    Also Chris you keep saying stuff bout Penn so where did you go to college if you did.

  65. Stormy
    May 28, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    Mark: Penn isn’t that hard to get into.

  66. Stephen H.
    May 28, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    This may have been said already (I don’t feel like reading all of the arguments above), but I thought I remembered the Have You Forgotten video having many images of people protesting the Iraq war. Still not referring to the lyrics of the song, but the video seemed to want to tie in protests and problems, which I don’t seem to recall there being many protests about Afghanistan.

  67. Jim Malec
    May 28, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Mark: Penn isn’t that hard to get into.

    Did anyone else do a double take and think we had started talking about the democratic primary when they read that?

  68. Mark
    May 28, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    Oh yeah because everyone gets it to an ivy league college.

  69. Leeann
    May 28, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    Mark,

    I won’t even get into my opinion on your list. However, “American Child” and “Only In America” clearly are not war and soldier songs, as is the topic of this thread. Just because they mention America, it doesn’t mean that war or soldiers are actually factors of these particular songs.

  70. Leeann
    May 28, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    I don’t know, Jim, Mark Penn?

  71. Mark
    May 28, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    I put those two songs in as songs that show what we are fighting for in this war and they show Patriotism to wars. I do see your point but i think it fits in with war part even though it doesn’t saying anything about an actual war.

  72. Mark
    May 28, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    Very good song
    I said I just came back from a place where they hated me
    and everything I stand for
    A land where our brothers are dying for others who don’t even care anymore
    If I’m not exactly the same good old boy that you ran around with before
    I just came back from a war

    The very next morning I took a walk through the neighborhood
    I thought it’s been so long since I’ve been in a place where everything is good
    People laughing and children were playing
    And as I watched em I found myself praying
    Lord keep em safe here at home in the land of the free

    Also Leann of course I’m lying about that college i go to and since its so easy to get into.

  73. Mark
    May 28, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    Also Leann i would like to hear what you have to say about the list

  74. Mark
    May 28, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    Leges Sine Moribus Vanae

  75. Brady Vercher
    May 28, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    Mark, I think you’ve been warned about posting multiple times, we’ll have to delete comments next time. If you want to prove that you go to Penn, feel free to send us an email from your university issued email address and we’ll confirm it.

  76. antonio
    May 29, 2008 at 7:31 am

    i also think rudimentary spelling classes should be required. perhaps they should also consider ‘logical reasoning 101′ and–wait for it–’a world existed before 1998 (101)’.

    let’s all give a round to darryl whorley!! whoever he is!! i wonder if he’s related to the country singer. :))

  77. Larry
    May 30, 2008 at 8:20 am

    I was glad to read that Loretta Lynn’s hit from 1967 “Dear Uncle Sam” made the top ten list. Clearly there is no better song that reflects the fear of a wife who is about to see her husband begin his tour to serve his country. The lyrics “he proudly wears the colors of the ole red, white, & Blue. While I wear a heartache since he left me for you” sums it all up. Is there any thing more heart wrenching than the ending lyric “Dear Uncle Sam…I just got your telegram. And I can’t believe that this is me…shaking like I am! For it said I’m sorry to inform you.” The song finishes up with taps.

    There have been some critics claiming that this song was anti-war! What??? Have then even listened to the song? Clearly it’s about the strong possibility of him never returning home again.

    Nobody writes a country song better than American icon Loretta Lynn!!

  78. Butch
    May 30, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    What about the song “America Standing Tall” by The Front Porch Country Band? Great tribute to our soldiers both past and present.

  79. Anne
    June 3, 2008 at 8:06 am

    Did you consider “More Than a Name on a Wall” by the Statler Brothers? Maybe it’s too specific to Viet Nam. And that Tom T. Hall song about the “Hero in Harlan” is good too.

  80. james
    June 4, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    country music today in not country for the most part. it is a genre unto itself. play loretta lynn anytime

  81. Cinderella
    June 4, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    just an FYI – got an email to a link to another blog… http://nashvilleroast.wordpress.com

    I remember whoever it is sent out emails like this last year…seems like they are back at it. Some funny….some not.

  82. Razor X
    June 4, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    James said, “country music today in not country for the most part. it is a genre unto itself. play loretta lynn anytime”

    Amen, brother!

  83. Aaron
    June 17, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    This list is pretty but one powerfulwar song has been left out. “Johnny Come Lately” by Steve Earle doesn’t just have a good melody and tell a good story. Its last verse is its most important because the songs story is related to an important message. Not only that but it compares WWII and Vietnam in few words. Just my two cents.

  84. Dave
    June 21, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    hairandtoenails said

    “My problem with “Have You Forgotten” is that it thinks it is making a pro-war argument when it really isn’t saying much of anything.

    The events of 9/11 were horrible, but we shouldn’t make a decision to go to war (or not) based on “how you felt that day.”

    Also, few people are saying we should not “wory bout bin laden;” that is a straw man agument.”

    this is what i have to say:what if your family and/or friends died in any of those 9/11 attacks and the gov. said “we know you’re upset but we don’t think its worth going to war because you feel sad and angry that your friends and family died along with countless other people. you wouldn’t be very happy would you?
    oh and by the way if you don’t think thats a good reason to go to war then you must be against the reason we entered WW2. same thing different method different people

  85. Stephen H.
    June 22, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    I don’t remember there being much of a disagreement over the need to go to Afghanistan. People were saying “we don’t need this war” about Iraq, which was big when the song came out. Judging by the music video I have no doubt the song was actually written about Iraq, which makes the bin Laden assertion a true straw man.

    It’s one of my least favorite songs ever, and I change the station whenever it comes on.

  86. Stormy
    June 22, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    A new one that surprised me is The Warren Brother’s Its Crazy Being Home:
    http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=22447982&MyToken=4b653190-bcf7-4124-a987-f1c37ab042f7

    I went to the site fully expecting to hate is as another “If you don’t buy my record, then al-Queda wins” (TM The Simpsons) song, but it takes a really unique perspective.

  87. Mike Parker
    June 25, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Finally caught up and got to listen to Reckless Kelly’s “American Blood” and gotta agree with Brady that it doesn’t measure up to the songs on this list. It is way too idealist, even if it is well-written. Jason Isbell’s “Dress Blues” says almost the exact same thing, but with more subtlety and poignancy than RK.

  88. sean o'toole
    June 26, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    this message is for jim malec ur a frekin idiot u liberal f*** why dont u go to iraq do 3 tours like me see one of ur best friends get killed yes 1 of the 2974 ppl u talked about that have been killed so far we fight for your freedom and you have no idea what we go through you could not fathom it because u dont have the balls nor the courage to go to war if i offended you i don care from a u.s marine semper fi do or die!!!!!!!!!!

  89. Chris N.
    June 26, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    Yep, that proves Iraq had something to do with 9/11.

  90. Dan
    June 29, 2008 at 11:12 am

    Sean – first, i would like to THANK YOU you crazy leatherneck for your service to our country, GOD bless ya. second, nobody can really understand what you bad-asses(especially your buddy,GOD bless his soul and his family!)went though without understanding why we were their. I come from a military family, and most people who never serve never understand the mental capacity our servicemembers have to prepare for. alot of people always throw in their 2-cents about their personal, political, anger, and in most cases so-called educated opinions and beliefs. their is no stronger belief in this world other than GOD, that a person would fight and die for their country(Country, Duty, Honor!). i know that once you guys step foot on the battle field all the bull-sh** stops when it comes to politics and other people’s feeling’s about the situation, because at that point the only thing that matter’s are your buddies next to ya. i know people have their opinion’s, and that right is what you(sean) fight for. i just wish people would understand that you don’t have to particpate in the physical defence of this great country to serve your country, but should understand with respect to those who have physically served that even though politicians always talk about it, the number and names of those who paid the ultimate price(GOD bless them ALL!!!)should never be talked about in any anger, disrespect, or any comment about them for personal gain! what i also want to say is that his opinion is just that, not facts with any sacks to hang his balls from. you my friend understand the true meaning of heart, loyalty, and strength. you are an example of why this country is strong and blessed, GOD bless you, your family, and all our servicemembers around the globe.

  91. Jim Malec
    June 29, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    Dudes–I love the troops. I don’t love stupid wars that have them dying. Iraq has nothing to do with our freedom. That’s nonsense. It’s propaganda. Our troops are literally serving their country, and I appreciate that. But that doesn’t mean the country has to be right.

    Now, Sean says I should step on a battlefield…I say that because I am not on the battlefield means I also have a responsibility, though a different responsibility, to serve my country.

    And that is by questioning the government and being a part of an active, engaged, and inquisitive republic democracy.

    Our soldiers are not in a position to outwardly question the actions and policies of the government which they are working for. Their job is to follow orders.

    But that’s not my job.

    Further, let me reiterate (and I hate to get political): Iraq has nothing to do with our freedom. FISA has something to do with our freedom. SCOTUS appointees have something to do with our freedom. The idea that Iraq has something to do with our freedom is a myth.

  92. Chris N.
    June 29, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    “…the number and names of those who paid the ultimate price(GOD bless them ALL!!!)should never be talked about in any anger, disrespect, or any comment about them for personal gain!”

    Nobody did any such thing.

  93. Dan
    June 30, 2008 at 2:50 am

    chris – sean’s view was that it was a statement slamming his service(and his buddy’s), but my statement was not about jim personally but that if you don’t make your statement a certain way, some people may take your statement a certain way which is what sean did. we need more people like sean and jim to serve this country and not the anti-americans(liberal’s). my statement which is exactly my point, and by not understanding what i was saying was that everbody has an opinion and a veiw and it is alright to agree or disagree within a debate, but to never use the names or numbers of our deceased servicemember’s(GOD bless them all)for the sake of winning an argument. talk about your disagreement’s and agreement’s about war’s without bringing up the names or numbers of our servicemember’s, because if you want to go that route, vietnam, korea, world war 1 and 2 had more killed in action, and people still had disagreements and agreement’s within a debate about the handling and reason’s to go war which in veitnam, that is when people(liberal’s) started talking about the name’s and number’s for political gain, and up to that point the respect i’m talking about to our servicemember’s was there. it’s just a respect thing i was talking about, and if you don’t understand what i meant, then why did sean take that statement the way he did, jim brought up the number’s. jim’s beef is with the polices of the war, as you should be able to tell, sean’s beef was not in jim’s disagreement of the war, but using the number’s of those killed with his argument which showed his anger and opinion towards the war which is why sean said what he said by feeling he was disrespecting the service of our military personel. you need to understand the military side of this respect i’m talking about republican or democrat. sean did not say you f****** democrat, but liberal! all liberal’s even if they call themselves democrats are they one’s calling our service members baby killer’s and are the one’s that keep using name’s and number’s of those killed for poltical gain, you don’t hear conservative democrats talking the way liberal’s(far left)do even in their disagreement’s about the war which is what i was trying to say, it’s about RESPECT!

  94. leeann
    June 30, 2008 at 6:16 am

    I’m really okay with political differences. I’m fine with differences of opinion regarding the war and the Bush administration. I even understand where both sides are coming. I, however, take real issue with people who blanketly assert that “liberals” are anti American. When someone makes such a disparaging argument, it’s really difficult for me not to automatically disregard everything he says. It’s one thing to say that liberals are misinformed by left wing propaganda or that they are radicals, or whatever. It’s one thing to even suggest that they have an agenda. But to say that they are anti American is absolutely unfair and, frankly, ignorant. My mind will not be changed on this point. So, for me, this conversation is over. I rarely say that, but I feel confident in saying it this time, because your assertion, Dan, is not up for debate for me.

  95. northtexas
    June 30, 2008 at 6:48 am

    I’m a Texas conservative and a Vietnam Veteran but when it comes to THIS war my views are more inline with the Dixie Chicks!

    Sean:

    At least folks today appreciate what you guys are doing over there, back in ’68 when I returned from Vietnam we were spit on and called ‘baby killers’ or worse.

  96. Chris N.
    June 30, 2008 at 8:49 am

    “all liberal’s even if they call themselves democrats are they one’s calling our service members baby killer’s …”

    Liberals only call service members “baby killers” in the fever dreams of the right wing. I have never heard any liberal say anything remotely like that.

    The greatest disrespect that can be paid to our soldiers is to lie to them and their fellow Americans about why they’re being sent into harm’s way. This administration abused the sacred trust between our government and its military by doing that.

  97. northtexas
    June 30, 2008 at 9:58 am

    “Liberals only call service members “baby killers” in the fever dreams of the right wing. I have never heard any liberal say anything remotely like that.”

    The term ‘baby killers’ was a derogatory term used to identify Vietnam era veterans returning from the war by college age protesters who were in opposition to the draft. I doubt if it’s used much today…thank goodness!

  98. greg
    July 6, 2008 at 10:00 am

    northtexas, who do you think the majority of those college aged protesters are, they are everywhere and in power in alot of companies that also represent political think tanks that has political connections for the democrats(liberals)to pull for a certain agenda. as for the babykillers comment, quite a few have said that, you just don’t hear it on the main stream news because they are also ran by the veitnam era protesters which uses propoganda which is what they also do now in their position of power. one name who also was a vet, john murtha, is an example of who said that and there was also older protesters saying that crap with the youngies then and now.

  99. northtexas
    July 6, 2008 at 11:10 am

    My main point was that today you can go to any major airport and watch returning Iraq & Afghanistan soldiers being welcomed home by hundreds of strangers whereas the Vietnam era vets were greeted with contempt…or worse.

  100. northtexas
    July 6, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Leaked pix from Carrie’s soon to be released video of “Just A Dream”. Looks like it’s set during the 60′s Vietnam era probably trying to avoid the whole Iraq war issue.

    http://pulsemusic.proboards48.com./index.cgi?board=country&action=display&thread=61360&page=6#1668510

  101. northtexas
    July 7, 2008 at 9:13 am

    Well, perhaps it was a bit premature to assume it took place during the Vietnam War…look at the date on this letter she receives from the government.

    http://pulsemusic.proboards48.com./index.cgi?board=country&action=display&thread=61360&page=7#1670357

  102. leeann
    July 7, 2008 at 9:25 am

    “My main point was that today you can go to any major airport and watch returning Iraq & Afghanistan soldiers being welcomed home by hundreds of strangers
    whereas the Vietnam era vets were greeted with contempt

  103. J.s.eastman
    August 17, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    Coming from a Soldier, this isn’t much of a comment, and I know that everyone else is putting in their two cents. I agree with the number 1 pick, but I thought Dispatch’s The General would make it up there too…

  104. country ramblings
    October 5, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    Its really hard to pick one song, because any song that is written touches so many people, and gets to the bottom of the soul of all military members, music no matter who sings it, whether its rap, jazz, blues country etc… it doesnt matter because its the meaning and feelings the songs generate that really matter.

  105. Will
    October 13, 2008 at 6:10 am

    I’m a soldier serving in Korea. The best song for soldiers I’ve heard isn’t even a soldier’s song. Front Porch Looking In by Lonestar is what is in every soldier’s heart. It’s message is “I can’t wait to get back home to my family.” I do have a blue-eyed blonde that likes to dress herself and a little carrot top that can’t even walk yet. This is the perfect song for soldiers serving abroad.

  106. Valyssa Bree
    October 19, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    I know it may sound dumb but the comments on this post honestly made me cry.

    I’m 18, I have 3 friends who are currently in BCT/AIT and my question is… Why are they being trained to fight in a war to keep the peace overseas if we can’t even find peace amongst ourselves here at home?

    If I’m not mistaken this post was originally designed for someone to express their own personal opinions on what they viewed as the “best” War/Soldier songs. Instead we have to find reason within ourselves to bash each other for having an opinion. I must say I find it all very depressing. Just because someone liked a song you didn’t you have to turn against them.

    If we are fighting for freedom why can’t we be free to state our opinion on something as simple as a song without the fear of verbal and written lashings from others who disagree? Seriously… Just think about it.

    People draw different meanings from everything in life… Who are we to say they are wrong?

    ~ God Bless ALL of Our Troops!… Past, Present, and Future!

    <3 All of my Love to Zane, Foley, and Steven!

    God Bless!

  107. Drew
    October 20, 2008 at 12:41 am

    “Have You Forgotten” should be right near the top, a terrific piece of work by Worley.

  108. Elise
    December 11, 2008 at 2:32 am

    There is a new one from Trace Adkins out. I believe it is called Pray for Peace. “Say a prayer for peace. For every fallen son. Set my spirit free. Let me lay down my gun. Sweet mother Mary, I’m so tired. But I can’t come home ’til the last shot’s fired.”

  109. Diana
    February 17, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    Soldier’s Poem by Muse is really good too :)

  110. Ed Smith
    February 18, 2009 at 10:21 am

    Country? I don’t think so. Aside from Johnny Cash there’s a rock song about war for every country song named above that will blow this list away.

  111. Joe
    April 28, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    If you can find it, from a soldier’s perspective the song, “By God’s Amazing Grace” by luke stricklin, Great soldier’s song…not a very popular artist, but a great song…really speaks to me as a soldier…give it a listen, it’ll blow you away.

  112. Gunner Favron
    May 9, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    there is a song by rise against Hero of War is the most amazing soldier song of all time

  113. Sunshine T
    June 8, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    This list is very negative and depressing. I’d like to suggest a song from the Vietnam Era– I Believe I’m Gonna Make It by Joe Tex.

  114. merlefan49
    June 8, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    50,000 Names on the Wall George Jones
    This is my son Cherryholmes
    A casualty of war Larry Sparks
    More than a name on the wall The Statler Brothers
    Born in the USA Bruce Springsteen

  115. Marine Wife
    June 10, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    How can you all be in an argument over the war on this page?!? This list was simply to show the writers top 20 war and soldier songs. If you all have a problem with the war, GO CRY TO YOUR GOVERNMENT! This makes me absolutely sick to see people arguing over something so stupid on a website that is ONLY meant to show great war songs and the entire idea is to think about what these soldiers and marines and airmen are risking for you people. They are risking their lives for you idiots who are on here arguing about whether or not they should be there. I don’t approve the war but it doesn’t matter what I think. You all voted Obama into office knowing fully well the war would not end quickly. I stand a million percent behind my husband and the amazing people he fights with. If they weren’t out there volunteering their lives, who would? Think about that next time you’re glad that there is no draft. Thank about that the next time you go home and kiss your husbands and wives. Because there are many of us who would love to argue or hug or fall asleep next to the ones we love and we can’t. Because they are out there fighting for a country that doesn’t care about them.

  116. Jim
    June 20, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    what about Linkin Parks “Hands Held High?”

  117. casey
    August 3, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    does anyone remember a song from 05 or 06
    I think it was a guy talking about his brother going to war and all the thing he should’ve said but didn’t and all the thing he should’ve done but didn’t?

  118. Travis Lipes
    September 8, 2009 at 11:52 am

    if your reading this and american soldier needs to be here

  119. Milt Lane
    January 5, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Sorry to be well some what of a party pooper, I am just wondering from where the data was collected.

    I actually very few songs from my time frame in Vietnam 1969-1971 and my entire time 1966 – 1972in the US Army.

    Many of the songs both Country, rock, Soul and R&B are not even on here. With the exception of a few many or a lot of us crossed the lines from rock, country, soul and r&b it basically was what stirred us at the time or what it actually meant.

    Wish there was a site that just took the actual vets thoughts at their time, regardless of the war or as the politicians called both Korea and Vietnam a Police Action.

    Just an old vets thought not meant to condemn.

    Milt Lane

  120. Jon
    January 5, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    The comment above put me onto this discussion, which predates my stumbling onto The9513… I’m pleased to say that I wholeheartedly agree with Hollerin’ Ben:

    it just crossed my mind, another good song for the list would be Tom T. Hall’s “Hero in Harlan” that Chris Jones recorded on his latest cd on Little Dog Records.

    It’s an exceedingly powerful song – one of Tom T.’s best, in my opinion – and an exceedingly good recording.

  121. dan
    February 10, 2010 at 10:19 am

    for the older crowd
    Bell Bottom Blues /Theresa Brewer
    In the Navy/ Village People
    Sink the Bismark/J Horton
    Battle of New Orleans/ J Horton
    Deck of cards/ Wink Martindale
    Boogie Woogie Bugler Boy/ Bette Midler

  122. Donna
    May 10, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    I heard about a song about two brothers writing to each other..one in war and the other in college and for the life of me I do not know this song and I need some professional help!!

    Any ideas? I think it is a country song from nam era but I am not sure. It could be older than that.

    Thanks and I have enjoyed reading all your comments.
    Donna

  123. Colin
    May 18, 2010 at 2:56 am

    Cripes…. Billy Joel… Goodnight Saigon????

  124. Jim Malec
    May 18, 2010 at 3:18 am

    Cripes…this is a list of country songs…

  125. jai
    June 16, 2010 at 11:56 am

    You left out one of the very best. Roger Whitakers ‘The last farewell’. Everyone should go to youtube and check it out.

  126. deanna
    June 30, 2010 at 7:01 am

    feed jake by pirates of the mississippi is about the first gulf war and the guy that leaves is worried about his dog. i always get choked up about it.

  127. Michelle
    August 30, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Thanks for all the additional song suggestions. The man I love is in Afghanistan and goes back and forth from Kabul to Taji, Iraq. He’s been there more than a year. I am trying to find MOTIVATIONAL war/soldier songs…I love alot of these songs but I can’t upload a You Tube video that talks about him dying. I’ve gone through two pages of suggestions from Metallica to Blake Shelton. Anybody have suggestions for a motivational wartime song to put my video to music? He’s a medic and deals with death every day. Thank you to those who have responded who have served this great country! I don’t have any desire to talk politics on here, I just need some suggestions to motivate my sweetheart. He’s only got 72 more days, but who is counting? :)

  128. Lance
    December 13, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    Rushlow Harris – Bagpipes Cryin’

  129. Steven
    January 6, 2011 at 12:31 am

    Soldier By Mark Dakota, a song that is being spread quickly through the military Soldier to Soldier, is sung from the prospective of the the Soldier.
    Mark Dakota has offered his music to Soldiers and Military families for free as a way to support the Troops, proceeds from the song Soldier have been pledge to charities helping Veterans and family members.
    Soldier By Mark Dakota is a truly noteworthy War song.

  130. Dan
    February 7, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    hey you missed out a song, its called Bomb first by 2pac, amazing war/conflict song, very powerfull.

  131. Kyle
    February 22, 2011 at 1:25 am

    Just stumbled upon this in a random google search, but I have to voice my support for “Letters From Home”. There aren’t many songs that can choke me up, but I have a hard time getting through that third chorus without my eyes burning a little bit…

    Such a perfect vocal for the song, too.

  132. Ryan
    April 1, 2011 at 4:38 am

    As a Soldier, been deployed the song that means the most to me on the list is American Soldier because it really hits the hardest aspects of being a Soldier. However “If your reading this” should be on that list, amazing song.

  133. Waynoe
    April 1, 2011 at 7:23 am

    @Ryan – Thanks for your service! I have a son who is in the service as well. Of course, according to some, since I don’t use my real name I do not exist. However, I really do have a son in the Marines and he does have a real name.

  134. Alex
    April 2, 2011 at 9:10 am

    When i listen to “hero of war” by rise against, it just touches me and makes me have feelings that i can’t explain. I’d love to see that song on the list. Thank you to all those who served or are serving in the military!

  135. Deidra
    September 9, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    I miss you Daddy, i know i may never say it alot. but i really do. these last few weeks have been tough that your not around. moms holding up. im not :( if you can servive 39 years in the military, you can Servive another 3. , 365 days till you come Home, do our country Proud. i love you <3.

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