@Pretty.Poison.Bombshell - Ahh, so glad to be able to listen to that again. I can see why it was powerful enough to affect the soul for you, and join with you on having mine spoken to by it, as well! It had me at the very beginning with its calm, and held me through the next few minutes in a place of peace and reflection. Thank you for sharing it, and the absolute jewel of a song that “Brave Souls” is, with us! They’re a perfect set of songs for so important a day, and for so special a group of people - this community’s full of souls both beautiful and brave, I agree!
@Reaganfan78 - Hello there, keeper of the peace (by that, I mean… thank you for being so kind as to make sure I don’t earn stern chastisement for touching items that aren’t mine first, and reading warnings not to do so, second ) - I’ve been meaning to look up who sang the official version of “God Bless the USA,” and you’ve solved the mystery for me, so I offer another thank you for that, as well!
On the whole, there are so many touching songs in your list, and I like how you covered the spectrum of subjects with them - from being country-specific, to soldier-specific, and those touching on battle/war, but all of them powerful and capable of affecting the listener deeply in an assortment of ways. It really sums up the feelings a day like Memorial Day can bring to the surface.
@LDFM - Same here on the one song choice. On a day like that, it felt like the feeling could only be summed up with one on my playlist. I think the case is true of your song, too! Listening to it with closed eyes makes me think of ripples,and reverberations. It’s all sound, strumming at the strings of the soul. No visuals come to mind, which makes the music video all the better - something that breathtaking carries a power all its own without the need for flashy visuals, so the camera’s panning out like it does to show you what it does, is all it needs. It’s hard to put into words how much I love your pick.
@ralphsix - Oh, how did you know Tom’s voice was exactly what we needed this week? His really is such a special treasure in how it takes emotion and finely tunes it - I’ve heard songs of his so raw, it feels like they’ve undone emotional scabs you thought had fully healed, and then pieces like the one you shared which feel like balm cooling heat of inflamed feelings so disorienting that they have no name. Have you ever seen anything from Boardwalk Empire, by the way? That song’s lyrics (and, well, his voice) reminds me of my fav character from the show - sharing this in case you want to see what I mean. Thank you for the fantastic song!
@ajm08g - Ooh, their music’s always been a staple on my personal playlist, so I must say, Alter Bridge is a very welcome addition to the list for me, too! They have such a knack for taking topics like this, and creating lyrics that come together to form a combination of deep symbolism and meaning that’s amplified even more by the amount of emotion so beautifully expressed by the lead singer. I can’t agree with your sentiment more concerning the chorus. That song’s amazing! Thank you!
@TravisMorgan - You’re coming in with a heavy hitting group of choices this week, I see! I’m glad you addressed both the soldiers themselves, and war, choosing a group of songs that give an atmosphere that’s both structured (with “The Ballad of the Green Berets,” for example) and more laid back, as with “Heroes.” “The Unknown Soldier” had a video that hit me hard, which I didn’t expect, but I understand why you chose it to be symbolic of war. Putting both sets of songs together really shows why you’d go with the ones you chose for the soldiers. The last two do well at showing how stressful what it is they go through, and indeed, why they’re well-deserving of the title of “heroes.” I love what you did with these!
@BestBeastBoy - Aww, no wonder that song makes you tear up! Its story, and the accompanying video are enough to make to make the heart wrench, and is such a poignant reminder of the impression those we lose leave behind - on our lives, our minds, our hearts. Just looking at something that belonged to them, or smelling their cologne/perfume can trigger a memory, bring tears, or a smile. For me, the songs that end up being my favorite are the ones that make me misty-eyed, so this one’s clearly getting added to said list, in addition to our weekly playlist. I’m so glad your brother returned safely, and send thanks for his service!
@McEddard - That’s a fascinating song - my experience with ballads has always featured sad ones, so, I had to get my heartstrings ready for this one, too, when going through the lyrics and researching more about it. While I’m pleased to add this to my “Today I Learned” list, I agree… what a sad outcome for him! The song does a good job putting the two lives that he experienced side by side, contrasting so that, once finished, it lingers in the mind powerfully. I appreciate your sharing this - it provides some serious food for thought, and makes me reflect on history in an important way.
@patterson65.37405 - Oh my, I love the sharing of Ray Charles from you this week! And to answer your question… nope, I can’t think of a better version! He has a special way about him that adds just the right note and essence to what he sings, and you’re left to happily float in that space that exists between the wall of “awe” and “inspiring.” It’s music to the ears, and chicken soup for the soul, and, without a doubt, adding James Brown to the mix makes for a double dose of it! That was such a lovely combo, thank you!
@DeSade-acolyte - My goodness, your family gives us so much to be thankful for, and I’m equally thankful for your sharing so much of your wonderful story with us! With all that you described, it’s easy to see why Memorial Day’s such a difficult one for you, on top of experiencing what you have with family, having the conversation that you did on base at such a young age. Completely understand where you’re coming from with the concept of moral ambiguity, and conflicting feelings, too. Having to grapple with the two is difficult, and sometimes even a lifetime doesn’t seem a long enough time for proper reflection on such issues.
That said, I think you did an excellent job with your choice of songs, and think they probe and explore the exposed and hidden spaces within the landscape of our thoughts and feelings well, especially when it comes to the different genres used. I didn’t expect the humor, for example, with Tom Lehrer’s songs, and especially the laugh that your explanation for the School House Rock inclusion caused. You’re definitely right, as it seems many talk more than they read, similar to how more talk than they listen - makes me think of how my parents would bring up the fact that we have one mouth, but two eyes/ears for a reason.
I would’ve never thought to apply “Built for Speed” the way you did, but I can see where you were going with that. I’ve sometimes wondered about that too - how does one unwind after an experience in a war zone, for example? How does one fully decompress, and what if you can’t, or don’t want to (for example, liking the buzz of energy that comes from being needed and helpful to others in so physically active a manner)?
We’re similar in the Native American aspect - same here, both in genealogy, and connection felt, so I completely understand there. Thank you for the information on the Occupation of Alcatraz - I find, when listening to older songs, we can sometimes lose sense of the context of things when we’re unable to connect the dots to what were current events at the time, so that’s incredibly helpful! It adds a new layer to that song, which I already liked the sound of, but certainly listen to with a different ear now. Having a nuclear war playlist also sounds like something I’d go for, oddly enough (here’s looking at you, Fallout players, lol), so that’d probably be first on the list, I agree.
You went with an interesting set of songs for “Destination Unknown,” and “No Pictures of Dad,” as the two go together really well in tempo, but go together all the same in their both symbolizing loss - in one case, loss of certainty, and the other, the loss of family. And, I can see why you chose The Human League’s songs in light of your experiences. Being able to connect the two makes listening to them a fuller experience because you provide outside context I couldn’t come close to having myself, and it’s wonderful! As is, per your usual, your ability to put together songs that mesh so well - this is certainly true when transitioning to War and Fun Boy Three.
You set up an intriguing question when asking what to do with the freedom given to us - one only has so much time, so the decision of how to spend it is important. Devo’s songs, particularly the first one, of course, makes me want to ask, by comparison, how hard choosing what to do with it is vs adequately acquiring it. Is there a song that you’ve shared that explains what you’ve chosen (or in any hypothetical, would choose) with your freedom of choice? I love the list of options you’ve shared, with “Stand Down Margaret” being one of my favorites of the bunch.
The set of Andrews Sisters songs easily bring a smile - what a great way to show the enjoyable moments! And let me tell you, those of us with a thing for TCM are not disappointed, that’s for sure! But wrapping everything up with satire is perfect (it reminds me to go read some more Mark Twain, too, lol). Being big into eschatology, I’ve thought about that song’s topic quite often, so that eaves my mind pensive, thinking about WW3, again. Through your introduction to him, I’ve found I love the way Tom Lehrer chooses to handle topics like that, and with a playlist like this, it’s a good way to go full circle. What a fantastic ride you took us on this week - one thank you isn’t enough!
@Razzzcat - I really enjoyed where you went with your choices, especially since you’re right, usually we do spend the day thinking of those we’ve lost, but sometimes forget to remember that there are those who’ve returned to us after having sacrificed by giving a piece of themselves, too (be it on a physical, emotional, psychological level, etc). You certainly raise the bar in covering all of those bases, and I can see why you chose to stick with instrumentals. They manage to speak to the listener in ways that words do not, and really leave a lasting impression - the OST from Wonder Woman will always be a winner, but is made all the more complete with the Bugle Call. What a way to set the tone for the day - kudos!