Memorial Day isn’t all about barbecues and beaches, a long weekend and a long neck. It is about our United States troops who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country, losing their lives as they dedicated themselves to maintaining our freedom.
Country music is known for its array of patriotic songs, honoring soldiers, our nation’s colors, and the liberties we enjoy as Americans. The genre has also produced some of the most touching tributes and story songs about those who were deployed for a tour of duty and never returned home. On this Memorial Day, we urge you to listen to these beautiful songs, remember the reason for the holiday, and cherish another day living in the home of the brave.
Billy Ray Cyrus – “Some Gave All”
Billy Ray Cyrus tells the story of a man who taught a valuable lesson in his song “Some Gave All.” The message from the man Cyrus speaks of is that while you enjoy your liberties in the U.S.A., remember that some gave all for your rights. We honor those fallen soldiers today.
Big & Rich – “8th Of November”
In 1965, forty-eight American soldiers lost their lives in an ambush. Big & Rich honor those who fell on November 8, 1965 with this song that tells the story of one man who experienced the battle firsthand, Niles Harris. We remember these soldiers this Memorial Day.
Carrie Underwood – “Just A Dream”
A Carrie Underwood story song that will capture your heart, “Just A Dream” tells a tale from the perspective of a significant other who lost the love of her life while he was fighting for our country. Rather than walking into the church to marry her love, the eighteen year-old was forced to bury him and their future together after he was killed in action. We pray for those who have suffered the same loss.
Jo Dee Messina – “Heaven Was Needing A Hero”
We spotlighted Jo Dee Messina’s “Heaven Was Needing A Hero” last week, but a Memorial Day playlist would be incomplete without its inclusion. Written in remembrance of the first woman soldier who was killed in Iraq, Messina’s song has been providing comfort to those who have said goodbye to loved ones for years. This Memorial Day we remember all of the heroes in Heaven.
Lee Brice – “I Drive Your Truck”
This award-winning, heartbreaking song is sung from the perspective of a man who lost his brother at war. In order to spend time with him and feel his presence, the character Lee Brice beautifully portrays drives his truck, keeping everything the way it was left, and leaves his pain in the tire tracks. Let us bow our heads and honor the fallen and pray for those left behind.
Radney Foster – “Angel Flight”
In Radney Foster’s touching “Angel Flight,” the celebrated country artist takes on the role of a pilot who is flying a fallen soldier home to be laid to rest. During the quiet flight, Foster reflects on the hero who is joining him in his travels, promising that in the transition from Earth to Heaven, the man is not alone. We tip our hats to those who have watched their brothers fall and thank them for their service.
Tim McGraw – “If You’re Reading This”
In a letter to loved ones, Tim McGraw sings from the perspective of a man who lost his life in battle and is telling everybody all the things he never got to say before his death. “If You’re Reading This” is a reminder of what a dangerous job these soldiers know they have, yet they risk their lives to protect ours. We thank them from the bottoms of our hearts.
Trace Adkins – “Arlington”
In “Arlington,” Trace Adkins sings as a fallen soldier whose final resting place is the Arlington Cemetery in Virginia. Rather than being sad that his life came to an abrupt end, the soldier feels a sense of pride that he was chosen to be buried among other heroes on the sacred grounds, including his own father. Let’s remember all those in Arlington Cemetery on this day.
Bonus: Lee Greenwood – “God Bless The U.S.A.”
You can’t have a patriotic-themed playlist without this champion of a song. God bless our troops; God bless our country; and God bless each of you who is reading this.