Sunday, May 29, 2016

Memorial Day Music - Duty, Grace, Thanks and Faith

Memorial Day Photo by Sylvestermouse
Photo by Sylvestermouse

Every year on the last Monday in May, now known as Memorial Day, the United States honors those who have served.

Across the land, citizens bow their heads to thank those who put their lives on the line and shed tears of pride and pain for those who paid the ultimate price.

This celebration weekend will be filled with food, family gatherings, reflection, and music.

If your gathering needs the right song with just the right words, you'll want to add these message-driven country songs to your playlist.

Country Songs for Your Memorial Day Weekend and Beyond
These Song Choices Speak to Duty, Grace, Thanks, and ultimately, the Soul's Peace, Faith

American Soldier by Toby Keith

Those who serve do so with a sense of duty to family, country, and a better world. They don't do it for the glory, they don't do it for the money, they just do it, and although they give a piece of their soul, they don't want to die, but if that happens, they do it for us. That's what a sense of duty is.

They are out there, on the front lines, seeing, feeling, living things we'll never fully understand ... things they never want their kids to have to live through. Their sense of duty goes beyond one lifetime. That's what this first song is about.

Listen to this song, and you'll feel the heartbeat of an American Soldier:

The Angels Came Down by Kevin Costner & Modern West

(Yes, that Kevin Costner)Modern West performed this song in April 2014 at a ceremony where a memorial was dedicated to five men who died in  Afghanistan.

The song was written with the Civil War in mind. The lyrics provide grace through the visual of angels coming to rescue souls from blood-stained battlefields.

The haunting lyrics paint a picture of the ultimate sacrifice and ultimate love. They experience the grace of angels carrying their souls to a place of peace. The best lyric is, "They left no one, and they placed no blame" -  what this world has the potential to be, no blame.
(Lyrics) And the Angels came down to the fallen men
and they held their hands as they prayed for them
they carried their souls beyond the moon and the sun
they prayed for them one by one
The Angels worked so hard for so many years
to heaven and back again, they shed so many tears
they left no one and they placed no blame
walking all alone in the southern rain

I Want You to Live, by George Canyon

As a Canadian writing this article, I want to thank all who have served and continue to serve on both sides of our border. No matter our political leanings, we all share a few things in common: The lands of the free and prayers that our men and women return home to us safe and alive.

Our tears are your tears; your tears are our tears. We're neighbors sharing the longest free border in the world. To those of you who have lost someone, no matter which side of the border you live on, know that I include you in my prayers and thank you with every breath we and our children take. We see the gift of our loved ones smiling faces come courtesy of many before us who paid for that freedom with their life. It will never be forgotten.

This song by Canadian Country Artist George Canyon says it well; 'I Want You to Live.'

(Lyrics) "Takes all of her strength to go through his things; it feels like she's holding him again, the letters he wrote, the books he read, and some of the shirts still have his scent."...

While we pray for peace, we thank all who have served and continue to serve, making the ultimate contribution toward mankind's achieving that goal: perfect union.

Believe by Brooks & Dunn 

I'll end this selection of songs for Memorial Day with this message of faith delivered in lyrics that tell the story of a little boy and his close friend, 'Old Man Wrigley.'

Old Man Wrigley, who served in the Navy, positively influenced this young boy's life. This little boy, now a young man away at school, receives a call from his mom to inform him that Old Man Wrigley died. The news hits him hard.

The passing of his old friend causes this young man to reflect on this sweet old man who taught him more about Purpose than he had imagined in the springtime of his life.
(Lyrics) I can't quote the book
The chapter or the verse
You can't tell me it all ends ... In a slow ride in a hearse
You know I'm more and more convinced
The longer that I live
Yeah, this can't be
No, this can't be
No, this can't be all there is
These words by Brooks & Dunn sprinkle light on the pain of loss. Your loved ones, my loved ones, are still with us. When that salty water leaks out of your eyes, there's a hand you can't see wiping away that tear. I believe.

Hold on to love; you'll take it with you.

With Love, Always, Barbara

You Can Find these Four Songs to Add to Your Playlist Here

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  1. Very powerful messages you have shared here through these song selections, Barbara. May this Memorial Day be a good holiday for us here at home, but also a day in which we take a moment to reflect on those who paid the ultimate price for the freedom we have today. And, wow, I had no idea Kevin Costner could sing. Wonderful song!

  2. Pat, thank you. And I was quite surprised about Kevin Costner myself

  3. The songs you choose for our Memorial Day celebration are perfect Barbara! I thank you so much for working with us on this holiday compilation. Memorial Day is a difficult holiday for many of us, but we still need to remember the real reason we set that day aside as a day of respect and to remember those you gave everything for this country and this music definitely helps us to remember. Our family has had members in every major war including that first American Revolutionary war when we fought for our independence. The ones who came home, came back changed forever. Obviously, I didn't know them all, but I am so grateful to those men who fought for us; the generation that has followed after them. I often think, we are not worthy of their sacrifice.

  4. Great selections of Memorial Day music!

  5. Beautifully said Cynthia, these holidays of remembrance help to make us worthy. We've had family in in wars as well, and having four sons myself I just don't know how families endure their children going off to war. But they do, and they do it with grace and tremendous sacrifice. Like you said, and those who do come back come back changed forever. That was the case with the family of someone I know. Very difficult.

  6. Wonderful sentiment and beautiful music here, Barbara. Our sons came back safe from war, but they had friends with them who did not and will be honored this Memorial Day weekend. Somehow the feelings that everyone feels are best explained in song.

    1. So sorry to hear about the loss of your sons friends, so difficult. My prayers will include them as well - beyond words. Grateful your boys made it home; wonderful sons.

  7. I lost a friend I went to school with in the Vietnam war. I know how I felt when I saw his name on the Memorial Wall in Washington. I love the music you chose for remembering those we lost.

    1. Sorry for your loss Barbara, seeing your friends name carved in stone must cause a rush of emotion everytime

  8. Thanks Barbara for sharing these songs. What a wonderful way to start my Memorial Day!

  9. Very nice Memorial Day post. The thoughts of those who never made it home have been on my mind. These music choices fit my thoughts wonderfully. I was surprised by the Kevin Costner song; I didn't know he sang!


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