This Week in the Mercury

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veterans Day

Posted by Ezra Ace Caraeff on Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 12:01 PM


In honor of Veterans Day we've decided to compile a few military-related songs to honor the complex nature of our brave vets and the wars they fight. "Ballad of the Green Berets" is the song most fitting, although this Johnny Cash version is a little looser than the Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler original. Plus, Cash was probably high on pills while singing it.

Johnny Cash - "Ballad of the Green Berets"

If "Ballad of the Green Berets" was the brave call to arms, Jason Isbell's "Dress Blues" is the sad reminder of the heavy cost of battle. The former Drive-By Truckers guitarist penned arguably the finest modern war song, the heartbreaking tale of a kid from his hometown returning from Iraq in a casket: "You never planned on the bombs in the sand or sleeping in your dress blues."

Jason Isbell - "Dress Blues"

War clearly isn't for everyone, but since there will never be a Draft Dodgers Day (I guess that's every day), we're including Phil Ochs' proud ode to skipping out on combat, "Draft Dodger Rag." There is also a Pete Seeger version of this song (shocking, right?), but the Ochs' version always sounded better to me. "So I wish you well, Sarge, give 'em Hell! Kill me a thousand or so/And if you ever get a war without blood and gore I'll be the first to go."

Phil Ochs - "Draft Dodger Rag"


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