Remembering those who fell: A Memorial Day playlist

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There’s often a lot of confusion between Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day, at least among civilians.

The men and women who wear the uniform understand, however. Oh, they bear our misguided salutes on the former and don’t mind at all if we honor the dead on the latter, but for the sake of clarification: Memorial Day honors those who died while serving in the military. Veterans Day honors the service of all those living who have served. For more about that distinction from a military perspective, you can read a piece on the website right here.

It’s from that perspective that we chose to compile a Memorial Day playlist while we take a week off from interviews on this Monday. Yes, Memorial Day is also the unofficial start of summer, and our kick-off artist, James McMurtry, acknowledges that … but then we take a trip through various conflicts with songs that touch on the sacrifice of those who served. You’ll find some songs by some Ties alumni — singer-songwriter Scott Miller’s tale of the Civil War Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse is particularly harrowing, and we’ve included a song by Griffin House as well. Steve Earle — himself in recovery, but not an interview subject of this blog just yet — is another selection, and Old Crow Medicine Show — a band that Ties alum Critter Fuqua was a part of for many years — contributes another track. Oh, and we can't forget a stellar selection by Griffin House.

Jason Isbell … Tom Waits … Trace Adkins — all of them have sobriety stories we’d love to tell eventually, but the songs they write are what inspire us so, and our picks from their catalogs for this particular playlist are powerful ones.

We’re grateful for your continued patronage, and we’re honored to continue telling great stories. We’ll be back next week, but for this weekend, enjoy a day off, if you get one … enjoy the summer season, if you’re so inclined … observe Memorial Day in whatever way you choose … and remember: The ties that bind us together — as recovering folks, as fellow Americans, as human beings trying the best we can — are stronger than those that would tear us apart. As long as we remember that and do our best to take it to heart, all will be well.

Have a blessed Memorial Day.



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