Five Songs for Remembrance Day

[This is my column in today’s Metro newspapers. – AC]

The solemnity of November 11 should never be forgotten.  Our thoughts turn to the fallen and to the families they left behind.  Here’s a playlist of songs that commemorate this day beyond the traditional playing of “The Last Post.”

 “Sky Pilot” by Eric Burdon and the Animals:  With the Viet Nam War at its peak 1968, the Animals released this seven-and-a-half minute, three-movement song about a chaplain who blesses the troops before they leave on a mission.  Although it doesn’t feature any obvious anti-war lyrics, the imagery and the era in which it was released have caused it to be categorized as a protest song. 

 “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda” by the Pogues:  Written by an Australian singer-songwriter named Eric Bogle in 1971, the song tells the story of the Battle of Gallipoli during WW I through the eyes of a young Aussie soldier.  There are many covers of this song but none are as moving as the Pogues version found on the Rum, Sodomy & the Lash album from 1985.

Read the rest here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

2 thoughts on “Five Songs for Remembrance Day

  • November 11, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    "War Trilogy" by late Toronto singer-songwriter-guitarist Matthew Osborne is amazing. Not only is it a powerful song, but you won't believe that the recording was done in one single live take, and with only one guitar.

  • November 11, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    I'll add The Trews song Highway of Heroes to this list.


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