Wide Open Country is here to get your Memorial Day playlist started with these 10 holiday-appropriate selections, featuring some of the biggest country stars of the past 40 years.
"Still a Soldier," Trace Adkins
Trace Adkins is one of the proudest and most eloquent patriots in the business, so it was hard to pick just one of his songs. After some deliberation, the nod goes to this recent cut about soldiers adjusting to life on the home front.
"I Drive Your Truck," Lee Brice
One of the most lyrically-rich mainstream singles of the past decade tells of a man who proudly inherited a truck after his brother gave his life for our country.
"They Also Serve," John Conlee
When young men and women enlist or get drafted, it impacts their loved ones directly. John Conlee sings this one for every parent, child or spouse to suffer through sleepless nights apart from their soldier.
"Ships That Don't Come In," Joe Diffie
The normally rambunctious Joe Diffie slowed things down for one of the most touching songs about all of the soldiers to never make it back home.
"God Bless the USA," Lee Greenwood
It's a little overplayed all these years later, but few country music standards better state the meaning of Memorial Day.
"American Soldier," Toby Keith
Like Adkins, Toby Keith is pretty much synonymous with patriotic songs. While some of his other selections are polarizing, to say the least, this one's a genuine celebration of our troops.
"If You're Reading This" by Tim McGraw
This McGraw co-write is one of the most heart-breaking country songs of the young century. It's a letter a soldier had written for his significant other, just in case he died in the line of duty.
"Letters From Home," John Michael Montgomery
In this song, a soldier overseas gets a moment of respite from his dangerous job whenever he gets mail from his parents and loved ones.
"For You," Keith Urban
A less obvious pick for such a playlist is Keith Urban's musical ode to the brave, dedicated and elite soldiers in the Navy SEALs.
"Bumper of my SUV," Chely Wright
Chely Wright sings this true story about a disgruntled motorist's disapproval of the pro-military bumper sticker she proudly displayed in honor of her brother while he served in Iraq.
This post was originally published in 2018.
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