Memorial Day, in Music

Memorial Day may be more commonly referenced as the unofficial start of summer, but its origins are in honoring our deceased military. Confused or unsure about the difference between it and, say, Veterans Day? Here’s a succinct explanation from Yahoo today.

The original name of Memorial Day was Decoration Day, something referenced in the Drive-By Truckers’ song of the same name:

My favorite Memorial Day appropriate song, however, may be Naked Raygun’s “Soldier’s Requiem. Aside from the fact that it just plain rocks, the lyrics are concise and clear (at least when you see them written down, not so much as they’re shouted in the recording):

And so it begins – that some things last forever
This spirit endure – the courage that failed them never
So let valor erase – the lies that sought to deceive them

And so for now – I see it very clearly
A soldier in time – knows just what he holds dearly

And so it became – that time was not on their side
And yet it remains – until we breathe our breath
Like tears in rain – there is no shame in your death

Watching the pre-race ceremonies at today’s Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race in Charlotte, I was pleased to see a nice nod to Memorial Day with the bagpipes playing “Amazing Grace”, the 21 gun salute, and the flyover. It’s too soon for that to be online but here’s a similar moment from last year’s race:

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