20 Songs About Soldiers

Songs about soldiers often encapsulate the raw emotions, harrowing experiences, and profound stories of those who have served in the military. This article explores 20 songs that delve into various aspects of military life, from the valor and sacrifices of soldiers to the dark and complex nature of warfare.

1. “The Ballad of the Green Berets” by Sgt. Barry Sadler

“The Ballad of the Green Berets” by Sgt. Barry Sadler emerged as a patriotic anthem during the Vietnam War era, deeply resonating with the American public. Its lyrics pay homage to the Green Berets, highlighting their bravery and dedication as members of the U.S. Army Special Forces.

2. “Rooster” by Alice in Chains

“Rooster” by Alice in Chains delves into the harrowing experiences of the Vietnam War, drawing from the deeply personal story of Jerry Cantrell’s father. The song reflects the resilience and struggles of those who served, connecting listeners to the emotional realities of war.

3. “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

“Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival stands out as a powerful anti-war anthem, critiquing the political and social injustices associated with the Vietnam War. Its lyrics challenge the disparities faced by the less privileged, drawn into conflict while the elite are spared.

4. “Brothers in Arms” by Dire Straits

“Brothers in Arms” by Dire Straits captures the profound emotional impact of war, focusing on the deep bonds formed between soldiers amidst the chaos. This song eloquently expresses the shared experiences of loss, love, and brotherhood that are forged on the battlefield.

5. “One” by Metallica

“One” by Metallica delves into the tragic narrative of a soldier grappling with severe war injuries, rendering a haunting anti-war message. The song’s powerful lyrics and imagery highlight the physical and psychological scars endured by those who survive the horrors of conflict.

6. “The Trooper” by Iron Maiden

“The Trooper” by Iron Maiden draws its inspiration from the historic Charge of the Light Brigade, vividly depicting the fierce intensity and valor on the battlefield. The song serves as a tribute to the bravery and tragedy of soldiers caught in the chaos of war.

7. “Indestructible” by Disturbed

“Indestructible” by Disturbed embodies the theme of resilience and perceived invincibility soldiers often need to summon in the face of war’s daunting challenges. Its powerful lyrics and aggressive sound convey a sense of determination and strength amidst the turmoil of battle.

8. “Hero of War” by Rise Against

“Hero of War” by Rise Against offers a compelling narrative from a soldier’s perspective on the Iraq War, delving into the moral conflicts and challenges faced by those on the front lines. The song exposes the complexities of war and the personal struggles with duty and conscience experienced by soldiers.

9. “Born in the U.S.A.” by Bruce Springsteen

“Born in the U.S.A.” by Bruce Springsteen, often misunderstood as a purely patriotic anthem, critically narrates the story from a Vietnam War veteran‘s viewpoint. It challenges the treatment of veterans, shedding light on their struggles and disillusionment upon returning home.

10. “Soldier’s Poem” by Muse

“Soldier’s Poem” by Muse takes a more poetic approach in its war criticism, offering a poignant plea for peace. Through its tender lyrics, the song reflects on the futility of conflict and the universal desire for harmony and understanding.

11. “Goodnight Saigon” by Billy Joel

“Goodnight Saigon” by Billy Joel extends a heartfelt tribute to Vietnam War veterans, focusing on the sense of camaraderie and brotherhood among soldiers. Its moving lyrics and melody echo the solidarity and shared experiences of those who served together in Vietnam.

12. “Travelin’ Soldier” by The Chicks

“Travelin’ Soldier” by The Chicks weaves a touching love story set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, highlighting the poignant letter exchanges between a young soldier and a girl back home. This narrative captures the personal and emotional connections that sustain those separated by war.

13. “Warrior” by Kid Rock

“Warrior” by Kid Rock serves as a rousing military tribute, celebrating the courage and sacrifice of U.S. military personnel. Through its energetic melody and patriotic lyrics, the song honors those who bravely serve their country.

14. “American Soldier” by Toby Keith

“American Soldier” by Toby Keith delves into the patriotism and complex realities of military life, offering listeners a glimpse into the pride and challenges faced by soldiers. The song resonates with themes of dedication, sacrifice, and the personal cost of serving one’s country.

15. “I Was Only 19” by Redgum

“I Was Only 19” by Redgum brings attention to the experiences of Australian Vietnam veterans, highlighting the profound post-war effects on their lives. The song poignantly addresses the lasting impacts of war, including the struggles with PTSD and societal reintegration faced by young soldiers returning home.

16. “The Green Fields of France” by Eric Bogle

“The Green Fields of France” by Eric Bogle tells the moving story of a young soldier’s life and untimely death in World War I. Through its narrative, the song reflects on the tragedy of war, as seen through the lens of a visit to a soldier’s grave, questioning the cost of conflict.

17. “Disposable Heroes” by Metallica

“Disposable Heroes” by Metallica offers a stark anti-war message, critiquing the treatment of soldiers as pawns in the vast machinery of conflict. The song powerfully condemns the disposability of human lives in warfare, calling into question the values and decisions of those who command them.

18. “Soldier of Fortune” by Deep Purple

“Soldier of Fortune” by Deep Purple explores the personal journey and introspective reflection of a life spent as a soldier of fortune. Its poignant lyrics delve into the emotional and personal costs of a life on the move, marked by battles and fleeting encounters.

19. “19” by Paul Hardcastle

“19” by Paul Hardcastle is a powerful commentary on the Vietnam War, notably highlighting the young average age of soldiers and the profound impact of PTSD. The song uses narrative and statistical data to shed light on the psychological scars borne by veterans, emphasizing the lasting consequences of war.

20. “Dear John” by Taylor Swift ft. The Civil Wars

“Dear John” by Taylor Swift ft. The Civil Wars captures the deeply personal loss and emotional turbulence surrounding a soldier’s departure. Through its heartfelt lyrics, the song portrays the pain and longing experienced by those who remain, waiting and hoping for the safe return of their loved ones.