Top 10 Memorial Day Songs

| May 20, 2024

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day, and it goes back to the Civil War.  The idea was to take a day and place flowers or a flag on the graves of soldiers.  There are a lot of country songs that have a patriotic theme to them.  Our Top 10 list focuses on recent country songs that specifically honor fallen soldiers.

#10: For You–Keith Urban was commissioned to write this song in 2012 for the movie “Act of Valor.” The movie showed the real life sacrifice of Navy SEALs, and Keith compared their commitment to his own devotion to his wife and family.

#9: Letters From Home–John Michael Montgomery recorded this song in 2004, during the Iraq War. It tells the story of a soldier’s life overseas. The video was filmed at an Army base in Tennessee.

#8: Riding With Private Malone–David Ball released this song just one month before 9-11, and it struck a chord with country fans after the towers fell.  The song was inspired by the story of a haunted 1966 Corvette.

#7: The Ones That Didn’t Make It Back Home–This Justin Moore song topped the chart in 2019, inspired by soldiers, but also other first responders, such as police and firemen.

#6: If You’re Reading This–One of several songs released after 9-11.  Tim McGraw debuted this song on the 2007 Academy of Country Music Awards, and it became a Top 10 hit, despite the fact that Tim had another song in the chart at the same time.

#5: Arlington–The song was inspired by the story of the first solider from Tennessee to die in the Iraq War.  Trace Adkins released the song as a single in 2005.  The follow-up, by the way, was “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk.”

#4: Just a Dream–Carrie Underwood had a #1 with this song, that tells the story of a woman going to church in her wedding dress, not to be married, but instead to attend the funeral of her husband, who had been killed in action.

#3: Some Gave All–Written and recorded in 1992 by Billy Ray Cyrus, it was inspired by a conversation he had with a Vietnam Veteran he met at a bar in Kentucky.   The song was the title of Billy’s debut album that contained “Achy Breaky Heart,” and went on to sell over 9 million copies.

#2: American Soldier–Toby Keith wrote this song during one of his USO trips to Afghanistan.   It was a 4-week #1 in the winter of 2004.

#1: I Drive Your Truck–This 2012 Lee Brice song was inspired by the story of the parents of a soldier killed in Afghanistan.  When asked how they cope with the death of their only son, the father says he drives his late son’s truck.  It won Song of the Year at the 2014 Academy of Country Music.


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