by editor on May 16, 2009

Let’s make one thing clear right up front. This is not your typical list of patriotic songs. Hardly.

Each song on this list, while not a military song, was chosen because it expresses something honest about the troops. Their heart. Their grit. Their toughness. Their tenderness. The lives they lead that ordinary mortals can never imagine.

These are songs for the troops, about the troops. These are the songs that speak to them. The songs that inspired them to enlist. The songs that remind them to re-up. The songs that get them revved up. The songs they sing. The songs they live. The songs they love. Not military songs, but hopefully they will love them.


We were torn. Do we include the Jimmy Hendrix instrumental version or the Ted Nugent version. Let’s see, Ted’s a patriot and Jimi was a screwed up liberal drug addict. Let’s go with Ted.


Used by the U.S. Navy in its recruiting commercials for three years. The band has a reputation for being pro-Bush and pro-military, which confuses the hell out of some of its fans. Good for Godsmack.

Click to go to video at youtube


We’re glad there are guys (and gals) with the guts to do the really difficult things that need to be done out there. We don’t have the guts to do it and we thank God every day that they won’t back down. This is Johnny Cash’s military tribute cover of the original Tom Petty song.


Lynyrd Skynyrd is the prototypical Southern rock band. They bleed red, white and blue. We love the lyrics in this song and think they must express perfectly how a lot of military vets feel:

My hair’s turning white,
my neck’s always been red,
my collar’s still blue,
we’ve always been here
just trying to sing the truth to you.
Yes you could say
we’ve always been,
Red, White, and Blue


Here’s Clint Black’s country anthem for the guys over there in that other country:

I-raq, I rack ‘em up and I roll,
I’m back and I’m a hi-tech GI Joe.
I pray for peace, prepare for war
and I never will forget ~
there’s no price too high for freedom
so be careful where you tread.


Here is Toby Keith’s American Soldier. If this song doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, you’re a cold, heartless son of a bitch. It expresses all the anguish, all the pain, all the hope, all the love of country that none of us can possibly understand. Thanks, guys. We can’t tell you how much we appreciate everything you do for all of us here at home.

Click to watch the video on Youtube


Ted Nugent, the Motor City Madman, spent a couple years in a supergroup called Damn Yankees. We doubt that the Founding Fathers ever imagined the phrase “Don’t Tread On Me” would be interpreted quite like Ted and the boys do it. WARNING: As always, Ted’s heart’s in the right place, but you might not appreciate his vocabulary.


If you’re not a heavy metal fan, you may be surprised to find out how much those long-haired headbangers support America and her troops. Tell it like it is, Iron Maiden.

Far away from the land of our birth
We fly a flag in some foreign earth
We sailed away like our fathers before
These colors don’t run from a cold, bloody war


This song has absolutely nothing to do with the military nor Iraq nor Afghanistan. We’ve included it because it’s a boot camp/basic training favorite played over and over again while recruits are doing push-ups. “Drop and give me 50, soldier,” the drill sergeant growled.


Nobody combines kick ass rock and roll with right wing screeds quite like Sammy Hagar.

You in the Middle East, be on your toes
We’re bound to strike, everybody knows
Just tell your friends, the USSR
We’re gonna, we’re gonna crash that party
‘Cause they’ve gone to far


The thing we love about art is that its meaning is open to interpretation. We know this song is about wild rock ‘n roll debauchery, but it seems to us that the guys in Iraq must often feel as if they’re an american band. A band of brothers, so to speak.


Like we said, the thing we love about art is that its meaning is open to interpretation. And that interpretation can be colored by the times. The guys in The Clash were committed radical leftists. So it must annoy the hell out of them to know that Rock The Casbah has become one of the most requested songs on the radio among American and British forces in Iraq.

Click to watch video at Youtube


We’re prepared to catch flak for this selection. Too humorous, too gay, too whatever. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is a hot subject these days, but we’re pretty sure no one would have had to ask about the Village People.


Off the soundtrack for “Top Gun” starring Tom Cruise. Does that make it fall under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” regulations? Seems to us that everything our troops do is in the the Danger Zone. We’re not afraid to admit that we’re not men enough to do what they do. Thanks, guys.


Let’s end by going back to the early days of rock and roll. We send these guys overseas to fight for us and risk their lives. How many of them leave a special girl at home and think about her every day. You know that each of them is tormented by one question does she still love me?

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Saqib May 16, 2009 at 8:52 am

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If you think this song glorifies war then you really need to work on your IQ….. no offense meant. Its just Maiden support their troops sound they r taking some kind of political stance on America and Britain’s side in the current situation. But they are so not.

danybhoy June 23, 2011 at 3:16 pm

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You are correct, IronMaiden does not make very many political statements at all. They have almost never been about politics, & their frontman Bruce Dickinson might be alot of thing, but he does’nt do politics from the stage. They do support the troops, but Dickinson is a little busy with things other then just fronting 1 of the biggest bands in the world…


…he flies 757′s, he is an excelent fencer, had a weekly radio show on BBC6 up until a few months ago, & he does some TV work as well. He is a busy man, & he’s insanely funny.

JohnGalt4Prez May 17, 2009 at 6:13 pm

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Regarding the Jimi vs. Ted argument, I love them both and Ted was
the first concert I ever attended.

But check this out: “Jimi Hendrix, Conservative!”

Now, I wouldn’t go as far as the blogger above and claim that Hendrix was a
conservative. But although Jimi tragically met an early demise from drugs, you
should also know that he served in the Air Force as a paratrooper and
made comments in support of U.S. troops and our involvement in Vietnam.

Yes, Ted is a bad-ass hunter/sportsman and second amendment supporter. But
did the Nuge ever serve in the military? I don’t think so.

RockingHorseGuy June 22, 2011 at 1:05 pm

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No, Ted never served IN the military. But you should do some research and see how much is now SERVING the military. He does more than anyone else out there for the disabled warriors. Out of his own pocket. At his own ranch. He’s one of our finest. Which is not to say that Hendrix wasn’t a great in his own right.

Alien June 22, 2011 at 1:59 pm

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the only time i ever saw him was at Fort Jackson near the end of Basic Training.. He started to play some Zeppelin too (Black Dog, i’m thinkin..), then stopped, saying “We don’t want any of the limey shit, do we..??”

And i thought, actually some of that limey shit would be rather lovely, sir..

But bygones. Kick ass show

LoneWolf777 June 1, 2009 at 11:10 pm

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Won’t Get Fooled Again by The Who.
Blows all of these songs away (Kenny Loggins?? The Gay Village People??) and would be quite appropriate. Furthemore, your comment about Hendrix is idiotic – and Nugent would be the first to agree.

STG. JEG February 2, 2011 at 3:17 pm

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good site

whiskeyriver May 18, 2011 at 2:31 pm

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I don’t know who gave you the thumbs down, piss on them, I gave you one up because you are right.

PsychoDad May 18, 2011 at 9:19 am

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How bout Golden Earring — “When the Bullet Hits the Bone”? Wait I think the song title is “Twilight Zone”, but even as the chorus it sounds good.

whiskeyriver May 18, 2011 at 2:27 pm

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You got it right, Twilight Zone is the name of the song and, in a weird way, it fits the subject here. Keep your eyes open! If you are a Golden Earring fan they have a new album coming out next month! I can’t wait to hear it myself.

danybhoy June 21, 2011 at 8:00 pm

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“When the Bullet Hits the Bone” is about spies. Not really about war.

machogwapo May 19, 2011 at 4:21 am

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All sorts of pro-military songs from Iron Maiden, Ace’s High, Die with your Boots on, and my all time favorite. The Trooper.

Other kickass songs that I think are very appropriate:

5 Finger Death Punch – Far from Home
– No One Gets Left Behind

3 Doors Down – When I’m Gone
– Here Without You

AC/DC – Shoot To Thrill (see the special 1st SFOD video version)

Semper Fi

danybhoy June 21, 2011 at 7:55 pm

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Iron Maiden is my band, & how many of their songs are about war & military history? Too many for me to count, mainly due to my public education. But they have a ton of songs, about war from many historical periods, & from many points of view.

So here is “The Trooper” from Japan…


Here is “Die With Your Boots On” from Sweden…


Here is “Ace’s High” from Chile…


On top of other songs like “Paschendale”, “For The Greater Good Of God”, “2 Minutes To Midnight”, “Tailgunner”, “Where Eagles Dare”, “Mother of Mercy”, & more I can’t think of off the top of head, just amazing writing, musicianship, & presentation are why they are still going strong after 30 years. I love them, The fans I have met from all over the world are some of the best people I’ve ever met, & I’m proud to know them, & prouder to be with them.


GruffGadfly June 21, 2011 at 2:49 pm

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Err, “Bodies” is not an Eminem cover. Just sayin’….

danybhoy June 21, 2011 at 7:35 pm

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I am shocked that Metallica’s “Don’t Tread On Me” did’nt make it…


…not their best song, but a good one never the less.

Captain America September 15, 2011 at 5:12 pm

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How could you forget M.I.A. and Critical Acclaim by Avenged Sevenfold!? These choices were still good (other than the Village People)

danybhoy November 10, 2011 at 7:58 pm

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“Critical Acclaim” is a wicked push back at the whole entertainment industry as whole involving it’s leftist activism. A7X is a very patriotic, pro-American band, & they don’t apologize for it.

Chris November 10, 2011 at 4:20 pm

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Why is “Bodies” labeled “Eminem cover”…
Eminem never made that song… or a song like it.. ever..

Will June 29, 2012 at 6:53 pm

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Eminem didn’t write or have anything to do with “Let the Bodies Hit the Floor,” which isn’t even the correct title. It’s just called “Bodies.” What a strange list.

flashingscotsman June 30, 2012 at 10:32 am

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I’m just wondering why anyone would give a crap about Eminem.

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