I love music. There’s something about it that touches me, grabs me from whatever mood I’ve put myself in and transports me somewhere else. I love lyrics, and am often guilty of digging for the smallest meaning behind them. I can’t help it; this is part of who I am. So when Jason is gone, music tends to pull me through, saying what I can’t, keeping me from building a wall between me and the inconvenient emotions I’m supposed to be feeling during a deployment.
This week at Fort Drum, I’m watching some of my girlfriends say goodbye again. The Division is leaving, and we’re next on the block. These women are handling it with tears and grace, and my heart is with them.
So in honor of their journey, here’s my deployment soundtrack, including the ones that strike a personal chord with Jason and I.
Honorable Mention Top 20: (Click on the song title to hear it)
20. All My Loving : The Beatles
Best Line: Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you, tomorrow I’ll miss you. Remember I’ll always be true.
19. Sleeping with the Telephone: Reba McEntire and Faith Hill
Best Line: He knows the danger, but he does what he does. He calls it duty, but I call it love, so here I am while he’s gone to some foreign land.
18. For You : Keith Urban
Always takes me back to when Jason was injured.
Best Line: No greater gift has man than to lay down his life for love.
17. Grey Room : Damian Rice
Always fits the night I drop him off for deployment.
Best Line: I’m all alone again, crawling back home again, stuck by the phone again.
16. When I’m gone : Three Doors Down
I think all of Apache 1/3 ACR played this out when the boys were gone for OIF 1.
Best Line: Roaming through this darkness, I’m alive but I’m alone, and part of me is fighting this, but part of me is gone.
15. Come Home Soon: SheDaisy
Best Line: I still imagine your touch, it’s beautiful missing something that much, but sometimes love needs a fighting chance, so I’ll wait my turn until it’s our turn to dance.
14. Holding out for a Hero : Ella Mae Bowen
I love this cover. Love it. Love it. Love it.
Best Line: Through the wind and the chill and the rain, and the storm and the raging flood, I hear his approach just like a fire in my blood.
13. Talking to the moon: Bruno Mars
Best Line: I know you’re somewhere out there, somewhere far away, I want you back.
12. Wake Me Up When September Ends : Green Day
Man does this take me back to OIF 1, when I bawled when the video came out. Love this song.
Best Line: As my memory rests but never forgets what I lost, wake me up when September ends.
11. Never Alone : Barlow Girl
Best Line: We cannot separate ’cause your part of me, and though you’re invisible, I’ll trust the unseen.
10. Keep Holding On : Avril Lavigne
Perfect for my girlfriends when we’re about 7 months in and it’s just a long year.
Best Line: You’re not alone, together we stand, I’ll be by your side, you know I’ll take your hand.
9. Home : Michael Buble
Best Line: And I feel just like I’m living someone else’s life, it’s like I just stepped outside when everything was going right.
8. From Where You Are : Lifehouse
Best Line: So far from where you are, I’m standing underneath the stars, and I wish you were here.
7. For Those Who Wait : Fireflight
Best Line: The pressure makes us stronger, the struggle makes us hunger. The hard lessons make the difference.
6. Home : Phil Phillips
Maybe more of a PCS song, but I love it so much. Thanks to Cianna for the suggestion!
Best Line: Hold on to me as we go, as we roll down this unfamiliar road, and although this wave is stringing us along, just know you’re not alone, ’cause I’m gonna make this place your home.
5. Wait for You : Mumford and Sons
Best Line: I came home like a stone and I fell heavy into your arms, these days of darkness which we’ve known will blow away with this new sun.
4. Hey There Delilah : Plain White T’s
Best Line: A thousand miles seems pretty far, but they’ve got planes and trains and cars; I’d walk to you if I had no other way.
3. Alone in this Bed : Capeside
Best Line: I’ve got the feeling that this will never cease, living in these pictures, it never comes with ease; I swear if I could make this right – you’d be back by now.
2. Leaving on a Jet Plane : Chantal Kreviazuk
Love this cover. Love it. It’s my go-to zen moment on my guitar.
Best Line: I’ll dream about the days to come when I won’t have to leave alone.
1. Right Where I Need to Be : Gary Allan
This was Jason’s go-to jam for OIF 1, so here’s a shout-out to our pal Brian Arsenault.
Best Line: Lately I’ve been on the road more than I’ve been home, all this leaving her alone is killing me.
Jason’s Honorable Mention: Everywhere : Michelle Branch
He just told me this today, so excuse me while I blubber for a moment. *sniff, sniff!*
Best Line: You’re everywhere to me, and when I close my eyes it’s you I see. You’re everything I know that makes me believe I’m not alone.
(That’s why I married him, ladies…) 😉
Our Personal Top 10:
10. Something Beautiful : NeedtoBreathe
On this last deployment, a flight school friend sent me this song, and it felt like the rope I needed to hold onto to make it through. When it came on as I pulled into Syracuse airport to pick him up for mid-tour… yeah, I kinda lost it.
Best line: This is my desire, consume me like a fire, ’cause I just want something beautiful to touch me – I know that I’m in reach ’cause I am down on my knees waiting for something beautiful.
9. When You’re Gone : Avril Lavigne
Oh, this song can jerk me right into deployment mode faster than any one of these. When Jason leaves, I’m afraid to pick his clothes up off the floor, because if I see them, I know he was just here. Once they’re away, he’s really gone.
Best Line: The days feel like years when I’m alone, and the bed where you lie is made up on your side. When you walk away, I count the steps that you take; do you see how much I need you right now?
8. Rocket Man : Elton John
This goes through my head every time I watch him pack to leave the night before, and it plays louder now that he’s a pilot. He’s my rocket man. (And yes, I know double meanings…) 😉
Best Line: She packed my bags last night pre-fight, zero hour nine a.m., and I’m going to be high as a kite by then. I miss the Earth so much, I miss my wife, it’s lonely out in space on such a timeless flight.
7. Faithfully : Journey
This is pretty much the mil spouse theme song. I devour it every time I hear it, and belt it out, of course.
Best Line: Restless hearts sleep alone tonight, sending all my love along the wire. They say that the road ain’t no place to raise a family; right down the line it’s been you and me.
6. Fix You : Coldplay
This takes me back to when Jason was wounded every time I hear it. So many times we’re trying so hard to undo the damage and scars that war leaves on them, trying to love them back to who they were at the same time loving who they are now.
Best line: Lights will guide you home, and ignite your bones, and I will try to fix you.
5. Where We Left Off : Hunter Hayes
This song says it all: we’re pulled apart and pushed back together, hoping the pieces still fit.
Best Line: And the way we say goodbye is not the way that anyone would do, like a wave upon the ocean I will always come right back to you.
4. Come Home : One Republic and Sara Bareilles
I have a feeling this will be my new deployment song for our upcoming one.
Best Line: Come home, ’cause I’ve been waiting for you for so long, and right now there’s a war between the vanities, but all I see is you and me, and the fight for you is all I’ve ever known: so come home.
3. Dear God : Avenged Sevenfold
Jason’s number two favorite deployment song. I know how hard it is to stay behind, but I can’t imagine how hard it must be to walk away. These men we married are strong, girls.
Best Line: Dear God, the only thing I ask of you is to hold her when I’m not around, when I’m much too far away.
2. Wait For Me : Theory of a Deadman
This is Jason’s favorite deployment theme, so I usually set my ringback so he hears it when he calls. Yes, I’m sorts of cheesy like that. This one is us to a T, and I’m sure others too. Always waiting, and always faithful.
Best line: “Knowing I’m not there for you makes it so hard to leave. What I’d give, What I’d do, anything to get me home to you.”
1. Set the Fire to the Third Bar : Snow Patrol
What part of this song doesn’t scream out deployment?
Best Line: “I’m miles from where you are, I lay down on the cold ground and I pray that something picks me up and sets me down in your warm arms…”
Oh, please melt me! During a deployment, there isn’t anything I wouldn’t give for five minutes with Jason. We joke about aparatation, anything that would give us five minutes together. So this is my number one, the song that grabs me like nothing else can.