Back in World War II, my late great father Stanley Wild -- who we lost exactly one year ago on Sunday -- was a very young, very scared and very brave Naval Lieutenant serving his country in the Pacific. Though my father was not shy about sharing some colorful war stories with his kids, the truth is I have probably learned more about our Second World War from Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg than I ever did from Dad or any of the other great teachers in my life. To me that's a true public service and a rather excellent use of our airwaves and time. Band Of Brothers forever deepened my understanding of war, peace and history, and so I will meekly but fittingly honor my father's guts and grace by tuning into HBO on Sunday night to begin a whole new journey into The Pacific. I only wish my Dad were still here to watch it too.
To put myself in the proper mindset to enter The Pacific, I've come up with a playlist of great songs that -- at least for me - speak powerfully to the very big subject of war & peace from a variety of perspectives and eras. Though I'm no expert on history, I'm fairly certain they did not have iPods on Naval ships during World War II. Yet if they did, here are a few songs I might load onto one for Dad as he shipped off to serve this country and help try to save the world.
Dad, like your favorite singer put it so beautifully, "I'll Be Seeing You."
BROTHERS IN ARMS - Dire Straits
DAY AFTER TOMORROW - Tom Waits
I'M MAKING BELIEVE - The Ink Spots with Ella Fitzgerald
RUN THROUGH THE JUNGLE - Creedence Clearwater Revival
G.I. JIVE - Louis Jordan
BOOGIE WOOGIE BUGLE BOY - The Andrews Sisters
GOODBYE BLUE SKY - Pink Floyd
BULLET THE BLUE SKY - U2
GALVESTON - Glen Campbell
WAR - Edwin Starr
DEVILS & DUST - Bruce Springsteen
A HARD RAIN'S GONNA FALL - Bob Dylan
SOLDIER'S LAST LETTER - Merle Haggard
BEN MCCULLOGH - Steve Earle
TRAVELIN' SOLDIER - Dixie Chicks
BALLAD OF IRA HAYES - Johnny Cash
WHAT'S GOING ON" - Marvin Gaye
I'LL BE SEEING YOU - Frank Sinatra with Tommy Dorsey