Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Music to go to war with.

In one of my last posts re silence and war, I lamented the inability to listen to music during conflict on my I pod, but I also mentioned that there are times when you do seek solace in music. Probably the most time I remember most vividly was during the Iraq War. Seems strange to refer to the actual invasion phase as the Iraq War, when it is still going to this day. but for the point we all remember of those 20 odd days when things went so well, from the coalition side.

Back to music, I remember bunkering down in the humvee in the darkness on the outskirts of Baghdad towards the end of the push up from Kuwait. And probably for the first time in the campaign I was frightened, if we were going to be attacked with chemical weapons then this was the time and place. I do not know why but this was the only time in the whole war that I felt scared, for the past weeks we had been under constant attack yet I felt no fear. But on this night for some reason I could not shake this fear of the possibility of being "slimed".

Slimed was the expression used by the soldiers for being attacked with chemical weapons.

So in the darkness I pulled out my portable cd player and put in my favourite cd for chilling out and forgetting the rest of the world.

The cd "The Beach Soundtrack" yes the soundtrack to the movie. It has some of the most relaxing songs, and in the darkness of the Iraqi desert , a beach on an island seemed like a nice place to be, rather than feeling for my gas mask whilst wearing my mopp suit that I we all wore.

Then there are times when music is used to pump up, you cannot help but being aggressive in aggression zones , that is for tomorrow and another entry "Music when people do not play nice"


Anonymous said...


Two thoughts. I saw on "60 Minutes" last Sunday that some vehicles crews have hacked their iPods into the vehicle intercom system.

Second thought is the two cassetts we had in the humvee for the invasion. I remember the first day of the invasion, where we drove for about 30 straight hours, I was driving in the middle of the night (you and Greg were passed out and bouncing around in the back) and it was all I could do to stay awake - and the only thing I had was those two tapes and lots of cigaretts. I think one was a Bob Dylan compilation, and the other had some cool techno mix of "Over the Rainbow" - which I'd love to find.

Hope your're well!


Anonymous said...

not familiar with that movie or the music...........i use music to pump me up on my way into's not war, but i work in a busy ER.....sometimes it's dire straights, sometimes shakira....all depends on what's in my CD player~ take care......e

FlutePrayer said...

Your post has haunted me over the last few days. I am a professional musician, so music is what I do. I don't ever take it for granted, but sometimes I fail to appreciate the profound effect music can have. Thank you for moving me out of complacency.