Summer blockbuster season is almost officially over (The Atlantic claims it stretches from March to Labor Day), and with that, we here at We Are the Mighty have been talking about our favorite movie soundtracks. Of particular interest are our favorite songs from war movies.
This list was nearly impossible to cull down, because many of the best soundtracks are instrumental compositions (which are great), but don’t exactly scream “turn me up!” So we collected a series of songs (many from Vietnam movies) that are sure to either make you sing along, dance, or cry.
1. “These Boots Are Made For Walkin'” Nancy Sinatra – “Full Metal Jacket”
“These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” with the line “Me love you long time” from Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket”, made RR in Vietnam seem way more entertaining than it probably was.
2. “(Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay” Otis Redding – “Platoon”
There’s just something about this song that makes you wanna roll one and kick back on a dock somewhere.
3. “California Dreaming” The Mamas and Papas – “Forrest Gump”
Speaking about rolling one…
4. “Get Around” Beach Boys – “Good Morning Vietnam”
We couldn’t have a list of our favorite songs from war movies without a little Robin Williams. In “Good Morning Vietnam,” Robin Williams’ character boosts morale much like Robin Williams did on his many USO tours.
5. “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” Bobby McFerrin – “Jarhead”
“Sir, I got lost on the way to college, sir!” Classic.
6. “Brown Eyed Girl” Van Morrison – “Born on the Fourth of July”
Though Van Morrison never intended to release this song on an album when he recorded it, we’re sure glad he did. The Grammy’s were, too, as the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2007.
7. “Miracles” Coldplay – “Unbroken”
You can’t possibly listen to this song and watch this video and NOT immediately want to watch this movie.
8. “There You’ll Be” Faith Hill – “Pearl Harbor”
I know battle hardened Marines who cry during this. It’s the military version of crying after Old Yeller.
9. “Fortunate Son” Creedence Clearwater Revival – “Forrest Gump”
Except for all the beer and BBQ, Vietnam isn’t anything like America for an FNG…and other lessons to be learned from Forrest Gump.
10. “Sgt. Mackenzie” Joseph Milna Mackenzie – We Were Soldiers
This haunting melody perfectly captures “We Were Soldiers” final battle in la Drang Valley.
As the story goes, the singer, Joseph Milna Mackenzie wrote the song just after his wife’s death. He stared at a picture of his grandfather above his fireplace and was overcome with wonder about his grandfather’s final moments before he died on the battle field in WWI. The song, according to Mackenzie, suddenly came to him.
Check out the rest of our favorite war movie songs below: