Not all Americana songs are about trucks and trains, but the same subjects do pop up over and over again. So here's some suggestions for thematic CD samplers. The list is in no particular order and is, of course, entirely subjective and primarily based on the contents of my CD collection. Click below the list to make your own suggestions. Or submit an entire list for future publication here.
A list on a very modern subject: the Iraq war. Most of the songs were written in opposition to the Bush administration, but some take less of a political stand, concentrating instead on the experiences of the soldiers, or the civilians.
1. Hiway 9 – Eliza Gilkyson
Between the Tigris and Euphrates it’s a lot like hell
2. Volunteers – Mark Erelli
We partied in the palace while we waited to withdraw
3. Ahmed the Beggar Boy – Peter Rowan and Tony Rice
The burning oil wells where the smart bombs fell
4. Diplomacy – Chris Smither
It's gettin' edgy, time to find a war
5. When you're back on your ranch in Texas – Tom Pacheco
Will you hear their screams in the breeze blowing by?
6. Permanent Twighlight – The Coal Porters
Tho’ my looks may deceive you this soldier’s still a man
7. Dad’s Gonna Kill Me – Richard Thompson
Old Ali Baba he’s a different species
8. Millennium Theater – Ani DiFranco
Please turn off your cell phones and forget what you think you know
9. Rich Man’s War – Steve Earle
We stand up and take our turn and keep tellin’ ourselves we’re free
10. Heather Are You With Me Tonight – Elizabeth Cook
Ain’t it funny how winnin’ feels just like sinnin’