13 Songs to Avoid During a Deployment


So the shoe has indeed dropped.

Two days ago we learned that it is time for my husband to once again go play in the sand.  Knowing it was coming, we weren’t all that surprised and are faring better than if it came out of the blue.

The painful part:  it ain’t happening for months.


Driving around last night, every song on the radio flat-out pissed me off. “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” by Pink?” No.  No one last kiss.  How about “blow me one more kiss”.  Yes.  Much better.

“50 Ways to Say Goodbye” by Train? Oh, I have a feeling there will be more than 50.  And Victoria’s Secret will have proof.

“Glory of Love” (yes, that Glory of Love from the 80’s)  by Peter Cetera? A song so cheesy, that wine should be served, but during an emotional time, can make the most stout-hearted milspouse tear up a bit

So, might as well delve in deeper and think of other song titles either the active duty member or their families will not like during a deployment.  I’ve compiled a list of my un-favorites:

1. “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye. Let’s not have a reason for anyone to have a grapevine , okay?

2. “One More Day” by Diamond Rio. Diamond Rio … you sang a beautiful song.  But I won’t be listening to you at anytime in say, oh, the next year or people will have to peel me off the floor.

3. “My Immortal” by Evanescence. Holy depressing song, Batman.  Shoot me now.

4. “My Life Would Suck Without You” by Kelly Clarkson. Ye-ah.  Let’s not even travel down that road, hmmm?

5. “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’”  by Journey. Really … do I need to explain why this song sucks?

6.  (And if you can’t be with the one you love, honey) “Love the One Your With” by Crosby, Stills, & Nash. Another one I shouldn’t have to explain.

7.”Leaving On a Jet Plane” by Peter, Paul , and Mary. P2M … you know I am probably your biggest fan under the age of 72, but you will be put on the back burner because I don’t want to hear you don’t know when you’ll be back again.        You will be back.  And on the promised date.

8. “Don’t Cry Out Loud” by Melissa Mancheste. So freakin’ sad I can’t stand it:

Don’t cry out loud
Just keep it inside and learn how to hide your feelings
Fly high and proud
And if you should fall, remember you almost had it all

Might as well throw in the theme from Ice Castles.  Curse you, Melissa Manchester!!

9. “All By Myself” by Celine Dion. Celine, no need for the fist-to-chest pound action … I know I am alone.  You … you are not alone with your huge mansion(s) and staff to wait on you.  So shut-up.

10. “Right Here Waiting for You” by Richard Marx. Good gravy, pass the tissue.  No, the entire box.

11. “America the Beautiful” by Katharine Lee Bates. Gets me every time.

12. “Far Away” by Nickelback. Never thought I’d have Nickelback on any list, but goes to show what a sappy song will do.

13. “The Promise” by Tracy Chapman. This one hurts, mainly because it was also our wedding song.  But it, too, will be out of   rotation around our crib, so I don’t become dehydrated and need an IV from crying.

What do you think belong on this list of songs to avoid prior to and during a deployment???

About the Author

Married to her high school sweetheart/AD Air Force man, Heidi was initially reluctant to life as a dependent, finally drank the Kool-Aid, and has since embraced being an active Air Force spouse. With a background in sports medicine, she has no real reason to write other than she enjoys it and likes to get others thinking. Heidi enjoys at-will employment as a substitute teacher, serving as an Arlington Lady, mothering two boys, rehabbing their short sale home purchase, recovering from a case of volunteeritis, correcting her verb tense, and learning more acronyms.
  • Chrissy

    I am the same way! I try not to wallow in self-pity but any sad, sappy, break-up song makes me tear up while my husband is gone. Any slow songs from the Beatles, Dave Matthews, the Shins, or even pop songs like Trey Songz “Heart Attack” and Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together”. “When you left I lost a part of me…” WAHHHH *commence pity party*

    I promise I’m not like that all the time :) but some songs just get to me!!

  • Guest

    “if you’re reading this” by tim mcgraw. I love it and it’s a great song but I cry every time even if it’s not deployment time!

  • StarlaRose

    “Leave out all the rest” by Linkin Park. Ugh….

    One good song to listen to though(which is now probably over played) is “Wait for me” by Theory of a Deadman. I baaawww like a baby when I hear it.

  • armywife199

    Sorry, these songs have no real value as the author asserts they are strikingly shallow!
    Marine Tribute – Till The Last Shots Fired Youtube tribute
    Heaven was needing a Hero (Cryin’ shame the number that are needed!
    If I don’t make it back
    Lay me down

    No your heart is WAY too shallow!

    • Heidi

      Hmmm…not necessarily shallow, but protective? I won’t even listen to songs that are targeted for military or about the war because it hits too close to home. I focused more on songs that were not as obvious but more mainstream.

      Your additions are good and thanks for making sure there were listed!

    • Saundra

      How rude. Heidi just found out her husband and the love of her life is going to the most dangerous place on earth. People have different ways of expressing and alleviating anxiety and in this case it was with song and bit of humor. Heidi. may all that is good watch over you and yours.

    • Petra

      Yeesh woman! You are the martyr of this thread, aren’t ya?

  • Tabitha

    “Wait for Me” – Theory of a Deadman

  • Chrissy B

    I won’t let go by Racal Flatts. The beautiful but weepy music from the movie Steel Magnolias…….you know what I am talking about…..the scene after Shelby dies….. I’m already there by Lonestar…….Crying for you by Toby Keith…….

  • USAFembalmer

    Shallow??? Maybe to you army wife…..maybe to you …..I guess listening to secular music that invokes our human emotions makes the rest of us military spouses equally a shallow

  • Tina

    “Here Without You” by 3 Doors Down would definitely be on my list, as well as a lesser Known song called “3 More Sleeps” by Kaleo Black.

  • Neiperusaf

    Arlington but Trace Adkins – 8th of Novemeber Big and Rich, Tim McGraw song listed above and I don’t know who sings it but the song about finding a letter in a car saying if your reading this I didn’t make it home – its country also

    • You are talking about (Riding With) Private Malone, by David Ball. Makes me cry even when its not deployment time.

      “I opened up the glove box and that’s when I found the note
      The date was nineteen-sixty six and this is what it wrote:
      He said,”My name is Private Andrew Malone”
      “If you’re reading this,then I didn’t make it home”
      “But for every dream that shattered,another one comes true”
      “This car was once a dream of mine,now it belongs to you”
      “And though you may take her and make her your own”
      “You’ll always be riding with Private Malone”

  • Margaret

    You know how you can laugh at stuff during the day that at night totally takes you to straight to the ugly cry. I am reading this in the middle of a Saturday full of house cleaning, sweaty and hot…not a super emotional moment. My dark humor side came out and I laughed good and hard. Not out of a lack of feeling, but probably out of the joy of sharing the same boat with others who know so intimately understand my life and how I feel about it on so many levels. I appreciate you all on a daily basis!!!! I usually only listen to music in the car and frequently find myself with tears streaming down my face while I’m driving down the freeway. Our elementary age little one just laughs at me and says “Are you crying again?” Any love song will do me in. I avoid the contemporary military love signs like the plague.

    • Heidi

      Exactly! We must share a similar sense of humor.

    • Margaret

      Okay, as of today I think we can add all Christmas carols to this list. “All I Want For Christmas Is You” I mean seriously are you kidding me. Don’t even think about “I’ll Have A Blue Christmas” or any of that.

  • Wild Horses by the Rolling Stones. Gets me every time. :-(

  • Paige

    Just A Dream by Carrie Underwood. Travelin Soldier by Dixie Chicks.

    • GypsyJen08

      Oh, those get me EVERY single time!!

  • Sheena

    I’m a younger generation, so Avril Lavigne’s “When You’re Gone” got to me. I would cry at work.

    “When you’re gone, the pieces of my heart are missing to. When you’re gone, the face I came to know is missing too…”

    The music video even has three stories going on. One story is on a military couple. So sad but beautiful.

  • Jeff

    You forgot ‘Still Loving You’ by the Scorpions. On my first deployment, our ship was inport at Haifa, Isreal and I heard this coming from the jukebox at the bar I was in. It was in the days before we had satellite phones, much less the internet, and my girlfriend was somewhere in Ohio with a girlfriend of hers. To this day I still can’t listen to it because it takes me back to that night I had my heart ripped out.

  • Sally

    Dont Miss Your Life by Phil Vasser….not like the hubbs can just fly home but it makes you think about all the stuff they have missed out on :(

  • “Home” by Michael Buble (or however it’s spelled)
    “Standing at the Edge of the Earth” by Blessed Union of Souls
    “Second Chance” by Shinedown
    “Good Man” by india.aire
    “Wish You Were Here” by Incubus
    “10,000 Miles” by Mary Chapin-Carpenter
    “Be Without You” by Mary J. Blige
    “The Night” by Morphine

  • Jennifer

    Our deployment song was “Til Kingdom Come”….by Coldplay. Just read the lyrics and you’ll know why!

  • Lady Antebellum, Need You Now
    Sugarland – What I’d Give
    Mike Corrado – My Watch
    and many of the ones already mentioned

    • I totally agree about that Lady Antebellum drunk dial song. HATED it during deployment.

  • ArmyWife

    Lonestar – I’m Already There

  • Emily

    “Don’t wanna miss a thing”, and actually any sappy romantic true love country song.

  • Blink 182: I Miss You
    Ingrid Michaelson: Keep Breathing

    plenty of good ones up top.

  • Nicole

    “Home” by Daughtry

  • Petra

    I don’t wanna close my eyes – Aerosmith…

  • GypsyJen08

    Ugh, I know exactly what you’re talking about… there were 100s of songs that reminded me of good times with my soldier and it was soooo painful to listen to them! But, have any of you ever listened to a song, knowing it will make you cry? Sometimes I just needed to feel sad and cry and get it out so I’d stop going crazy and start being strong, composed and back doing normal things again.

  • Sally

    I go back to Veitnam time. Some of the music from back then. I hear them off and on. They are some heart achers. For sure when my only son goes over seas.

  • Mel

    Unsung Hero by Julia Fordham and Paul Reiser. (Paul Reiser used to star in “Mad About You”). The song was specifically written as a tribute to our troops and especially their spouses.