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  • Writer's pictureIan Galipeau

New Release: Soldier's Lullaby

I am releasing a new song tomorrow (5/26/23). While it's a new release, it's been a long journey for me, and I'm excited to be sharing it with you. I wrote "Soldier's Lullaby" with my good friend Jonathan Stephen Braught (Jon Stephens and the Cold Souls) in 2019. He came over to my house with this page where he'd jotted down a set of connected ideas about a veteran struggling with PTSD and substance abuse. They were detailed and dark, and quite difficult to fit into a coherent song structure. Over the course of a couple of writing sessions together, and a lot of careful editing on my own, we fleshed those ideas into this song. The words tell the story of a fictional veteran of the War in Afghanistan, and his struggles upon returning home.

That was nearly 4 years ago. In the last couple of years, I've shared this song at a handful of shows. It's heavy subject matter... not ideal for my average brewery set. But on the occasions when I have performed it, I've been truly touched by the reactions afterwards, particularly from veterans. And it was those conversations - the words of appreciation and support coming back to me, from people who know this story on a level I never will - which pushed me to record and release it as a single.

I made a conscious decision to make it available ahead of Memorial Day. This weekend, many people will get an extra day off of work, and enjoy that time with their friends and family. In New Hampshire, we often think about Memorial Day as the unofficial start of summer. And maybe there's a parade, and a tribute to veterans who have died serving their country and defending American values. It's inspiring messaging that's pointed at European wars from 80 and 100 years ago, though. Vietnam and Desert Storm often feel overlooked... never mind the 21st century wars. But the gap here makes sense, because in recent history we'd have to tell a different story. And it's not an uplifting one.

For post-9/11 wars, five times as many veterans have died by suicide or drug overdose as died in combat. Veterans of these wars are not dying serving their country, so much as they're dying when they get home. They're dying from the mental and physical wounds they acquired in service to their country. And they're dying because when they get home, we're not providing them the support they need to navigate civilian life.

I hope you'll hold that in your mind while you listen to "Soldier's Lullaby", and that this story resonates with you. And I hope that if you know veterans who served in these recent wars, this song serves as a reminder to check in on them. We need to do better at caring for our vets. I don't know what the systematic solution is... but support from friends and family can't hurt.

One last thing - any proceeds earned from this song through Bandcamp will be donated to Wounded Warrior Project. I have no illusion that there will be a lot of money coming in from this song, but should you do choose to purchase it, I want to be clear that it's not profit for me.

Today, you can pre-save on Spotify through the link below. After midnight, "Soldier's Lullaby"will be available on all streaming platforms.

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