The first Anne Tyler book I read was The Amateur Marriage, and I must admit I bought the book because the cover was pretty. There is this girl in a bright red overcoat kissing a soldier who was leaning out of a train window. A goodbye scene. Love in the time of war. How romantic! There is something urgent, something undescribably romantic, something real and true about war romances.
When I was a young girl I read "Battle Cry" by Leon Uris, in Mizo no less, and my heart went out to the young couple who were torn apart by the Second World War. Recently I listened to the song "Travelin' Soldier" again, and once again it left me feeling blue and sad. The lonely young soldier who had no one to write a letter to,the young waitress who waited for him and quietly cried when she heard of his death.
I know there is nothing glamorous and romantic about war in real life. All that pain, destruction, suffering, wastage, is something we could all do without. Blame Hollywood and authors for romanticizing it. But still, I love war movies, not that I've watched many, but I'm quite happy with the ones I've watched. And don't ask me which one is my favourite, because my answer would be "All of them." The Last Samurai ranks pretty high on the list, Saving Private Ryan, Enemy at The Gates, Lord of The Rings, Letters From Iwo Jima, The Longest Day, Braveheart, The Deer Hunter, Apocalypse Now, The Patriot etc are all very good. The best ones are the ones with a hint of romance in them. The English Patient, Pearl Harbour,Casablanca, Gone With The Wind (although there wasn't a single battle scene in the movie - as per Google search - it still ranks as one of the best war movies. Haven't seen the movie, but read the book ages ago).
I haven't seen the old ones like All Quiet on the Western Front, The Bridge On the River Kwai, From Here to Eternity, The Great Escape, Where Eagles Dare, etc, but will try to see them in the future. Haven't seen The Hurt Locker either. This post is turning out to be a list of the war movies I am yet to set my eyes on.
And the songs! I wish I could go on and on about the love songs about a soldier going off to war while his girl pined for him, but as I write this not a song comes to mind. The only song that surfaces is Green Day's 21 Guns, and I don't know if it classifies as a war song, it's more about the war within, methinks. How about you share the songs and I listen to them?