lt's not all head-banger heavy metal on soldiers' play lists. Some prefer balladeers or even anti-war anthems from decades past.
Media portrayals of American soldiers listening to heavy metal or gangster rap have been pervasive for years. But when folklore professor Lisa Gilman decided to interview Iraq War veterans about the music they listened to while deployed, she discovered many had tastes as eclectic as anyone you might find in a vintage record store.
In the age of iPods and MP3s, music during wartime has transitioned into more of a personal endeavor than a communal one, and many of the soldiers found the music they listened to -- whether it was Frank Sinatra or punk rock -- was inextricably linked to the way they experienced the war and to their sometimes painful memories.
Click here to listen to excerpts from Gilman's interview with "Greg," a medic with the National Guard who used music to escape from the intensity of his war experience.
Listen to excerpts from the interview with "Michael," an Air Force pilot who comes from a family of soldiers and ironically liked to listen to anti-war music from the Vietnam era while flying missions. (Identities of the soldiers have been altered to protect their privacy.)