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Best Song Of 2018: Malcolm Gladwell Shares His Choice

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We are wrapping up this year, and as we've been looking back over 2018 we've been wondering, what are the best songs of the year? As it is with so many things, opinions are all over the place so let's check out one of them.

MALCOLM GLADWELL: My name is Malcolm Gladwell. I am one of the hosts of the new music podcast "Broken Record," among other things. And my favorite song of the year is Mary Gauthier's "War After The War."

(SOUNDBITE OF MARY GAUTHIER SONG, "WAR AFTER THE WAR")

GLADWELL: This album, "Rifles And Rosary Beads," is an album that's entirely about veterans of the Iraq War and their stories. She sat down with veterans and used their words.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WAR AFTER THE WAR")

MARY GAUTHIER: (Singing) Who's going to care for the ones who care for the ones who went to war? There's land mines in the living room and eggshells on the floor.

GLADWELL: The song is through the eyes of the partner of the veteran. The problem isn't just the veteran himself or herself. It's the family they come back to.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WAR AFTER THE WAR")

GAUTHIER: (Singing) You stare out of the window as our dreams go down the drain, invisible, the war after the war.

GLADWELL: I felt like if there was ever a time for a gut punch and a protest song, it was now. It's the one thing we weren't protesting in 2018. Right? We've almost forgotten about the war, we've become so consumed with all of our contemporary arguments. And her point is that, you know, we have this tragedy that dates back over a decade now that's still unfolding. And, you know, you can't just move on from it.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WAR AFTER THE WAR")

GAUTHIER: (Singing) They look at me and smile.

GREENE: That was the author Malcolm Gladwell. His favorite song of 2018 is "War After The War" by Mary Gauthier.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WAR AFTER THE WAR")

GAUTHIER: (Singing) Invisible. The war after the war. I'm a soldier, too. Just like you, serving something... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.