Image of the word "Imagine" spelled out in a black and white mosaic representing John Lennon's call for peace in New York's Central Park. Two red roses lie across the top. Text reads, “Musicians know the poetic power of music. New in November 2023 Wordnerdery.”Do you pause what you’re doing for a moment of silence on Remembrance Day or Veterans Day? I do, and often turn on the radio (remember radio?) so as not to get caught up in work and miss 11 a.m.

One year, the radio station introduced the moment, and then went completely silent. As soon as 60 seconds ended, the station played Brothers In Arms, a 1985 song by British rock band Dire Straits.

But it’s written in the starlight / And every line in your palm
We’re fools to make war / On our brothers in arms

It was utterly moving, and I think of that moment every November 11. And I’ve been thinking of those words and others from musicians as war rages in Ukraine and the Middle East.

The November issue of my newsletter, Wordnerdery, includes some of the other lines that have been running through my head, from musicians who know the effect of just the right words. Check it out and let me know if these or other songs about conflict speak to you.


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