Michele Gazich and Mary Gauthier. Photo: michelegazich.it / Federico Sponza

Music against the Mad Cry of War: Mary Gauthier and Michele Gazich

Issue 1901

11 January 2019

War songs

The album Rifles & Rosary Beads is Louisiana folk singer Mary Gauthier’s latest album. The singer-songwriter has had a complex life, marked by suffering and pain after her parents abandoned her as a child. A life of many excesses followed, before she found her salvation and identity through music.

Rifles & Rosary Beads was composed with veterans of the war in Iraq. Its civil and social themes evoke the roots of folk and blues music. The album came about through an intense collaboration with Songwriting with Soldiers, an association that helps veterans combat post-traumatic stress disorder and reintegrate into society and into their family context by the writing of songs, which serves as a sort of psychoanalytic confession. Through song, in fact, they can manifest their discomfort, articulate complex and painful stories, and facilitate a resonance that makes all-important human connections. As the singer herself states: “Every song on this album is a laceration in the heart and soul of a veteran (or of their partner).”

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