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Operation Homefront Military Family Homecomings 2012 Video – What’s the Song?

'Live Session (iTunes Exclusive)'

Iron and Wine‘s Sam Beam has a knack for turning pretty much any song he hears into a tender, touching ballad. Performing solo with just an acoustic guitar, his wistful, whispered vocals and down-tempo delivery has transformed tunes from bands as varied as the Flaming Lips and New Order, and his take on the latter’s ‘Love Vigilantes’ from their 1985 album ‘Low-Life’ is featured in a new spot from Operation Homefront.

On the surface, Beam’s version of ‘Love Vigilantes’ and the Operation Homefront video — which pictures the emotional reunions of military personnel with their families after serving long tours abroad — couldn’t possibly be a better fit. Pairing his earnest delivery of lyrics like “I want to see my family / My wife and child waiting for me / I’ve got to go home / I’ve been so alone, you see” over clips of tearful reunions is an instant recipe for pulling at the heartstrings of the American heartland. And success it has certainly achieved, already racking up more than half-a-million YouTube views.

That said, there’s a certain irony at play here under the surface, as ‘Love Vigilantes’ has long been interpreted as an anti-war song, and the opening verse (“With our soldiers so brave your freedom we will save / With our rifles and grenades and some help from God) considered a sarcastic jab at the absurdities of war. After all, there’s a good reason Beam’s version only includes the first two verses: The soldier dies in the third.

Watch the Operation Homefront Video Feat. Iron and Wine’s Cover of ‘Love Vigilantes’

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