Ken Burns's "The Civil War" was one of those rare TV events which was bigger than its medium and more important than its critics. Week after week, the power of each episode reduced living rooms around the world to silence as the stories of a national tragedy, embarrassingly little-known and thus shamefully reduced to a trump card for blowhards on both sides of the fence, unfolded. The music took the pictures and words, and added a depth unseen before and certainly unrivalled since. Take 3.33 seconds of your terribly important day and listen to the Sullivan Ballou letter over the lilting "Ashokan Farewell" and contemplate what it means to really love your country and to really love. Hopefully it makes your lower lip tremble, and the missed commuter train pale in the face of what really matters.
A Fitting Soundtrack
The Civil War is full of grim, deadly, living poetry, and these songs truly capture this aspect of America's greatest conflict. Each song is a fitting method to provoke the true nature, a deeper nature through the medium of music, of what the Civil War was.
This is a beautiful and meaningful compilation that takes you back in time. The music is a perfect pairing to the best documentary I've ever seen.