Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Soldier In Afghanistan

Back in the summer of '85, a song I had co-written, "Minnesota Nights and Northern Lights," became "the # 1 song in the north country" according to the DJ's giving it massive amounts of airplay that summer. It was also "the most requested song" on many stations across Minnesota and other areas of the upper-Midwest. It had been recorded by Steve Hall and Southbound 76. It became their "signature song." I was there when they performed it in the bandstand at the Minnesota State Fair later that summer. It was a nice time for me, as music had always played a major role in my life.

Last summer my son, Coleman, googled the song title and, lo and behold, someone on Wikipedia was looking for a copy of it. So, I responded and sent him one. I have since sent out copies to many others who were also looking for it. It's nice to have it remembered by so many people, all of whom have good memories around it.

Recently I received a request for it from a soldier serving in Afghanistan. He said, "It will remind me of better times." His name is John. He's with the 82nd Airborne Division as a helicopter maintenance technician Warrant Officer. He said, "It's nothing meritorious." This is his second tour of duty there, plus one in Iraq. That sounds pretty meritorious to me.

Sitting at my computer, visiting with this soldier from Minnesota, enlarges my world-view and gives me a fresh perspective on this war because of the people who are serving there. It's not a news story. It's real. And real people are out there every day responding to their sense of duty. I'm glad my song is keeping him company.

Another interesting aspect of this involves my son, Coleman Coughlin, who is lead guitarist for a metal band called Severed Nerve. They recently put out their first CD,"The Y Incision." It's being listened to by soldiers in Iraq. How cool is that?

Well, the only thing that would make it cooler is if they all got to come home; John, in Afghanistan, and all the other soldiers there and in Iraq.

Now would be good.


  1. I still have the copy you sent me Teresa! I also hale from Minnesota! Yesterday I played it for a friend, and she liked it. I have it on my cell phone and play it often! I keep the email you sent w/the copy so I can put it on the phone again if needed! Thanks so much! and thanks to the Soldier! thouthts and Prayers for a safe return home soon to him! Angela

    1. It's lovely to hear from you, Angela. Thank you so much for this sweet note. I'm so glad you're still enjoying the song ... that means a lot to me ... Yes, I hope John has since returned safely ... and no more "tours of duty" for him.

  2. Hi Teresa, I have a friend who is trying to obtain a copy of your song, as sung by Steve Hall and Southbound 76. Is there any assistance you can provide?

  3. Replies
    1. Pat, I will need an email address and then I could send a MP3 ... would that work? Teresa

    2. My email is The MP3 is downloadable to your computer ... just an FYI.