Fringe 2009 – Top 20 – #18 – Was My Brother In The Battle?


If you removed that gun from my head and I could see another 10 Fringe shows, what would they be and why?


Stephen Swanson & David Gompper

Was My Brother In The Battle?

A concert of songs about the individuals involved in America’s historic military conflicts, their friends, and their families – harsh, ironic, funny, patriotic, poignant, disturbing – images of America at war.

Ever since I started, several years ago, struggling to wrestle with a story about the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy barring gays from serving openly in the U.S. military, I’ve been hyper-aware of members of the armed forces, whether I see them in real life, on TV or movie screens, in the pages of newspapers and magazines or online. Bringing that story to fruition, finally, last year, in Leave, did nothing to diminish my interest.

The personal costs of war dog my consciousness. As they should all of us – both consciousness, and conscience.

This Fringe show uses song to dig into the heart of war, past and present.

And it’s not all a downer.

Tom Lehrer’s little ditty for World War III – So Long, Mom – alone is worth the price of admission. Lehrer can make even the threat of nuclear war amusing. An excerpt…

“So long, Mom
I’m off to drop the bomb
So don’t wait up for me…

…I’ll look for you when the war is over
An hour and a half from now.”

I’m so there.

Here I thought I was the only blogger to notice this one. Seems Phillip Low did a pre-Fringe profile of them already. So here’s that for further detail…

Phillip Low’s profile of the show

Their websites – and

Their show page