Kevin Costner is “Honoring those who have served and currently serve our nation” this Veteran’s Day through his song, “The Angels Came Down.”
Posting to his official Twitter account for his band, Kevin Costner & Modern West, the Yellowstone icon is paying his respects to all our servicemen and women past, present, and future. It’s a fitting tribute from the legendary American actor, who’s spent much of his career reflecting on the U.S. and our military.
The multi-talented Costner does so through his band, too. “Our song “The Angels Came Down” was written in memory of our fallen soldiers. I hope you take a moment to reflect on it today,” he cites in his Thursday post. Within, Costner offers up a “Behind the Song” treatment of the tune, which we’ve embedded for you below.
The behind-the-scenes look begins with a live performance of “The Angels Came Down” if you need a refresher on the Modern West track.
Afterward, as Kevin Costner breaks down, “‘Angels’ was just one of those songs… We were coming back to Nashville and rehearsing and playing a lot as a band. John Coinman had this bad habit of wanting to smoke, but not smoke around anyone else,” he laughs. “Sometimes, his way to kill time would be to walk in graveyards and cemeteries in Nashville.
Kevin Costner & Modern West’s Tribute to Fallen Soldiers
As Costner recalls, his bandmate “couldn’t help but notice the dates on a lot of the headstones, you know? 1864… 1865… There was a pattern, obviously, of men dying in the 1800s between those particular dates: 1861-1865.”
This was “The Great Civil War,” Costner continues, a personal passion. “And out of those graveyard walks, John crafted a song that, I remember when he sent it to me, I said ‘This might be the best song you’ve ever written.'”
Hear the story behind a Modern West fan favorite, “The Angels Came Down.”Kevin Costner & Modern West
“That’s a hard thing to say to a songwriter,” Costner continues. “Because John has written so many beautiful songs. He is so truly gifted, at least in my mind and those who work around and know him. But I did! I said it, I blurted it out and told him ‘This might be the most important song you’ve ever written.”
For John Coinman’s part, however, the songwriter was hesitant to send it Costner’s way. “I didn’t know if it fit with us,” he told his bandmate.
To which Costner replied: “It fits me. It fits me right down to the bone. I liked it that much, and I think that surprised John. But I felt like it should be a part of this band, and it would be a privilege for me to sing it.”
As Yellowstone and Kevin Costner fans know, the icon is a staunch history buff, even founding entire travel companies based around American history. It’s evident in his body of work, too; from Dances With Wolves to No Way Out and The War.
And at the heart of all American history is our veterans. From all of us here at Outsider, thank you to all who have served and continue to serve this Veteran’s Day.