Thursday, August 11, 2011

War Protest Songs of the 1960's

Protests of the Vietnam War

Even though I was in the military and in Vietnam, I do recall, vividly, the protests going on back in America. I was not upset, but I do remember some of my comrades were pretty upset that America was acting ungrateful. After all, we were supposed to be fighting for and protecting America, but all in all, as the war drug on and especially in the light of the TET Offensive, when we we all started to understand this war may not be winnable after all, I could well understand young men not wanting to be placed into forced servitude (draft) and made to fight in a war they did not agree with.

I loved the military and still do, but I realized that everyone wasn't me. Many soldiers, as the war continued, slipped off into the jungles of Vietnam, probably either being killed in the process or making their way home from a war they began to be disillusioned with. In America people used the terms, draft dodger, sedition, communists, socialists and anti-war protesters, baby killers, much like today. I am quite sure if the nightly news showed us all the real horrors of war, as it did back then, we'd have many more people taking to the streets, as they did then. I'm the first to admit war isn't pretty and I truly think, in modern warfare, no one wins. But our governments will continue to pick a fight with any country they either want something from, or for some kind of profit.

If we haven't learned a thing from Vietnam, then I don't think we ever will or even want to learn anything from it all. I learned many young men and women get sacrificed and it's a job for people, especially in a bad economy, but I don't see much else that war serves.

So I have compiled some of my favorite war protest songs from the Vietnam War era, but they can easily cover the wars we have now been fighting for far too long in the Middle East. I may have been a military man, but I am also a peace loving person. I became a Drill Instructor to, hopefully, teach young people how to survive and if they have to go to war, to hopefully, make it back home alive and in one peace. I always hope I did my job well because I loved helping young people learn how to survive.

Fixin to Die Rag

This one was sung rather late in the game during the Vietnam War and Country Joe and the Fish got the crowd of over a million people to join in. I kind of credit this song as one of the big ones that helped stop the war. We were a generation who did stop an entire war.

Eve of Destruction

Barry McGuire did this sone and we can tell, from the words, how we may possibly all be on the Eve of Destruction, maybe even more so now, than back then.

Fortunte Son

This is the one and only protest song created and sung by CCR in their career. They really didn't want to do a protest song, but since everyone was buying them in droves, they decided to do this one.

Blowin In the Wind

The words to this song kind of says it all. So it does not need too much introduction. I have no doubt most everyone has heard of this one.

Where Have all the Flowers Gone

This one, much like Blowin in the Wind, kind of says it all too.

Universal Soldier

This one depicts how the world has created soldiers from as far back as civilization can remember. They answer the call and some love it, some become disillusioned by it.

One Tin Soldier

This one really points out how most battles and skirmishes are futile and usually not necessary, for all the 'prize' turns out to be nothing anyone should have shed blood for.

Give Peace a Chance

John Lennon and his wife created this song to plead with people all over the world to try peace, for a change, instead of war. It too says it all.

The Draft Dodger Rag

This one sung by Pete Seeger is a tongue in cheek look at how people viewed draft dodgers back then.

I Ain't Marchin anymore

Arlo Guthrie did this rendition of the song. This depicts soldiers from long ago and fits the Vietnam war as well as the modern wars of today. It sings of the futility of wars.

There were more but these were the most popular songs of that time.

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