The music

Song: “Eve Of Destruction”

Artist: Barry McGuire

Year Released: 1965

Album: Released as a single

Label: Dunhill

Resources: for picture and information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eve_of_Destruction_(song)

Link to song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EyGcXj84mE

This song, written by P.F. Sloan, is a commentary that blends the problems overseas with the problems in America.  McGuire, with a vocal tone of disgust, discusses the horror of war and mentions the fact that most troops drafted were “old enough to kill, but not for votin'”.  The song then shifts to the senators “not passing legislation” and the “marches alone can’t bring integration”.  That is a direct reference to the segregation going on all around the United States, especially the American south.

Song: “Draft Dodger Rag”

Artist: Phil Ochs

Year Released: 1965

Album: I Ain’t Marching Anymore

Label: Elektra

Resources: for picture: http://www.papermag.com/uploaded_images/ochs_carnegiehall.jpg

For information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Draft_Dodger_Rag

Link to song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kG89nDyxOPY (Live and sung by Pete Seeger at Phil Ochs tribute concert)

This is a satirical song to describe a man at the draft board telling the people there that he’s American as American can be but he has all these problems that prevent him from being drafted.  The problems include flat feet, “carrying a purse”, and a ruptured spleen just to name a few.  The last verse ends with the words, “And if you ever get a war without blood and gore, I’ll be the first to go”.  That line sums up that he will go but not if it’s for the wrong reasons (i.e. blood and gore).  A great and funny protest song-words that aren’t usually put in the same sentence.

Song: “Lyndon Johnson Told The Nation”

Artist: Tom Paxton

Released: 1965

Album: Ain’t That News!

Label: Elektra

Resources: for picture: http://image.kazaa.com/images/64/081227351564/Tom_Paxton/The_Best_Of_Tom_Paxton_I_Cant_Help_/Tom_Paxton-The_Best_Of_Tom_Paxton_I_Can_3.jpg

For information: http://www.mydfz.com/Paxton/atn.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Paxton

Link to song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yt6D4NFQ2Cc (Sung in a singalong for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)

This song is a direct shot at President Lyndon B. Johnson from Tom Paxton.  The lyrics talk about a man who was told by LBJ that he was going to Vietnam to fight in the war and basically told him a bunch of lies.  He addresses things like escalation and how LBJ wasn’t going to escalate the number of troops in Vietnam and ended up doing it.  And he talked about sitting “in a rice patty” and waiting for the next strike and thinking about how LBJ said, “back in November”, that he’d never have to go to war.

Song: “Blowin’ In The Wind”

Artist: Bob Dylan

Year Released: 1963

Album: The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan

Label: Columbia Records

Resources: for picture: http://www.eslstreet.com/html/modules/zina/music/Blowing%20In%20The%20Wind%20-%20Bob%20Dylan/Blowin%20in%20the%20wind/Bob-Dylan-Blowin-In-The-Win-294375.jpg

For information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blowin_In_The_Wind

Link to song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTp810Ycqj8 (sung in this version by Joan Baez)

This is not a direct protest song but it raises the question of peace and war with it’s lyrics.  The questions can be heard throughout the song but is always ended with the lyric, “the answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.  The answer is blowin’ in the wind”, emphasizing that the answer is something that you have to “catch in the wind” or something that is right in front of you but about the blow away.

Song: “I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag/The Fish Cheer”

Artist: Country Joe & The Fish

Released: 1967

Album: I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die

Label: Vanguard

Resources: for picture: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I-Feel-Like-I%27m-Fixin%27-to-Die

For information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_%22Fish%22_Cheer_/_I-Feel-Like-I%27m-Fixin%27-To-Die_Rag

Link to song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4xD8j8ye9k (Live from Woodstock)

This song is a blatantly anti-Vietnam war song.  The song’s lyrics use a reverse psychology method by telling the listener all the horrors of war but always saying, “what are we fighting for?  Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn.  The next stop is Vietnam.  And it’s one-two-three, open up the pearly gates.  Well there ain’t no time to wonder why.  Whoopee we’re all gonna die”.  The song tells the youth to “put down your books and pick up a gun” and then at the end tells the parents to “be the first one on your block to have your boy come home in a box”.  The song is very explicit and paints a dark picture of the war.

Song: “War”

Artist: Edwin Starr

Released: 1970

Album: War & Peace

Label: Gordy

Resources: for picture and information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_(Edwin_Starr_song)

Link to song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01-2pNCZiNk

This song brings the scene of Motown in the fold of anti-war songs.  The song constantly asks the question of what is war actually good for with the singer responding “Absolutely nothing” and saying that war is filled with heartbreak and is a “friend only to the undertaker”.  The song also paints a bad picture of war and as something that people should stay away from.

Song: “Still In Saigon”

Artist: The Charlie Daniels Band

Released: 1982

Album: Windows

Label: Epic

Resources: for picture: http://images.uulyrics.com/cover/t/the-charlie-daniels-band/album-super-hits.jpg

For information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Still_in_saigon

Link to song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOfrnKqk3zw

This song is a post-war song that describes a Vietnam vet during the war and after.  The soldier, portrayed by Charlie Daniels, discusses leaving for Canada instead of getting drafted but decides to go through with the war.  He talks about the horrific experiences during the war and then, talks about his home life after the war with people in his own family calling him a “killer”.  He also suffers from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).  This song refers to the fact that even though he is home and the war is over, his mind is “still in Saigon”.

Song: “I Ain’t Marching Anymore”

Artist: Phil Ochs

Released: 1965

Album: I Ain’t Marching Anymore

Label: Elektra

Resources: for picture and information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Ain%27t_Marching_Anymore

Link to song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5pgrKSwFJE

The song was written during the height of the Vietnam war and it criticizes the wars that took place before this.  This song is a very different song from his earlier tune, “Draft Dodger Rag”, which was sung in a lighter note.  The lyric that stood out to me the most was, “the fact that you won’t be hearing this song on the radio is more than enough justification for the writing of it.”  That line summed up exactly what Ochs was thinking about when writing this piece in my opinion.

Song: “Sky Pilot”

Artist: Eric Burdon & The Animals

Released: 1968

Album: The Twain Shall Meet

Label: MGM

Resources: for picture: http://www.chartstats.com/images/artwork/2949.jpg

For information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sky_Pilot_(song)

Link to song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_VJoDOdJH0

This song is a three part song that starts off with a chaplain blessing troops before their departure into an air raid.  The second movement features sounds of air raid bombs and planes flying overhead, engaging in combat.  And the third portrays the aftermath, with a more quieter tone, signifying that the fighting has stopped.  The song does not blatantly talk bad or good about the war but the lyrics at the end could give one a sense that it is an anti-war song.

Song: “Beans In My Ears”

Artist: Pete Seeger

Released: 1966

Album: Dangerous Songs?!

Label: Columbia Records

Resources: for picture: http://image.lyricspond.com/image/p/artist-pete-seeger/album-american-favorite-ballads-vol-4/cd-cover.jpg

For information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beans_In_My_Ears

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dangerous_Songs!%3F

Link to song: http://video.mail.ru/mail/aloha-1/38/510.html

This song was written by Len Chandler but brought to the Vietnam war by Pete Seeger.  The song basically is an attack song towards Lyndon B. Johnson, saying that Johnson had “beans in his ears” and didn’t listen to anti-war protestors when they were voicing their opinions.

Song: “Where Have All The Flowers Gone?”

Artist: Pete Seeger

Released: 1961

Album: Released as a single

Label: None

Resources: for picture: http://images.slacker.com/covers/272/161829

For information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Where_have_all_the_flowers_gone%3F

Link to song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1y2SIIeqy34

This song is basically using the domino effect.  It starts off with flowers being picked by girls.  Then the girls being taken by husbands.  And then the war taking the husbands.  And the graveyards taking the husbands that are fighting in the war.  It paints a picture of what can happen if you engage in war.

Song: “What’s Going On?”

Artist: Marvin Gaye

Released: 1971

Album: What’s Going On?

Label: Tamla

Resources: for picture: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What%27s_Going_On

For information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What%27s_Going_On_(song)

Link to song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Reit-KlyyUk

This song, another from the Motown scene, describes the feeling of someone watching the happenings of protestors of the war and the authorities and wondering what is going on with the world and people today.  The lyrics continue to say “picket lines and picket signs”, referring to the protesting going on, and following it up with, “don’t punish me with brutality”, referring to the police brutality that was being shown against the protestors to make them stop.  One of the most iconic songs written in opposition to the Vietnam war.

Song: “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”

Artist: Arlo Guthrie

Released: 1967

Album: Alice’s Restaurant

Label: Reprise

Resources: for picture and information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice%27s_Restaurant

Link to song: Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmyXTOHC3w8, Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qA83Xsj4WHM

This song is discussing a incident that happened in Guthrie’s life where he was arrested for littering and proceeds to attack the American judicial system.  He is also a potential draftee for the Vietnam war and is facing is draft day.  It’s message is to tell the listener that you could get in trouble for the slightest thing like littering and still not be deemed “morally fit” for the draft, thus exempting you.  It is showing people how to get out of the draft and, by doing that, is an anti-war song.

Song: “The Unknown Soldier”

Artist: The Doors

Released: 1968

Album: Waiting For The Sun

Label: Elektra

Resources: for picture: http://static.rateyourmusic.com/album_images/49e14f49e6b6b08d3f859d59fc0fce4a/164145.jpg

For information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Unknown_Soldier_(song)

Link to song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDUOVyiX9fk

This song was written, by Jim Morrison, as a reaction to the coverage of the Vietnam War.  He describes his feelings with lyrics like “unborn living, living dead” and “bullets strike the helmet’s head”.  The song then cuts into military drumming and cadence, along with guns blasting and other rifles loading.  The song ends with Morrison celebrating the war’s end.

Song: “Volunteers”

Artist: Jefferson Airplane

Released: 1969

Album: Volunteers

Label: RCA

Resources: for picture: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b7/Jefferson_Airplane-Volunteers_%28album_cover%29.jpg

For information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volunteers_(song)

Link to song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ljxpyH4dnA (Live at Woodstock)

This song is describing what is happening and how the revolution is starting in America and how this generation is somewhat better than the previous generation.  The song is very opinionated and states that they are better because they are the “volunteers”.

Song: “American Woman”

Artist: The Guess Who

Released: 1970

Album: American Woman

Label: RCA

Resources: for picture: http://www.gibson.com/Files/aaFeaturesImages/american%20woman%20the%20guess%20who.jpg

For information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Woman_(song)

Link to song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OR6HkGS11c

This song describes the views of a man who is at the draft board and is telling the woman who is about to draft him that he doesn’t want to be apart of this situation and to “get away” from him.  Some people described it as anti-American, describing a draft dodger telling the draft board to their face that he doesn’t want to go.  But the band denies that they were anti-American and just wrote the song and let other people discuss the meaning among themselves.

Song: “You Haven’t Done Nothin'”

Artist: Stevie Wonder

Released: 1974

Album: Fulfillingness’ First Finale

Label: Tamla

Resources: for picture: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_FF-40poRR_k/SH1P1NwYZQI/AAAAAAAAACs/09VNzfd_6eo/S206/Stevie+Wonder+You+Haven%27t+Done+Nothin.jpg

For information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You_Haven%27t_Done_Nothin%27

Link to song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ji2ma2mfyhU

This song is an attack song towards President Richard Nixon.  The title basically describes what the song is about.  Stevie Wonder exclaims that Nixon hasn’t done anything to help and stop the war and innocent people are still dying from something that shouldn’t have taken place at all.

Song: “Ohio”

Artist: Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young

Released: 1970

Album: Released as a single

Label: Atlantic

Resources: for picture: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_dTx99R9KXDU/S981YZJZ-oI/AAAAAAAAAfY/d5Pv6LMjWdQ/s400/1970-ohio-single-295.jpg

For information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohio_(Crosby,_Stills,_Nash_%26_Young_song)

Link to song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82CYNj7noic

This song references the tragedy that happened at Kent State University in 1970.  Students were protesting on campus and the Ohio National Guard opened fire on them to stop them from protesting.  As a result, four were dead and it was one of the worst things to happen on American soil during the Vietnam War.

Song: “Sunshine (Go Away Today)”

Artist: Jonathan Edwards

Released: 1971

Album: Jonathan Edwards

Label: Capricorn Records

Resources: for picture: http://image.lyricspond.com/image/j/artist-jonathan-edwards/album-rockin-chair/cd-cover.jpg

For information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunshine_(Go_Away_Today)

Link to song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHRxQo2uUy8

This song is a protest song that describes the attitude of soldiers who just weren’t into the war.  They are thrusted into a conflict that they don’t really know about and are forced to fight a enemy that they don’t really know much about.  The lyric, “some man’s gone, he’s trying to run my life” is directed at the president, Nixon at the time, and how him and the government made the youth go to war when no one really knows why they got involved in the first place, if only to boost America’s ego.

Song: “For What It’s Worth”

Artist: Buffalo Springfield

Released: 1967

Album: Buffalo Springfield

Label: Atco

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For_What_It’s_Worth_(Buffalo_Springfield_song) (both information and picture)

Link to song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5M_Ttstbgs

The song, not written specifically as a protest song, became a protest song by the general media and by the public during that time due to it’s lyrics and has since become a go-to song for all movies depicting the Vietnam War.  The writer, Stephen Stills, said that he wrote it in response to the problems between the people going to clubs in California and the law enforcement.

Song: “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place”

Artist: The Animals

Released: 1965

Album: Animal Tracks

Label: MGM Records

Resource: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_Gotta_Get_out_of_This_Place (both information and picture)

Link to song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxNEiZhpinY

Another song not written as a protest song nor written about a war but is still very much a part of the fabric of the Vietnam War.  Many troops in Vietnam cite this song as the “Vietnam anthem” and remember hearing it a lot during their tour.  It was requested on radio and every band played it in the clubs.

Song: “Machine Gun”

Artist: Jimi Hendrix

Released: 1970

Album: Band Of Gypsys

Label: Capitol

Resource: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machine_Gun_(Jimi_Hendrix_song) (both information and picture)

Link to song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQMmDoNjDLQ

This song is recorded very much like a jam session where Hendrix depicts a young soldier fighting in the war with his lyrics.  The song itself was never released as a studio recording but various live recordings can be found and the lyrics differ every time.  However, the lyrics still talk about the same soldier fighting in the war and describe the horrors of it.

Song: “Singing In Vietnam Talking Blues”

Artist: Johnny Cash

Released: 1991

Album: Cash: Patriot

Label: Columbia

Resource: for picture: http://image.kazaa.com/images/86/888880833686/Johnny_Cash/Johnny_Cashs_America/Johnny_Cash-Johnny_Cashs_America_3.jpg

for information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Cash:_Patriot

Link to song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxQS9ZOpB70

This song paints a picture of what the war was like through the eyes of an entertainer who went overseas to entertain the troops.  Johnny Cash and his wife, June Carter Cash, describe in their lyrics being in their room and hearing the bombshells and the gunfire going on outside and then going to the hospital and playing for all the wounded soldiers.

Song: “Hello Vietnam”

Artist: Johnnie Wright

Released: 1965

Album: Hello Vietnam

Label: Decca

Resource: for picture: http://www.songwritersfestival.com/tomthall.jpg

For information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hello_Vietnam

Link to song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQFWAIFzoZ4

Even though this song supported the war, I wanted to put it in because it broke the barrier for pro-war songs to make the charts.  The song supported the war and that we need to save freedom at any cost.  A different dynamic but still a song that shaped the Vietnam era.

Song: “Student Demonstration Time”

Artist: The Beach Boys

Released: 1971

Album: Surf’s Up

Label: Brother/Reprise

Resource: for picture: http://rateyourmusic.com/release/single/the_beach_boys/student_demonstration_time___dont_go_near_the_water_f1/

for information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Student_Demonstration_Time

Link to song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-x_FHj9yLo

This song basically talks about the growing number of protests that are occurring on college campuses all around the country.  It talks about the Kent State shootings in particular and mentions other schools like UC Berkeley.  The song talks about rioting and when there’s a riot, it’s student demonstration time.

Song: “War Pigs”

Artist: Black Sabbath

Released: 1970

Album: Paranoid

Label: Vertigo

Resources: for picture: http://www.black-sabbath.de/bootlegs/paris/war1.jpg

For information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Pigs

Link to song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZCyOWLrRTE

This song, in the words of Ozzy Osbourne, is just a “anti-war song”.  The bass guitarist for Black Sabbath, Geezer Butler, said that the song was written because of the “rich politicians” who send the “poor people to die for them”.  The song’s lyrics are very strong and one of the most popular anti-war songs of that era and of all time.

Song: “Battle Hymn Of Lt. Calley”

Artist: C Company ft. Terry Nelson

Released: 1971

Album: Released as a single

Label: Plantation

Resources: for picture: http://static.rateyourmusic.com/album_images/ed9d7c051a3bbd3622285b13beca4e40/493124.jpg

For information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_Hymn_of_Lt._Calley

Link to song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXNsXIxBkqs

This spoken word song, sung to the tune of the “Battle Hymn Of The Republic”, describes the early military life of Lt. William Calley.  Calley was the lieutenant who ordered the attack of innocent women, children, and elderly people in what is now known as the My Lai Massacre.  The song is sung through the point of view of Calley and is written to make him look like a tragic hero, fighting the Viet Cong and matching bullet for bullet.  The lyrics, however, don’t match up with the actual events.  In actuality, the villagers in My Lai didn’t have any weapons and the soldiers just massacred them because they thought they were Viet Cong or Viet Cong sympathizers.  They had no weapons to retaliate and there were no survivors.  It was one of the first songs to bring the horrible event to the masses through music.

Song: “2 + 2 = ?”

Artist: The Bob Seger System

Released: 1968

Album: Released as a single, later on the album Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man

Label: Capitol Records

Resources: for picture: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_4J8Dn5tHmQs/Sp6SuXENEPI/AAAAAAAAByE/xjP1yB7IiQQ/s320/bob+seger+system+2%2B2%3D.jpg

For information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2%2B2%3D%3F

Link to song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=487t88pz-2Y

This song is considered by many as one of the greatest protest songs of all time.  The structure of the song and the way it was written makes for some bone chilling experiences.  The song protests the United States involvement in the war and specifically the draft as the song says that the young men who were drafted were going to end up “buried in the mud, off in foreign jungle land”.

Song: “Ball Of Confusion (That’s What The World Is Today)”

Artist: The Temptations

Released: 1970

Album: Greatest Hits, Vol. 2

Label: Gordy

Resources: for picture and information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ball_of_Confusion_(That%27s_What_the_World_Is_Today)

Link to song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmAU6Yy2CVk

This song touches on not just the Vietnam War but other issues facing the world at that time.  Issues like segregation, drug abuse, and crooked politicians are just a few.  This song, along with others released by the Temptations at that time, were a stark contrast to what they released in the beginning and what they are known for.  This song is more darker and something that resonates among Temptations fans and the general public.

Song: “Give Peace A Chance”

Artist: John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band

Released: 1969

Album: Shaved Fish

Label: Apple

Resources: for picture and information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Give_Peace_A_Chance

Link to song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kg8rlSi5MlA

This song is self-explanatory and a good song to end my playlist on.  It is a basic formula for an anti-war protest song talking about giving peace a chance and ending fighting for good.  The way the song is structured and the use of a bunch of people chanting “All we are saying is give peace a chance” was a way to make the people higher up listen to the voices of the youth and hopefully end the war to give peace a chance.

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