Every war will have those who support the war and those who are against the war. In 1965, those who were against the Vietnam War made their views known by many forms of protesting such as forming organizations, rallying, and anti-war protest music. Anti-war protest music was an opportunity to put people’s perspectives into song to hopefully spread their message. Buffy Sainte-Marie wrote the song “Universal Soldier” in 1962 and her message was that “Universal Soldier is about individual responsibility for war and how the old feudal thinking kills us all” (Boulanger). The song “Universal Soldier” was used as a protest anthem during the Vietnam War and attempts to untangle one of the paradoxes of life that war never leads to peace through examining a soldier that is representative of every soldier in every nation.
For centuries, writers of both poetry and prose have sought to entertain and educate their readers as well as evoke specific emotions by detailing events from the human experience to which they can relate. Similarly, composers have sought to do the same albeit through the combination of music and lyrics. In his 1982 release, “Goodnight Saigon,” singer/songwriter Billy Joel, through the use of sound, imagery, symbolism and the juxtaposition of opposites, brings images of the Vietnam War to the forefront and in so doing, provides his audience with insight into the human experience.
Rock n’ roll led America into becoming a society that is more accepting of different races and cultures, it also inspired rebellion against the social norms of the time. One example of a change that rock n’ roll brought onto society was the acceptance of races, especially African Americans. In the beginning of the rock n’ roll movement, many white adults were against the genre of music, largely because it was performed by African Americans or had African American influences, but teenagers loved it. Because of this, white teens were going to concerts performed by African Americans and watched them in unsegregated crowds. These experiences gave white, impressionable teens
Black Sabbath was a band popular in the 1970’s who made primarily hard Rock and heavy Metal music. Their most famous album was Paranoid which features their top three most famous songs such as “War Pigs”, “Iron Man”, and “Paranoid”. The song that had resonated the most in young audiences during the decade was the song “War Pigs”. In this era the Vietnam War was taking place, by writing “War Pigs” it gave a path for the band to communicate their protest of the war. Due to the era in which the song was produced and the use of lyrics, one can properly assume that the song is based on the Vietnam War or just on war in general.
From clubs in Britain, to the garages in the United States, rock music is and has been taking the world head on for 60 years. It has always been the rebel in the music world, breaking all the rules and always making unexpected turns. With this said, let’s go back to where it all started, back to the 1950’s…
Throughout the 1960’s, popular music empowered youth and emphasized this portion of the population as a whole. As the cold war comes to an end in history, society’s unnerve, especially among the newer generations, assembled ideas in order to create a certain understanding of their desires. However, unlike most of social uprisings in the past where demands were normally written through official documentation, in the sixties, rebellion is introduced in a lyrical manner through Rock Music. The fascination with this type of music reflects the controversy in times of war regarding race, gender, and social class. The propositions that the lyrics in Rock Music request, influence society to the day, as these involved uncompromisingly but significantly with the political and economical conditions imposed by the government along with its need of warfare in the 1960’s. Rock music itself, glorifies the anti-war ideals and the use of drugs through its lyrical treatment of war, which achieved a shift in teenagers’ attitudes and actions, as they integrated the songs into their lives and individually consolidated them depending on their understanding to their meaning. Since music plays a major role in society in this era, great musicians which nowadays are considered as “rock’s classics” made their appearance, contributing to this new cultural change around the world. The rise of fame of performers such as James Brown, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Doors, Grateful Dead, and Bob Dylan has made this important figures to remain as cultural icons in history. As rock music has developed throughout the 1960’s to this very modern day, it has not only received social appreciation, but it also has made a major impact in society by ch...
Plans started with the idea they would hold a two-day rock concert in Wallkill, New York, for approximately 50,000 people in hopes it would raise enough money to pay for their recording studio. They sold tickets for one day, two day, and three day passes via mail or in stores. Over time, they began hiring security guards, signing bands and musicians, and organizing concessions. They thought they had everything thought of until one by one things began falling apart. The town of Wallkill immediately began boycotting the concert which ended up passing a law on July 2, 1969 bann...
The 1960s was a time of the Cold War where the ideologies of Capitalism and Communism clashed. This led to worldwide conflicts regarding the ideologies such as the Vietnam War. Society in the United States also reflected the opposition of ideologies, specifically the battle between liberalism and conservatism. This opposition led to the growth of a gap between the left and the right in the United States. One way people manifested their political ideologies was through music. For example, Phil Ochs’s “Love Me, I’m a Liberal” shows contradictions between what liberals say and what they actually do. Also, Barry Sadler’s “Ballad of the Green Berets” is a patriotic song that describes the bravery of the Green Berets in war. Ochs and Sadler present
As Americans we are passionate about “our American way of life” and how our government functions. Throughout history, our country has worked to spread democracy throughout the world. The second verse contains the lyrics, “Just a mission made of guns that paint rainbows in Vietnam”, bringing flashbacks to the Vietnam War. During this time, the United States
I decided to choose these songs because of what they represent, they portray the fact that even in the hardest times ( which is the time where a war is happening and lives are being lost) people still had enough hope that the war would end and peace would be accomplished or gained. For example, the song "The Unknown Soldier" This song represents the Vietnam War. This song was written to show how the conflict was being portrayed in the media at the time. As a matter of fact, the lines “Breakfast where the news is read/ Television children fed/ Unborn living, living dead/ Bullets strike the helmet’s head” portray the way news of the Vietnam war was being exhibited to ordinary people. However, there is another message: that as the rest of America
The songs of both eras portray expression of freedom of speech which allows the youth of the country to question the politicians who make the decision to go to war yet place the burden of executing the war on the backs of our young men and women. With just a few insightful lyrics, these songs underscore the reality of war. People die. The songs question the end result of the carnage. What have we learned from killing when we seem to repeat the same mistakes over and over leading to senseless war.
Music, quickly becoming a prominent figure during the Vietnam War, allowed some artists to express their political views. For instance, The Beatles, who were pressured into expressing their views on pressing political matters, are prominent to their listeners’ opinions. However, The Beatles expressed their opinions by criticizing the Anti-War Movement in their song “Revolution.” For example, after John Lennon indicates the receiving party’s want to revolutionize, he snaps back saying, “Well you know we all want to change the world.” Most likely, this is leading the belief that Lennon is not about a full force change, but he wants a more gradual attempt at one. Lennon shows that most people know the goal of the Anti-War Movement, and it
The greatest time of protest music was the 20th century that was related to World War, Black Lives Matter, and Vietnam Wars. In the time, the music spread widely and strongly developed in genres and contents. During World War I, some first anti-war songs were composed and performed, such as “I Didn’t Raise My Boy to be a Soldier”, which was the first songs to protest war (Hill, 2016). Also, in his article, Hill F.(2016) Pointed out that the songs did not really direct to authors’ purposes, but they often used patriotism and homesickness in order to persuade stop wars such as “Lorena” and
Before one can hope to understand the meaning of the song, the social context of the song must be understood. At the time of writing this piece, Paul Simon witnessed the assassination of JFK and provided the inspiration to start writing this dark, yet inspirational song. At the time of the record’s release, the anti-war movement against the Vietnam conflict was in full swing as well. The first verse of the song,
Throughout Europe, bombs fall and bullets puncture the soft skin of strong soldiers fighting for their country to terminate Nazism in Germany. World War Two was in full swing. As for the United States, citizens were living normal lives listening to music protesting the war changing their interpretation of war in Europe. One emotional song about anti-war protest during WWII will leave an imprint in any one’s mind forever making it an impactful song to change viewpoints about WWII. “Soldiers Last Letter” composed by Ernest Tubb in 1944, pulls on the heartstrings, relating to those who had loved ones fighting in the war. A single line on the song brings a tear to one’s eye. “When the postman delivered a letter, it filled her dear heart full of joy, but she didn't know til’ she read the inside, it was the last one from her darling boy.” As you can see, one phrase from a song can make you feel as if in the shoes of a mother whose child will be killed in battle. A letter from your beloved soldier makes your day although as you read, your joy fades away after finding you will never hear from him again. Emotional propaganda music was the best to get across to the people as many can relate. Another portion of the song gets even deeper into sadness. “Then the mothe...