Protesting the Vietnam War in Popular Songs

995 Words4 Pages
Artists have throughout history conveyed their thoughts, experiences, and opinions through their songs, whether these were for better or worse. In 1970, an artist by the name of Edwin Starr released his song, “War.” In 1971, Marvin Gaye released his song, “What’s Going On.” In 1965, P.F. Sloan released his song, “Eve of Destruction.” In 1963, Bob Dylan released his song, “Blowing in the Wind.” The artists wrote, recorded, and released these songs with the purpose to express their feelings of dislike against war, especially the Vietnam War and the racial wars occurring within America concurrently. The four songs listed above were all around the same era of time and were written, recorded, and inspired by the major events that occurred in the 1960s and 1970s. These events were the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War, and racial wars. These songs help express the feelings and shed light on the emotions of the citizens in the United States who were not only against the Vietnam War and were against the unfair treatment of other United States citizens based on some prejudice. These songs help expose an era in American history where a huge population of American citizens were beginning to voice their frustration against violence and mistreatment of people no matter where it took place. In Marvin Gaye’s “What’s going on”, he focuses on sparking a change within his community with the goal to acknowledge issues like waging war or people committing open, direct acts of violence on their fellow man. Marvin Gaye expresses his distaste for the war and especially for violence. For example, he states, “We don’t need to escalate. You see, war is not the answer. For only love can conquer hate.” Marvin Gaye openly expresses his opinion on war. ... ... middle of paper ... ... the races of the artists of these songs were different, they all had the similar opinions against violence which did not depend on where the violence was being acted. Works Cited 03, April. "Edwin Starr, 61; Singer of Motown Hit 'War' in 1970." Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 03 Apr. 2003. Web. 25 Feb. 2014. "10 Top Anti-War/Protest Songs About the Vietnam War." Examiner.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2014. "Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind"" HubPages. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2014. "Eve of Destruction - Marlene Grant." Marlene Grant. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2014. Hansen, Liane. "PF Sloan's Long Road Back from 'Destruction'" NPR. NPR, n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2014. Naylor, Brian. "'Blowin' In The Wind' Still Asks The Hard Questions." NPR. NPR, n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2014. "What's Goin' On? by Marvin Gaye - The Vietnam War." The Vietnam War. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.

More about Protesting the Vietnam War in Popular Songs

Open Document