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Lyr Req: Protest Songs of the Sixties

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Stringsinger 16 Oct 07 - 12:43 PM
Big Mick 16 Oct 07 - 12:52 PM
Rog Peek 16 Oct 07 - 12:53 PM
Big Mick 16 Oct 07 - 12:55 PM
GUEST,maire aine 16 Oct 07 - 12:55 PM
Jean(eanjay) 16 Oct 07 - 01:00 PM
Amos 16 Oct 07 - 01:04 PM
Jean(eanjay) 16 Oct 07 - 02:40 PM
Newport Boy 16 Oct 07 - 03:21 PM
Peace 16 Oct 07 - 04:06 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 16 Oct 07 - 04:10 PM
curmudgeon 16 Oct 07 - 04:18 PM
Peace 16 Oct 07 - 04:29 PM
PoppaGator 16 Oct 07 - 04:31 PM
Beer 16 Oct 07 - 04:47 PM
Dave Sutherland 16 Oct 07 - 04:53 PM
Richard Bridge 16 Oct 07 - 05:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Oct 07 - 05:41 PM
Cool Beans 16 Oct 07 - 06:20 PM
bobad 16 Oct 07 - 07:48 PM
Peace 16 Oct 07 - 10:34 PM
Rowan 16 Oct 07 - 11:09 PM
GUEST,Gerry 16 Oct 07 - 11:35 PM
Bat Goddess 17 Oct 07 - 07:40 AM
John Hardly 17 Oct 07 - 07:53 AM
Richard Bridge 17 Oct 07 - 08:37 AM
John Hardly 17 Oct 07 - 08:50 AM
Leadbelly 17 Oct 07 - 04:12 PM
GUEST,Mike B. 17 Oct 07 - 07:43 PM
GUEST,Tinker in Chicago 18 Oct 07 - 12:08 AM
GUEST 18 Oct 07 - 03:57 AM
GUEST,Barnacle (at work) 18 Oct 07 - 06:04 AM
Peace 18 Oct 07 - 09:51 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Protest Songs of the Sixties
From: Stringsinger
Date: 16 Oct 07 - 12:43 PM

I am looking for protest songs of the sixties, civil rights movement, vietnam pro and anti war songs, songs about the time of L.B.J., Thurgood Marshall, Rosa Parks etc.

Songs titles would be good or if you have lyrics, that would be greatly appreciated.
Even if these songs are well-known or obvious, I would appreciate their inclusion in title lists or lyrics.

Thanks so much.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: Lyr Add: EVE OF DESTRUCTION (from Barry McGuire)
From: Big Mick
Date: 16 Oct 07 - 12:52 PM

I guess we can start with the obvious ones.

Eve of Destruction - Barry McGuire

The eastern world, it is exploding
Violence flarin', bullets loadin'
You're old enough to kill, but not for votin'
You don't believe in war, but what's that gun you're totin'
And even the Jordan River has bodies floatin'

But you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don't believe
We're on the eve
of destruction.

Don't you understand what I'm tryin' to say
Can't you feel the fears I'm feelin' today?
If the button is pushed, there's no runnin' away
There'll be no one to save, with the world in a grave
[Take a look around ya boy, it's bound to scare ya boy]

And you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don't believe
We're on the eve
of destruction.

Yeah, my blood's so mad feels like coagulatin'
I'm sitting here just contemplatin'
I can't twist the truth, it knows no regulation.
Handful of senators don't pass legislation
And marches alone can't bring integration
When human respect is disintegratin'
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin'

And you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don't believe
We're on the eve
of destruction.

Think of all the hate there is in Red China
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama
You may leave here for 4 days in space
But when you return, it's the same old place
The poundin' of the drums, the pride and disgrace
You can bury your dead, but don't leave a trace
Hate your next-door neighbor, but don't forget to say grace
And… tell me over and over and over and over again, my friend
You don't believe
We're on the eve
Of destruction
Mm, no no, you don't believe
We're on the eve
of destruction.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Protest Songs of the Sixties
From: Rog Peek
Date: 16 Oct 07 - 12:53 PM

You should find some here:-

Phil Ochs' lyrics

Rog


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Protest Songs of the Sixties
From: Big Mick
Date: 16 Oct 07 - 12:55 PM

Country Joe McDonalds I Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag

HERE is his page on it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Protest Songs of the Sixties
From: GUEST,maire aine
Date: 16 Oct 07 - 12:55 PM

Try searching for @protest in the digital tradition, also @union

Maryanne


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Subject: Lyr Add: MASTERS OF WAR (Bob Dylan)
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 16 Oct 07 - 01:00 PM

Masters of War

Come you masters of war
You that build the big guns
You that build the death planes
You that build all the bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks

You that never done nothin'
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it's your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain

You fasten all the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
While the death count gets higher
Then you hide in your mansion
While the young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud

You've thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain't worth the blood
That runs in your veins

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I'm young
You might say I'm unlearned
But there's one thing I know
Though I'm younger than you
Even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul

And I hope that you die
And your death'll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand o'er your grave
'Til I'm sure that you're dead


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Protest Songs of the Sixties
From: Amos
Date: 16 Oct 07 - 01:04 PM

The standards -- "We Shall Not Be Moved", "Study War No More" and "Last Night I had the Strangest Dream" were in wide circulation at the time though they were coined earlier.

"One, Two Three--What Are We Fightin' For" was very much in evidence by 1968-9.

"Universal Soldier" and "I ain't A-Marchin' Any More" likewise spring to mind.

Likewise "Ye Masters of War".


A


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Protest Songs of the Sixties
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 16 Oct 07 - 02:40 PM

With God on Our Side
Blowing in the Wind
Where have all the flowers gone


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Protest Songs of the Sixties
From: Newport Boy
Date: 16 Oct 07 - 03:21 PM

From the civil rights movement, Guy & Candy Carawan's book "Freedom is a Constant Struggle" (Oak Publications, 1968) contains about 60 songs from the period from 1963.

Their 1963 book "We Shall Overcome" has a lot of the earlier songs.

Tom Paxton's songs from the 60's include:
The Thresher Disaster
The Great American Dream
When Morning Breaks
I read it in 'The Daily News'
There was a Time
The Willing Conscript
The Dogs of Alabama
Strange Rain
A Rumbling in the Land

Others that come to mind from the UK include:

All the Way with LBJ - Tony McCarthy 1966
Death Come Easy - Harvey Andrews
H-Bomb's Thunder
The Ballad of Jimmy Wilson - McColl/Seeger

That's a few to be going on with. A lot of the songs sung in the various protest movements of the 60's had earlier origins - sometimes just a tweak of the words, sometimes a full rewrite.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Protest Songs of the Sixties
From: Peace
Date: 16 Oct 07 - 04:06 PM

They gotta be by famous people?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Protest Songs of the Sixties
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 16 Oct 07 - 04:10 PM

And, of course, the repertoire of Pete Seeger is full of gems. Just a few that come to mind:

Waist Deep in the Big Muddy
Where Have All the Flowers Gone
Die Gedanken Sind Frei
Turn! Turn! Turn!
Bring Them Home
Last Train to Nuremberg

And though it's a Christmas song, "Burgundian Carol" seems to fit, too.

And, for all times, Ed McCurdy's "Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream," which gets my vote for the best peace / antiwar song of all time.

And that just scratches the surface of Pete's (and the other songwriters' whose songs he sings) gifts to us all. Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Protest Songs of the Sixties
From: curmudgeon
Date: 16 Oct 07 - 04:18 PM

I'm sure that the pages of Sing Out! are full, but unfortunately, my collection is not very accessable at present - Tom


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Subject: Lyr Add: LET'S LAY DOWN OUR DRUMS
From: Peace
Date: 16 Oct 07 - 04:29 PM

The following song was written in 1967. It will most probably (95% probability) be released by another singer in the next few months. Funny that a song 40 years old may still apply to some situations.

"Let's Lay Down Our Drums"

The truth's gotten lost it's been
Strangled and tossed by the
noise and
Confusion of battle that's
Left it so rattled it's
Poison
The future must think that barbarians come
Let's lay down our drums

Soldiers mark time to the
Criminal mind when they
Pass by
Our governors smile 'cause
The Nuremberg Trials never
Ask why
Our homicide police can't convict anyone
Let's lay down our drums

BRIDGE
It's useless political talk
That's kept everybody strung
It's evident both sides should stop
They already deserve to be hung
Let's lay down our drums

Fools get upset without
Thought they forget about
Reason
So the human who marches is
Slandered by charges of
Treason
You know songs of this kind should not need to be sung
Let's lay down our drums
Let's lay down our drums


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Protest Songs of the Sixties
From: PoppaGator
Date: 16 Oct 07 - 04:31 PM

There's a distinction between songs that were customarily sung en masse at protest rallies, such as "We Shall Overcome," and topical songs generally presented in performance but not really suited for group singing, like "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll." (Who would be expected to know all the words?)

The most popular of the picket-line sing-alongs have already been mentioned. But we've only scratched the surface in listing some of the many "topical" and "protest" songs that crowds would listen to without necessarily singing along.

Unless, of course, Pete Seeger were the performer, in which case he'd teach us all the chorus and make damn sure that everyone was participating before the song came to an end.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Protest Songs of the Sixties
From: Beer
Date: 16 Oct 07 - 04:47 PM

Good one Peace.
Beer (adrien)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Protest Songs of the Sixties
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 16 Oct 07 - 04:53 PM

Since Ewan MacColl is the current topic of discussion how about:-

The Fields of Vietnam
Brother Did You Weep?
LBJ Looks After Me
Song Of Choice
Ballad of Accounting


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Protest Songs of the Sixties
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Oct 07 - 05:25 PM

The fantastic    "Anthem of the Rainbow". Glorious song and Odetta's recording really doesn't do it justice. I have posted it here and no-one seems to know of anyother songs by the writers.

And of course "So Long".

What have they done to the Rain.

Come Away Melinda.

Walk me out in the Morning Dew.

The Cat came back.

I still do all of these (even though they are not folk songs).

I even do a version of Gordon Lightfoot's "Boss Man".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Protest Songs of the Sixties
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Oct 07 - 05:41 PM

The Crow on the Cradle, by Sydney Carter

"The Sun is Burning in the Sky" by Ian Campbell - it's in the DT, but this link is to a DT mirror which has the tune written down as well. Worth noting that there are a number of links that come up through Google that wrongly ascribe this one to Simon and Garfunkel.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Protest Songs of the Sixties
From: Cool Beans
Date: 16 Oct 07 - 06:20 PM

"The John Birch Society," sung by the Chad Mitchell Trio
"When Mama Parks Sat Down, The Whole World Stood Up"
Did someone already mention "Lyndon Johnson Told the Nation" (Tom Paxton)?


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Subject: Lyr Add: MARY YOU ARE MY FRIEND
From: bobad
Date: 16 Oct 07 - 07:48 PM

This song was written by the same obscure, not famous songwriter who wrote the song that Peace posted.

Mary, You Are My Friend

step down the air raid siren says
don't walk in the rain
it's true they fought their battles
where the graveyard remains
but now machine guns testify
that Hitler's back again
Washington, you know his footsteps
what he's done is change his name
and perhaps go more insane
Mother Mary have forgiveness
the church has got you taking sides
your son was killed for silver
it's the same when soldiers die
but I refuse to sell myself
into illicit enterprise
genocidal quisling governments
sanction more with killer's pride
reward's just murder undisguised
traitors govern us they're inventing
lies to hide their vicious smiles
from holy Mary representing
every virgin with a child


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Protest Songs of the Sixties
From: Peace
Date: 16 Oct 07 - 10:34 PM

Bobad: You got the words? Cool. Now I do, too. Many thanks, buddy.


"sanction war with killer's pride
reward's just murder undisguised"

s/b 'sanction war with killer's pride
      war's just murder undisguised'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Protest Songs of the Sixties
From: Rowan
Date: 16 Oct 07 - 11:09 PM

Don Henderson wrote some goodies; I'll check out the words at home tonight. Many of the ones popular in Oz at the time were transplants from the USA but there were some with origins south of the equator. The best known one, "only 19" from Redgum, dates from after the 60s though.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Protest Songs of the Sixties
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 16 Oct 07 - 11:35 PM

Tom Lehrer's album, That Was The Year That Was, was pretty much entirely topical songs.

The (Chad) Mitchell Trio did a few songs not yet listed in this thread; Barry's Boys, The I Was Not A Nazi Polka, The Ecumenical March, one about Lurleen Wallace (It's great that you're governor, Lurleen...), Which Hat Shall I Wear, a parody version of The Twelve Days Of Christmas, and many more.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Protest Songs of the Sixties
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 07:40 AM

There was an "answer" song to "Eve of Destruction" called "Dawn of Correction" -- I have both on 45 somewhere in this very room I'm typing in. (But that's worse than if they were in a storage unit somewhere. Sigh.)

Linn


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Protest Songs of the Sixties
From: John Hardly
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 07:53 AM

Well, it's a folk music site, but one of the most widely heard protest songs of the whole era was "War" as sung by Edwin Starr.

And the most sadly ignored was this gem.

Stevie Wonder had a few -- "Front Line" where he says, "They had me standing on the front line, now I stand at the back of the line when it comes to getting ahead." and "Living For The City" where he decries that the government won't give enough money to people of the inner city.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Protest Songs of the Sixties
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 08:37 AM

Yes, the Staple Singers were great. I played that to death. Shame about the re-recordings of that song!


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Subject: Lyr Add: KEEPER OF THE CASTLE (from Four Tops)
From: John Hardly
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 08:50 AM

This was kind of a response to protest. Very much in the same vein as "Respect Yourself".

"Keeper Of The Castle"

(As recorded by the Four Tops)
DENNIS LAMBERT
BRIAN POTTER

Live it down
There's a lot of us been pushed around
Red, yellow, black, white and brown
With a tear of their own
Can't you see
While you're pickin' on society
That the leaves on your family tree
Are callin' you to come home.

You're the keeper of the castle
So be a father to your children
The provider of all their daily needs
Like a sovereign lord protector
Be their destiny's director
And they'll do well to follow where you lead.

In your head
You don't believe what the good book said
You're gonna strike out now instead
'Cause the world's been unkind
Through thick and thin
Whatever shape your heart is in
You only have one next of kin
Better keep 'em in mind.

You're the keeper of the castle
So be a good man to your lady
The creator of the sunshine in her day
'Tend the garden that you seeded
Be a friend when a friend is needed
And you won't have to look the other way.


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Subject: Lyr Add: LYNDON JOHNSON TOLD THE NATION ^^^
From: Leadbelly
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 04:12 PM

Although it's well known here comes Tom's great song:


Lyndon Johnson Told the Nation
Words and Music by Tom Paxton

I got a letter from L. B. J.
It said this is your lucky day.
It's time to put your khaki trousers on.
Though it may seem very queer
We've got no jobs to give you here
So we are sending you to Viet Nam

    [Cho:]
    Lyndon Johnson told the nation,
    "Have no fear of escalation.
    I am trying everyone to please.
    Though it isn't really war,
    We're sending fifty thousand more,
    To help save Viet nam from Viet Namese."

I jumped off the old troop ship,
And sank in mud up to my hips.
I cussed until the captain called me down.
Never mind how hard it's raining,
Think of all the ground we're gaining,
Just don't take one step outside of town.

[Cho:]

Every night the local gentry,
Sneak out past the sleeping sentry.
They go to join the old VC.
In their nightly little dramas,
They put on their black pajamas,
And come lobbing mortar shells at me.

[Cho:]

We go round in helicopters,
Like a bunch of big grasshoppers,
Searching for the Viet Cong in vain.
They left a note that they had gone.
They had to get down to Saigon,
Their government positions to maintain.

[Cho:]

Well here I sit in this rice paddy,
Wondering about Big Daddy,
And I know that Lyndon loves me so.
Yet how sadly I remember,
Way back yonder in November,
When he said I'd never have to go.

[Cho:]

Apparently this song has metamorphosed over time. Here are some of the alternative lyrics.

I got a letter from L. B. J.
It said this is your lucky day.
Time to put your khaki trousers on.
We've got a job for you to do:
Dean Rusk has caught the Asian flu,
And we are sending you to Viet Nam.

We landed in some swampy hole,
We went out on a night patrol.
Just who was who was very hard to tell.
With Martha Raye and thirteen mayors,
Half of Congress and six ball players,
And Ronald Reagan yelling, "Give 'em hell!" ^^^


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Subject: Lyr Add: HELLO VIETNAM (Tom T. Hall)
From: GUEST,Mike B.
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 07:43 PM

"The Universal Soldier" by Buffy Sainte-Marie
"Handsome Johnny" by Richie Havens and Lou Gossett
"Saigon Bride" by Nina Duscheck and Joan Baez
"The Fiddle and the Drum" by Joni Mitchell

The original poster mentioned pro-Vietnam war songs as well, so here goes:

Hello Vietnam
(Tom T. Hall)

America has heard the bugle call,
And you know it involves us one and all.
I don't suppose that war will ever end;
There's fighting that will break us up again.

Chorus:
Goodbye my darling, hello Vietnam;
A hill to take, a battle to be won.
Kiss me goodbye and write me while I'm gone.
Goodbye my sweetheart, hello Vietnam.


A ship is waiting for us at the dock.
America has trouble to be stopped.
We must save freedom in that foreign land,
Or freedom will start slipping through our hands.

(Chorus)

I hope and pray someday the world will learn
That fires we don't put out will bigger burn.
We must save freedom now at any cost,
Or someday our own freedom will be lost.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Protest Songs of the Sixties
From: GUEST,Tinker in Chicago
Date: 18 Oct 07 - 12:08 AM

For civil rights songs, consider Tom Paxton's "Goodman, Schwerner and Chaney", or some that Judy Collins recorded like "It Isn't Nice", "Carry It On" and "In the Heat of the Summer". Related to the civil rights movement but not exactly a protest song was Janis Ian's "Society's Child." And did someone already mention Paul Simon's "He Was My Brother"?

In my opinion, one powerful anti-war song was recorded once and not heard of again. Joe Frazier of the (Chad) Mitchell Trio did it, called "Business Goes On As Usual." It deserved a wider audience.

For general, all-purpose protest purposes, Bob Dylan"s "The Times They Are A-Changin'" covers a lot of topics, including the civil rights struggle (the reference to standing in the doorway).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Protest Songs of the Sixties
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Oct 07 - 03:57 AM

Obvious and well known - but not yet suggested:

Letter From LBJ

by Tom Paxton

In the Mudcat Digital Tradition at:
http://www.mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=3572

Tune is found at a DT mirror website:
http://sniff.numachi.com/pages/ttLBJ.html

Draft Dodger's Rag

By Phil Ochs

In the Mudcat Digital Tradition
http://www.mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=1703

Chords found at:
http://web.cecs.pdx.edu/~trent/ochs/lyrics/draft-dodger-rag.html

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

The season is closing....time is becoming available...These are simple....will try to add tunes to the DT.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Protest Songs of the Sixties
From: GUEST,Barnacle (at work)
Date: 18 Oct 07 - 06:04 AM

My favourite Vietnam song is Allan Taylor's "The Morning lies Heavy".


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE MORNING LIES HEAVY ON ME (A Taylor)
From: Peace
Date: 18 Oct 07 - 09:51 AM

"The Morning Lies Heavy on Me" by Allan Taylor

The morning lies heavy on my father
I couldn't find the time to fall asleep
And I couldn't stop from thinking, all the deeper
'Cause the morning lies heavy on me

They said I didn't have to be there 'till tomorrow
And there's friends of mine I've really got to see
But it's not goodbye and only soon to follow
And the moning lies heavy on me

Tell me, who's the one who fights until he's broken
Is it the man to in judgement on you all
I wouldn't care if it were their lives they were taking
But they don't listen or even answer to the call

And tomorrow I will be flying from the mainland
And joining in a new company
And some of us will never see our homeland
And the morning lies heavy on me

And what's left for decent people to believe in
It's not a question of to be or not to be
And what's the point, it's only us that we're deceiving
And the morning lies heavy on me

Tell me who's the one who fights until he's broken
Is it the man to sit in judgement on you all
I wouldn't care if it were their lives they were taking
But they don't listen or even answer to the call

The morning lies heavy on my father
I couldn't find the time to fall asleep
And I couldn't stop from thinking all the deeper
'Cause the morning lies heavy on me

from
www.barbaradickson.net/lyrics_morning_lies_heavy_offici.html


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SUN IS BURNING (Ian Campbell)
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 05:36 AM

THE SUN IS BURNING
Written by Ian Campbell
As recorded by the Ian Campbell Folk Group

The sun is burning in the sky.
Strands of cloud are slowly drifting by.
In the park the dreamy bees
Are droning in the flowers among the trees,
And the sun burns in the sky.

Now the sun is in the west.
Little kids lie down to take their rest,
And the couples in the park
Are holding hands and waiting for the dark,
And the sun is in the west.

Now the sun is sinking low.
Children playing know it's time to go.
High above a spot appears,
A little blossom blooms and then draws near,
And the sun is sinking low.

Now the sun has come to earth
Shrouded in a mushroom cloud of death.
Death comes in a blinding flash
Of hellish heat, and leaves a smear of ash,
And the sun has come to earth.

Now the sun has disappeared.
All is darkness, anger, pain and fear.
Twisted sightless wrecks of men
Go groping on their knees and cry in pain,
And the sun has disappeared.


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Subject: Lyr Add: MY SON JOHN (Tom Paxton)
From: theleveller
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 05:49 AM

One of the most moving that I can remember is this:

My Son John
Words and Music by Tom Paxton

My son, John, was a good boy, and good to me.
When we had hard times, well, he stood by me.
We were in work and out of work and on the go.
If he had complaints, I never heard of one.
He would pitch in and help me like a full grown man.
My son, John. John, my son.

My son, John, went to college and he made his way.
Had to earn every penny, but he paid his way.
He worked summers and holidays and through the year,
And it was no easy struggle that he won.
But he laughed at the ones who thought he had it hard.
My son, John. John, my son.

My son, John, got his uniform and went away.
With a band playing marches, he was sent away.
And he wrote me a letter, when he had the time.
He was loosing his buddies one by one.
And I prayed, and tried not to read between the lines.
My son, John. John, my son.

My son, John, came home yesterday; he's here to stay.
Not a word, to his father, have I heard him say.
He seems glad to be home, but I can't be sure.
When I ask him what he'd seen and done.
He went up to his bedroom, and he closed the door.
My son, John, John my son.
He went up to his bedroom, and he closed the door.
My son, John, John my son.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Protest Songs of the Sixties
From: GUEST,Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 03:44 AM

This was written for The Festival of Fools; a political 'Living Newspaper' performed at the end of the year from the mid-sixties in a pub theatre in London.
The author of the song and the poem escapes me at the moment; Evan - Euan - something like that.
They don't come any more powerful IMO.
Jim Carroll

Disc of sun in the belching smoke,
Blazing huts where the children choke,
Burning flesh and blackened blood
Charred and blistered like smouldering wood

Oh brother, oh brother, did you weep,
Oh brother, oh brother can you sleep.

Wall eyed moon in the wounded night
Touching poisoned fields with blight,
Showing a ditch were a dead girl lies
Courted by ants and hungry flies.

Oh brother, oh brother, did you weep,
Oh brother, oh brother can you sleep.

Scream of pain on the morning breeze;
Thunder of bombs in a grove of trees
Hymn of rubble and powdered stone,
Mangled flesh and splintered bone.

Oh brother, oh brother, did you weep,
Oh brother, oh brother can you sleep.

Programmed war, efficiency teams
Punch cards fed to thinking machines,
Computered death and the murder plan
Total destruction of Viet Nam

Oh brother, have they got no shame,
Oh Jesus, they're killing in my name.

Followed by part of the poem:

Let us, for a moment, suspend
Our Parliariment of Fools
For the space of time that lies between
The impulse and the act
Of lifting glass to mouth,
Or holding lighted match to cigarette,
Briefly, that is, in the hope our ears
Will catch the dry weeping of the dead

Each year there are many dead.
The annual harvest of lives
Which have passed from seedling state
Through growth to flowering,
From thence to the bearing of fruit
And then to dry, narcessant autumn –
The natural dead,
And there are the others, those
Who are prematurely trampled down,
Or withered before flowers spring
From the bud.
It is they who weep;
The awful silent weeping of the dead.

That they had names is obvious,
And it can be presumed that somone,
Father, mother, husband, sweetheart, lover,
Their closest kin, know them well
And habitually addressed them by affectionate diminutives.

To us, their names were strange
And lay awkwardly on the tongue,
So they remain anonymous –
"Those people who were killed on August 9th
When bombs fell on that town in Viet Nam
What do they call it ?"
Or the ones who died at Stanleyville In March, or was it April ?
They died as ants die under the gardeners foot,
Unnoticed.

They screamed, moaned, shrieked, implored,
Raved in delirium, wailed like infants,
Wept or cursed………and died.
Those nameless, prostrate men of
The agency photographs,
Anticipating with fierce, rolling eyes
The lethal boots of Congo mercenaries;
Or standing, garlanded with ropes,
In pre-execution photos for men
Skilled in the use of delicate equipment.
From the newsprint they appear
To look through us as if we don't exist,
Knowing they are beyond succour,
Expecting no manumission
Of the sentence our silence has decreed.

Do they see anything beyond the grass and trees ?
Do they hear sounds other than those
Made by the crickets and low-flying beetles ?
All of which will still be there
When they, the men, are gone.
Do you ever wonder if their need for justice,
Their beliefs in the ultimate decency of human relationships
Survived those last few moments
When the casual cruelty of their enemies
Appeared to be the sole reality ?

Anthropoligically speaking
They were one, two halves
Which made a whole.
Both sides belonged.to homo sapiens;
They walked upright,
Had fashioned tools to work with,
Developed elaborate languages
With which they could communicate
The most subtle nuances of thought.

The executioners were, as the phrase goes,
Civilised.
Shakespeare, Homer, Dante, Bach, were theirs
And Newton, Democritus, Planck and Heisenberg;
They had domesticated plants and animals,
Tamed rivers, plundered mountains,
Irrigated barren places,
Learned the secrets of flight from birds
And explored the primeval constituents of matter.
But when it came to the point,
None of these things.
Was nearly so significant
As the sudden, downward thrust
Of field boot on a naked skull.


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