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Need Help With 60's Protest Songs

GUEST,slwrlw 12 Oct 00 - 08:05 PM
Wavestar 12 Oct 00 - 08:12 PM
khandu 12 Oct 00 - 08:19 PM
Joe Offer 12 Oct 00 - 08:30 PM
Metchosin 12 Oct 00 - 08:42 PM
Bugsy 12 Oct 00 - 08:51 PM
SINSULL 12 Oct 00 - 08:58 PM
Joe Offer 12 Oct 00 - 09:05 PM
catspaw49 12 Oct 00 - 09:19 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 12 Oct 00 - 09:28 PM
catspaw49 12 Oct 00 - 09:39 PM
GUEST,mousethief (at the library) 12 Oct 00 - 09:52 PM
Metchosin 12 Oct 00 - 09:58 PM
catspaw49 12 Oct 00 - 10:07 PM
GUEST,slwrlw 12 Oct 00 - 10:39 PM
catspaw49 13 Oct 00 - 05:36 AM
LR Mole 13 Oct 00 - 08:41 AM
M. Ted (inactive) 13 Oct 00 - 08:54 AM
catspaw49 13 Oct 00 - 08:56 AM
Little Hawk 13 Oct 00 - 11:04 AM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Oct 00 - 11:33 AM
canoer 13 Oct 00 - 03:05 PM
Gary T 14 Oct 00 - 12:41 AM
Big Mick 14 Oct 00 - 01:55 PM
Joe Offer 14 Oct 00 - 02:34 PM
northfolk/al cholger 14 Oct 00 - 03:45 PM
Haruo 14 Oct 00 - 05:16 PM
Metchosin 14 Oct 00 - 05:25 PM
bobbybuzz 21 Oct 00 - 02:58 PM
Nathan in Texas 21 Oct 00 - 04:47 PM
GUEST,Richard Bridge 21 Oct 00 - 06:07 PM
Barbara 21 Oct 00 - 06:32 PM
Thyme2dream 21 Oct 00 - 08:54 PM
Nathan in Texas 21 Oct 00 - 09:01 PM
bobby's girl 22 Oct 00 - 12:36 PM
L R Mole 23 Oct 00 - 10:50 AM
catspaw49 23 Oct 00 - 11:56 AM
catspaw49 23 Oct 00 - 12:01 PM
Jim the Bart 23 Oct 00 - 12:22 PM
Bat Goddess 23 Oct 00 - 12:24 PM
catspaw49 23 Oct 00 - 12:37 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 23 Oct 00 - 01:12 PM
catspaw49 23 Oct 00 - 01:21 PM
GUEST,GUEST, katie 23 Oct 00 - 01:30 PM
canoer 23 Oct 00 - 02:16 PM
canoer 23 Oct 00 - 02:19 PM
mousethief 23 Oct 00 - 02:28 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 23 Oct 00 - 02:45 PM
catspaw49 23 Oct 00 - 03:00 PM
L R Mole 23 Oct 00 - 03:07 PM
Sorcha 25 Oct 00 - 02:06 AM
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Subject: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: GUEST,slwrlw
Date: 12 Oct 00 - 08:05 PM

I am a 14 year old girl and need help with a school English project. I need to know the meaning or "protest" behind the following 60's songs:

Thanks to anyone who might be able to help me!!


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: Wavestar
Date: 12 Oct 00 - 08:12 PM

Umm, I'm young, but even I know several of these. The main protest behind a lot of these seems to be war, and it's ultimate futility, and the losses it brings. Certainly "War" and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" have that tone. I'm not familiar enough even with "Blowin' in the Wind" to say - besides, I did't live through it, and I'm sure others are better qualified to answer.

--J


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: khandu
Date: 12 Oct 00 - 08:19 PM

Blowin in the Wind deals with bigotry and racial issues. "How many years must some people exist before they are allowed to be free?" And war (between governments and between people in general) "How many times must a cannon ball fly." That is my understanding, for what it's worth!

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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Oct 00 - 08:30 PM

Hi, slwrlw - I changed all your song titles into clickable links that will lead you to lyrics of the songs, and sometimes also to discussions of the songs. That should give you a start. Ask us any specific questions you might have, and we'll be glad to help.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: Metchosin
Date: 12 Oct 00 - 08:42 PM

Also the following articles might help regarding "Ohio" and the incident at Kent State here and here along with this famous photo


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: Bugsy
Date: 12 Oct 00 - 08:51 PM

Good for you Joe! Very helpful.

Cheers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: SINSULL
Date: 12 Oct 00 - 08:58 PM

Bit of trivia: The girl in the infamous Kent State photo was arrested a few years later for prostitution. Seems she never got her life on track.


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Oct 00 - 09:05 PM

Click here and here for previous discussions of "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?"
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: catspaw49
Date: 12 Oct 00 - 09:19 PM

Let me address a couple of them.

"Blowin'in the Wind" is a song dealing wioth a more general feeling of powerlessness. Though you have often heard it as a nice little song asking a few questions, try reading the lyrics in an accusatory and angry tone. Its far more than a lament. Its an angry plea. Bob Dylan wrote many songs open to interpretation by mood, but the questions ask in this one were the angry cries of young people at the time.......and many of us felt powerless and angry at the actions of our government.

"Where Have All the Flowers Gone" speaks to the waste of war, but also to the things lost as we mature. We lost many fine people to the VietNam war on the field of battle, but we lost more in the aftermath of that war. A large segment of the youth of the day were affected for life by the times in which they came of age.

"Ohio" was written after Davd Crosby gave the article on Kent State to Neil Young. They say Neil went off for a few hours and came back with this song. More than the lyric, the hard driving arrangement done by Stills added to impact. It expresses that same anger for senseless loss so often seen in period songs.

There are a lot of other songs fromthe period that speak even more to the point, but I assume you were assigned these. We ran a thread on "Songs of the VietNam War" that you and your teacher may also find interesting.

Probably most important to remember is that these songs were written and sung by people only a few years older than you are now. We were asked to make decisions that young people should never have to make. One day we were at the prom and the next were in VietNam or jail. It was a turbulent time.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 12 Oct 00 - 09:28 PM

For what its worth by Buffalo Springfield was about protesting the Vietnam war in The USA at places like Kent Correct me if I'm wrong mates but I think it was written after the Berkeley incident I think?? Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: catspaw49
Date: 12 Oct 00 - 09:39 PM

I think it was written after Jackson State which occurred within a sort time after Kent STate and is well worth researching also. Though not as well known now, the killing at Jackson State brought the Civil Rights focus into the Anti-War Movement. They had been natural allies befpre, but Jackson State showed what the government was willing to do.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: GUEST,mousethief (at the library)
Date: 12 Oct 00 - 09:52 PM

FWIW seems to be about some particular protest, but I don't know which one. Clearly (and this is a theme of many songs from the 1960s) it has a very strong current of "hey nobody is listening to us or taking us seriously" -- where "we" is "the young generation" or your term for the war-protest generation (people in their late teens or twenties during the late 60s/early 70s).

Young people speaking their minds
Gettin' so much resistance from behind

There are a lot of songs with this frustration of not being taken seriously. Some include:

Enter the Young (The Association)
The Times They Are A-Changin' (Bob Dylan)
(Hey Hey) We're the Monkees (the Monkees)
Randy Scouse Git (the Monkees)
most of the songs from Hair (Ragni/Rado/McTheotherguy)

What I find interesting is I can't think of any Beatles songs to add to this list! There are anti-war songs (Happy Christmas/War is Over, Give Peace a Chance) but no "the voice of the young is not being heard" ones come to mind. Could just be because I'm tired and it's late.

alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: Metchosin
Date: 12 Oct 00 - 09:58 PM

Mousethief have you forgotten Revolution?


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: catspaw49
Date: 12 Oct 00 - 10:07 PM

THE MONKEES??? Fer chrissakes MT....THE FREAKIN' MONKEES??? Trust me, there wasn't anyone out on a barricade, at a sit-in, or in a Vietnamese jungle who thought that the Monkees had anything to say about disaffected youth or anything other than bubble gum. Yeah, they were too busy singin' to put anybody down. I did enjoy the bio stuff about them on VH1 though.....they too had a story, but it wasn't too relevant to the protest movement that I ever ran into!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: GUEST,slwrlw
Date: 12 Oct 00 - 10:39 PM

Can anyone help me analyze the 60's song "The Times They Are A-Changing?


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: catspaw49
Date: 13 Oct 00 - 05:36 AM

Probably one of the ones needing very little analysis. The lyric is straightforward and addresses the natural rebelliousness of youth. I think each generation can relate to it although when it was written there were many things "a-changin'" in the US.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: LR Mole
Date: 13 Oct 00 - 08:41 AM

If memory serves,FWIW was Stills' rumination on the LA cops' treatment of the "freaks" on Sunset Strip, but by the time the song hit nationally, well, uniforms meant authority meant bad, or anyway, meant "not us": there was intentional misunderstanding, chosen blindness, missing many of the real bad people and hurting people we should have shared thought with.Being young, of course, we were both all-knowing and immortal, and I can't remember when that stopped being the case. Check out Phil Ochs, a great one gone too soon--I can hear him singing"And I know that you were younger once, 'cause you sure are older now..." (Sigh.)


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 13 Oct 00 - 08:54 AM

FWIW was about a particular incident in LA, centered around a music club, I think, that turned into a protest, then a police riot--I can't remember the details, but I know that Steve Stills has talked about it in a lot of interviews--

S'Paw, why do people alway forget that Peter Tork started out as a folkie in the Village? I guess it's cause of the banjo pickers syndrome--


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: catspaw49
Date: 13 Oct 00 - 08:56 AM

IF you come up with a date on that immortal and all-knowing loss thing, let me know wouldja'? I can't seem to nail it down either..............

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Oct 00 - 11:04 AM

Lotta good comments, folks. Specially from Spaw. I will try and get back to this one shortly, but don't have much time to today.


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Oct 00 - 11:33 AM

The thing with "The Times they are a-changing" is that, if you take a look at the words 30-plus years later, they make the same kind of sense - but you are reading them as as one of the "mothers and fathers throughout all the land". The only thing it seems that never changes is that the times keep on changeing, and that causes pain at times.


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: canoer
Date: 13 Oct 00 - 03:05 PM

The times they are a-changing was important in reflecting the fact that a new generation of the young were breaking with the assumptions and the view of life of their parents. The young sought a more truthful, less hypocritical, less selfish way to view the world, and sought ways to try to heal the wounds of society.

Of course not every young person was so inclined, but it was a large groundswell of change, more critical of the world we live in, less inclined to accept things without question. And this happened also around the world. 1968 saw student unrest in many other countries, as well.

Hope this helps, young lady researcher. -- LarryC.


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: Gary T
Date: 14 Oct 00 - 12:41 AM

Heck, I've got two cents, so here goes:

Blowin' in the Wind--khandu and Spaw (catspaw49) explained this pretty well.

Ohio--Joe Offer's link to a previous discussion and Metchosin's links give more than enough info on this.

Where Have All the Flowers Gone--Wavestar and Spaw covered this; I also see it pointing out/bemoaning inability to learn from the past.

For What It's Worth--Discussed quite a bit in this thread. This song stands out in my mind for its balance. Most protest songs or songs about the protests and protesters seem to take it as given that "the establishment" is mean, cold-hearted, and wrong, while the protesters are all warmth and light and the only ones who make sense. "For What It's Worth" mentions the foibles of all involved, and is refreshing in its evenhandedness.

War--The meaning behind this is that war is not a good thing. Which is exactly what the song says, ad nauseum. In other words, the meaning's not "behind" the song, it's right there in front of you, hopelessly transparent and obvious. Is this a trick question, hinting that there's a "hidden meaning" in this song?

People Got to be Free--Two trick questions out of six? I wouldn't call this a protest song. It's musical pablum, with a message reminiscent of the average six year old's grasp of complex issues: "Let's all be nice to each other." It represents the flower child/love dimension of 60's/70's culture, but I sure don't see any protest in it.

Who, me, opinionated? Nah. Seriously, I hope this helps some.


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: Big Mick
Date: 14 Oct 00 - 01:55 PM

The music......shit, how I remember the music. It all was so confusing when we were your age. We grew up with "I like Ike", Sky King, Combat, all things American are good, of course we are always right, clean cut music and clean cut musicians. Things started going to shit in about 1963. I remember sitting with my Da in the breakfast nook when we got the word of the first US casualty in Nam. My Da was trying to explain to me what it was like to be so far from home, in a place so different...............and knowing that you are about to die. And the music started to change..........for some reason, the first one that sticks out in my mind (I was 13 in the fall of 1964) was the Eve of Destruction. There were many others but that is what comes to my mind. When we were your age, the messages from our parents were one thing, but the messages coming at us in the music over an AM radio was quite another. The music, then as now, was a powerful influence on our lives. Then in November, John Kennedy was killed. In the pathways of my memories, that began the dark times. It was like on one hand you wanted to live up to the "American Ideal" and serve your country "right or wrong", but on the other there were so many issues being raised and they made a white kid really question the environment that he was in. We had the civil rights movement going on, and it was clear that this was a valiant, justified struggle to me. We had the war going on and we had been raised to honor our country, but this was not a clear cut battle between right and wrong. In order to buy in you had to buy in to the "Domino" theory. It raised more questions than it answered. The Womens Movement kicked into high gear again, and became a force for a long time. Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, and Malcom X were murdered. The offshoot was that many young people began to question ALL the premises that our culture was based on. "The Establishment" became the thing that we were determined to change. Yet, because we were raised in the 50's, there was a conflict within ourselves that would hamstring our attempts to make it over in our own image. The offshoot of all this was that, while we didn't manage to change it as much as we wanted, we were able to start some balls rolling whose effects are still felt today. It is from this cauldron that most of the music that you are seeking answers on came out of, or into. The music, due to the influence that folk music had on it, was laden with symbolism. And testament to how pressing and confusing it all was for us, is that even the lighter, pop music was affected. Several of the songs you ask about where clearly meant to influence and criticize. But several are just statements on what seemed to be obvious, such as People Got to be Free. Idealism, nothing more, nothing less.

I guess the reason I have rambled on so, is that I want you to feel the enormous confusion and mixed feelings that the 60's produced on my generation. We were faced with so much, and wanted to make a difference. But then, as now, there was so much that it caused us to be confused and strike out against everything; or to withdraw into trying to make it like "it used to be". Some of us decided to focus in on specific areas where we felt we could make a difference. It is my hope that these thoughts will help you as you analyze those lyrics and the times that produced them. And if you come up some answers, let me know. I still haven't figured it out after all this time.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: History: Eve of Destruction
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Oct 00 - 02:34 PM

Eve of Detruction was kind of an interesting phenomenon. It was written by Phil Sloan and Steve Barrie, and recorded in 1965 by gravel-voiced Barry McGuire, a former member of the New Christy Minstrels who went on to a successful career singing Christian children's songs like "Bullfrogs and Butterflies" (they've both been born again).
I've seen criticism of this song as a commercial attempt to capitalize on protest songs, but I dunno.
Before "Eve," protest songs were played only on noncommercial "underground" radio stations, and the popular stations played upbeat love songs and dead teenager ballads. Many stations banned "Eve of Destruction." In Milwaukee, we had to tune to the Chicago stations to hear it because WOKY and WRIT wouldn't play it and the underground stations were too cool to play it. I don't think it ever got much airplay anywhere, but it certainly sold well. The Barry McGuire recording hit No. 1 in the charts, so apparently the radio station bans didn't hurt it much - a cynic might say that getting radio stations to ban it was part of the plan for commercial success of the record. After "Eve" broke the ground, the commercial stations began to play protest songs. Could this have contributed to the popularity of the peace and civil rights movements? Perhaps so.
The song was also recorded by the Turtles in 1970.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: northfolk/al cholger
Date: 14 Oct 00 - 03:45 PM

Many comments, from many good folks experience...it was a time, oh what a time. there is no more important time in a young persons life, than when we make that transition from child to adult. In the sixties, that coincided with the most dramatic social change the world has ever seen... Racial hatred and exclusion was being challenged, Student power was a world wide movement...In May 68, French students were joined by workers in the streets... People were coming to understand the futility of our corporate driven foreign policy...the Ugly American, was unpopular at home and abroad. Women were finding their voice...The earth and the ecology were found...and the music...clear unambiguous unadulterated acoustic, with biting lyrics...melded with the most aggressive electric...nothing had happened like that before...in garages, not recording studios... What a time it really was...and the best part is, it is being reborn today. maybe not on the same scale, but Seattle, anti-corporatism, The Nader candidacy, The students against sweatshops...disrupting business at Kohl's or Nike... Students and Union members in the street together...the Teamsters and the Turtles...and Big Mick saying that he still hasn't figured it out, not true, like many, fired in the cauldron of that time the struggle goes on...same with canoer and others...salud


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: Haruo
Date: 14 Oct 00 - 05:16 PM

Didn't see any mention of "With God on our side" (not overtly a protest song?)

Liland


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: Metchosin
Date: 14 Oct 00 - 05:25 PM

or The Feel Like I'm Going To Die Rag by Country Joe and the Fish, definitely a protest song.


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: bobbybuzz
Date: 21 Oct 00 - 02:58 PM

just a few thoughts...14 yrs. old, you're our next hope...living thru those days was joy, anger, fear, hope, ecstacy(not the drug), drugs, love, dreams of peace and harmony, MUSIC...always the music...must be a pretty together teacher, using this type of assignment to get the students in touch with issues that are universal and eternal..and a PRIME EXAMPLE of the importance of the POWERFULLY VIBRANT uses of the Internet...a site like this where mudcatters reach out and fill in the blanks for seekers of wisdom and music...still kinda new here, so let me express my praise for Joe and his technical abilities and input, and to all the mudcatters for their help & insight...special kudos to catspaw(sooo eloquent! and thanks for the link on songs from the Vietnam War), Big Mick(put me right back there)...hey liland...ever hear Aaron Neville's version of "With God on Our Side"? it's AWESOME!... keep on keepin' on BB


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: Nathan in Texas
Date: 21 Oct 00 - 04:47 PM

Interesting thread, especially considering that last night I went to a concert featuring Barry McGuire and Terry Talbot. Barry is in his mid-sixties, completely bald, and as energetic and engaging as he was 40 years ago. The concert was a mix of folk songs ("Down by the Riverside", "A'Souling", "Well, Well, Well"), protest songs "Eve of Destruction,"One of Us" (interesting version of the Joan Osborn hit), and Christian songs. On "Eve of Destruction" the line "Take a look around, to Selma, Alabama" was changed to "Take a look around, to Columbine, Colorado"

I'd highly recommend seeing them if they come to your area. You can check their schedule at http://www.talbotmcguire.com/ For non-Christians, don't let the fact that they may be performing in a church put you off. Barry's a great folk perfomer, and doesn't come across as 'preachy'. No telling how much longer Barry will be around. He said he died on stage, literally, earlier this year, with a heart attack. He was revived and now wears a pacemaker, so see him if you get a chance.


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge
Date: 21 Oct 00 - 06:07 PM

I think that's "I feel like I'm FIxin' to die". I prefer "Who am I" from the same album. But there have surely always been protest songs - at least from the time of "rigs of the times"


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: Barbara
Date: 21 Oct 00 - 06:32 PM

SLWRLW, my daughter, who is 14 too and I went to see Hair last week. I was thrown into a 30 year time warp, I found it very moving, and she came out of it saying, "So what's the big deal?".
"We use those words all the time now, and dress like that and everybody wears their hair how they want" -- hers is aqua and purple at the moment -- So like, duh, why all the fuss?
Then she got really annoyed with me on the way home when I kept trying to talk about it (you know how parents are? they just don't shut up when you really want them to? so you have to kind of freeze them out when you're stuck in a car with them?) By the time we got home, there were miles between us.
It was only the next morning, driving her to school, when I told her about my brother (her uncle)trying to decide whether to burn his draft card or flee to Canada, and how my father was furious that he wouldn't fight like a man, and how it tore us all up, fight in a war you believe is wrong, kill and get killed, or buck the whole social system,
and she turned to me and said, "You mean the government can do that? Make you go and kill other people? Make you go right from high school to learn to fight even if you don't want to?"
I said, "Yep." She said, "Boy, that sucks."
Me:"Yep"
Her:"I'm sure glad I'm a girl."
Me:"Sweetie, that ain't gonna make any difference next time, so you better just hope and pray there ain't a next time."

Maybe you could get Catspaw to tell you a little more about what it feels like to be making those choices when you are just a little older.

Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: Thyme2dream
Date: 21 Oct 00 - 08:54 PM

The Talbot/Mcguire concert sounds intertesting, Nathan...If I remember correctly Terry Talbot does quite a few songs that have an element of "protest" to them--at least he's one of the more thoughtful Contemporary Christian artists I've heard...weren't he and his Brother John Micheal Talbot in a folk group together in the 60's or 70's??? I saw Terry Talbot and his wife Wendy in concert about 10 years ago and it was fantastic! Thanks for the link, I'm off to check the schedule!

Wonderful comments here everyone,I was very young at the time, but I can still remember my dad waking me up one morning to tell me the Vietnam war was "over"...of course it wasnt as simple as that, but Dad and his folk friends spent a lot of musical energy trying to effect some peaceful social changes, and it was a big day for them.


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: Nathan in Texas
Date: 21 Oct 00 - 09:01 PM

Thyme2dream, Yes, the Talbot Brothers were with the group Mason Profit, then performed & recorded as The Talbot Brothers, then as solo artist. John Michael will be with Barry & Terry in most of their concerts listed for the rest of the year.


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: bobby's girl
Date: 22 Oct 00 - 12:36 PM

I don't know exactly when he wrote it , but Tom Paxton's 'Jimmy Newman' is another song worth a good look at in the anti-war campaign.


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: L R Mole
Date: 23 Oct 00 - 10:50 AM

Hmm...glad to find this thread again. Suddenly remembered that even The Beach Boys got in on the vibe with a new lyric on "Riot in Cell Block #9" called "Student Demonstration Time": Startin out with Berkley Free Speech and later on at People's Park/ The winds of change fanned into flames student demonstration's spark/Down to Isla Vista(?) where police felt so harassed/They called a special riot squad, the L.A, County sherf/CHORUS: There's a riot goin' on (3x) It's student demonstration time.[2] The violence spread down south, to where Jackson State Brothers/Learned not to say nasty things about southern policemen's mothers/Not much was said about it and really next to nothin' done/The pen is mightier than the sword, but no match for a gun...(CHO)[3] America was stunned on May 4, 1970/When rally turned to riot up at Kent State University/They said the students scared the guard, though the troops were battle-dressed/Four martyrs earned a new degree: the bachelor of bullets/I know we're all fed up with useless war and racial strife/But next time there's a riot, well, you'd best stay out of sight...(CHO)Not a great song, but at the time...man, even the Beach Boys...!


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Oct 00 - 11:56 AM

You're right Mole, not much of a song, but the last two lines could bear a little dissection.

I know we're all fed up with useless war and racial strife,
But the next time there's a riot, you'd best stay out of sight.

The killings at Kent State and Jackson State resulted in a major change in the "Movement." Although many demonstrations and riots had occurred with much blood being shed in some, most campus activity had been comparatively mild from a violence standpoint. At Kent State/Jackson state, armed troops fired into a crowd and their shots killed not only the students, but fatally wounded the movement. I once heard the Kent State action described as an over-reation to an over-reaction. The National Guard troops involved were, for the most part, the same age as the KSU students and both were scared, so I am loathe to affix blame in the sense of intent on the part of the Guardsmen. I can affix blame to those who put these young and inexperienced troops in a position where what happened was almost inevitable.

However it happened, it marked the end of "casual support" that had been so much a part of the movement up until that time. I don't know what the popular belief is, but the fact is that many students and others involved in demonstrations then were not rabid in their belief, nor were they simply killing time and going out to watch the action and pick-up dates. An awful lot of them can be described as passive participants who were dissatisfied with the way things were and believed that protest was a reasonably accepted way of voicing their concern. Even within groups such as the SDS, there was a large contingent of that type and indeed they are necessary to bring about change. The idea that their own government would take the action that it did had really not occurred to many.

Now that's kind of odd when you think about it, since in the context of the times, that was exactly what was happening half a world away. Their own government was asking them to kill or be killed which is what governments do during a war. For a number of reasons, the American public had begun to take a different view of VietNam and question the whys of the war and what we were doing there. This was not a notion that had ever surfaced to any great degree before that time. Certainly there had been people objecting to wars in the past, but VietNam brought about a new thinking and though most had been raised to do their duty, what that duty was had become blurred in a miasma of half-truths and outright lies. In the aftermath we saw far more vets suffering from varying degrees of post traumatic shock than in any other war. They too saw, but they saw too late. When you have a gun and the other guy has a gun, only a fool will not try to kill the other first, and that was the position that a lot of good people found themselves in at the time. When they returned and began to add it all up, it didn't. No one can begin to understand what they went through to recapture their lives. Some didn't.

So some of those had begun that awakening back home and were willing to protest the war and other things. They believed that they could be a part of a mass movement to change the course of the government, and that their government would take notice and listen. What they had not counted on was that the government viewed the protests as a war and were willing to take the same measures here as they did overseas. Kent State/Jackson State thinned out the numbers considerably and left the movement to the more extreme and violent factions, such as the Weather Underground, that those who still worked toward a non-violent protest could not overcome. Just prior to KSU/JSU there had been an ever increasing groundswell of protesters and though some remained, there numbers were few and any semblance of non-violence was gone. It was a signal change.

I don't know what this has to do with the original topic, but the music had beuan to change too. The songs of protest became more violent and the general tone of the songs began to invoke more hatred. In the final analysis, these later songs actually made the process of healing much longer.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Oct 00 - 12:01 PM

Probably also worth noting, as a recent VH1 Special did, that the Pop/Rock music began to go the route of the Carpenters, the Captain and Tenille, and other bubble gum stuff.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 23 Oct 00 - 12:22 PM

About For What It's Worth - This song predates both Jackson and Kent State by quite a few years. Unless I misread the previous post, I think the reference should have been to Neil Young's "Ohio"I believe it was written about a police confrontation with "bearded youths" on the Sunset Strip. I seem to remember that the violence was over curfew violations, rather than "protest", per se.

SLWRLW, One thing that is hard to understand now is the general air of protest that existed in the early sixties and on into the 70's. Student movements began to emerge with the free speech protests at the University in Berkeley, California. Many of the tactics that were used had been developed in the Freedom Rides and demonstrations over integration and voters rights. The anti-war movement became a focal point for a lot of dissatisfaction with the government and society in general. It attracted people who wanted to change drug laws, end sexual repression and bring attention to many human rights issues. The songs often reflect that kaleidescopic vision - changing from verse to verse, trying to include as many "colors" as possible. This makes simple interpretation ("This is about that") difficult.

You have gotten a lot of good comments from the posts here. Good luck and post again.


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 23 Oct 00 - 12:24 PM

I'm jumping into this pretty late, but, Joe, I didn't know you were in Milwaukee in the '60s. That's where I grew up, listening to WOKY and WRIT, as well as WAWA the local black station and WLS in Chicago and late night listening to WBZ in Boston to get the stuff that didn't make the Milwaukee stations. The local FM alternative stations didn't start showing up until '68 or so.

I don't remembereither WOKY or WRIT banning "Eve of Destruction" but they may have insisted on equal playtime for "Dawn of Correction," as counterpoint.

Bat Goddess


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Oct 00 - 12:37 PM

Hey Bart.....What previous post are you referring to? If its mine, I was talking about the line from the BB song that Mole had listed....Help me out.re: Ohio vs FWIW...what post?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 23 Oct 00 - 01:12 PM

I disagree as to the Kent State thing scaring people out of the anti-movement--It made a lot of people angry, and it brought out a lot of people who hadn't really done anything before-- I remember, having been one of a small group that was rallying against the war in front of the state capitol week in and week out, after Kent State, all Hell broke loose--instead of fifty or a hundred, we began to get hundreds, and finally thousands--

The thing that knocked the wind out of the anti-war movement, and the smartest thing, tactically, that Nixon ever did, was the draft lottery--hasically, what kept students involved in the antiwar movement was the immediate possibility that they, or their friends, would be forced to serve--when the numbers were drawn, suddenly, three quarters of the draft age men were no longer on the line-- and, for they most part, they went on to other things, leaving only the hardcore of activists--

You are right, though, about how strange it was, as the sixties drew to a close, everybody was listening to progressive rock, wild, creative, music with no boundaries, and suddenly, it was all slick, all studio sound, all corporate--


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Oct 00 - 01:21 PM

Well, I do agree it was there too. Never thought of the lottery as being a tactical move on Nixon's part, but its a point. Where I was, there was a steady decline of support after KSU though and the more violent factions gained momentum. I'll agree to agree and disagree.

On the last point, can we agree on the Carpenters? I dunno' if they had anything to do with Larrivee though........(:<))

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: GUEST,GUEST, katie
Date: 23 Oct 00 - 01:30 PM

I am a college student in Wisconsin who is researching protest songs for a radio show on our campus station. I came upon this thread and am hoping that a few of you can help me out. We have only an hour to emcompass the "best" of U.S. protest songs from the 60's to present. Any suggestions of songs that this program would be lacking without? I would appreciate any and all help on this I can get. Thanks!!


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: canoer
Date: 23 Oct 00 - 02:16 PM

Limiting to only an hour makes it tough. Hopefully you saw the ninth post above, from Spaw, and its links to the Songs of the Vietnam War thread. Run through that. I regret not having time to add more right now. My "musts" would include Blowing' in the Wind and I Feel Like I'm Fixin To Die Rag, for sure. Stay tuned, certainly others will help more. -- the canoer


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: canoer
Date: 23 Oct 00 - 02:19 PM

PS, if you don't get response, start a new thread with the exact title, "Protest Songs for One Hour Show," or suchlike.


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Subject: Lyr Add: REQUIEM FOR THE MASSES^^
From: mousethief
Date: 23 Oct 00 - 02:28 PM

I think one of the most artistic anti-war songs of the 1960's is Requiem for the Masses by the Association.

Requiem for the Masses
w/a/m by T. Kirkman

Requiem aeternam
Requiem aeternam

Mama, mama, forget your pies
Have faith they won't get cold
And turn your eyes to the bloodshot sky
Your flag is flying full
At half mast for the matadors
Who turned their backs
To please the crowd
And all fell before the bull

Red was the color
Of his blood flowing thin
Pallid white was the color
Of his lifeless skin
Blue was the color
Of the morning sky
He saw looking up
From the ground where he died
It was the last thing ever seen by him

Kyrie Eleison

Mama, mama, forget your pies
Have faith they won't get cold
And turn your eyes to the bloodshot sky
Your flag is flying full
At half mast for the matadors
Who turned their backs
To please the crowd
And all fell before the bull

Black and white were the figures
That recorded him
Black and white was the newsprint
He was mentioned in
Black and white was the question
That so bothered him
He never asked, he was taught not to ask
But was on his lips as they buried him

Rex tremendae majestatis

Requiem aeternam
Requiem aeternam

-------

a chunk of it is recorded on the Amazon.com website: clicky

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 23 Oct 00 - 02:45 PM

Think about it, Spaw--there was no practical reason for implementing a lottery at all, it was totally a PR-motivated--the message, "I can't end the war, but I can end your involvment in it--we'll omly take those guys!" was the classic divide and conquer strategy--

And God bless you Spaw, we can agree on some matters, and disagree on other matters--but, ornery old SOB that I am, for years, I have been a great Carpenters fan--much to the distress of many--but they were great, and their music will never die!! That ought to count for something--Anyway, I liked Country Joe, and even used to call my local radio station and request "Who Am I?"--it should have been a hit!!(Only made it to No 114 on the Hot 100)--

Katie: You should get a hold of "Phil Ochs In Concert" to hear what a folk concert of the protest era sounded like, and to hear some of the greatest protest songs ever--one of my personal favorites is "I Ain't A Marchin' Anymore" but there are other noteworthy tunes, and they give a great picture, with depth and breadth, of the issues--

See if you can did out something by the Fugs--"Kill for Peace" might be nice--


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Oct 00 - 03:00 PM

Yeah Ted, when you think about it at all, it makes a lot of sense as a strategy. AND, without sounding like "its a conspiracy" I believe its completely in line with the whole admin thought process at the time. You and my wife can have a Carpenters session sometime!

katie......the link to the Vietnam songs thread is good, but you might want to start a new thread on that specific request as canoer suggested. Sometimes threads at this point get into conversations with only a few participating. A new thread might garner a lot more input.

One of the better songs for me was called "Jimmy Clay" by Patrick Sky. Great piece of work talking about the tragedy of war in human terms.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: L R Mole
Date: 23 Oct 00 - 03:07 PM

Someone on the radio around here used to play Joni Mitchell's "The Fiddle and the Drum" INTO the military drumbeat at the beginning of "Requiem for the Masses" (her final line was, "...we have all come to hear the beating of your drum..."). Chilling. From her second or third album, I think.


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Subject: RE: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
From: Sorcha
Date: 25 Oct 00 - 02:06 AM

Well, slwrlw, we busted our butts--where are you?


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