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Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?

Related threads:
Anti-war songs from WWI (58)
Anti-war songs to fit the occasion (57)
Have anti-war songs changed anything? (108)
Lyr Add: The Price of Oil (Billy Bragg) (8)
Lyr Add: Stop the war songs (4)
Links to Anti-War Songs sites (5)


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Subject: Lyr Add: AND THE BAND PLAYED WALTZING MATILDA
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 05:53 PM

What would be your nominee?

WALTZING MATILDA, as done by the Pogues:

When I was a young man I carried my pack
And I lived the free life of a rover
From the Murrays green basin to the dusty outback
I waltzed my Matilda all over
Then in nineteen fifteen my country said son
It's time to stop rambling 'cos there's work to be done
So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun
And they sent me away to the war.

And the band played Waltzing Matilda
As we sailed away from the quay
And amidst all the tears and the shouts and the cheers
We sailed off to Galipoli.

How well I remember that terrible day
How the blood stained the sand and the water
And how in that town that they called Sulva bay
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter
Johnny Turk he was ready he primed himself well
He chased us with bullets he rained us with shells
And in five minutes flat he'd blown us all to hell
Nearly blew us right back to Australia.

But the band played Waltzing Matilda
As we stopped to bury our slain
We buried ours and the Turks buried theirs
Then we started all over again.

Now those who were left, well we tried to survive
In a mad world of blood death and fire
And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive
But around me the corpses piled higher
Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over tit
And I woke up in my hospital bed
I saw what it had done and I wished I was dead
Never knew there were worse things than dying.

For I'll go no more Waltzing Matilda
All around the green bush far and near
For to hump tent and pegs a man needs both legs
No more Waltzing Matilda for me.

So the collected the cripples the wounded the maimed
And they shipped us back home to Australia
The armless the legless the blind the insane
Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla
And as our ship pulled into Circular Quay
I looked at the place my legs used to be
And thank Christ there was no one there waiting for me
To grieve and to mourn and to pity.

And the band played Waltzing Matilda
As they carried us down the gangway
But nobody cheered they just stood and stared
Then turned all their faces away.

And now every April I sit on my porch
And I watch the parade pass before me
And I watch my old comrades how proudly they march
Renewing old dreams of past glory
And the old men march slowly all bent stiff and sore
The forgotten heroes from a forgotten war
And the young people ask "What are they marching for?"
And I ask myself the same question.

And the band played Waltzing Matilda
And the old men answer to the call
But year after year their numbers get fewer
Some day no one will march there at all.

Waltzing Matilda
Waltzing Matilda
Who'll come a waltzing Matilda with me
And their ghosts may be heard as you pass the Billabong
Who'll come a waltzing Matilda with me.


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Francy
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 06:32 PM

It miight have been recorded by the "Pogues". but it was written by Eric Bogle and sung by him and many others....No Man's Land....Frank of toledo


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Francy
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 06:34 PM

Sorry,,,wrong song.....And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda by Eric Bogle......No Man's Land is another great anti war song by Eric....Frank Of Toledo


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Melani
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 06:35 PM

"No Man's Land" is a different song. The one above is "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda." Both by Eric Bogle. They're both right up there. I would also include "Mothers, Daughters, Wives" by Judy Small.


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: nutty
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 06:38 PM

Another Eric Bogle classic is "All the Fine Young Men"


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 06:38 PM

Come away, Matilda [Come Away Melinda] was a good 'un ... who was that, Mott the Hoople?


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 06:43 PM

"Come Away Melinda",
was recorded by Judy Collins in the early sixties.
Who wrote it I am not sure. May be Judy? Maybe Shel Silverstein.
Mott The Hopple? Really? I'd have never guessed.

Don


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 06:47 PM

Maybe it was Uriah Heep ...


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,The Hated Guest
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 06:51 PM

Don't have the liner notes...Eric Bogel wrote the Pogues version? I WAS careful to put 'as done by'. Didn't know it was so current. Sorry if I offended. It's an incredible song.


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Ed.
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 06:51 PM

With God on Our Side - Bob Dylan


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 06:52 PM

Oh, yeah ... MeLINDA ...


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,The Hated Guest
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 07:09 PM

Yeah...With God on Our Side, and even Masters of War. Both great songs. But what I like about 'And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda' is the blend of melody with the words. Kind of a pensive lament...haunting melody with devastating words. Just my opinion. I like 'em all.


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Gareth
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 07:13 PM

Mmmm ! If were voting on this suggest When Johnny Comes Marching Home, which must still stand Dr Strangelove notwithstanding.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 07:13 PM

There are so many!

Christmas in the Trenches
The Holy Ground
Arthur McBride [No Man's Land]
A Handful of Earth
Where have all the flowers gone
Ain't gonna study war no more
When Johnny Comes Marching Home
The Press Gang
Etc, etc, etc...

My current fave is "Holy Ground" and I sing it most every day... ttr


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: mack/misophist
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 07:17 PM

Johnny, I hardly Knew Ya. One of the first, one of the best.


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 07:22 PM

the ballad of the green berets.


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Bobert
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 07:25 PM

"Masters of War" would be my 1st choice.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 07:33 PM

YIKES!!! What a blooper! "When Johnny comes marching home" is to be stricken from this thread and thrown out onto the courthouse steps... I meant to say "Johnny I hardly knew ye". Guthrie's "I'd like to know" is powerful... ttr


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 07:50 PM

The most rousing, in my book, is "Get Up, Stand Up" by Brother Bob.

Then there is John Prine's "Sam Stone".

Pete's "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy".

For inspiration, try a visit to the Raging Grannies Without Borders website--it has a bunch of anti-war songs, new and recycled.

Raging Grannies Anti-War Songs


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: maire-aine
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 08:02 PM

Thanks, Guest, for the link to Raging Grannies. I'll look for them.


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 08:05 PM

My pleasure maire-aine. I'm making their cookie recipe for Saturday's demo, only I'm adding chopped cranberries instead of raisins. They are so yummy with a dollop of hot latte for those cold winter marches!


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: SINSULL
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 08:49 PM

Definitely "Masters Of War". "...and I will stand over your grave to be sure that you're dead." Damn! If the mailman sees this I'll be picked up for threatening the president. Does it count that he wasn't elected? Doesn't matter. It's worth it.


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Snuffy
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 08:56 PM

Dancing at Whitsun
D-Day Dodgers


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: sharyn
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 09:12 PM

Insanity Street by Lillie Palmer is very good:

"And we talk of the coming of peace,
Of a time when hostilities cease,
But we make and we store all the weapons of war
'Cause we live on Insanity Street."

And also Suzanne Vega's "The Queen and the Soldier"

And, for traditional songs, "The Weary Cutters."

And there's a brilliant song called "The King's Shilling" that Jean Redpath sings

And for smaller-scale war, "There Were Roses."


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Strafgod
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 09:30 PM

Come Away Melinda was written by Malvina Reynolds. Kind of anti-apocalyptic rather than anti-war in the pre-nuclear sense...
Where have all the Flowers Gone?
The Minstrel Boy was probably the first song I came across back in the 1950's that struck me as being anti-war. I remember finding it in my grandmother's piano bench, picking out the melody and reading the lyrics and getting quite upset.

Jimmy Newman by Tom Paxton.
But The Band Played Waltzing Matilda is a stunner. My first time hearing it was Joan Baez's version.

Strafgod <-- apologizes if he's broken any posting rules or etiquette, having just bounced in from a posting on rec.music.folk and, intrigued by the thread, just went ahead and posted without the requisite lurking, reading the faq, and paying proper attention to the rest of this great site!


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 09:41 PM

Re: The Ballad of the Green Berets.

Fighting Soldiers from on high.
Fearless Men, who jump and die (!!!)

Damn, I wish those guys had used parachutes!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 09:48 PM

Your Flag Decal won't get you into Heaven Anymore


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Bill D
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 09:48 PM

"Tenting Tonight"
"I Didn't Raise My Boy to be a Soldier"
"Enola Gay"..by Buuce Phillips

,,,but Erik Bogle made it all so real..


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Cluin
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 09:50 PM

"WAR!
Huh!
What is it good for?
Absolutely nuthin', say it again..."


Just kidding.

I like Dougie MacLean's song "War".


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: mg
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 09:52 PM

hanging on the old barbed wire mg


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Subject: Lyr Add: WAR (Dougie MacLean)
From: Cluin
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 10:02 PM

(obviously about the Gulf War)

War
(Dougie MacLean, 1991)

Our voice made silent
Our hands made still
But deep and violent wait the ones who wait to kill

The desert's burning
Their reasons pale
For there's no returning with some golden holy grail

   What have they done?
   What have they done?
   The blood will run to everyone
   Oh, what have they done?

Is it for freedom,
Or is it for truth,
That fathers fall and all those young men trade their youth?

Or are they moved
By deception's hand,
That rank and reckless scatters death across the sand?

   (chorus)


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: The Pooka
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 11:30 PM

"Willie McBride" should be on the list.

And, I'll throw in "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall".

I've always liked this lyric from a version of "Mrs. McGrath" -

Now foreign wars they do proclaim
Between Don John and the King of Spain
I'd rather have me Teddy as he used to be
Than the Queen of France and her whole Navy
Musha ring dum da, ring a dum a da....


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,hal
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 11:51 PM

let's not forget "morning dew" especially as performed by those gurus of peace, love and happiness, the grateful dead


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: fox4zero
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 11:57 PM

Ira Hayes as sung by Johnny Cash

Larry


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Subject: Lyr Add: JOHN BROWN (Bob Dylan)
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 12:07 AM

The Band Played Waltzing Matilda and Masters of War are two of my favourites. Kind of like this one too.

John Brown

Bob Dylan

John Brown went off to war to fight on a foreign shore.
His mama sure was proud of him!
He stood straight and tall in his uniform and all.
His mama's face broke out all in a grin.

"Oh son, you look so fine, I'm glad you're a son of mine,
You make me proud to know you hold a gun.
Do what the captain says, lots of medals you will get,
And we'll put them on the wall when you come home."

As that old train pulled out, John's ma began to shout,
Tellin' ev'ryone in the neighborhood:
"That's my son that's about to go, he's a soldier now, you know."
She made well sure her neighbors understood.

She got a letter once in a while and her face broke into a smile
As she showed them to the people from next door.
And she bragged about her son with his uniform and gun,
And these things you called a good old-fashioned war.

Oh! Good old-fashioned war!

Then the letters ceased to come, for a long time they did not come.
They ceased to come for about ten months or more.
Then a letter finally came saying, "Go down and meet the train.
Your son's a-coming home from the war."

She smiled and went right down, she looked everywhere around
But she could not see her soldier son in sight.
But as all the people passed, she saw her son at last,
When she did she could hardly believe her eyes.

Oh his face was all shot up and his hand was all blown off
And he wore a metal brace around his waist.
He whispered kind of slow, in a voice she did not know,
While she couldn't even recognize his face!

Oh! Lord! Not even recognize his face.

"Oh tell me, my darling son, pray tell me what they done.
How is it you come to be this way?"
He tried his best to talk but his mouth could hardly move
And the mother had to turn her face away.

"Don't you remember, Ma, when I went off to war
You thought it was the best thing I could do?
I was on the battleground, you were home . . . acting proud.
You wasn't there standing in my shoes."

"Oh, and I thought when I was there, God, what am I doing here?
I'm a-tryin' to kill somebody or die tryin'.
But the thing that scared me most was when my enemy came close
And I saw that his face looked just like mine."

Oh! Lord! Just like mine!

"And I couldn't help but think, through the thunder rolling and stink,
That I was just a puppet in a play.
And through the roar and smoke, this string is finally broke,
And a cannon ball blew my eyes away."

As he turned away to walk, his Ma was still in shock
At seein' the metal brace that helped him stand.
But as he turned to go, he called his mother close
And he dropped his medals down into her hand.



Copyright © 1963; renewed 1991 Special Rider Music


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE YEAR OF THE DRUM (Wendy Joseph)
From: jacko@nz
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 01:43 AM

A few really great songs been mentioned.

Not offering this as the best but it's an interesting one.

The town of Mannim(sp?) reputedly had the highest percentage deaths of any town anywhere which sent men to WW1.

I have't been able to find an author. I believe Martin Wyndham Reed sings it


The Year Of The Drum

Now my name is Jack Gresham, I was brought up in Mannim
That river boat town I loved well
I married Meg Davis we had us two children
One day our family bliss turned to hell
'Twas in 1915 and the year of the drum
The guns and the government called me to come
Past Mannim I look at the tall shining gums
I'm drifting away down the Murray

Now my name is Meg Davis and I work at Shearers
With saddles and waggons and paint
And the men are all fighting, the war it is raging
The women toil here making fuel for the flames
For it's 1916 and the men are all gone
They're fighting in Europe so we carry on
We're keeping the candles lit bright here at home
To light their way back up the Murray

Now my name is Mary and I am an orphan
My father was killed in the war
My ma was Meg Davis, an upstanding lady
She drowned in the Murray the year I turned four
'Twas in 1918 that the telegram came
The death of a soldier it's news did proclaim
My ma lost her footing to the tears and the rain
She slipped on the banks of the Murray

Now my name is Billy and I am a soldier
I just got my orders today
My wife's name is Mary, she's fair as a sunset
I hate to be leaving her lonely this way
But the year's forty two, and the year of the drum
The guns and the government called me to come
Past Mannim I look at the tall shining gums
I'm drifting away down the Murray

But the year doesn't matter, there's always the drum
The guns and the government call men to come
The town still grow strong in her tall shining sons
While her daughter's light lamps by the Murray


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: open mike
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 02:08 AM

Christmas in the Trenches-John Mc Cutcheon
Singing for our Lives-Holly Near
Great Peace March-Holly Near
There were Roses-Tommy Sands
We Shall Not Be Moved --by???
Ain't Gonna Study War No More (Down by the Riverside)
and on Tom Paxton's latest album:
Links in the Chain--by Kate Wolf
Where Have All the Flowers Gone? Pete Seeger
Dona Nobis Pacem
Vine and Fig Tree
And I hope to sing all of these at the rally saturday!


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Stewie
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 02:15 AM

I agree that 'Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya' would be hard to beat. Of the more recent songs, Pat Sky's Jimmy Clay is probably my favourite, just ahead of Cohen's 'Story of Isaac'.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Lanfranc
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 04:14 AM

I would endorse virtually all of the above, and add:

"Child of Hiroshima" by Nazim Hikmet
"There but for Fortune" by Phil Ochs

plus, on the lighter side:

"The Willing Conscript" by Tom Paxton
"Draft Dodger Rag" by Phil Ochs
"I don't want to join the army" Anon

Alan


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Ringer
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 04:53 AM

Don't want to be too picky, but isn't Masters of War more of an anti-war-profiteering song than an anti-war song?


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Subject: Lyr Add: JIMMY CLAY (Patrick Sky)
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 04:55 AM

Lots of worthy nominees......Not all come at it from the same angle of course so Masters of War to me is on par with, but in a different vein than The Band Played Waltzing Matilda. Both make my Top Five. Christmas in the Trenches makes the list as well and coming out of left field I like Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag. Topping the list for me, as already mentioned by Stewie is Pat Sky's Jimmy Clay. If you didn't click the link, here are the words:

JIMMY CLAY
(Patrick Sky)(c) Rabelaisian Music, Inc.

When you walk down the street, who will follow you?
Six o'clock, its getting late.
The moon it is rising as the sticky dew
Molds on the ground by the gate.
With your rifle on your shoulder as you walk along
Listening to your boot-heels hit the sod
Smoking your cigar as you hum a song
Thinking of your mother, and your God

Ah, but you're alone, Jimmy Clay
As you smoke your cigar and earn your pay.
And fifteen thousand soldiers are marching by your side
Still you're alone, Jimmy Clay.

And remember New York town, good old New York town?
The friends, the drinks, the cops and all
And the whores who took your money when you couldn't stand
And all the roaring nights you can't recall?
And remember Alice Fay, good old Alice Fay?
She'd been through life at least ten times around
And when she said she loved you, well she meant it, boy
Remember the night you nearly drowned?

Ah, but you're alone, Jimmy Clay
As you smoke your cigar and think of yesterday
Well, yesterday don't matter when its gone away
Where did it go, Jimmy Clay?

So as you lie there in the mud, who will talk to you?
Nobody, Jimmy Clay
For when you're gone mankind follows after you
Doesn't it, Jimmy Clay?
And your face is growing moldy where they kissed your cheek
And said "Please die for us, Jimmy Clay"
And so you died a soldier and a hero's death
Congratulations, Jimmy Clay.

Now you're alone, Jimmy Clay
You can smoke your cigar, and earn your pay
And somewhere in the distance you can hear the fiddle play
But not one note will change, Jimmy Clay


Spaw


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Bullfrog Jones
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 07:21 AM

All of the above plus Elvis Costello's 'Shipbuilding' about the futility of the Falklands War, especially as sung by Robert Wyatt.

BJ


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 07:28 AM

"There But for Fortune" is a really beautiful song I haven't thought of in a long time. Thanks for the reminder!


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Jim Colbert
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 08:13 AM

Reunion Hill by Richard Shindell. Arguably, it is not an anti-war song...just a song about a war widow. (Joan Baez claims it is her favorite anti war song!)

Especially the newer, slow way he does it live...

jim


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Cluin
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 08:50 AM

Gordon Lightfoot's "The Patriot's Dream"


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Puffenkinty
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 10:07 AM

ALL QUIET ALONG THE POTOMAC TONIGHT

1st verse:
All quiet along the Potomac tonight
Except here and there a stray picket
Is shot as he walks on his beat to and fro
By a rifleman hid in the thicket;
'Tis nothing, a private or two now and then,
'Twil not count in the news of the battle,
Not an officer lost, only one of the men
Moaning out all alone the death rattle;
All quiet along the Potomac tonight.

I think this is pretty accurate. Those in high ranks
declare war, and the poor "grunt" pays the price.


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 10:20 AM

Add more votes to Bogle's pair (No Man's Land and The Band Played Waltzing Matilda). And the Prines that have been mentioned as well. I never saw Draft Dodger Rag as an anti-war song. It's from Ochs's superpatriot stage and I've never been convinced he had his tongue in his cheek. I think he really was poking at draft dodgers (love to be wrong of course). Fixin' To Die Rag is pretty good too.


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: mg
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 11:47 AM

Year of the drum is an awesome song...and I usually don't believe in tampering with someone else's song but I did anyway because it seemed another generation was calling....

His name was Joseph and I am his father I went to the big one and came out all right
And the last thing I thought of when I was in combat was someday I'd send my own boy off to fight
And then I remember the birth of my son and oh how I prayed he would not hear the gun
But his number was called and in 71 they sent his remains to the Murray...


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Frankham
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 12:07 PM

Come Away Matilda was written by Fred Hellerman (of the Weavers)
and Fran Minkoff. It's on Weavers recordings.

I think a song that should be included is Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream by Ed McCurdy.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 12:15 PM

Another humble submission...


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Strafgod
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 01:53 PM

I stand corrected on the authorship of Come Away Melinda, (but it is Melinda, not Matilda). Thanks Frankham.

Thanks Stewie and Catspaw for reminding me of Jimmy Clay - hadn't heard the song in decades reading the lyrics, was, like a Proustian moment.

Story of Isaac! Thanks again Stewie.

You who build these altars now
to sacrifice these children,
you must not do it anymore.
A scheme is not a vision
and you never have been tempted
by a demon or a god.

Universal Soldier.

Gulf War Song by Moxy Fruvous.

Strafgod <--loving this thread


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,jaze
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 02:24 PM

"All we are saying, is give peace a chance." Simple,mournful and to the point.


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 03:47 PM

"Side of a hill" Paul Simon
"The Kerry Recruit" Traditional
"Stand Firm"   Leon Rosselson
Can't remember the name,it starts.
"As down the glen one Easter morn."
Can I also throw in a poem. "The naming of parts"
Giok


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: limejuice
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 03:49 PM

A more lighthearted anti-war song is the "feel like I'm fixing to die rag"... not claiming it's the best, but it's sure fun to sing!


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: The Pooka
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 07:34 PM

Giok - "As down the glen one Easter morn" sounds to me like the 1916, Easter Rising, edition of "The Foggy Dew". If so (?) - then perhaps not so much generically anti-war, as anti-the-*wrong*-war(s).


It was England bade our Wild Geese go
That small nations might be free
Now their lonely graves are by Suvla's wave
Or the fringe of the great north sea.
But had they died by Pearse's side
Or fought with Valera true
Their graves we'd keep where the Fenians sleep
'Neath the hills of the foggy dew.

(Or - have I got the wrong song/version?)

On a different note -- they are characteristic black-humor Tom Lehrer satire, but *I* think they still fit the category; so I nominate "We Will All Go Together When We Go" and "So Long Mom". (Hope I got the titles right.)


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Subject: Lyr Add: MARIA DIAZ (Lenny Galant)
From: Stewie
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 07:34 PM

This one doesn't appear to be in the DT or forum:

MARIA DIAZ
(Lenny Galant)

Maria Diaz is only nine
Yet she's seen enough hard times
To last a hundred lifetimes, maybe more
Seen children die so young, peasants fall beneath the gun
Heard a nation cry for justice in a war

Somoza's guards did come one day
Took her father far away
He was put into a truck with many more
No reason did they give as to why he should not live
He's just another peasant in a war

Maria cries to sleep at night
She says she dreams in black and white
Her mother says that coloured dreams will be no more
'til there's freedom in the land, tyrants are forever banned
And they let us build a nation without war

Late one night a gun did sound
There were Contras all around
And they searched the village houses for their prey
Maria's mother did protest, she felt the shot run through her breast
Maria stared in horror where her mother lay

In magazines and on the air
They all talk of war down there
Who the yanks support and who the reds are for
But was she left or was she right when her mother died that night
Or was she just another orphan in a war

Don't look for God up in the skies
You can't see God with closed eyes
They must open to the wounds that lie below
And see the children have a chance
A chance to live, a chance to dance
A chance to dream in colours bright with freedom's glow

Source: Roy Bailey 'Leaves From a Tree' Fuse CF 394. 'Maria Diaz' has been reissued on CD on Roy Bailey 'Past Masters' Fuse CFCD 403.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Scotty B
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 07:54 PM

I certainly agree Eric Bogle probably has first place with his many songs but a couple not yet mentioned are

The Island by Paul Brady and The Town I Lovewd so Wel by Phil Coulter

Scotty


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: breezy
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 09:15 PM

the Drum is credited on M-W-R's album which I'll look out tomorw.
I dont think its that widely known.
btw its 'hames' to do with attaching the horse to the cart not paint
soory but they are 'carved pieces of wood by which the traces of a horse are attached to the collar'
Thank you for posting the words.
Good to see Jimmy Newman there, I was smitten by Denvers interpretation.
Erics 2 are classics but to my mind it was June Tabor's uncluttered singing of them as on her 'Anthology ' album that didit for me.
Mike Deavin has 2 creditable songs' The Soldier's story' and 'Blood on the Sand' but you wont find him easily.
Then the one that starts:
'If you see a soldier covered all in medals' with a chorus that goes
'How about you folks out there you people looking on
Are you heroes are you cowards would you say?
If they stuck a rifle in your hand and sent you to the war
Would you be brave or would you run the other way?'
Brad Bradstock stopped the show with this one at out folk club and he's back in April
Then ther 'When the boys are on Parade' by Marcus turner and sung by Andy Irvine on 'Way out Yonder' hes at the club on 11th april after Brad
St Albans Herts., Eng


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Jazzyjack
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 09:26 PM

What ? ? Not even a mention of Phil Ochs' most popular anti-Vietnam war songs " I Ain't Marching Anymore " and " Is There Anybody Here ? " ? . I am singing them tomorrow at a peace rally in Nanaimo B.C. Canada. Who remembers the lyrics or should I supply them. For shame ! !


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: sharyn
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 09:53 PM

Two more just skipped into my head and then skipped out again while I was reading the new posts to this thread. If they pop in again, I'll post them. Oh, one is Bob Coltman's "Valley Forge":

To live I'm too cold,
To die I'm too young.
This life is too short
To be over and done.
Is this the last winter
That I'll ever see?
I don't care for no God
Who don't care for me.

So don't you think we should beat the drum
Or raise some kind of row?
Ain't this glorious war
Fell on hard times now?

And the other is a John Gorka song called "Temporary Road":

He is skating on a river
That's been frozen since December:
He's a soldier on a river off to war


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: sharyn
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 09:56 PM

Hey, y'all, this is a bit of thread-creep, but what if we put together a cd of Mudcats or others singing these songs and donated any proceeds to a peacemaking cause? Remember, you heard it from me, here. Amos? Joe?


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Subject: Lyr Add: GENTLEMEN OF DISTINCTION IN THE ARMY
From: Susan A-R
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 10:12 PM

I have had the Malvina Reynolds song Gentlemen of Distinction in the Army
in my mind a lot lately

I had a lovely dream I saw a big parade with ticker tape galore
And men were marching there the likes I'd never seen before
Oh the bankers and the diplomats are going in the army
Oh happy day I'd give my pay to see them on parade
With their paunches at attention and their striped pants at ease
They've gotten patriotic and they're going over seas
We'll have to do the best we can and bravely carry on
So we'll just keep the laddies here to mannage while they're gone

Chorus Oh we hate to see them go the gentlemen of distinction in the army

Oh the bankers and the diplomats are going in the army
It seems a shame to keep them from the wars they love to plan
We're really quite contented that they'll fight a dandy war
They don't need propaganda, they know what we're fighting for
They'll march along with dignity and in the best of form
And we'll just keep the laddies here to keep the lassies warm

Chorus

Oh the bankers and the diplomats are going in the army
We'll have to do things differently, it's all so new and strange
We'll give them silver shovels when they have to dig a hole
And they can sing in harmony when answering the roll
They'll eat their old k rations from a hand embroidered box
And when they die, we'll bring 'em home and burry 'em in fort Knox

Chorus

I wonder why I've had that one running through my head so much lately.


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Subject: Lyr Add: CRUEL WAR (from Peter, Paul & Mary)
From: Kaleea
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 01:09 AM

Since I'm half Irish (other half blarney), I usually turn to the Irish ballads in times of anti war songs.
I've always liked the simplicity of John Lennon's 2 chord song. Once the Smothers Brothers were talking about being up on the balcony with John leading the crowd in this song, and Tommy was doing all kinds of creative versions of a D chord, and John mildly chastised him saying just play a regular D chord, man, this is about something very basic & simple:

All we are saying, is "give peace a chance." etc.


Here's one sung by Peter, Paul & Mary:

CRUEL WAR

The Cruel War is raging, Johnny has to fight
I want to be with him from morning to night.
I want to be with him, it grieves my heart so,
Won't you let me go with you?
No, my love, no.

Tomorrow is Sunday, Monday is the day
that your Captain will call you and you must obey.
Your captain will call you it grieves my heart so,
Won't you let me go with you?
No, my love, no.

I'll tie back my hair, men's clothing I'll put on,
I'll pass as your comrade, as we march along.
I'll pass as your comrade, no one will ever know.
Won't you let me go with you?
No, my love, no.

Oh Johnny, oh Johnny, I fear you are unkind
I love you far better than all of mankind.
I love you far better than words can e're express
Won't you let me go with you?
Yes, my love, yes.

Yes, My Love, Yes.


And then there is the ever popular:


Look At The Coffin

Look at the coffin with its golden handles.
Isn't it grand, boys, to be bloody well dead.

chorus:
Let's not have a sniffel
Let's have a bloody good cry.
And always remember the longer you live,
the sooner you'll bloody well die.

Look at the flowers, all blody withered,
Isn't it grand boys, to be bloody well dead.

chorus

Look at the mourners, bloody great hypocrites,
isn't it grand boys to be bloody well dead.

chorus

Look at the preacher, bloody santimonious,
Isn't it grand boys to be bloody well dead.

chorus

They sing about glory, and honor the war,
Isn't it grand boys to be bloody well dead.

chorus


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 01:21 AM

#1 is "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda", especially as performed by the composer, Eric Bogle.

Add to the list of good 'uns:

Steve Goodman's "Ballad of Penny Evans"

Malvina Reynold's (I think) "What Have They Done to The Rain"


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: chouxfleur
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 03:12 AM

There are so many, but one for me is JIMMY NEWMAN by Tom Paxton.

Without writing the whole song its about an injured soldier talking to his friend whom he thinks is asleep. The last line is something like (from memory)

Wake up Jimmy Newman and show them you heard,
I tell 'em you sleep hard but they're shaking their heads
And you've only to open your eyes
And you've only to open your eyes.....


Powerful stuff eh??


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: cetmst
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 06:53 AM

Agree with most mentioned above:
Band Played Waltzing Matilda
No Man's Land
Mothers, Daughters, Wives
Dancing At Whitsun
With God on Our Side
Where Have All the Flowers Gone
And many others - Add:
Rosemary's Sister by Huw Williams
When Princes Meet by Tom Paxton
Dead Girl of Hiroshima (I Come and Stand at Every Door) by
Nazim Hikmet and James Waters
Just a Roll of the Drum as done by Fairport Convention
Writing of Tiperary by B. Caddick
And on a lighter side, Take Off Your Clothes by Mark Levy
Would make a great album


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Strupag
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 08:38 AM

By the time i got to this thread, all my favourites have been suggested.
Sad thing about Eric Bogle's "No man's land" is, that when the Irish bands covered it they decided to change the title to "Green Fields of France" as the title, "N M L " had political overtones over there. The also changed the line "When the rifles fire o'er ye" as that had also political overtones.


Andy


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 08:59 AM

"Handsome Johnny"
"My son John"
"D Day dodgers"
Giok


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE RED FEAST (Ralph Chapin)
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 01:12 PM

"The Red Feast" by Ralph Chapin. It is, correctly, a poem but has been set to music. It was written in 1912 or 13 and was a protest against the madness in Europe which became WWI. The poem is printed in the original "Little Red Song Book", published by the IWW.

I can't remember it all but enough to give you an idea of it's unrelenting anger at war and war's "masters". I
believe it was 10 or 12 verses in all.

The Red Feast
Raplh Chapin

Go fight you fools
Tear up the earth with strife
And spill each other's guts
upon the field.
Serve unto death
The men you served in life,
So that THEIR wide dominions
May not yield.

Stand by the flag
The lie that still allures
Lay down your lives for land
You do not own
And give unto
A war that is not yours
Your gory tithe
Of mangled flesh and bone

But whether in the fray
To fall or kill
You do not dare to
Question why or where
You see those tiny crosses on that hill?
It took all those to save one millionare!

It was for him the sea of blood was shed
That fields were razed
And cities lit the sky
That he might come
And chortle o'er the dead
That condor thing
For whom the millions die

The last verse, as I remember it was:

Then you will know that Nation's but a name
And bounderies are things that don't exist
And mankind's bondage, worldwide, is the same
and WAR the enemy he must resist.

CB


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: breezy
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 02:01 PM

'The Year of The Drum' was written by Wendy Joseph, a Kiwi living in Adelaide
The town is Manum which lost more men per head population in both world wars than any other in South Australia.
Martin learned it from a Richard Avery from Toronto
Its on the album 'A Rose From The bush' 1984


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: jacko@nz
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 04:51 PM

thanks, breezy.

Jack


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: pastorpest
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 06:23 PM

Ï really like the Bogle songs as well. But the peace march I was on today in our small Canadian prairie city began with singing Ed McCurdy's "Last Night I had the Srangest Dream" and Sy Miller's and Jill Jackson's "Let There Be Peace on Earth." People, including non singer types learned the McCurdy song quickly.


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Subject: RE: Review: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: breezy
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 07:55 PM

my pleasure jnz,Herga FC Mon .?


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Subject: Lyr Add: 1000 CANDLES 1000 CRANES (Rich Priezioso)
From: John Hardly
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 09:52 PM

1000 CANDLES 1000 CRANES
Rich Priezioso, 1998 Tatertunes Music

My grandmother had three sones
She dreamed about her children's children
Then came 1941
Only one son would see the war end

Joseph died marching in Bataan
Frank on the sands of Iwo Jima
The day the bomb destoyed Japan
She thanked God and Harry Truman

She blamed the godless Japanese
For having crushed her sweetest dreams
One thousand candles for my sons
Every day I will remember

In Illinois, far from her past
Miss Nakamura still remembers
She was six when she saw the flash
That turned the world to smoke and ashes

Mother taught her daughter well
Run from the fire to the river
There she found a living hell
But not a mother or a father

Though she survived with just a scrape
Her family vanished into space
One thousand suns, one thousand cranes
Everyday I will remember

My grndmother had three sons
She never dreamed she'd have a daughter
But at the age of eighty-one
She met a nurse named Nakamura

It was a question only meant
To make some talk and pass the hours
About a picture by the bed
A photograph of two young soldiers

Hatred and anger stored for years
Slowly melted into tears
One thousand candles, a thousand cranes
Everyday I will remember

I've a picture in my mind
Of two women slowly walking
August 6th, 1985
Walking to church to light a candle

And they once asked me to explain
Why grown men play such foolish games
One thousand candles, a thousand cranes
Everyday I will remember.


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Subject: Lyr Add: FOR THE FALLEN (T O'Brien and P Aaberg)
From: John Hardly
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 09:55 PM

FOR THE FALLEN
From Two Journeys
(©1999 Tim O'Brien and Phillip Aaberg, Howdy Skies Music/Universal Music Pub/Big Open Music/ASCAP)


The seeds of this war were sewn in our father's time
And every bomb will plant some more fear and hate
Let's break this chain of history before it gets too late

How many men will choose to run with the mad dog
How many more will have to die at his bloody hand
And who will shield our children from this plague that kills our land

I close my eyes and ears, don't want the news
I will not watch them play the scenes again
Don't ask me who's side I'm on, or what I think about it
Cause I don't want to play that game, I'm not buyin in

What do you need to get through the daytime
What do you need to get through the night
Who made these rules and who's to say who's wrong and who is right


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: bfolkemer
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 11:25 PM

Some other good ones are "The Wars in High Germany," sung by Jean Redpath, "Will You Go to Flanders," performed by Providence, and in an updated version, by Andy M. Stewart; and "The Banks of the Nile," sung by either Planxty or De Dannan, as well as Ewan MacColl. In fact, he included versions of the first two in his compilation of Scottish ballads. "I Will Go," performed by the Corries and others, has a different twist. The highland men serve the king in the armed forces, but afterward return to their homes to find that they have been destroyed, and their families have been victims of the clearances.

We've often been singing "Let Peace Prevail," from a recent edition of SingOut!

Beth


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Arne Langsetmo
Date: 16 Feb 03 - 01:41 PM

I'd toss in this one to think about (not necessarily the best;
there are _too_ many excellent choices to choose from):

51st (Highland) Division's Farewell To Sicily

Written by Hamish Henderson, with an eerie pipe music tune
by Pipe-Major J. Robertson. It's on Dick Gaughan's
album "Sail On". Gives me the shivers.

Some links on Dick Gaughan's page (above) tell more about the
song. Hearing Dick Gaughan on it, he talks about the soldiers
leaving Sicily ... but they're not off home; but rather off
to the mainland for the next battle. . . . And there's
always a "next battle".


Another person who's written more than one song
about war and such is: Fred Small


Cheers,

                            -- Arne Langsetmo

Cheers,

                               -- Arne Langsetmo


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Cluin
Date: 16 Feb 03 - 11:32 PM

Dick Gaughan originally released that one long ago on his classic "Kist O' Gold" album. But good luck finding it. Another victim of CM Distribution.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHEN BILLY CAME BACK (Burt/Champion)
From: GUEST,alinact
Date: 17 Feb 03 - 03:08 PM

A couple of Aussie songs. The first was recorded by Leslie Avril, and I'm guessing that one of the authors is Greg Champion, a Melbourne singer/songwriter.

WHEN BILLY CAME BACK (Burt/Champion)

When I knew Bill
he was an old man.
His head was high,
his heart was strong.
Remembrance Day,
I wore his medals.
He came back
to carry on.

Now Billy was a boy in 1914.
Grew up working the farm at Diamond Creek.
Rode his horse to school across the ranges.
Gave him memories his heart would keep.

And when the Lighthorse came to call,
no, he didn't have to think at all.

When billy came back
he was a young man.
His head was high,
his heart was strong.
There were the things
he never spoke of.
When Billy came back
to carry on.

Never mind the pain and hopeless slaughter.
Never mind the days that have no end.
Three years a'lookin' back across the water.
In a world of pain and death and men.

But the tale he would always tell,
was their pity as the horses fell.

When Billy came back
he was a young man.
His head was high,
his heart was strong.
From poison gas
his lungs were broken.
When Billy came back
to carry on.

Down amongst the dark and muddy trenches,
Billy wrote his letters to his home.
His mother kept them bound in silken ribbon
till the day when marching home he'd come.

He said "They put on quite a show,
but the truth I would never know".

When Billy came back
he was a young man.
His head was high,
his heart was strong.
There were the things
he never spoke of.
When Billy came back
to carry on.

But this could not destroy
the loving heart of a country boy.

When Billy came back
he was a young man.
His head was high,
his heart was strong.
From poison gas
his lungs were broken.
When Billy came back
to carry on.

When Billy came back
he was a young man.
His head was high,
his heart was strong.
There were the things
he never spoke of.
When Billy came back
to carry on.

The second song was written, I believe, not long after Eric Bogle's "Band Played ..." and gives the Turkish perspective of the landing at Anzac Cove. I've had these lyrics written down for a long time, but never wrote down the title, author or performer (although on the page its written on is the name Paul Hamphill). Any information greatly appreciated.

Allan

WATCHERS OF THE WATER?(P Hamphill?)

Sun's fiery furnace
beating on our backs
as we fixed our sharpened bayonets
and shouldered hidden packs.

We marched in ordered file
to destiny that day.
To a land God had forgotten
due east of Suvla Bay.

And in hills so rough and rugged,
we pulled our guns by hand.
Raised the shells upon our shoulders
to the heights we must command.

We watched and prayed and waited;
each heart beating like a drum.
we all had our eyes on the seaward horizon,
to west, where they would come.

And the cold moon she rose on
the watchers of the water.
The stars hung brightly
high above the trees.
And in the warm night tide
sheep came to the slaughter
from their land so
far away across the sea.

And when night fell, oh
she fell so soft and silent.
We could have been in the
garden of paradise.
And no man raised his voice,
not a soul made a noise,
though our blood ran
as cold, as cold, as ice.

And the cold moon she rose on
the watchers of the water.
The stars hung brightly
high above the trees.
And in the warm night tide
sheep came to the slaughter
from their land so
far away across the sea.

The cruel moon light
upon the water glistened,
and enrapt
in all of our hopes and fears.
And in the warm night tide
oh, we watched and listened,
with sharpened eyes
and very, very frightened ears.

And we saw small boats come sailing
from ships far out to sea.
And the shells came at us, playing
an infernal symphony.

And with fists of fire and steel
we were hammered that night.
And many great men went to God
without a chance to fight.
And as the boats drew nearer, oh
we watched with baited breath,
and we waited for the order
at our turn to deal with death.

And the cold moon she rose on
the watchers of the water.
The stars hung brightly
high above the trees.
And in the warm night tide
sheep came to the slaughter
from their land so
far away across the sea.

From their land so far away across the sea!


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Subject: Lyr Add: TRAVELING SOLDIER
From: GUEST,Julia
Date: 17 Feb 03 - 03:47 PM

The one that's been going through my head is Bruce Robison and Farrah Braniff's "Traveling Soldier", just recorded by the Dixie Chicks.

Two days past eighteen
He was waiting for the bus in his army greens
Sat down in a booth in a cafe there
Gave his order to a girl with a bow in her hair

He's a little shy so she gives him a smile
And he said would you mind sittin' down for a while
And talking to me, I'm feeling a little low
She said I'm off in an hour and I know where we can go

So they went down and they sat on the pier
He said I bet you got a boyfriend but I don't care
I got no one to send a letter to
Would you mind if I sent one back here to you

Chorus:
I cried
Never gonna hold the hand of another guy
Too young for him they told her
Waitin' for the love of a travelin' soldier
Our love will never end
Waitin' for the soldier to come back again
Never more to be alone when the letter said
A soldier's coming home

So the letters came from an army camp
In California then Vietnam
And he told her of his heart it might be love
And all of the things he was so scared of

He said when it's gettin' kind of rough over here
I think of that day sittin' down at the pier
And I close my eyes and see your pretty smile
Don't worry but I won't be able to write for awhile

(Chorus)

One Friday night at a football game
The Lord's Prayer said and the Anthem sang
A man said "Folks would you bow your heads
For a list of local Vietnam dead"

Cryin' all alone under the stands
Was the piccolo player in the marching band
And one name read and nobody really cared
But a pretty little girl with a bow in her hair

(Chorus)


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 17 Feb 03 - 09:38 PM

G'day alinact/Allan,

The author of Watchers of the Water is Paul Hemphill. It must come from the early part of the '80s, as it was winner of the "New Song and Tune" section of one of the Bush Music Club's annual Song, Poem and Dance Competitions, which started around 1979.

I may well have been the first publisher of this song, in Mulga Wire the Bush Music Club's magazine, where I set it against a song from the Australian side.

I'm not sure where Paul is now living - fairly sure it isn't Sydney.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Mickey191
Date: 18 Feb 03 - 12:11 AM

Warning Thread Creep- Does anyone recall a poem popular during The Viet Nam War - don't know the name. Got alot of air time. About war being in a box with a warning "Do not Open-This is War." Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,alinact
Date: 18 Feb 03 - 12:27 AM

Thanks Bob. I was hoping you would come through with some information.

I first heard a live version of the song on a radio programme David Mullhullan(?) used to have on Radio National on Sunday nights back in the late seventies/early eighties, and I was really taken with the alternate view the song portrayed.

There's a couple of words I've had to guess at; particularly the word "playing" in the middle bit:

And we saw small boats come sailing
from ships far out to sea.
And the shells came at us, playing
an infernal symphony.

Your advice would be appreciated.

Allan


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BOX (from John Denver)
From: Cluin
Date: 18 Feb 03 - 12:29 AM

I remember John Denver recorded a recitation of this one on his Poems, Prayers, and Promises album.


THE BOX
by Kendrew Lascelles

Once upon a time in the land of hush-a-bye,
around about the wondrous days of yore,
They came across a sort of box
Bound up with chains and locked with locks
And labelled, 'Kindly do not touch, it's war.'

A decree was issued 'round about --
All with a flourish and a shout
And a gaily coloured mascot
Tripping lightly on before --
'Don't fiddle with that deadly box
or break the chains or pick the locks
And please don't ever mess about with war.'

Well the children understood,
Children happen to be good
And were just as good around the time of yore.
They didn't try to pick the locks
Or break into that deadly box
And never tried to play about with war.

Mommies didn't either
Sisters, Aunts nor Grannies neither
'Cos they were quiet and sweet and pretty
In those wondrous days of yore,
Well very much the same as now
And not the ones to blame somehow
For opening up that deadly box of war,
But someone did...

Someone battered in the lid
And spilled the insides out across the floor,
A sort of bouncy bumpy ball
made up of flags and guns and all
The tears and the horror and the death
That goes with war.

It bounced right out
And went bashing all about
And bumping into everything in store
And what is sad and most unfair
was that it didn't really seem to care
Much who it bumped, or why,
Or what, or for.

It bumped the children mainly
And I'll tell you this quite plainly,
It bumps them everyday and more and more
And leaves them dead and burned and dying
Thousands of them sick and crying,
'Cos when it bumps it's very, very sore.

There is a way to stop the ball,
It isn't very hard at all,
All it takes is wisdom
And I'm absolutely sure
We could get it back into the box
And bind the chains and lock the locks
But no one seems to want to save the children anymore.

Well that's the way it all appears
'Cos it's been bouncing around for years and years
In spite of all the wisdom wizzed
Since those wondrous days of yore,
And the time they came across that box
Bound up with chains and locked with locks
And labelled, 'Kindly do not touch, it's war.'


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: wildlone
Date: 18 Feb 03 - 02:51 PM

A little aside to the 51st {Highland} Division's Farewell to Sicilly.
Part of the Eight Army [ the army that had fought through the desert in WWII} were pulled out of the line and sent back to England, "to be re-equiped and to have some R&R".
They were equiped OK and kept in barracks until they were put on transport to the Normandy beaches, as the powers in the war office wanted seasoned troops on the beach as they thought that the untried troops would would panic.
BTW. The war through the desert and up through Italy gets forgotten about. The liberation of Rome took place on the same day as D day.
dave


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: gnomad
Date: 18 Feb 03 - 03:12 PM

Bogle's Band Played Waltzing Matilda and (whose?) Dancing at Whitsun are both on my best-songs-ever list.

A couple of fine songs which I don't think have received a mention so far are these 2, both by Keith Marsden: St Aubin sur Mer, and Normandy Orchards.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Geordie
Date: 18 Feb 03 - 03:43 PM

The Patriot Game by Domonic Behan. One of my all time favourite songs. Says it all.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Jazzyjack
Date: 18 Feb 03 - 04:12 PM

Check out the Eileen Laverty thread for " A Mother's Son ".


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Stewie
Date: 18 Feb 03 - 06:37 PM

Allan,

I posted the words to 'Watchers' some time ago. I took them from the album lyric sheet, so they should be as Hemphill wrote 'em.

Watchers of the Water

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: alinact
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 10:59 AM

Thanks Stewie - of course, "wailing". I did do a search but never thought to put a "The" in front of the title. Doh!

Allan


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: sharyn
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 11:24 PM

Another good one: Charlie King's "Acceptable Risks" -- about the risk of bomb-testing to soldiers


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Indiana Brandon
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 11:40 PM

WOW!!! I'm surprised that nobody's mentioned "Portland Town" by Deroll Adams, and "War Pigs" by Black Sabbath..."War Pigs" certainly isn't too "folky" but hey...Ramblin' Jack Elliot does a damn good version of "Portland Town"...


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Indiana Brandon
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 11:46 PM

If anybody gets a chance to check out the band Seize the Day, please do........they have a good song called "With my Hammer", which is about a true story of two(?) women going on to a British military base and destroying a jet with just hammers in their hands. The jet was going to be shipped to Indonesia to kill East Timorese...the very amaing thing that occured was that the judge at their trial acquitted them, even when they fully admitted to their "crime".....the judge's response was that they were stopping a greater crime....peace....

Indiana Brandon


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Indiana Brandon
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 01:05 AM

somebody mentioned "morning Dew" as performed by the Grateful Dead......Bonnie Dobson actually wrote it and performed it originally.....I think it was first recorded on her album "Hootenanny with Bonnie Dobson"........

Indiana Brandon


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,bdtheqb
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 01:51 AM

excellent choices all.. xmas in the trenches is, to me, a very sad commentary about the human condition but gives one a "feel" of what "war" is like maybe.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Longarm
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 02:29 AM

Don't know about the song but Alistair Huelett wrot an anti war/leftwing song and the most telling line was: 'A bayonet has a working class man on each end"! Perceptive eh?


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Stewie
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 03:29 AM

Too true, Longarm. And this from Ed Pickford:

And when the sky darkens
And the prospect is war
Who's given a gun
And then pushed to the fore
And expected to die
For the land of our birth
When we've never owned
One handful of earth?

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Midchuck
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 11:02 AM

Did no one mention "Children of Darkness" on this whole thread, or did I miss it?

I can't believe Dick Farina's been totally forgotten. Or are you all just kids?

On a more current note, I'm very taken by Mick Ryan's Lament, on Tim O'Brien's new album. (Melody is "Garry Owen," if that isn't obvious.)

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,boab_d
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 11:08 AM

Hello again I totally agree with the Eric Bogle Choices but his best one
my youngest son came home today hasnt been mentioned
Another couple of real crackers are
Gaberlunzie Dont You Bury Me Before the Battle
Billy Connolly I'm Askin Yae Sergeant Where's Mine

These are just two really great songs that everyone should have a listen too
Dylan


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Subject: Lyr Add: HOME LADS HOME
From: Gervase
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 12:35 PM

Among my favourites are Home Lads Home, by Cicely Fox Smith, set to music by Sarah Morgan:

HOME LADS HOME

Overseas in Flanders the sun was setting low,
With tramp of feet and jingle as I heard the gunteams go.
But something seemed to set me a dreaming as I lay
Of my old Hampshire village at the quiet end of day.

CHORUS: And it's home, lads home, all among the corn and clover;
Home lads home, when the working day is over.
Where there's rest for horse and man; when the longest day is done,
And we'll all go home together at the setting of the sun.

Proud thatch with gardens blooming with lily and with rose;
The Meon flowing past them, so quiet as it goes.
White fields of oats and barley and the elderflower like foam,
And the sky a gold at sunset and the horses going home.

Captain, Boxer, Traveller, I see them all so plain,
With tasselled earflaps nodding all along the leafy lane.
Somewhere a bird is calling and the swallow flying low,
And the lads all sitting sideways and singing as they go.

Gone is many a lad now and many a horse gone too;
All those lads and horses from great fields that I knew.
For Dick fell at Givenchy and Prince beside the gun
On that red road to glory a mile or two from Mons.

Grey lads and shadowy horses, I see them all so plain;
I see them and I know them and I call them each by name
While riding down from Swanmore with all the West a-glow,
And the lads all sitting sideways and singing as they go;

CHORUS: And it's home, lads, home, with the sunset on their faces;
Home lads, home to those quiet happy places,
Where there's rest for horse and man, when the longest day is done,
And we'll all go home together at the setting of the sun.

Les Sullivan, a songwriter who deserves greater fame, has written two superb songs:

MENIN GATE

I see you reading names carved in stone
Each one a man with a tale of his own
You came to Ieper with your friends for fun
I came with mine but I carried a gun

I was a sailor barely nineteen
I fell so far from the sea
They play their bugles each night at eight
For people like me at the old Menin Gate

We joined the navy to fight on the sea
Parfitt and Sawdy, young Dave Tee and me
Funny to think then the one ship we saw
Took us to Belgium to die in the war.

I was a sailor barely nineteen
I fell so far from the sea
They play their bugles each night at eight
For people like me at the old Menin Gate

Everywhere water, rain, mud and clay
One great explosion in water I lay
There in that shell hole that's where I drowned
And to this day well I've never been found

I was a sailor barely nineteen
I fell so far from the sea
They play their bugles each night at eight
For people like me at the old Menin Gate

Laugh with your friends as you travel this land
Read our four names perhaps you'll understand
Out in the fields there's an old shattered tree
And Parfitt and Sawdy, young Dave Tee and me.

I was a sailor barely nineteen
I fell so far from the sea
They play their bugles each night at eight
For people like me at the old Menin Gate.

and

JUTLAND

Where are you goin' my Billy-O,
Where are you goin' my Billy-O,
I'm joining a ship in Scapa Flow,
That's where I'm going my Nancy.

I'm joining "Queen Mary" Nancy-O,
Joining "Queen Mary" Nancy-O,
She's bristling with guns and ready to go,
To sail to glory with Jellicoe,

CHORUS: But where is "Queen Mary"? Gone Now!
And where is the glory? Gone Now!
And six thousand sailors, Gone Now!
They have gone to the bottom at Jutland.

Where are you goin' my Rodney-O,
IWhere are you goin' my Rodney-O,
'm joining a ship in Scapa Flow,
That's where I'm going my Nancy.

I'm joining "Invincible" Nancy-O,
Joining "Invincible" Nancy-O,
She's bristling with guns and ready to go,
To sail to glory with Jellicoe,

CHORUS: But where is "Invincible"? Gone Now!
And where is the glory? Gone Now!
And six thousand sailors, Gone Now!
They have gone to the bottom at Jutland.

Where are you goin' my Johnny-O,
Where are you goin' my Johnny-O,
I'm joining a ship in Scapa Flow,
That's where I'm going my Nancy.

I'm joining the "Black Prince" Nancy-O,
Joining the "Black Prince" Nancy-O,
She's bristling with guns and ready to go,
To sail to glory with Jellicoe,

CHORUS: But where is the "Black Prince"? Gone Now!
And where is the glory? Gone Now!
And six thousand sailors, Gone Now!
They have gone to the bottom at Jutland.

Bob Hambleton of Herga and Maidenhead Folk Clubs has also written a lovely song about song and war - sadly I haven't got the words. Micca has also written an affecting song about Thiepval.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: IanC
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 12:41 PM

Dancing At Whitsun


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: mg
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 09:54 PM

It's a poem but I put a tune to it and probably wrecked it by shortening it...but Watchman what of the night.. mg


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: sharyn
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 11:05 PM

What about Joni Mitchell's "The Fiddle and the Drum" or Dylan's "tears of Rage?"


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Indiana Brandon
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 12:56 AM

Allright, I know, I'm jumping into the POP genres, but here's a couple more:
"Zombie" by the Cranberries and "Gunpowder" by Wyclef Jean

"Zombie" was influenced by the fighting in Northern Ireland and "Gunpowder" was influenced by fighting in Haiti. Everytime I listen to "Gunpowder" it sends chills up and down my spine...lyrics for these two songs can be found at:

Zombie @ http://www.alwaysontherun.net/cranber.htm

Gunpowder @ http://www.purelyrics.com/index.php?lyrics=cqhpeugh


Indiana Brandon


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: banjomad (inactive)
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 08:34 AM

' The Old Man's Tale ' by Ian Campbell, three generations in one song,
three lifetimes of war and here we go again. We have learnt fucking nothing in the last 200 years.
Dave


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 03:00 PM

Maybe not the greatest but very good is And The Poppies Lie Buried Together, humerously sad is The Airman


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Florida
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 10:46 PM

Not necessarily the greatest, but three of the most poignant ones I know are

Where Have All The Flowers Gone
Lorena
Just Before The Battle, Mother

The Patriot Game is one of my favorites (I know at least three versions)


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Subject: Lyr Add: SILVER TASSIE
From: Cluin
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 11:38 PM

Not exactly an anti-war song, I guess, bot not pro-war either:

Archie Fisher set music to this little Burns poem on his ORFEO album many years ago, singing it as only he can. I've always liked this little gem....

Silver Tassie

Gae bring tae me a pint o' wine
And fill it in a silver tassie
That I may drink, before I go
A service tae my bonnie lassie

   The boat rocks at the pier o' Leith,
   Fu' loud the wind blaws frae the Ferry
   The ship sails by the Berwick-Law
   And I maun leave my bonnie Mary

The trumpets sound, the banners fly
The glitt'rin' spears are ranked an' ready
The shouts o' war are heard afar
And the battle closes deep and bloody

   Tis not the roar o' sea on shore
   Wad mak' me langer wish tae tarry
   Nor shouts o' war that's heard afar
   But leaving thee, my bonny Mary


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: mg
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 12:45 AM

I sing this to Auld Lang Syne.....words as I remember them by Kipling..

The garden called Gethsemane in Picardy it was
And there the people came to see the English soldiers pass

We used to pass we used to pass or halt as it may be
And ship our masks in case of gas beyond Gethsemane

The garden called Gethsemane it held a pretty lass
And all the time I talked with her I prayed my cup would pass

The officer sat in a chair the men sat on the grass
And all the while we lingered there I prayed my cup would pass

It did not pass it did not pass it did not pass from me
I drank it when we met the gas beyond Gethsemane


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Subject: Lyr Add: FOR KING AND COUNTRY (Eric Bogle)
From: Tiger
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 12:39 PM

Add my dittos to all the previous Bogle recommendations. And, somebody finally mentioned "Lorena" a song so devastating that its singing was banned in the camps, 'cause it made everyone want to go AWOL.

Back to Bogle, "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" (my all-time favorite) and "No Man's Land" are part of his WWI song trilogy. The third, almost never heard, is:

For King And Country — Eric Bogle
    CHORUS (Each stanza)
    For King and for Country,
    We fought and we died.
    In the first flush of the dawn
    In the fields of Somme.
First to die was our Captain,
He was shot through the lung.
He lay in the mud
And he choked in his blood.

And ten minutes later,
On these green fields of France,
The grass has turned red,
And thousands were dead.

And all through that morning,
The slaughter went on.
We screamed and we cried,
And cursed God as we died.

And when it was over,
And the killing was done,
A generation had gone.
A generation had gone!


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 12:00 PM

Strafgod - I too would go with "The Minstrel Boy"

It is subtle and gives cause for musing. The tune is light and lyrical but the subject grave and ironic. The contrasts of weak and strong, entertaining and deadly, boy and man, and the phrase "in the ranks of dead you will find him" make it my choice.

You ponder the war's power of enticing the young.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

@displaysong.cfm?SongID=6716

In my opinion the Civil War addition weakens its impact, Thomas Moore had it right the first time.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BRAVE NEW WORLD (Dominic Behan?)
From: maire-aine
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 02:55 PM

Brave New World, by (I think) Dominic Behan:

Tell me now, that hate lies sleeping. Tell me now, that the flag is furled.
Sing to me an end to weeping. Bring to me visions of a brave new world.
Tell me now the day has dawned, love. That man to man, a love as strong has stirred.
Sing with me, sing loud this song love. Sing a great welcome to a brave new world.

Tell me now that hate is dying, tell me now the war flag will fade.
Tell me now that man is trying to use, for man's greatness what great man has made.
To raise aloft from degradation, creating great and glorious deeds by the word.
The word is love for countless nations, countless men* working for a brave new world.

Tell me now, that hate is dead, love. Tell me now, that the flag is done.
Tell me how, there is instead, love, In our hearts, hostility to hatred's wrongs.
When you sing, for me this song love, to lull the earth, our Mother long disturbed,
Only then can we be one, love, where our children live laughing in a brave new world.

* I sing "countless hearts" rather than "countless men".


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: anais
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 02:13 PM

eric bogle really did it best. if i were to pick the classics that always make me cry, would have to be
june tabor's version of "no man's land"
june tabor again doing "and the band played waltzing matilda"
paul brady's killer interpretation of "arthur macbride"
paul brady's version of "bonny woodhall"
-lovely, surpised no one's mentioned it.
maddy prior and tim hart's "dancing at whitsun"
john roberts and tony barrand "valley of the shadow"
-again, a brilliant song, wish i could offer up all the lyrics but i don't know 'em.
sandy denny, "banks of the nile"
dick gaughan, "handful of earth"
steeleye span's "the victory"...oh god, it's just really sad.
and who ever it is who sings christmas in the trenches...?
recently i've been taken with the idea of teaching large groups to sing "hanging on the old barbed wire" and taking to the streets.
a good comment about the "chicken hawks" running the show these days.


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Subject: Lyr Add: KING'S COMMAND (Dougie MacLean)
From: Cluin
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 02:16 AM

Another one from Dougie, off his 1980 Snaigow album:


King's Command
(MacLean/Stewart/Hadden/Sutherland)

I've been called to fight for royalty
For the King at his right hand
Be a martyr for my country
Spill my blood out on the land
And if I should die in battle
Then it's a noble thing I do
But if I should be a hero
Then I will return to you

The glens have been my kingdom
My only loyalty
And I would raise my sword against the lord
To protect my family
But to join an English army
And to fight for them abroad
Not for England, nor her empire
Would I ever raise my sword

I can hear the trumpets sounding
It will lead me far away
But although my soul is leaving
My heart will surely stay
And I will fight for them tomorrow
Though it be against my will
Than to see my children perish
On an English soldier's sword

(repeat 1st verse)


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Cluin
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 02:32 AM

In the 3rd last line above, it should be "word", not "will".


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 05:07 PM

I'd like to put in a word for "Catalonia", recorded by De Dannan and written I believe by Phil Colclough. Very poignant.

Also a song I've heard in my local pub, don't know the title or composer, but the chorus goes:
"And the petals fell from the rose of York
Never to rise again".

Anybody got any info. about this?

Piff


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Andrew
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 05:31 PM

Have to agree with anais. As many have said Band played Walting Matilda has to be No 1 but in a simple sort of how to combat war Aurther and his cousin in Arthur McBride and the Sergeant did a pretty good job.

Others Hanging on the Old Barbed Wire
Willie Mc Bride



Andrew


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Cluin
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 05:50 PM

Yeah, those two Bogle songs, "No Man's Land" and "Band Played Waltzing Matilda", I used to like.

Great anti-war songs, but now I'm just so damned sick of them. The fellow who used to sing them in our band just recently left and the rest of us agreed we never want to play them again. I won't miss that at all.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: sharyn
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 10:36 PM

The House Band sings a lovely one called "The Walls of Troy," which you can also hear on Out of the Rain's "With the Friends I Love Best."


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE H-BOMB'S THUNDER (John Brunner)
From: Neighmond
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 11:42 PM

THE H-BOMB'S THUNDER
(John Brunner)

Don't you hear the H-bombs' thunder
Echo like the crack of doom?
While they rend the skies asunder
Fall-out makes the earth a tomb;
Do you want your homes to tumble,
Rise in smoke towards the sky?
Will you let your cities crumble,
Will you see your children die?

Cho: Men and women, stand together.
Do not heed the men of war.
Make your minds up now or never,
Ban the bomb for evermore.

Tell the leaders of the nations
Make the whole wide world take heed:
Poison from the radiations
Strikes at every race and creed.
Must you put mankind in danger,
Murder folk in distant lands?
Will you bring death to a stranger,
Have his blood upon your hands?

Shall we lay the world in ruin?
Only you can make the choice.
Stnp and think of what you're doing.
Join the march and raise your voice.
Time is short; we must be speedy.
We can see the hungry filled,
House the homeless, help the needy.
Shall we blast, or shall we build ?


For what it's worth

Chaz


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Feb 03 - 02:42 AM

The Green Fields of France.
Where Have All The Flowers Gone.
The Flowers Of The Forest.

These would be my choices. The Flowers of The Forest is played on the pipes at all military funerals. I like the song too. One day it will be played for me.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Snuffy
Date: 26 Feb 03 - 08:44 AM

Surprised nobody's mentioned Ian Campbell's "The sun is burning in the sky".


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Cluin
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 02:04 AM

I see the same song mentioned here a number of times by it's 3 different names: "No Man's Land", "Willie McBride", and "Green Fields of France".

But Eric Bogle, who wrote it, called it "No Man's Land". The folk process in action again...


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Subject: Lyr Add: PEACE IN THE END (from Sandy Denny)
From: GUEST,alinact
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 02:09 PM

You don't hear this one very often, but a great song by Sandy Denny and Fotheringay.

Allan

PEACE IN THE END

Come on Mary, Mary or you, John,
To which religion do you belong?
You and your lover, you and your friend,
Peace in the end.

What about me, me and my kind,
If we're unknown, are we left behind?
We have our lovers, too, and our friends,
Hope in the end.

You may think our lives are forever.
I think you could be wrong.
But if we were together, together,
I know we could get on.

Go ask your neighbours to come and sing songs,
You know they've wanted to all along.
I've seen them smile for their friends,
All in the end.

You may think our lives are forever.
I think you could be wrong.
But if we were together, together
I know we could get on.

I've seen them stand at the top of the hill,
And none of them coming down,
But who will be the last one to kill?
And who will be the clown?

Come on Mary, Mary or you, John,
To which religion do you belong?
You are our lovers, you are our friends,
Peace in the end.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Elfcall
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 03:16 PM

The song that Piff (guest) is aiming at is Rose of York by Ken Thompson and Leslie Hale (according to my insert anyway). The version I have is by Roy Bailey and whatever your view on Roy is, it is a feckin' cracking interpretation.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 18 Mar 03 - 04:42 AM

no mans land.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LETTER (Boris Vian)
From: GUEST,NSC George Henderson
Date: 18 Mar 03 - 10:13 AM

The Letter

Written in French but I do not know the name of the composer, not do I know who translated the song. It was written, I think, in the early 1950's and was in protest at being called up to fight in the French-Algerian war.

The translation is excellent and how the translator managed to get the internal rhyming so perfect and at the same time keep the whole meaning of the song intact I will never know.

This is definitely the best anti war song I have yet come across.


This letter gentlemen is to you politicians
You men in high positions, please read it if you can.
When I woke up today orders were waiting for me
To go and join the army at once without delay
I shall not Gentlemen, That's why I write this letter,
To say that man had better refuse to fight again.
These words are true I'm sure, I don't mean to upset you,
I only want to let you know that men are sick of war.


For many years we've seen how men have fought each other,
Seen brother snatched from brother, seen children lost in tears.
Mother with swollen eyes cry whilst the rich not caring
Are too busy profiteering and grow fat on crimes and lies
I've seen the prisoners, what did they do to merit,
This sapping of the spirit, this theft of what they were.
Tomorrow I'll be gone, I'll slam the door behind me
On all that will remind me, of cruelty and war


Well then I'll make my way, around the world I'll travel
I'll speak out against evil and this is what I'll say
Man, it's great to be alive and all mankind are brothers
In this world and all others, so help your brothers thrive.
If blood is to be shed, shed yours you politicians
You men in high positions but be it on you head
Follow me if you will, bring out your men and arm them
Tell them that I will not harm them for disarmed I'm safe to kill.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Orac
Date: 18 Mar 03 - 11:28 AM

Unfortunately this song has gone the way of "Streets of London" and has been done to death. Consequently, I squirm in my seat every time I hear it these days.. as I do also with "no-man's land" . Its a pity as both are good songs. I'm sure the Wild Rover was ok once but there is a limit to how often you can sit through something. What doesn't help I guess is that all are usually sung very badly by the finger in the ear brigade, who seem to think that a good song is all that matters and not how its sung.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Mar 03 - 12:30 PM

How about

The first I met was a grey haired father
Searching for his only son
I said to him there's no use searching
For up to HEaven your son has gone

The Dying Rebel

I have heard that only one US Congreeman or Senator has a child in the US Military.
Perhaps Bush should send his own Children to Iraq


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Subject: Lyr Add: TROOPERS LAMENT (Bruce Phillips)
From: Mark Ross
Date: 18 Mar 03 - 04:18 PM

Check this one out.

Mark Ross


TROOPERS LAMENT
Bruce Phillips

I sailed from Seattle far away from friends and home,
Far across the blue Pacific to the Land of Morning Calm,
"Here's your helmet and your rifle and your prophylactics too,
And as sure as I'm your captain we will make a man of you."

The 105's were pounding and their thunder shook the night,
I asked my bold commander, "Who am I here to fight?",
"It's the slopes, and the slants, and the gooks and chinks," said he,
And I wondered if their captain ever said the same of me.

I have seen the mountain winter where the air was cold and still,
But, oh, that frozen Chosen it was a living hell,
With the fever, and the jaundice, and a hundred kinds of mold,
We were slaughtered in our mummy bags by bayonets and cold.

And everywhere I traveled from the gap at Kummaree,
The Yungsan Reservation and the camps at Moonsonee,
The frozen plains at Inchon my boots rotting on my feet,
All I heard were starving babies while their mothers walked the street.

We bought cameras, we bought watches, we bought whores and we bought booze,
With the little barefoot beggars bending down to shine our shoes,
We gave them back their candy and to answer our desire,
We gave them round-eyed babies who died outside the wire.

I got off in Seattle and I climbed on board a train,
I rode it through the mountains with a fever in my brain,
I could find no reason to remain here anymore,
There was not trace around me of the life I'd lived before.

Now what's the pride in country if it robs a man of will,
And where's the pride in manhood if a man will rape and kill,
And what's the pride in killing if the dead will rise again,
Ah, but there's a pride in knowing there's and enemy within.

So listen all you troopers, here's a lesson you should know,
From an older brown-shoe soldier who marched off long ago,
They will use your pride and passion for to settle all their fights,
Keep your pride in your trousers and the captain in your sights.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Bennet Zurofsky
Date: 18 Mar 03 - 05:00 PM

I prefer songs that everyone in the room, or on the street, can join in with. Most of the songs mentioned above only work in a quiet dsetting with everyone listening. They have too many words to be effective with a crowd or with people who don't already know them. Sing-a-longs also have the benefit of promoting feelings of fellowship and solidarity among the assemblage.

I few good ones of the sort I favor have been listed above, here is a list of some that I have been singing at recent demonstrations:

This Little Light of Mine (with lyrics like We've got the peace light burning . . .); Blowing In the Wind; We Shall Overcome (We shall live in peace . . ., We are not afraid . . .); Down By the Riverside; Hinei Ma Tov; Lo Yisa Goy; We Shall Not Be Moved (We'll work for peace and freedom, we shall not be moved); Paz y Libertad; and Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream.

I would love to see (or be reminded of) other songs of this type.


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Subject: Lyr Add: MOTHER'S PRIDE (George Michael)
From: GUEST,Jambo1874
Date: 18 Mar 03 - 05:48 PM

Sorry for drifting into the pop genre - and worse, into the "bubble gum" pop genre.

How and ever, one of my favourite anti-war songs was performed by George Michael.

It's the song "Mother's Pride" from his 1990 album "Listen Without Prejudice". According to the sleeve notes, GM wrote this as well. The lyrics are set out below, but you really have to hear the song (the lad really can sing) to fully appreciate it.


"Mother's Pride"

Oh she knows
She takes his hand
And prays the child will understand
At the door they watch the men go by
In the clothes that daddy wore
Mothers pride
Baby Boy
His father's eyes
He's a soldier waiting for war
Time will come
He'll hold a gun
His father's son

And as he grows
He hears the band
Takes the step from boy to man
And at the shore she waves her son goodbye
Like the man she did before

Mothers pride
Just a boy
His country's eyes
He's a soldier waving at the shore
And in her heart
the time has come
To lose a son

And all the husbands, all the sons, all the lovers gone
They make no difference
No difference in the end
Still hear the women say your daddy died a hero
In the name of God and man

Mothers pride
Crazy boy
His lifeless eyes
He's a soldier now forevermore
He'll hold a gun
till kingdom come


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: sharyn
Date: 19 Mar 03 - 11:56 AM

Bennet,

How about "We're Going to Keep on Walking Forward" by Judy Small. It's a "zipper song," will take any verses you put into the form:

We're going to keep on walking forward,
Keep on walking forward,
Keep on walking forward:
Never turning back,
Never turning back.

So you can add things like

"We're going to work for peace and freedom..." etc.

Cheers!

Sharyn


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 20 Mar 03 - 07:36 AM

It's been a while since I looked at this thread (dunno why)

Loke Snuffy I love Ian Campbell's Sun is burning.

check out some (mainly) Australian songs on this link

The Union Songs website (http://crixa.com/muse/unionsong/) has a number of anti-war songs including

Call to Arms    Richard Mills
The Cavemen    Peggy Seeger
Coalition of the Willing    John Warner
The Crow on the Cradle Sydney Carter
Four Strong Women   Maurie Mulheron
Hey, Mr. President, Don't You Kill for Me! Ron and Tom
Piechota
International Cowboy    John Warner
Iraqi War Song Country Bumpkin and the Hogs
No Blood For Oil    Jim Lesses
P.E.A.C.E. Ken Stewart
Paul Robeson    Sumishta Brahm
Terrorist Song John Dengate
Warsong Bernard Carney
Water to the Trenches   Steve Barnes

There is also a ready to print ebook called "Peace is Union Business" at: http://crixa.com/muse/unionsong/ebooks/peacesongs.pdf


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,ta2
Date: 20 Mar 03 - 10:06 AM

why has no one mentioned "Where have all the flowers gone ?"


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Beccy
Date: 20 Mar 03 - 10:25 AM

I have to say, "Let There Be Peace On Earth" by Sy Miller and Jill Jackson 'cause my Mom always sang it to me.

Beccy


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Mar 03 - 08:39 PM

"Universal Soldier" by Buffy Sainte-Marie

"With God On Our Side" by Bob Dylan

"Brothers In Arms" by Dire Straits


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHAUR DAE YE LIE? (Karine Polwart)
From: michaelr
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 07:08 PM

I'm surprised no one has mentioned "Whaur Dae Ye Lie" (Where do you lie) by Malinky singer Karine Polwart. It's about the Bosnian war, and reduces me to tears every time I hear it. It's simple enough to use in a sing-along... if you can get through it. A devastating song.


Whaur Dae Ye Lie? (Karine Polwart)

Chorus: Whaur dae ye lie my faither?
Whaur dae ye lie my son?
Whaur dae ye lie my ane true love?
When will the truth be won?

Oor friends they came to protect us
Oor friends they bade us bide
Oor friends left us standing there naked
Wi' nae place left to hide (CH)

Oor neighbours they came wi' a hundred years' hate
Oor neighbours they came wi' guns
Oor neighbours they came for oor menfolk
An' they slew them every one (CH)

I hae sought oot yer grave wi' my mither
I hae sought oot yer grave in vain
I hae sought the bare banes o' the truth and the men
Faither whaur are ye lain? (CH)

I hae cried oot yer name to the four winds
I hae cried oot yer name till the dawn
I hae cried in the arms o' yer sister dear
Whaur dae ye lie my son? (CH)

I hae dreamed o' yer breath upon me
I hae dreamed o' yer yellow hair
I hae dreamed o' the sounds o' yer dying, love
Whaur dae ye lie my dear? (CH)

From the album "Last Leaves" (Greentrax, 2000)

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: The Walrus
Date: 22 Mar 03 - 06:08 AM

mary garvey,

I find myself singing "Gethsemene" to the tune of "There is a Green Hill" (I suppose it's the Easter link that did it.

Walrus


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: saulgoldie
Date: 22 Mar 03 - 10:28 AM

Many excellent mentions, here, and some new ones that I will have to look into.

"And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda" and "Christmas in the Trenches" (by John McCutcheon, by the way) are two of my tops. God on Our Side, I Ain't Marching Anymore, Universal Soldier, The Box, and so many others. Wow! Non-war has inspired some really great material.

Let me add:
"Cranes Over Hiroshima" and also "Peace Is..." both by Fred Small, and almost on topic: "Let The Band Play Dixie" by the late, great Bob Gibson; and then "Peace Will Come" by Tom Paxton. (I have transcriptions for all four of these and "Christmas ITT", too if anyone wants.)

Don't know if I can say "greatest", but they are all great and so important! Thanks for the thread! Humanity will only survive if peace prevails.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Mar 03 - 03:32 PM

Yes - Cranes over Hiroshima has to be the saddest. And The Plains of Waterloo - or any broken token song - to make you think how the experience of war makes you unrecognisable to your loved ones.
And the time to sing them is now.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 22 Mar 03 - 05:24 PM

What a wonderful thread, and what great songs mentioned!
But in 140+ postings, I saw not a single song offered by a Mudcatter, at least not directly; with so many singer-songwriters among us, that surprises me. Is humility the reason? If so, and in order to "open the door of shame for others", I will post in subsequent messages three offerings of mine, which are about to be published in my new album, "Silent Majority", under the UNLaBELLED subsidiary label of Robb Johnson's Irregular Records:
a) The Flowers and the Guns
b) It takes a soldier
c) What life for a soldier

I am NOT proposing that they are in any way "greatest ever..."; just offering them for constructive criticism and just for the hell of it. In the context of what is happening on our TV screens, I think they are all apt.

So, unless I see some negative reaction in the next 15 minutes, I will start posting...


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 22 Mar 03 - 06:04 PM

No reaction yet...I'll wait a little longer.
I know for a fact that Hovering Bob has written a cracking anti-war song ("Don't let the music die"). How about the rest of you?
My personal all-time favourite is "The gift of years", I think it's Eric Bogle's, not sure.


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Subject: Lyr Add: FLOWERS AND THE GUNS (George Papavgeris)
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 22 Mar 03 - 07:02 PM

Oh, well, I waited for almost 90 mins, nobody has objected (or nobody has read the thread, perhaps you're all glued to the TV screens). So here goes the first installment. Slow laid-back rhythm, the tune is supposed to be wistful:

THE FLOWERS AND THE GUNS
(an indictment for my generation)

Where are the flowers that we put
    into the muzzles of the guns?
Dried up and pressed inside a frame,
    they never get a second glance.
The love that we would banish war with,
    on bombed out streets now naked stands.
Where are the flowers that we put
    into the muzzles of the guns?

Where is the innocence of youth,
    the stars that once were in our eyes?
When did we learn to cover truth
    with our excuses and our lies?
When did our ideals falter?
    Tell me, when did we change our plans?
Where are the flowers that we put
    into the muzzles of the guns?

Our lives from others we have learned to separate
From evil we avert our eyes.
More often war it is, and not love, that we make
And all the time we compromise.

We used to turn the other cheek,
    but now we turn our face away.
We were the blessed and the meek;
    our future brighter than the day.
But we've forgotten Luther's message;
    we never ask ourselves, not once:
Where are the flowers that we put
    into the muzzles of the guns?

But we've arrived, and as we pat each other's backs,
Our principles we now betray
And year on year as we progress and we advance,
It's not just hair that's turning grey...

Where are the flowers that we put
    into the muzzles of the guns?
Where are the lessons we would pass
    on to our daughters and our sons?
And did we ever make a difference?
    and did we ever stand a chance?
Where are the flowers that we put
    into the muzzles of the guns?

(Copyright 2002 George Papavgeris)

Next installment tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: saulgoldie
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 10:12 AM

And let me add: "Global Carnival" from Dick Holmes circa 1987. (I heard it presented by The Limeliters at a WFMA benefit.) It contains a few time markers that are no longer relevant. But it is still a very nice song about everyone getting along. Again, if anyone cares, I have it transcribed (as I do many of the songs I mention).


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Subject: Lyr Add: DUCT AND COVER (Reggie Miles)
From: reggie miles
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 10:34 AM

El Greko, there is a submission by a Mudcatter above. Mrrzy posted a link to one of his here in this thread that was originally posted in the Why Sack Iraq thread. While we're on the subject, here's one I posted to the songbook and elsewhere here.

Duct and Cover by Reggie Miles 2003


The threat of war is loomin',
Anthrax bombs may soon be zoomin',
To your bedrooms in the suburbs but don't despair.

From deep within his mountain bunker,
Where Gee Dubbya's gonna hunker,
A solution to our dilemma he's sure to share.

Our best scientific minds,
Were charged to seek and find,
An all American answer to our plight,

And with the billions spent,
On defense research by government,
They finally discovered one that works just right.

Yes they've found it girls and boys.
Protection from those evil toys,
Affordable and available throughout the land,

Yankee ingenuity,
Has triumphed once again you see,
Providing safety to every woman, child, and man.

And what miracle is this,
That secures our freedom bliss,
And ensures all our blessed liberties?

What treasure is it, made by man,
That can do, what no other can,
This creation of our modern techno-lull-ogies?

It's the simplest things they say,
That can always save the day,
And it's oh so very true in this case too.

You needn't build a big bomb shelter,
You can avoid the helter skelter.
Listen closely here is what they say to do.

Just duct tape and cover your windows and your door,
With plastic sheeting you can buy at any hardware store.

It's an easy thing to do no matter if you're rich or poor,
And much cleaner than crawling 'neath your desk down on all four.

It's a lesson we've all learned in school, fifty years ago.
When we feared that the idea of droppin' A-bombs would grow.

*They've changed the words to suit our times.
*Yesterday's of duck and cover rhymes.

*Are now just duct tape and cover instead.

It kind of makes you wonder,
Why Gee Dubbya's way down under,
Neath the mountain in his little hidy hole.

When all he needs to do,
Is just follow me or you,
To buy some plastic sheeting and some duct tape by the roll.

Then he could duct tape and cover the Whitehouse windows and door,
With plastic easily bought from any hardware store.

No need to kiss his butt goodbye,
When missiles fall down from the sky,

When he can duct tape and cover instead.

(repeat*)


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Fran
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 12:22 PM

Also there is "When the Wind Blows" by Eric Bogle

This is a very chilling song about Nulcear War


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Subject: Lyr Add: DIED IN THE WAR (Margaret Nelson)
From: Bruce
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 04:40 PM

Eric Bogle is hard to beat, and gets my vote ... Band Played Waltzing Matilda and No Mans Land, both great.

A very moving anti-war song was written 1995 by Margaret Nelson:

"Died in the War"

She's middle-aged now. She uses her time
For her friends and her work and improving her mind.
She's lonesome tonight. She knows who it's for:
Her sweetheart, who died in the war.

When her lover came home, she thought that her life
Would be husband and babies, mother and wife,
But the man was a stranger who walked through her door.
Her sweetheart had died in the war.

(Bridge tune): Died of the bullets, the mines and the shells,
Died with his buddies in two years of hell
With a wall round his heart where love needs a door.
Her sweet heart he died in the war.

He's a pretty good boss. he works with his crew
Taking old buildings and making 'em new.
Some nights he drinks less. Some nights he drinks more.
His sweetheart, she died in the war.

(Bridge tune again) Died of the hard words, the booze and the pain,
Died of the distance, he couldn't explain.
The girl was a stranger who walked out the door
His sweetheart, she died in the war.

She's middle-aged now. She uses her time
For her friends and her work and improving her mind.
She might have done less. She might have had more.
Her sweetheart he died in the war.

Copyright 1995 by Margaret J. Nelson


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Subject: Lyr Add: IT TAKES A SOLDIER
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 05:14 PM

OK, here's the next installment - brisk tune, a bit like a march. The news item referred to in verse one was about the UK shipyards winning a contract to build 2 aircraft carriers; I saw a shop steward being ever so enthusiastic about the jobs that meant, conveniently ignoring that he would be building instruments of war. Chorus at the bottom, sung after each verse.

IT TAKES A SOLDIER

I heard it yesterday on the news
And to believe it I refused
To hear the working man enthused
That more guns would be built.
And I remember thinking then
That wallet wins the heart again
And we will sing the old refrain
As further blood is spilt:

The circle is a vicious one,
It's been like this since time began,
For after all is said and done
The soldier needs his bread.
But no one can explain to me
With all this land and all this sea
Why we don't turn our soldiery
To farm and fish instead.

And I can almost hear you say
"the world has always been that way,
"for peace and freedom you must pay
"and nothing is for free".
But vicious circles you can break,
'Tis but an easy step to take:
Just throw the guns into the lake
But keep just one for me;-)

If only we could understand
Before things spiral out of hand
It's not supply, but our demand
That does the monster feed.
And still our leaders never cease
To manufacture enemies
It isn't them that threaten peace,
The problem is our greed.

(chorus)
    It takes a soldier to fire the gun
    To make it you need a working man
    To feed him the farmer will plough the land
    It all goes hand in hand.
    But to feed the soldier and the man
    Who makes the gun, you need more land,
    And to get more land of course
    You need a soldier.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Bennet Zurofsky
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 05:45 PM

I believe "Never Turning Back" credited to Judy Small above, is actually by Pat Humphrey. It is a good one and I am glad to be reminded of it.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: reggie miles
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 06:43 PM

In response to the Happy Spring! thread this one came to mind. Sung to the melody of Springtime For Hitler and Germany from the movie The Producers by Mel Brooks.

Springtime For Geedubya and USA by Reggie Miles 2003

USA was having trouble, what a sad, sad story
Needed a new leader to restore its former glory
Where, Oh where was he? Where could that man be?
We looked around and then we found
The man for you and me.
And now it's..

Springtime for Geedubya and USA
Our homeland is happy and gay
We're marching to a faster pace
Look out, here comes the master race

Springtime for Geedubya and USA
Winter for Iraq and France
Springtime for Geedubya and USA
Come on, Americans, go into your dance

I was born in a Texas gorge, and that is why they call me George
Don't be stupid, be a smarty, come and join the Republican party

Springtime for Geedubya and USA
Goosestep's the new step today
Bombs falling from the skies again
Dow Jones is on the rise again

Springtime for Geedubya and USA
Patriots are sailing once more

Springtime for Geedubya and USA
Means that soon we'll be going
We've got to be going
You know we'll be going to WAR!


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: gnomad
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 08:02 PM

EG - The Gift of Years, yes Bogle again, and another strong contender. Some talent he has.

Unusual in that it is a song from the viewpoint of a survivor, long after the event, I like it a lot.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: The Walrus
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 08:03 PM

How about Mike Harding's "Bomber's Moon?

Walrus


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,toasties@post.com
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 12:15 AM

All entries are terrific. I haven't found one I disagree with. On an old Irish Rovers album called "Tales to Warm Your Mind" is one called "The Village of Brambleshire Wood" that may qualify. It always moved me.

Another one, which may surprise, is "Taps". Anytime I hear it I know someone is being laid to rest. After 25 years in the Army, I've buried far too many. I have yet to make it through without crying for a life that ended or changed far too soon.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,saulgoldie (guess my cookie went away)
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 12:57 PM

Oooh, oooh, just remembered: "Powder Monkey" by Schooner Fare. About using children as soldiers. Again, perhaps not "the greatest", but certainly worth including in a list. And also again, I have a transcription with chords, etc...


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Strupag
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 01:11 PM

This thread has grown some since I last looked at it!
Forgive me if I have missed it already but how about "There were Roses" by Tommy Sands.
It's got the line, "Another eye for another eye untill everyone is blind"


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: gary213
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 03:45 PM

I heard North sea gas sing a song called The strangest dream. Here's what i can remember
Last night i had the strangest dream i'd ever dreamt before
i dreamt the world had all agreed to put an end to war
i dreamt i saw a crowded room, And the room was filled with men
and the paper they were signing said they'd never fight again
and when the paper was all signed and a million copies made
they all shook hands and bowed their heads and gratefull prayers were said
and the people in the streets below were dancing round and round
and guns and bombs and uniforms were scattered all around
last night i had the strangest dream i'd ever dreamt before
i dreamt the world had all agreed to put an end to war
i dreamt i saw a crowded room and the room was filled with men
and the paper they were signing said they'd never fight again.


If only dreams came true.........


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHAT LIFE FOR A SOLDIER (G Papavgeris)
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 05:09 PM

OK, I've been owing the 3rd installment, so here it is. Heavier than the other two, and I have been criticised for the fourth verse by those who would be heros in their dreams. But I stand by it, it's my view; and its borne out by several friends and acquaintances who have been in real wars; and at the end of the day I love the damned too, not just the angels...

WHAT LIFE FOR A SOLDIER

What life for a soldier when soldiering's over?
What life for a fighter when fighting is done?
As you put the gun down, what dreams for the future?
What plans for the peacetime you helped bring around?
As home you return now all covered in glory
For helping the wrongs of this world to put right
When you try to sleep it's a different story
The battles you fought now you'll fight every night.

You come back a hero, with medals to prove it;
Your friends they will praise you, your family proud.
But no praise can cover the sounds of your nightmare
The shots that you fired in your ears will ring loud.
No reason or logic, your training took over;
It was you or him and the better man won.
But louder than gunshots the sound that will haunt you:
Your enemy calling in some foreign tongue.

You don't speak his language, but you can be certain
He called for his mother, a lover or wife.
You know you would do just the same if you were him,
If all you had left was one second of life.
Though letting him go then it would have been treason
Your dreams from his voice now will never be free.
When life you have taken, no matter the reason,
The man that you were you no longer can be.

Please don't get me wrong, for I'm not criticising.
You did what you had to, and you did it well.
His death I am mourning, but only in passing.
It's just that I feel that I'm sharing your hell.
To know that despite of all my good intentions,
If I was in your place I'd do just the same.
I would pull the trigger without any questions;
And knowing all that is what fills me with shame.

Copyright 2003 George Papavgeris

Fire at will...


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: sharyn
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 10:09 PM

El Greko,

I posted a new anti-war song on another thread. You can find it (I hope) under brand new anti-war song.

Sharyn


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 30 Mar 03 - 02:14 PM

The greatest anti-war song is the one that changes the minds of all the hawks, and like the lion with the lamb, induces those carnivorous birds to bed down serenely with the doves !!!

Art Thieme


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Subject: Lyr Add: I AIN'T MARCHING ANYMORE (Phil Ochs)
From: Jazzyjack
Date: 30 Mar 03 - 04:01 PM

I AIN'T MARCHING ANYMORE
Written by Phil Ochs
As recorded by Phil Ochs on "I Ain't Marching Anymore" (1965)

1. Oh, I marched to the battle of New Orleans
At the end of the early British wars.
The young land started growin'.
The young blood started flowin',
But I ain't a-marchin' anymore.

2. For I've killed my share of Injuns in a thousand different fights.
I was there at the Little Big Horn.
I heard many men a-lyin'.
I saw many more a-dyin',
But I ain't a-marchin' anymore.

CHORUS: It's always the old to lead us to the wars.
It's always the young to fall.
Now look at all we've won with the sabre and the gun.
Tell me, is it worth it all?

3. For I stole California from the Mexican land,
Fought in the bloody Civil War.
Yes, I even killed my brothers
And so many others,
But I ain't a-marchin' anymore.

4. For I marched to the battles of the German trench,
In a war that was bound to end all wars.
Oh, I must 'a' killed a million men,
And now they want me back again,
But I ain't marchin' anymore. CHORUS

5. For I flew the final mission in the Japanese skies,
Set off the mighty mushroom roar.
When I saw the cities burnin',
I knew that I was learnin'
That I ain't a-marchin' anymore.

6. Now the labor leader's screamin' when they close the missile plants.
United Fruit screams at the Cuban shore.
Call it "Peace" or call it "Treason."
Call it "Love" or call it "Reason,"
But I ain't a-marchin' anymore.
No, I ain't a-marchin' anymore.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: MAG
Date: 31 Mar 03 - 01:58 PM

At Open Mike last night I sang one I heard at Singtime Frolics just last week: very new, very topical.

"Freedom Toast" by Zeke Hoskin. Zeke is another live wire I ws very glad to meet st Singtime. For his stuff you can go to companyhalt.com.

-- enjoy! He has (lots) more.

I sang the Pat Humphrey song mentioned above, also.

(and one for my friend Trish, who just came out of 3 weeks in critical care. Waft positive vibes, please.)


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Felipa
Date: 31 Mar 03 - 02:39 PM

the line "I Ain't Marching Anymore" isn't applicable to a lot of us who are still participating in anti-war marches!

There are a lot of newer songs which I don't know well, but if we don't go beyond the 80s, my vote would also be for "Masters of War". Yes, Ringer, it is about arms manufacturers and profiteers, but it also seems applicable to politicians and military hawks. I make a number of small changes when I sing the song, and now I am singing "all the power you had/made" or "all your power on earth" instead of "all the money you made won't buy back your soul", even though the "money" goes better with the word "buy". But then I always thought it strange to "hurl" fear, although the metaphor is nicely warlike, reminiscent of grenades. That verse about fear to bring children into the world is the one that has always stuck in my mind. And it is lines like that which make the song as anti-war as anti-arms race/business. I don't like the "my" in "you play with my world like it's your little toy", but it is easy to substitute with "the".

A couple of songs worth adding to the honourable mention list are "Andora" and Woody Guthrie's "I've Got to Know".


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,1969 draft resister
Date: 31 Mar 03 - 05:00 PM

Thanks to all for their contributions, especially for reminders of the Phil Ochs and Buffy Ste. Marie classics, which hadn't crossed my mind in years. (The Bob Dylan classics & Country Joe McDonald's one great contribution are touchstones from that era that I *never* forgot, while I've only heard Bogle's wonderful tunes in much more recent years.)

I have to go along with Bennet Z., who votes for the simplest songs for their sing-along-ability. The sheer intensity of experience that comes from being part of a large group united in anti-war fervor *and* in song -- to me -- outweighs whatever eloquence might be involved in any of those long poems set to music.

That said, my #1 fave has to be "Down By the Riverside" for its wonderfully rousing musicality. The tune offers so much more room for vocal harmonies, counterpoint, and general soulful improvisation than, for example, the lachrymose "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?"

Unfortunately, not everyone who hears it, or even who knows it well enough to participate, thinks of this old favorite as "anti-war." I don't know what they think "I ain't gonna study war no more" means, but they somehow manage to completely miss the point.

Must be the same mentality that prompts a certain US President to believe that the thoughts that come into his head encouraging invasions and bombing runs are direct personal communications from the Prince of Peace Himself....


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,trish
Date: 07 Jun 03 - 12:00 PM

Normandy Orchards and My Son John (comes home today)
are a couple more worth listening to.
Closer to home there's a beautiful song about the "Troubles" in Ireland I'm not sure of the title but the chorus is
And there were roses, roses
And the tears of the people fell together


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Ely
Date: 07 Jun 03 - 06:32 PM

Another vote for "Where Have All the Flowers Gone". I also like the satire "Benjamin Bowmaneer" (from the Golden Ring series).

These aren't anti-war songs, but I recently got bullied into performing "Vacant Chair" and "Faded Coat of Blue" and had everyone in tears. I don't think it was my singing, either. I have a pretty good immunity to Victorian schmaltz but can't get through "Faded Coat if Blue" without choking.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jun 03 - 06:52 PM

My vote for most powerful anti-war song is Song of Peace (Finlandia). Many of the major churches have this song in their hymnals. It's hard to believe that anybody could sing this song and still believe in war.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Amergin
Date: 07 Jun 03 - 06:56 PM

I don't know Joe....The Ballad Of Bobby and June from A Mighty Wind is pretty powerful stuff...


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Bert
Date: 08 Jun 03 - 01:13 AM

If you introduce it by reminding the audience of the many millions of young men who sung it in WWI but never returned; "Untill we meet again" makes a very good anti war song.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 08 Jun 03 - 02:28 AM

waltzing,mmatilda=E.Bogle.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Gurney
Date: 08 Jun 03 - 04:51 AM

I'll go along with Banjomad about 'The Old Mans Tale,' although it isn't strictly anti-war, it a powerful and emotive song.

The lyrics in DT may have four verses collated. I remember verses going:

At the age of twelve I left the school, and went to find a job.
with growing kids, my Ma was glad of an extra couple of bob'
............................................................
............................................................

                   and

I struggled through the 30's, out of work now and again,
I saw the Blackshirts marching, and the things they did in Spain.
I brought my kids up decent, and I taught them wrong from right,
but Hitler was the man who came and taught them how to fight.

Has anyone a better memory of it?


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Donuel
Date: 08 Jun 03 - 09:10 AM

Sad, powerful and emotive anti war songs have their place but there is noting more derisive than an anti song to laugh in the faces of the mongers. The sad anti war song somehow is self defeating and self effacing.

Tom Lehrer captured the rag time tone of FOX news network coverage of war - 20 years ago:

So long Mom
I'm off to drop the bomb
so don't wait up for me
although you may swelter
way down in your shelter
you can see me
bum bum bum
on your TV
you'll see us attack frontally
reporting contrapuntally
with sickening finality
the cities we have lost

No need to miss
a single moment of the agonizing Holocaust...


Tom also had that classic line of "20 million tons of well done steak"

Capturing the cowardice and invisibility of todays bio war threats in humor is sure to be a hit...


ANTHRAX IS EASY

We like enemies large
not little ity bitish.
We'll try to be strong
we're just a mite scared
best way I know
is with a good song:


I paid a toll,
I got some change,
I went to town and bought some stuff and then I took the train
I ate a burger, a soda, and crap I shouldnt oughta ,
cuz now I got the anthrax and I'm wondrin where its from...

[CHORUS]
Anthrax is easy if you're startin to sneeze your gonna wonder if you'll ever grow old.
Anthrax is easy cuz its cured with Cipro and not contagious like the uncommon cold - like SARS - not contagious like the uncommon cold

I went to work,
and like a jerk,
I used the water fountain and got somthin on my shirt and in a letter,
I opened, I really should know better,
but Ed McMann just said I'd won and now I'm wondrin where its from .. .(chorus)

I came right home ,
I used the phone,
I called my doc in quarantine and asked him for some pills and in the bathroom, later,
I used some toilet paper now I've got a sore not there before I'm wondrin where its from.

( chorus)

I watched the news,
took off my shoes,
I took a shower for an hour then I went to bed but in my dreams,
I screamed , the duct tape burst its seams,
We're told we should beware the air you don't know where its been

(chorus)

In the morning,
I got changed,
I went to town and bought some stuff and then I took the train
I ate a pizza,
eclair, and some stuff that had grown hair,
but now I got the anthrax and I'm wondrin where its from...

Anthrax is easy if you're startin to sneeze your gonna wonder if you'll ever grow old. Anthrax is easy cuz its cured with Cipro and not contagious like the uncommon cold - like SARS - not contagious like the uncommon cold [-take it james- piano riff-],,I'm telling ya they make buggers...[-more piano-]... every wheeeeere. cough cough cough

Dhakman 2001 edit 2003


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Subject: Lyr Add: LAST NIGHT I HAD THE STRANGEST DREAM
From: annamill
Date: 08 Jun 03 - 10:32 AM

Bill Sables was singing "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" the first time I heard it and cried. Big Mick was singing "There Were Roses" the first time I heard it and cried. I hesitate to submit this entry, but the first time I heard it I cried. I have never forgotten it. It is simple, yet powerful. To me at least.

LAST NIGHT I HAD THE STRANGEST DREAM
(Ed McCurdy)

Last night I had the strangest dream I'd ever dreamed before.
I dreamed the world had all agreed to put an end to war.
I dreamed I saw a mighty room and the room was filled with men,
And the paper they were signing said they'd never fight again.

And when the paper was all signed, and a million copies made,
They all joined hands and bowed their heads while grateful prayers were prayed.
And the people in the streets below were dancing round and round,
While swords and guns and uniforms were scattered on the ground.

Last night I had the strangest dream, I'd ever dreamed before.
I dreamed the world had all agreed to put an end to war.

*

When I awoke, 'twas but a dream, and peace a dirty word.
I tried to tell them of my dream, but not a word they heard.
And then I got me fighting mad, and I knew just what I'd do.
I'd fight nonviolently for peace, until my dream came true.

*

"Last Night I Had a Happy Dream" was given a new lease, when Ed McCurdy rewrote it as a peace song. The last verse was added by Linda Hirschorn.

Love, Annamill


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Jeri
Date: 08 Jun 03 - 11:18 AM

Anna, I'm glad you did submit it - it gets my vote as one of the greatest. So does 'Finlandia', posted by Joe. Sometimes we need to get angry, and sometimes we need to be sad, but hopes and dreams are also needed to make change possible.

Also, 'Recessional' by Kipling/Bellamy.


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Subject: Lyr Add: SEVEN GOOD SOLDIERS
From: Gavin
Date: 08 Jun 03 - 07:12 PM

What a great thread - reminded me of loads of songs I thought I'd forgotten. One not mentioned so far (I think); one special to me - not necessarily cos it's the best - but for a "personal resonance".

Don't know whose it is though! Eric Bogle again?

SEVEN GOOD SOLDIERS

An autumn evening, golds and blues, and the air all around is still.
Seven bright stars, they lie beneath seven white crosses on a hill.

Seven young men went driving on, into the evening's hue;
Ever onwards followed the call, seven roses that never did bloom.

Trusting in others their wealth and power, here's to damnation they cheered
As a prayer in the leaf of their Bibles black, to a God unseen but well feared.

Please don't grieve for me, dear; our mission it soon will end
The squaddy's letter it lay by his side, as the bullets they blew out his brain.

Seven brothers that lay side by side, united by a bloody long war.
Seven good soldiers, seven dead men, none knew what the hell they died for.

An autumn evening, golds and blues, and the air all around is still.
Seven bright stars, they lie beneath seven white crosses on a hill.

All best - Gavin


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Seaking
Date: 08 Jun 03 - 07:50 PM

Paul Simon's 'On the side of a hill' I started playing this again recently as it fitted the mood.

On the side of a hill in a land called somewhere
A little boy lies asleep in the earth
While down in the valley a cruel war rages
And people forget what a child's life is worth

On the side of a hill a little child weeps
And waters the grave with his silent tears
While a soldier cleans and polishes his gun
that ended a life at the age of seven years

And the war rages on in a land called somewhere
And generals order their men to kill
and to fight for a cause they've long ago forgotten
while little boy lies on the side of a hill


It's a long time since I heard the original but that's what i remember of it.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Amergin
Date: 08 Jun 03 - 08:27 PM

Tom Paxton says that he was brought to tears by a letter a vietnam vet sent to him, telling him that the vet had his own Jimmy Newman...and that the irony was that the previous night they were discussing another one of Paxton's songs..

as for anti war...well there is Jacob's Ladder (Not In MY Name) by Chumbawamba...i really love the line sooner or later puppy dog leader we'll try you for murder....

and there is bogle's As If They Know...about the horses that were sent to world war one...but never came back...

and though not really anti war...but anti a unfortunate side effect of the red necked paranoia of war...there is Manzanar...about the Japanese being imprisoned by the State...for being Japanese...


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Gerry McGuinness
Date: 09 Jun 03 - 01:17 AM

All the above are appropriate, some very moving. What about "Eve of Destruction" from the late sixties, sung by Barry McGuire (?). I recall it was banned by the BBC for a while. The first line was "The Eastern world, it is expoldin'..", then later it went on to say "..you're old enough to kill, but not for votin'..."

John Lennon's "Imagine" is another good one.

On the lighter side, there is Tom Paxton's "Lyndon Johnstone told the nation", "Willing Conscript", What did you learn in school today, all on his "Aint that News" album.

And more recently, "There's a better way" (Niall Toner Band)


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Donuel
Date: 09 Jun 03 - 10:43 AM

Who killed my child


The baby's thrilled to walk
Her eyes surprised
with earthly delight.
I melt with pride at her first free flight.

On TV Dick Cheney chokes
"We'll lose more lives here
than those overseas"
I believe he speaks of disease.

A briefing at work today
would make an athiest pray
I am but bare brittle bone
"Hon, can you put her on the phone?"

An age of conquistadors
when tribes were murdered
9 out of 10 from disease
That cold history, now makes me freeze

In sane times the insane mom
would drown a helpless child.
"Sweetie you're fine" I pretend
Could I watch her agony to the end?

Behind lead eyes I keep secret
If the crime is small pox
Could I end her torture at all costs?
Baby remember when you walked?

Shhh it'll be fine.
Here honey take this,
It will help us sleep forever
I will be right behind you and not have long to weep


Don Hakman 2001


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Donuel
Date: 09 Jun 03 - 11:19 AM

opps, here is the full version not the early draft...



The baby's thrilled to walk
Her eyes surprised
with earthly delight.
I melt with pride at her first free flight.

On TV Dick Cheney chokes
"We'll lose more lives here
than those overseas"
I believe he speaks of disease.

A briefing at work today
would make an athiest pray
I am but bare brittle bone
"Hon, can you put her on the phone?"

"Hi sweetie
its mommy
You don't feel good?
You will be just fine"

In the age of conquistadors
tribes were murdered
9 out of 10 from disease.
Now that its real I feel my heart freeze.

In sane times only the insane
would drown a helpless child.
"Sweetie you'll be fine" I pretend
Could I watch her agony to the end?

Behind lead eyes I keep secret
the crime is proven small pox
Could I end her torture at all costs?
"Baby remember when you walked?"

Shhh it'll be fine.
Here honey take this,
It will help us sleep forever
I will be right behind you and not have long to weep,

i'll not have long to weep

i'll not...




Don Hakman 2001


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,banjoman
Date: 09 Jun 03 - 01:50 PM

Couldn't disagree with any of the choices on this thread. However. I always think Tom Paxton's "Who's Garden was This" has an awful lot to commend it although I,m not sure it was ever meant as an anti war song - more about the after effects of a lot of human actions on this planet. Great thread and it reminded me of a lot of songs I'd forgotten about


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 09 Jun 03 - 02:04 PM

Did anyone mention Derrol Adams' PORTLAND TOWN ?

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Henrik W.
Date: 09 Jun 03 - 03:07 PM

Well, Eric Bogle must be the master - glad to see someone remembered "The Gift of Years".

But I am still amazed that no one has mentioned Ewan MacColl's Jamie Foyers about the Spanish Civil War:

Far dístant, far distant lies Foyers the brave
No tombstone memorial shall hallow his grave
His bones they lie scattered on the rude soil of Spain
For young Jamie Foyers in battle was slain


etc.

Henrik W.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Jacqk
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 01:25 PM

I have a song which hasn't been mentioned yet. Folk-singer/ethinic singer Lila Downs sings traditional songs from south of the US border, and writes her own. This one is haunting, the affects of war. Any errors in transcription are mine.


Smoke (Acteal)
[Lila Downs, Paul Cohen]

Chorus:
How dark is the smoke that falls from the sky
and soaked in our blood are the feathers of time.
How dark is the smoke that falls from the sky
And soaked in our blood are the feathers of time.

More women and children were killed on that night
More than they could count when they threw 'em in trucks
Some children were kneeling the saints were all calm
Machetes and gunshots reveal all the blood
Oh great cave of smoke, oh children of stones
What beautiful birth, so short is your [robe]
The papers recounted the story we know
yet silence is deep as the hundreds of souls
And the hundreds of hopes of our people

Chorus

Now every one's waiting and hoping for justice
but will there be goodness where men kill their own?
Our wise people say that the mouth of the earth
Has swallowed her fruit, but the eagle and snake
Will stand for the truth, when the mother of corn has spoken
Oh axe of our fire bring justice to life
For we know that power was once sacrifice
And it was sacrifice and it was sacrifice
Of our people.

Chorus

Copyright © 2001; Narada Productions, Inc.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Jacqk
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 01:32 PM

I was probably wrong for saying songs from south of the border for singer Lila Downs; she has done incredible things with Woody Guthrie songs as well. The album I refer it is caled "Border" or "La Linea".

Jack


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Big Jim from Jackson
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 01:35 PM

Have you heard the duo Small Potatoes sing Rich Priezioso's song "A Thousand Candles, A Thousand Cranes"? This is the most gentle and optimistic anti-war song in a long time.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Peace
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 01:40 PM

Shel Silverstein" "Business Goes on as Usual". (At least I think it was his). I learned it from Joe Frazier of the Mitchell Trio in the 1960s.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Susanne (skw) abroad
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 05:05 PM

Gavin, Seven Good Soldiers was, iirr, written by Scotsman Iain MacDonald - or was it another Mac? Can't look it up before Saturday, but it's been recorded by Dick Gaughan.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: akenaton
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 09:03 PM

Eric Bogle is a genius..When I first heard"The band played Waltzing Matilda",sung by June Tabor live,I was in tears,and that doesnt happen often.
My favourite??......"All the fine young men"......Eric Bogle


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Songster Bob
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 10:46 PM

Folks have chimed in with some of their own anti-war songs, so here's one of mine. I tried for memorable and singable:

Too Much for Our Whistle

Tune: Red River Valley

It was Ben Franklin who told it,
A tale from when he was a boy.
Bright pennies lay there in his pocket
When he spotted a wonderful toy.
A bright, shiny whistle – he bought it,
But his brothers told him with a laugh,
"You paid far too much for your whistle;
You could have had it for half!"

Chorus:

Are we paying too much for our whistle?
It's a question heard all 'round the earth.
Are we paying too much for our whistle?
Is it costing far more than it's worth?

When you see a car ad on your TV –
"No interest, and no money down!"
Do you rush right down then and buy one,
And drive it all over the town,
Where you're joined by all of those others,
In long lines just going nowhere?
Then think of the words of Ben Franklin,
As you gasp for a breath of fresh air.

Chorus

The president called him, "A monster."
The president said, "He's a threat!"
And "We've got to invade them to save us"
From the weapons we haven't found yet.
Our forces used "shock and awe" tactics –
We rolled over their army with ease,
And took quick control of the oil fields
We need to feed our SUVs.

Chorus


Copyright ©2003 Bob Clayton


I have others.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Songster Bob
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 10:49 PM

A second one, this dates from the first Gulf War. I keep trying to update it, but words fail me:

        Consequence


A madman in desert sun, sand in the gears;
Fighting a far-off foe. Why are we here?

A small country overrun, the iron heel ground
Her people into the dust; darkness came down.
A madman in desert sun, sand in the gears;
Fighting to free a land, that's why we're here.

We're really not welcome here, our ways are too strong.
Religions and cultures clash; we can't help but be wrong.
A madman in desert sun, sand in the gears;
What can be truly gained? Why are we here?

Other small countries near, endangered by might.
A line must be drawn and held; we must make the fight.
A madman in desert sun, sand in the gears;
"No passaran," we cry! That's why we're here.

It wasn't so long ago, in this wasted land,
Another war raged unchecked, and we played a hand.
Weapons were bought and sold, or traded for oil.
Profits in a prophet's land; the soul for the soil.

A madman in desert sun, sand in the gears;
We helped make him what he is, that's why we're here.



Copyright © 1991, Bob Clayton. All Rights Reserved.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,guest rod
Date: 26 Nov 03 - 01:48 PM

Folkies probably won't remember it but there was a song by a soul singer -was it Martha Reeves? about a woman whose son has been killed in Vietnam.She's in the hairdresser when she gets the news - her friends tell her how proud she should be .It's called Should be Proud ,I think :
They tell me I should be proud/ They say I should be proud/but my son wasn't fighting for me /he was fighting for the evil of society.
Are there any soulsters out there know anything about the song?
I agree with all the fine choices on this thread -I'd go along with Jonny I hardly knew you for number one. Burns' Come Ye Jacobites by Name deserves a mention .
What makes heroic strife famed afar famed afar?/what makes heroic strife famed afar?/what makes heroic strife to whet the assassins knife/ and hunt the parents life wi' bloody war ,bloody war/ to hunt the parents life wi' bloody war


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: s6k
Date: 26 Nov 03 - 03:04 PM

Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms

and i have to say the lyrics to the black eyed peas song where is the love are very clever - just because its commercial doesnt mean it should be ignored :)

Brothers In Arms (M.Knopfler)

These mist covered mountains
Are a home now for me
But my home is the lowlands
And always will be
Some day you'll return to
Your valleys and your farms
And you'll no longer burn
To be brothers in arm

Through these fields of destruction
Baptism of fire
I've watched all your suffering
As the battles raged higher
And though they did hurt me so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me
My brothers in arms

There's so many different worlds
So many different suns
And we have just one world
But we live in different ones

Now the sun's gone to hell
And the moon's riding high
Let me bid you farewell
Every man has to die
But it's written in the starlight
And every line on your palm
We're fools to make war
On our brothers in arms

Also, my favourite song of all time!


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Uke
Date: 26 Nov 03 - 06:33 PM

Here's a classic traditional one below that no one's mentioned, from the singing of Sally Sloane called 'My Son Ted', also known as 'Mrs McGrath'.

Also, how about songs written by actual soldiers?

Does anyone know any 'post-able' ones? There was apparently a WW2 soldier's anti-war parody of Gracie Fields "Bless 'Em All" called "F*** 'em All"...


MY SON TED

"Oh, Mrs. McGrath," the sergeant said
"Would you like to make a soldier out of your son Ted
With a scarlett coat and a big red hat
Now, Mrs. McGrath, wouldn't you like that?"
With a too-ri-ra, fol-the-diddle-da,
Ri-fol-the-riddle-dolly-di-do.

So, Mrs. McGrath lived on the seashore
For a space of seven long years or more
Till she saw a big ship sailing into the bay
"Here's my son Teddy, wisha clear the way"

Chorus

"Oh captain dear, wherever you be
Have you been sailing on the Mediterranean
Or have ye any tidings of my son Ted
Is the poor boy living or is he dead?"

Chorus

Then up comes Ted without any legs
And in their place, he has two wooden pegs
She kissed him a dozen times or two
Saying "Holy Moses, is it you!"

Chorus

"Oh then were ye drunk or were ye blind
That ye left your two fine legs behind
Or was it walking upon the sea
Wore your two fine legs from the knees?"

Chorus

"No, I wasn't drunk and I wasn't blind
When I left my two fine legs behind
For a cannon ball on the fifth of May
Took my two fine legs from the knees away"

Chorus

"Oh, then, Teddy my boy," the widow cried
"Your two fine legs were your mumma's pride
Them stumps of a tree wouldn't do at all
Why didn't you run from the big cannon ball?"

Chorus

"All foreign wars I do proclaim
Between Don John and the King of Spain
And by heavens I'll make them rue the time
That they swept the legs from a child of mine."

Chorus

Oh, then, if I had you back again,
I'd never let you go to fight the King of Spain,
For I'd rather have my Ted as he used to be
Than the King of France and his whole navy"

Chorus


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,ebenstevens@hotmail.com
Date: 01 Dec 03 - 07:46 PM

i do not know the name of the group, or many of the words, but the ending, after the battle:


    the valley people, after killing the mountain people, turned over the 'stone' to get the treasure:


             "peace on earth was all it said"


   i leave the details to someone else.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Amos
Date: 01 Dec 03 - 08:11 PM

Ed McCurdy's "Last Night I had the Srangest Dream" has got to be the most elegant peace song ever.

In my humble opinion....


A


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 02 Dec 03 - 05:33 AM

Pete Seegers original version of ' Where Have All The Flowers Gone '
eric


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: ThomasO
Date: 02 Dec 03 - 11:14 AM

Are you sure that Eric Bogle wrote 'And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda' I'm sure i saw it it Soodlums Irish Ballads published in 1982 Oak. And i thought they were all trad?

t


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Frankham
Date: 02 Dec 03 - 05:55 PM

A couple of unusual candidates might be:
"Ragapati Ragava Rajah Ram" (an appeal to unite Muslims and Hindus in India) which was one of Mahatma Ghandi's favorite songs.

I like "Verner Von Braun" by Tom Lehrer. ( A comment on the defense industry).

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Strupag
Date: 02 Dec 03 - 06:08 PM

Absolutely certain Thomas O!


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 02 Dec 03 - 06:17 PM

Oh, yes, ThomasO - very sure. Eric even got the Unesco Peace Medal on the strength of this and other anti-war songs (Gift of years, As if he knows, No Man's Land etc).
Don't trust the Irish music publishers, they are notorious copyright thieves. The Furey Brothers renamed "No Man's Land" to "Green fields of France" and had a hit with it. Did they attribute the song to its author? Did they heck - only years later after Eric raised merry hell with the record company.
So, to recap, S(H)oodlums Irish Ballads is wrong on two counts: The song is not "trad", and it is not Irish - Scottish or Australian, if you like, given Eric's spiritual and physical homes; but definitely not Irish.
PS: Another example of the Irish music publishers' antics: Enya's 80's hit "Sail away". I bet you thought Enya wrote it! Try closer to London - Rod Shearman, a guy that died poor in 2001, having failed to defeat them in court despite all the evidence being on his side; he couldn't afford the big time lawyers...


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: swampy-the-spark
Date: 18 Dec 03 - 04:33 PM

I have just spent the last half hour reading this thread , with tears in my eyes for some of it.
I aggree with all the poster's
Tom Paxman's Jimmy Newman and Bogels walzing matilda, but can I submit Silos also by eric bogel, about the guys in the missile silos having doubts about there role.

Also can any one recall a song about a English soilger in Ireland throwing him self on the top of a bomb ?
I recall one line as:

the soldger stoped he could not move , his gun he could not use, he knew there were seconds not minuets on the fuse........"

I would love the full lyrics if any one out there in the bigest folk club in the world can help.

Fellow folkies keep your pecker up the wolrld may mock us but we will have the last laugh ??

Clive Davies
birmingham UK
Clive.davies9@tiscalia.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: mg
Date: 19 Dec 03 - 12:42 AM

Was that the one that Harvey Andrews wrote? It is in some threads here if I recall....mg


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Dec 03 - 10:48 AM

I'm afraid I cannot tolerate "The band played Waltzing Matilda".

Perhaps because it at least implies there was conscription in Australia in WWI. There wasn't.

Perhaps because it claims Suvla as an Australian landing. It wasn't.

Perhaps because it proclaims Suvla an opposed landing. It wasn't.

If he'd written something about Anzac cove, Y Beach etc. fine, but distorting the truth weakens the case against the Great Obscenity.


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Subject: when i go to heaven mama
From: GUEST,?
Date: 28 Dec 03 - 11:32 PM


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 29 Dec 03 - 10:47 AM


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 29 Dec 03 - 10:59 AM

I `ad that Jacques Chirac in my cab once. `e reckoned those French soldiers at Agincourt must `ave `ad a good anti war song as they marched down that valley but there were`nt nobody left to write it down. Any roads, I reckon us song writers is flogging a dead `orse. It don`t seem to make one `alfpenny worth of difference even after
10,000 years.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Hand-Pulled Boy
Date: 29 Dec 03 - 11:38 AM

'Poor Billy' by harriWatts band.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Lancashire Lad
Date: 29 Dec 03 - 06:01 PM

Seems that many have overlooked Mike Hardings's Bombers Moon album.

The title track that tells the tale of his father dying during WW2 is heartbreaking.
The album also contains a great "anti" WW1 song The Accrington Pals, not to mention a great version of ".....Waltzing Matilda" (Which is almost as good as June Tabor's version)


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Dylan
Date: 30 Dec 03 - 11:54 AM

the best ones for me are by the Levellers the one called

Another Mans Cause

look it up and it is truely a cracker

the next one is by Gaberlunzie called

Dont you bury me before the battle
such a god antiwar song about a bunch of soldiers on a hill top waiting for the morning to come and face there fate. i think its on the baslladeers web site i dont know how to do the bluey thingys but look on that and you'll find the lyrics
Dylan


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,JeanValjean
Date: 23 Jan 04 - 02:05 AM

Can someone help me? I'm Looking for a song that I heard as a kid. I thought it was sung by Rodger Whitekar, but maybe I'm wrong?
The only part I can remember is "Will the last word ever spoken be why?" Can anyone help me with this? I would appreciate it.
Thanks very much,
JVJ


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 23 Jan 04 - 02:13 AM

its called "Why?"
sorry I dont have the lyrics, have you tried his website?
I started a thread a while ago "Roger Whittaker, whats he up to now?"
I'll refresh it for you.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,JeanValjean
Date: 23 Jan 04 - 04:08 AM

I tried his site, but couldn't find it, but I went to a diffrent site, "Come together Now" and they say it's a Rodger Whitekar song, so at least I know now it was him! But at any rate, I think his song "Come Young Citizens Of The World" should be considered a candidate for ONE OF the greatest ant-war songs, because it may not have the words death or war, or blood in it, but it is pro peace. I think some of the best Anti-war songs, arn't always those which explain the evils of war, but the comforts of peace, and the rewards of the fellowship of mankind. i.e. B.M's "From A Distance"


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: plum
Date: 23 Jan 04 - 07:08 PM

scarecrows by john tams


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Athena
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 05:31 PM

I have to say that i found this site because i was looking for lyrics for "business goes on as usual". So i would have to say that that is a powerful song.
However, i would have to agree that "Last night I had the Strangest Dream" is also a most powerful song. I even have a patch of that song on my back pack. There are more songs coming out too that are very powerful. I don't usually go for the newer bands, but i would like to bring to you attention: Antiflag, on thier CD mobilize. I don't remeber what song it was, but they worked in a very powerful Martin Luther King Quote. It was very moving, a kind of new and old together. I know that Antiflag is very loud, but i just wanted to make the point that some good things are coming up. So keep your ears open.
Athena McCutcheon
"Hey, mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me."


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Subject: Lyr Add: LOGAN BRAES (Robert Burns)
From: Bearheart
Date: 15 May 04 - 11:14 AM

I've read this thread pretty thoroughly and don't think anyone has mentioned these three-- perhaps not the greatest-- many of those have already been mentioned.

This by Robert Burns:

LOGAN BRAES
Robert Burns, 1793

O Logan, sweetly didst thou glide
That day I was my Willie's bride,
And years sin syne hae o'er us run
Like Logan to the simmer sun.
But now thy flowery banks appear
Like drumlie winter, dark and drear,
While my dear lad maun face his faes
From far frae me and Logan braes.

Again the merry month of May
Has made our hills and vallies gay;
The birds rejoice in leafy bowers,
The bees hum round the breathing flowers;
Blythe Morning lifts his rosy eye,
And Evening's tears are tears o' joy:
My soul delightless a' surveys,
While Willie's far frae Logan braes.

Within yon milk-white hawthorn bush,
Amang her nestlings sits the thrush:
Her faithfu' mate will share her toil,
Or wi' his song her cares beguile.
But I wi' my sweet nurslings here,
Nae mate to help, nae mate to cheer,
Pass widow'd nights and joyless days,
While Willie's far frae Logan braes.

O, wae upon you, Men o' State,
That brethren rouse in deadly hate!
As ye make monie a fond heart mourn,
Sae may it on your heads return!
Ye mindna' mid your cruel joys
The widow's tears, the orphan's cries;
But soon may peace bring happy days,
And Willie hame to Logan braes.

Originally called Logan Braes and slated for publication in Scottish Airs.However, it was deemed too inflammatory for its anti-war message and was not published until 1800 in "Works".

I may have found this in the DT or on a Burns web site. Don't remember.

And this, which I learned from the second Silly Sisters album-- lyrics (I think) from Maddy Prior's site?:

BLOOD AND GOLD / MOHACS

On rides a captain and 300 soldier lads
Out of the morning mist and thro' the silent snow
Whistling gaily rides the captain at their head
Behind him soldier boys sadly weeping go
O lads of mine weep no more
You are gone to kill and die

For when you took my gold and swore to follow me
You sold away your lives and your liberty
No more you'll till the soil, no more you'll work the land
No more to the dance you'll go and take girls by the hand
O mother weep for your son
He is gone to kill and die

You'll weep, you'll die by the keen edge of the sword
You'll all go in the fire there'll be no hiding place
O mother hear the drumbeat in the village square
O mother that drums for me to go for a soldier there
Mothers sisters wives, weep for us
Marked as Cain we lie alone

MY SON JOHN

My son John was tall and slim
He had a leg for every limb
But now he's got no legs at all
For he run a race with a cannonball
With me roo rum rar, faddle diddle dar
Whack faddlle liddle with me roo rum rar.

Oh were you deaf, were you blind
When you left your two fine legs behind
Or was it sailing on the sea
Lost your two fine legs right down to the knee
With me roo rum rar etc.

Oh I was not deaf, I was not blind
When I left my two fine legs behind
Nor was it sailing on the sea,
Lost my two fine legs right down to the knee
With me roo rum rar, etc.

For I was tall, I was slim
And I had a leg for every limb,
But now I've got no legs at all,
They were both shot away by a cannonball.
With me roo rum rar, etc.

I think many of the traditional songs were composed by those left behind. I think it was perhaps more politically dangerous to speak to the bigger issues back then than now-- go back several hundred years and you see a very different social picture. If we aren't careful to protect those freedoms we may turn back the clock...


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 15 May 04 - 01:46 PM

The older I get, the more Buffy St.Marie's "The Universal Soldier" makes a lot of sense. In anti-war songs, more often than not, it's the generals and the leaders who are depicted as the real guilty parties, and the poor foot soldier is seen as "only a pawn in the game", however...


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Subject: ADD: Ballad of Penny Evans (Steve Goodman)^^^
From: GUEST,Augie
Date: 15 May 04 - 03:01 PM

Steve Goodman wrote this the last time we got into a stupid ass war.

The Ballad Of Penny Evans
(Steve Goodman)

Oh my name is Penny Evans and I just turned twenty-one
A young widow in the war that's being fought in Viet Nam
And I have two infant daughters and I do the best I can
Now they say the war is over, but I think it's just began.
And I remember I was seventeen on the day I met young Bill
At his grandma's grand piano, we'd play good old 'Heart and Soul'
Well, I only knew the left hand part and he the right so well
He's the only boy I ever slept with and the only one I will.

It's first we had a baby girl and we had two good years
It was next the 1A notice came and we parted without tears
It was nine months from our last good night our second babe appears
And it's ten months and a telegram confirming all our fears.

And now every month I get a check from some Army bureaucrat
And it's every month I tear it up, and I mail the damn thing back.
Do you think that makes it all right, do you think I'd fall for that?
And you can keep your bloody money,sure won't bring my Billy back.

I never cared for politics,speeches I don't understand,
And likewise never took no charity from any living man.
But tonight there's fifty thousand gone in that unhappy land
And fifty thousand 'Heart and Soul's' being played with just one hand.

And my name is Penny Evans and I've just gone twenty-one
A young widow in the war that's being fought in Viet Nam
And I have two infant daughters and I thank God I have no sons
Now they say the war is over, but I think it's just begun. ^^^

I heard him sing this in 1975 and as he later wrote regarding the "Old Smoothies",there was "not a dry eye in the crowd".


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 May 04 - 04:16 PM

Not the greatest anti-war song ever, but I like this parody version of a Stevie Nicks' song done by the Vichy Chicks.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Pogo
Date: 16 May 04 - 02:00 PM

Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye got mentioned a few posts back. There's a powerful version by a group called Steve Carroll and the Bograts...they bring out such a tone of anger and sorrow in that song.

Incidentally which song came first " Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye " or " When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again "? I've always wondered about that


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Pogo
Date: 16 May 04 - 02:09 PM

Here's a Health To The Company by the Cheiftans is also a good one...dunno if it could be strictly called an anti-war song but it is rather sobering to listen to.

Chorus:

So here's a health to the company
And one to my lass
Let's drink and be merry
all out of one glass
Let's drink and be merry
all grief to refrain
For we may or might never
All meet here again


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: JennyO
Date: 17 May 04 - 06:46 AM

Aw, I LOVE that song, especially at the end of festivals. However, it could be relevant for any situation when you are not sure when you will see someone again. Unfortunately that real possibility is very much a part of wartime.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: emjay
Date: 20 May 04 - 01:12 AM

Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye is quite a bit older, I believe. When Johnny Comes Marching Home dates to the American Civil War.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 20 May 04 - 01:16 AM

best anti war song is either No Mans Land, or Waltzing Matilda, [both in the dt],
if anyone disagrees, they are stupid.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 20 May 04 - 04:15 PM

You are aware that yours is the sort of provincialism which causes wars, surely, John?


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: rich-joy
Date: 02 Jul 04 - 10:03 PM

If I Were Free (to speak my mind) - Travis Edmonson - as sung by Peter, Paul and Mary - recently here on a thread ...

Agent Orange (they killed me in Vietnam - and I didn't even know) - Muriel Hogan - as sung by Kate Wolf (lyrics here on Mudcat too) ...

Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: rich-joy
Date: 02 Jul 04 - 10:06 PM

Is it possible for the Mudcat Pixies to split this thread into Parts I and II ??!!

: some of us don't have fast inner-city 'puter connections ...

Thanks,

Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Betsy
Date: 03 Jul 04 - 11:32 AM

To register ( especially in young children's minds ) the futility of it all, you can't beat the Grand old Duke of York.
I note some one mentions Martin Whyndam Read earlier - he also used to sing a song " William White " (I think that may be the title) about a teacher in N.S.W. who woudn't go to Vietnam , and , Allan Taylor's song which opens " Oh the morning lies heavy on my Father ......." apologies I'm not sure of the exact title of that either.
Problem with Eric Bogle's Waltzing Matilda - not withstanding the factual criticism of Guest 19 Dec 03 - 10:48 AM ,is that I've heard it sang too many times by shitty , over-rehearsed , self indulgent performers, but, to temper that remark, I must say I was stunned the very first time I heard it , and for many times after, however, nowadays its' singing, and I stress, - in the earlier described manner , usually presents me with the ideal opportunity to visit either the bar or the bog.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jul 04 - 01:03 PM

The duo Small Potatoes has a great one in "One Thousand Cranes, One Thousand Candles". And there is the old ballad "Just Before The Battle, Mother".


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Just passin through
Date: 03 Jul 04 - 05:12 PM

Can't believe no one's mentioned Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On"!

Also, the Clash's extraordinary "London Calling" is something of an anti-war song.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,just passin through
Date: 03 Jul 04 - 05:22 PM

i do not know the name of the group, or many of the words, but the ending, after the battle:
    the valley people, after killing the mountain people, turned over the 'stone' to get the treasure:

             "peace on earth was all it said"

   i leave the details to someone else.



This is "One Tin Soldier," by Coven. It is played over the opening credits sequence of the film Billy Jack. Great song.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 04:19 PM

Somebody mentioned:
The Village of Brambleshire Wood

which is off the Irish Rovers album TALES TO WARM YOUR MIND, which is one of the few Rovers things not to be out on CD these days. Thrice I've bid on a piece of mint Vinyl of this record on EBAY and thrice, the sellers ahve failed to deliver the goods. This was THE album of Irish-American Folkie childhood and drat..I cannot get a decent copy to run myself a CD off of.

Does anybody have this on Vinyl on good condition and would be willing to sell it to me? Or better yet, is there some import CD of any of the unavailable songs on this album? About half the songs can be found on CD, but the ones that cannot are the ones we love. Brambleshire Wood is one of those Anti-War songs I have always wanted since it appears to be referring to WWI.

help! I'll keep trying Ebay, but I have feeling no real copy exists. I do have a copy but it's the one we scratyched up as kids and snaps, crackles and pops more than a bowl of rice crispies.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: goodbar
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 09:59 PM

some bogle and dylan songs. 'i ain't marching anymore' by phil ochs. they're not folk, but crass does some of my favorites, particularly the christ the album version of 'major general despair'.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 09:53 AM

Christians at War (in DigiTrad)

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: A potato without pepper is like a kiss without a moustache. :||


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,cromdubh
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 03:07 PM

A silent Night, Christmas in the trenches, By Cormac MacConnell. Anyone hear of it?


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Ron Wilson
Date: 04 Aug 07 - 08:43 AM

"Once Was the Time of Man" which I heard by the Limeliters.

And you might check out
:http://www.poetry-archive.com/s/the_battle_of_blenheim.html


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Desdemona
Date: 04 Aug 07 - 08:50 AM

"The Ballad of the Green Berets," for who can listen to it and not see the whole business for the ludicrous enterprise that it generally is...?

~D


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: saulgoldie
Date: 04 Aug 07 - 10:36 AM

I'll second (or third, or fourth) Christmas in the Trenches and The Band Played Waltzing Matilda. There are a lot of other excellent mentions. I didn't read the whole (long) thread. But I wonder if this one has been mentioned:
Cranes Over Hiroshima by Fred Small

http://www.guntheranderson.com/v/data/cranesov.htm


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: saulgoldie
Date: 04 Aug 07 - 10:40 AM

Silly me. I just browsed the forum and discovered that I had already posted the same thing earlier. D'oh!


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 04 Aug 07 - 11:14 AM

When a thread gets to be over 200 posts, the best I can usually do is skim - but I'm sure my favorite hasn't been listed, since it isn't well known (yet).

During the height of the Bosnian War, Lois Lyman (who wrote "Wiscasset Schooners" and "Going On") read a newspaper article about a particularly gruesome slaughter of six children. The song she wrote, "Sarajevo" is, hands down, the best anti-war song I've ever heard - every bit as powerful and simple as "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" or "Come Away Melinda." The line that brings me to tears is repeated at the end of each verse - "What has war to do with children?"

Without Lois's permission, I'm hesitant to post the full lyrics - but I give you the first three verses:

Children watch the snow drifting down, drifting down -
Children watch the snow drifting down, drifting down -
Footprints in the snow of a sleepy town
What has war to do with children?

Footprints in the snow where the children played -
Footprints in the snow where the children played -
Teardrops in the snow where six were laid.
What has war to do with children?

Teardrops in the snow where the mothers cried -
Teardrops on the snow where the mothers cried -
Laying down the flowers where their children died
What has war to do with children?

It gets more powerful from there.

Other than the title and the presence of snow in the lyrics, the song could be about almost any war ever fought. I think of both Iraq and Afghanistan - and Darfur, and Uganda, and all the others.

Dan Schatz


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: jacqui.c
Date: 04 Aug 07 - 11:20 AM

The Sun Is Burning In The Sky is the one that sums it all up for me.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Sailorboy
Date: 04 Aug 07 - 11:26 AM

'Roland the headless Thompson Gunner' By the late Warren Zevon


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: robomatic
Date: 04 Aug 07 - 12:17 PM

Dylan:
Blowin' In The Wind

Lehrer:
So Long Mom, I'm Off To Drop The Bomb
We Will All Go Together When We Go

The following appears on a bicentennial recording from my New England Town s'posedly from the American Revolutionary Era, sounds more Irish than anything else:

When I was young I used to be
As fine a lad as ever you'd see
The Prince O' Wales he says to me
"Come join the British Army!"
Toora loora loora loo
They're lookin' for monkeys up in the zoo
And if I had a face like you
I'd join the British Army!


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Uncle Phil
Date: 05 Aug 07 - 12:13 AM

There's a Wall in Washington – Iris Dement
"But her heart it breaks 'cause all that is left,
Is this wall in Washington."

Dover, Delaware – The Duhks
"Sing a love song for the first to fall,
And keep singing 'til they fight no more"


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Ard Mhaca
Date: 05 Aug 07 - 04:16 AM

In all the tributes to Tommy Makem on Youtube, listen to him singing "Johnny I hardly knew ya", and Tommy`s rendition would sway me in nominating this song as a real contender for the greatest anti-war song.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Jim Lad
Date: 05 Aug 07 - 04:37 AM

The Grave

The grave that they dug him had flowers
Gathered from the hillside in bright summer colours
And the brown earth bleached white at the edge of his gravestone
And he's gone.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Frogette
Date: 05 Aug 07 - 09:57 AM

See this thread has been restarted so I'm going to nominate Les Sullivan's

Battle of Jutland
Roses of No Mans Land
Menim Gate
Sullivan's Farewell
Reaper Smiled
Forever in Peace
Little Julie Loved Flowers
Harvest of Iron

have a look at his myspace. May not be the best EVER but certainly very good.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 05 Aug 07 - 02:17 PM

I cast my vote for the late Tommy Makem's rendition of "Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya'" as well as "Mrs. McGrath". Of course Eric Bogle's epic. To me the best songs are the least breast-beating and the most folk-concise. I'll put in for Derroll Adam's "Portland Town" since I knew Derroll about the time he wrote it and we had long talks about the futility of war.
Tommy Sand's "There Were Roses" and "The Music of Healing" gets my vote too.

Any good anti-war song is the greatest song ever in my book.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Liz Carter
Date: 07 Aug 07 - 09:50 PM

There's been some incredible anti-war songs written, including Christmas in the Trenches and Masters of War. For some new, great anti-war songs regarding the current madness in Iraq, check out Busy Makin' Money, War Machine, and Ain't No Water at
http://cdbaby.com/cd/burlsheldon


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: bobad
Date: 07 Aug 07 - 09:55 PM

John Brown
by Bob Dylan

John Brown went off to war to fight on a foreign shore.
His mama sure was proud of him!
He stood straight and tall in his uniform and all.
His mama's face broke out all in a grin.

"Oh son, you look so fine, I'm glad you're a son of mine,
You make me proud to know you hold a gun.
Do what the captain says, lots of medals you will get,
And we'll put them on the wall when you come home."

As that old train pulled out, John's ma began to shout,
Tellin' ev'ryone in the neighborhood:
"That's my son that's about to go, he's a soldier now, you know."
She made well sure her neighbors understood.

She got a letter once in a while and her face broke into a smile
As she showed them to the people from next door.
And she bragged about her son with his uniform and gun,
And these things you called a good old-fashioned war.

Oh! Good old-fashioned war!

Then the letters ceased to come, for a long time they did not come.
They ceased to come for about ten months or more.
Then a letter finally came saying, "Go down and meet the train.
Your son's a-coming home from the war."

She smiled and went right down, she looked everywhere around
But she could not see her soldier son in sight.
But as all the people passed, she saw her son at last,
When she did she could hardly believe her eyes.

Oh his face was all shot up and his hand was all blown off
And he wore a metal brace around his waist.
He whispered kind of slow, in a voice she did not know,
While she couldn't even recognize his face!

Oh! Lord! Not even recognize his face.

"Oh tell me, my darling son, pray tell me what they done.
How is it you come to be this way?"
He tried his best to talk but his mouth could hardly move
And the mother had to turn her face away.

"Don't you remember, Ma, when I went off to war
You thought it was the best thing I could do?
I was on the battleground, you were home . . . acting proud.
You wasn't there standing in my shoes."

"Oh, and I thought when I was there, God, what am I doing here?
I'm a-tryin' to kill somebody or die tryin'.
But the thing that scared me most was when my enemy came close
And I saw that his face looked just like mine."

Oh! Lord! Just like mine!

"And I couldn't help but think, through the thunder rolling and stink,
That I was just a puppet in a play.
And through the roar and smoke, this string is finally broke,
And a cannon ball blew my eyes away."

As he turned away to walk, his Ma was still in shock
At seein' the metal brace that helped him stand.
But as he turned to go, he called his mother close
And he dropped his medals down into her hand.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Songster Bob
Date: 07 Aug 07 - 10:56 PM

There is no greatest anti-war song ever because, just like with making things fool-proof, nature invents a better fool, no matter the strength of the anti-war song, some son-of-a-bitch goes and starts an even less-defendable war, overwhelming whatever song you can come up with.

It might be better to divide the songs up between specific wars, wars in general, the stupidity of wars, the cost of wars, etc., etc.

I'm reminded of one that John and Tony are given to sing, one from the "Big War," (#1) that went:

If you want to see the sergeant, I know where he is,
I know where he is, I know where he is,
If you want to see the sergeant, I know where he is,
Drinking up the company's rum.

I saw him, I saw him,
Drinking up the company's rum -- I saw him,
Drinking up the company's rum.

If you want to see the captain, I know where he is, etc.
Drunk on the dugout floor, etc.

... Colonel ...
In Paris at the Folies Bergere, etc.

... General ...
Pinnin' another medal on his chest, etc.


and the last verse:

If you want to see the privates, I know where they are,
I know where they are, I know where they are.
If you want to see the privates, I know where they are --
Hangin' on the old barbed wire.

I saw them, I saw them,
Hangin' on the old barbed wire -- I saw them,
Hangin' on the old barbed wire.


Peppy, singable, cynical, and so bloody true as to make you cry.

That's an anti-war song for me.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: akenaton
Date: 08 Aug 07 - 03:28 PM

I agree wiuth Ard Macha and Stringsinger, "johnny I hardly knew ya" is the best.
Mary Black did a wonderful version with De Danaan.
Makes your blood run cold; and the bastards are still there, murdering and mutilating......and we let them do it...Ake


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,cflpeace
Date: 08 Aug 07 - 07:46 PM

From one who loves the already-mentioned "Mothers, Daughters, Wives," "Great Peace March," "Masters of War," "With God on our Side," and "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda"...

From one that really appreciates Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A." because it shows how this country dumps the vets into the street after they've used them up...

From one who says that "Good Morning Vietnam" was by far the greatest anti-war film (I know, I wasn't asked that) because it was the only film I know that protested wars not only for what they do to "our" soldiers, but also from the perspective of the ones called "the enemy"...

And, from one who is surprised to not see Jackson Browne's "Lives in the Balance" ("I want to know who the men in the shadows are, I want to hear somebody asking them why They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are But they're never the ones to fight or to die. And there are lives in the balance, There are people under fire, There are children at the cannons, And there is blood on the wire.")...

... I just wanna add Holly Near and David Rovics.

What could surpass Holly Near's "It Could Have Been Me" or "No More Genocide in My Name!"? Check out anything by Holly Near (http://hollynear.com). Holly sings both of the first two songs I listed at the top of this piece; she wrote the second. Some can be found at hollynear.com/lyrics; others can be googled. She wrote "It Could Have Been Me," in the sixties and updates it often, so there's a Viet Nam verse and an Central America one, among others:

A woman in the jungle so many wars away,
Studies late into the night, defends the village in the day.
Although her skin is golden like mine will never be,
Her song is heard and I know the words
And I'll sing them until she's free.
It could have been me, but instead it was you,
So I'll keep doing the work you were doing as if i were two:
I'll be a student of life, a singer of songs,
A farmer of food and a righter of wrong.
It could have been me, but instead it was you
And it may be me dear sisters and brother
Before we are through
But if you can work for freedom
Freedom, freedom, freedom
I can too.

http://www.hollynear.com/lyrics/it.could.have.been.me.html

Then there is the work of David Rovics (http://www.davidrovics.com/), the guy that wrote of bombing a village in Afghanistan, "Not one terrorist died there, but maybe some were born." This Jewish folksinger has the courage to sing out for Palestinian rights as well as against anti-Semitism and Naziism. (He has toured Palestine with that, and is now touring Hiroshima and Nagasaki and other Japanese cities.) He gives away his mp3s at: http://www.soundclick.com/pro/view/01/default.cfm?BandID=111310, but I suggest you buy his stuff too. Check out:

You ask me how it is
That I dare to take a side
You say I loathe myself
For pointing out that you have lied
You say it's tribal warfare
But I disagree
For the dynamics of the situation
Are not difficult to see
On one side is the fighter jet
On the other side the stone
On one side is the slave
On the other is the throne
For the many there are checkpoints
While foreign soldiers rule the street
For one side there is victory
But the people don't accept defeat.
The word you need to know is occupation
The very definition of a land without a nation
And if peace is what you're after then let us not deceive
It will come on the day the tanks return to Tel Aviv.

Read and hear it at: http://www.soundclick.com/pro/view/01/default.cfm?BandID=111310&content=lyrics&SongID=753230

But, hey you all, if you're reading all this, we gotta make sure we get it - as both Holly and David know so well: 1) Our songs have gotta be not just anti-war, but pro-justice, pro-peace, and celebrations of life, and 2) it's not enough to sing these songs; we gotta work all our lives for peace.

Peace,
cflpeace


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 08 Aug 07 - 09:06 PM

O they say that the war's nearly won,
And declare there's a change in the wind;
Amd my feet stumble on, and a year's come and gone
And they say that the war's nearly won.

Sweet peace, when will you come again?
You turn like a far star alone.
Will I ever be blessed with your innocent rest,
And be free and be safe and be home?

Still they say that the war's nearly won,
And declare there's a change in the wind-
And the years stumble on, and a thousand years gone,
And they say that the war's nearly won.

1971 Jean Ritchie   CELEBRATION OF LIFE Geordie Music Publishing Co.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Mitch Gawlik
Date: 09 Aug 07 - 03:34 PM

A fair amount to pick from, but I'd go with:

Masters Of War - Bob Dylan
I Ain't Marching Anymore - Phil Ochs

And a song that applies now:
Cops Of The World - Phil Ochs


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 10 Aug 07 - 12:01 AM

I may have missed these above--
Tommy Makem's "Four Green Fields"
and another one which slipped by me whilst I was typing the above song....senior moment!


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,THE ONE
Date: 10 Aug 07 - 09:44 AM

ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND WONDERFUL.!!


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Aug 07 - 10:11 AM

Tommys Lot by Dominic Williams,recorde by Dick Miles and Geoff Higginbotham.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 10 Aug 07 - 11:10 AM

The first time I ever heard "Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye" performed live in a coffee house, it was done with great dignity and passion, along with an obvious reverence to its origins and deeper meaning. It, along with "Mrs. McGrath," speak eloquently of conscripted soldiers, treated like "cannon fodder," as they have been for centuries. There have been many others, Dylan's "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," among many more contemporary songs. Gordon Lightfoot's "Patriot's Dream" also comes to mind. But, it is hard to argue with the real poignancy of the historical material and the poor souls that inspired it.


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Subject: Lyr Add: JOHNNY I HARDLY KNEW YE
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Aug 07 - 03:08 PM

Like trying to nominate "the world's greatest folk singer" or "the best guitarist in the galaxy," I take a dim view of most attempts at picking a "greatest" when it comes to songs or performers. [Now, "World's Most Abyssmal Idiot Elected to High Political Office," I could venture some strong opinions, but that's for another thread, and one below the line.]   However, as to very powerful anti-war songs, yes, I'd say there are some good ones.

Sometimes it's not the song itself, but how it's sung. One of the most powerful anti-war songs I've ever heard is the well-known Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye—as Walt Robertson sang it. He sang what I later learned was a somewhat abbreviated version. He certainly knew the other verses, but he sometimes invoked "minstrel's prerogative" and made choices, to better express his own feelings about a matter. These were the words and the verses that he sang :
Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye

With their guns and drums and drums and guns, hurroo, hurroo;
With their guns and drums and drums and guns, hurroo, hurroo;
With their guns and drums and drums and guns,
The enemy nearly slew ye.
My darling dear, ye look so queer.
Oh, Johnny, I hardly knew ye.

Where are your eyes that used to smile, hurroo, hurroo?
Where are your eyes that used to smile, hurroo, hurroo?
Where are your eyes that used to smile
When my poor heart you so beguiled?
How could you run from me and the child?
Oh, Johnny, I hardly knew ye.

Where are your legs that used to run, hurroo, hurroo?
Where are your legs that used to run, hurroo, hurroo?
Where are your legs that used to run,
When you ran off to carry a gun?
I fear your dancing days are done.
Oh, Johnny, I hardly knew ye

I'm happy for to see ye home, hurroo, hurroo;
I'm happy for to see ye home, hurroo, hurroo;
I'm happy for to see ye home,
But darlin' dear, you look so wan;
So lean in flesh and high in bone.
Oh, Johnny, I hardly knew ye.
No "While goin' the road to sweet Athy" (removing it from a third-person narrative and bringing it right home and making it very personal);   no anatomical assessment of the damage ("Ye haven't an arm, ye haven't a leg") and the rest of the bitterness in that verse;   and no idealistically angry vows about "They'll never take our sons again."

The way Walt sang it (which is the way I also sing it), it depicts a deeply personal tragedy in one family—which, by implication, is a situation possible for any family that has someone off in the wars. Rather than an angry—let's face it—propaganda song, it brings it home, and says, "This could be you" when you first see your soldier returned from the wars.

For a touch of bitterness in an anti-war song, it would be had to beat Eric Bogle's And the Band Played 'Waltzing Matilda' (the line, ". . . and I asked myself the same question."). He seems to have a real knack for packing a lot of communicable emotion into a song. Or even a single line.

To me, one of the most powerful anti-war songs I've ever heard (and just recently learned) is his The Green Fields of France (or No Man's Land).

Both songs from my notebook of song-sheets (both on disk and hard-copy):
The Green Fields of France (No Man's Land)
by Eric Bogle

How do you do, young Willie McBride,
Do you mind if I sit here down by your graveside?
And rest for awhile in the warm summer sun,
I've been walking all day, and I'm nearly done.
I see by your gravestone you were only nineteen
When you joined the great fallen in 1916,
I hope you died quick and I hope you died clean
Or, Willie McBride, was it slow and obscene?

CHO:
Did they beat the drum slowly, did they play the fife lowly?
Did they sound the dead march as they lowered you down?
Did the band play "The Last Post" in chorus?
Did the pipes play the "Flowers of the Forest?"

Did you leave a young wife or a sweetheart behind?
In some faithful heart is your memory enshrined?
And, though you died back in 1916,
In that faithful heart are you forever nineteen?
Or were you a stranger without even a name,
And closed in forever behind a glass pane,
In an old photograph, torn and tattered and stained,
And fading to yellow in a brown leather frame? CHO:

The sun shines bright on the green fields of France;
The warm summer breeze makes the red poppies dance.
The trenches have vanished long under the plow;
No gas, no barbed wire, there's no guns firing now.
But here in this graveyard that's still No Man's Land.
The countless white crosses are mute where they stand
To man's blind indifference to his fellow man,
And a whole generation who were butchered and damned. CHO:

I can't help but wonder, young Willie McBride,
Do those who lie here really know why they died?
Did they believe when they answered the call?
Did they really believe that this war would end wars?
The sorrow, the suffering, the glory, the shame;
The killing, the dying, were all done in vain,
For, young Willie McBride, it all happened again,
And again, and again, and again, and again. CHO (2):

© Eric Bogle
Don Firth


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE YEAR OF THE DRUM (Wendy Joseph)
From: JennyO
Date: 11 Aug 07 - 05:58 AM

Here is a good Australian one, which was actually posted by jacko@nz on this thread in 2003. He didn't know the author, but mentioned that he thought Martin Wyndham-Read sings it. I have only heard it performed by Wongawilli myself.

The lyrics and the comments below are from Wongawilli's website. I will post them here because I think these words are probably the most accurate ones - particularly the spelling of the town, Mannum. I've actually posted it on a previous thread too, but it still hasn't made it into the DT.


This song from Wendy Joseph describes the tragic effects of the World Wars on several generations of the people of Mannum and the use of music to entice young men to war. Mannum is a small town on the lower Murray River and has the distinction of having lost more men per head of population in both World Wars than any other town in South Australia.

THE YEAR OF THE DRUM

(Wendy Joseph)

My name is Jack Gresham, I grew up in Mannum,
That river boat town I loved well,
I married Meg Davis, we had us two children,
One day our family bliss turned to Hell.
For in nineteen fourteen, 'twas the year of the drum,
The guns and the Government called me to come,
Past melaleuca and tall shining gums,
I drifted away down the Murray.

My name is Meg Davis and I work down at Shearers,
Making wagons and stirrups and hames,
The war it is raging, the men are all fighting,
The women toil here making fuel for the flames.
For it's nineteen fifteen and the men have all gone,
They're fighting in Europe so we carry on,
We're keeping the candles lit bright here at home,
To light their way back up the Murray.

My name it is Mary and I am an orphan,
My father was killed in the war,
My mother Meg Davis, an upstanding lady,
She drowned in the Murray the year I turned four.
It was nineteen sixteen when the telegram came,
The death of her soldier its message proclaimed,
My Mum lost her footing due to tears and the rain,
She slipped on the banks of the Murray.

My name it is Billy and I am a soldier,
I just got my orders to-day,
My wife's name is Mary, she's as fair as a sunset,
I hate to be leaving her lonely this way.
But the year's forty two, 'tis the year of the drum,
The guns and the Government call me to come,
Past melaleuca and tall shining gums,
I'm drifting away down the Murray.

But the year doesn't matter, there's always a drum,
The guns and the Governments call men to come,
But the town still grows strong in her tall shining sons,
While her daughters light lamps by the Murray.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: kendall
Date: 11 Aug 07 - 07:36 AM

I used to think The Band Played Waltzing Matilda until I heard The Sun is Burning in the Sky.

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...

That's what a nuclear war will look like.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GRex
Date: 11 Aug 07 - 09:43 AM

Waltzing Matilda is the one that moves me the most.

Another favourite is one where every verse starts:
       He was only fifteen.
and the first line of the choruis is:
       And the sergeant said "Son, you must shoulder your gun."
I haven't yet found the title for, or, the writer's name for this song. Can anybody help please?

Another favourite is a song re WW1 by Barry Wake, (a local singer/ songwriter) called 'Tomorrow's Sun'.

       GRex


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,MikefromDorch
Date: 11 Aug 07 - 05:25 PM

I've read through the entire thread but no-one's mentioned a great song by the Belgian/French singersongwriter Jacques Brel, called La Colombe. Judy Collins did a great version of it in the 1960s. It tells of the conscripts boarding a train to go off to fight (presumably in Algeria) and is written from the poihnt of view of one of the soldiers asking 'Why?'. The last verse, from memory (English version):

And why your face undone
With jagged lines of tears
That gave in those first years
All peace I've ever known?
And why these days ahead
When I must let you cry
And live prepared to die
As if our love were dead?

Nous n'irons plus aux bois.
La colombe est blesse.
Nous n'irons plus aux bois,
Nous allons la tuer


The dove has torn a wing
But no more songs of love
We are not here to sing
We're here to kill the dove


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Rich(bodhránaí gan ciall)
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 05:30 PM

Being just past the anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki reminded me of this song

   Manhattan Project, Lyrics by Neil Peart

Imagine a time when it all began
In the dying days of a war
A weapon that would settle the score
Whoever found it first would be sure to do their worst
They always had before...

Imagine a man where it all began
A scientist pacing the floor
In each nation, always eager to explore
To build the best big stick
To turn the winning trick
But this was something more...

[Chorus:]
The big bang took and shook the world
Shot down the rising sun
The end was begun and it hit everyone
When the chain reaction was done
The big shots tried to hold it back
Fools tried to wish it away
The hopeful depend on a world without end
Whatever the hopeless may say

Imagine a place where it all began
Gathered from across the land
To work in the secrecy of the desert sand
All of the brightest boys
To play with the biggest toys
More than they bargained for...

[Chorus]

Imagine a man when it all began
The pilot of 'Enola Gay'
Flying out of the shockwave on that August day
All the powers that be, and the course of history
Would be changed forevermore


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Rich(Bodhránaí gan ciall)
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 05:35 PM

Rush - Territories Lyrics by Neil Peart

I see the Middle Kingdom between Heaven and Earth
Like the Chinese call the country of their birth
We all figure that our homes are set above
Other people than the ones we know and love
In every place with a name
They play the same territorial game
Hiding behind the lines
Sending up warning signs

The whole wide world
An endless universe
Yet we keep looking through
The eyeglass in reverse
Don't feed the people
But we feed the machines
Can't really feel
What international means
In different circles, we keep holding our ground
Indifferent circles, we keep spinning round and round

We see so many tribes overrun and undermined
While their invaders dream of lands they've left behind
Better people...better food...and better beer...
Why move around the world when Eden was so near?
The bosses get talking so tough
And if that wasn't evil enough
We get the drunken and passionate pride
Of the citizens along for the ride

They shoot without shame
In the name of a piece of dirt
For a change of accent
Or the color of your shirt
Better the pride that resides
In a citizen of the world
Than the pride that divides
When a colored rag is unfurled


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Mike B.
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 11:40 PM

A rather obscure 1916 rewrite of "Onward Christian Soldiers" (from the I.W.W.'s Little Red Songbook).

Christians At War (John F. Kendrick)

Onward, Christian soldiers! Duty's way is plain;
Slay your Christian neighbors, or by them be slain.
Pulpiteers are spouting effervescent swill;
God above is calling you to rob and rape and kill.
All your acts are sanctified by the Lamb on high;
If you love the Holy Ghost, go murder, pray and die.

Onward, Christian soldiers! Rip and tear and smite!
Let the gentle Jesus bless your dynamite.
Splinter skulls with shrapnel, fertilize the sod;
Folks who do not speak your tongue deserve the curse of God.
Smash the doors of every home, pretty maidens seize;
Use your might and sacred right to treat them as you please.

Onward, Christian soldiers! Eat and drink your fill;
Rob with bloody fingers, Christ okays the bill.
Steal the farmers' savings, take their grain and meat;
Even though the children starve, the Savior's bums must eat.
Burn the peasants' cottages, orphans leave bereft;
In Jehovah's holy name, wreak ruin right and left.

Onward, Christian soldiers! Drench the land with gore;
Mercy is a weakness all the gods abhor.
Bayonet the babies, jab the mothers, too;
Hoist the cross of Calvary to hallow all you do.
File your bullets' noses flat, poison every well;
God decrees your enemies must all go plumb to hell.

Onward, Christian soldiers! Blight all that you meet;
Trample human freedom under pious feet.
Praise the Lord whose dollar sign dupes his favored race!
Make the foreign trash respect your bullion brand of grace.
Trust in mock salvation, serve as tyrant's tools;
History will say of you: "That pack of Goddamn fools."


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Guitaropsimath
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 01:23 AM

The ones that made me think the most were (are) Universal Soldier, Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye, Sam Stone, and When a Soldier Makes it Home, but that Steve Goodman song about Penny Evans should be taught in school.

Doug


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Banjiman
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 03:35 AM

Two great songs that I haven't seen mentioned on the thread: The Malvinas (Dave Rogers) & Ghost Story (Jim Woodland). These are both about the Falklands but certainly cover universal themes. Roy Bailey does a brilliant job of both of them (as he does with most things).

Otherwise No Man's Land and The Bands Played Waltzin' Matilda. Eric Bogle's own versions please (though the version of Waltzin' Matilda that started the thread by the Pogues is also pretty good)

For something new which addresses Iraq have a listen here:
To Be A Soldier


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,NEIL
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 03:26 PM

WOW, WHAT A GREAT WEBSITE. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN PARTIAL TO "I AIN'T MARCHING ANYMORE", BUT MAN, THAT PENNY EVANS SONG BROUGHT TEARS TO MY EYES.
DOES ANYONE REMEMBER A SONG STEELEYE SPAN USED TO DO THAT BEGAN:
WHAT DID THE WIFE OF THE SOLDIER GET FROM THE (UNKNOWN WORD) CITY
OF PRAGUE?


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 17 Aug 07 - 12:47 AM

Canadian band Tanglefoot's Steve Ritchie's ong "Vimy" about the battle of Vimy Ridge WW1--will move you to tears.It can be found on the cd Music in The Wood.Incredible


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: t.jack
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 08:22 AM

This song i wrote,i call it "SOME MOTHERS SON"

I HAVE FISHED OFF THE GRAND BANKS
AND SEEN THE WHALES SPOUT
BUT THE FISH HAVE ALL GONE
LIKE THE TIDES THAT ROLL OUT.
SO I`M OFF TO ALBERTA TO WORK THE TAR SANDS
OR CARRY A GUN TO AFGHANASTAN.

OH MOTHER DEAR MOTHER THE BANK TOOK ME BOAT
NO MORE WILL YOU SEE HER SAIL THE EAST COAST
FOR THE WATERS ARE EMPTY NO FISH DO THEY HOLD
I`M OFF TO ALBERTA I`M GONE DOWN THE ROAD.

LOWER THE FLAG FOR ME WHEN I LEAVE HOME
OH MOTHER DEAR MOTHER I`M COLD AND ALONE
BUT DON`T WRAP ME IN IT IF I FIRE A GUN
IN SOME OTHER LAND AT SOME MOTHERS SON.

WAVE YOUR HAND FREELY LIKE THE CLOTHES ON THE LINE
WAVE AT THE GRAYHOUND AS SHE PASSES BY
FOR HES OFF TO ALBERTA TO PUT OIL IN THE DRUM
HES OFF TO ALBERTA HES SOME MOTHERS SON.

DON`T WRAP THE FLAG ROUND ME IF I FIRE A GUN
IN SOME FOREIGN LAND AT
SOME MOTHERS SON.

NORMAN DOUCETTE


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Joe_F
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 05:55 PM

The Revel:

In Digitrad

Then stand to your glasses steady.
This world is a world of lies.
Here's a sip to the dead already
And a cup to the next that dies.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: kendall
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 08:51 PM

War, The ultimate failure


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 05 Sep 09 - 05:09 PM

Darwin mentions "specialization" in a species where the failure to adapt brings about its
demise.

War is that specialization for homo sapiens.

I think Tommy Sands deserves a mention for "There Were Roses" and "The Music of Healing".

When I heard Tommy Makem sing "Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya'" I was mesmerized and
when it was done, I said, "That says it all".


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,John
Date: 05 Sep 09 - 07:12 PM

Can't Get You Out Of My Country

Julian Cope


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: 12barblues
Date: 05 Sep 09 - 08:18 PM

Mr Gunman - Vin Garbutt

If I Had A Rocket Launcher - Bruce Cockburn (there is a stunning live, solo acoustic performance on YouTube, as is a much less polished, but very effective, version by Brendan Croker). A bit controversial this one maybe, but imho you don't have to be a pacifist to be anti-war, or most wars at least.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Smokey.
Date: 05 Sep 09 - 08:52 PM

Ritchie Havens' 'Handsome Johnny' (on the Woodstock film) gets me every time. That's as much about the sincerity of his performance as it is the song though.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Glenn Cook
Date: 05 Sep 09 - 09:41 PM

Not one of the greatest perhaps but a great one
Ritchie Havens 'Hansome Johnny'.
See Woodstock for the performance.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 12:06 PM

Just read in the Ottawa Citizen newspaper,Bruce Cockburn is playing his Rocket Loncher in Afghansthan? Says he believes in the mission?
Man am i ever lost sometimes more than most..


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 01:24 PM

I logged on here to register my vote; but I find Stringsinger had mentioned the song I was going to nominate less than a week ago. Never mind - here's another vote for it: surely one great strong contender to answer the question at the head of the thread has to be JOHNNY I HARDLY KNEW YOU


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 01:26 PM

... & for that matter, can't bear to go right back & count how many times it has been mentioned — but 'The Band Played Waltzing Matilda' has got to be right up there as well.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Reiver 2
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 08:04 PM

There are so many outstanding anti-war songs, it's almost impossible to pick ONE. I can't help but put in my 2 cents worth, though. [And there are many listed above that I've not heard, and in picking the best I would want to consider both lyrics and music.] Of those I know I would make it a tie between "The Band Played Waltzing Marilda" and what I learned as "The Green Fields of France." It goes without saying, therefore, that I'd vote Eric Bogle as the outstanding WRITER of anti-war songs. {One that would be close is Buffy St. Marie's "Universal Soldier."] I just wish all of those mentioned on this thread could be sung and heard more often!! And that more who hear them would act accordingly.

Reiver 2


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: SuperKrone
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 10:00 PM

And this verse, purpose written although by who, to "Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye":

They're rolling out the guns again;
Huroo, huroo.
They're rolling out the guns again;
Huroo, huroo.
They're rolling out the guns again,
But they'll never take our sons again:
Johnny, I swear it to ye!"

How often we've been forsworn.
How many sons, and daughters, too, these days,
Hapless draftees or ambitious volunteers,
have been taken since then.

I am adamently against war, but I have lost the arrogance
that let me feel I could condemn the warriors.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: TonyA
Date: 12 Sep 09 - 12:16 AM

Rich Man's War, by Steve Earle

Jimmy joined the army 'cause he had no place to go.
There ain't nobody hirin' 'round here since all the jobs went down to Mexico.
Reckoned that he'd learn himself a trade, maybe see the world;
Move to the city someday, and marry a black haired girl.
Somebody somewhere had another plan.
Now he's got a rifle in his hand,
Rollin' into Baghdad, wonderin' how he got this far;
Just another poor boy, off to fight a rich man's war.

Bobby had an eagle and a flag tattooed on his arm,
Red white and blue to the bone when he landed in Kandahar.
Left behind a pretty young wife and a baby girl,
A stack of overdue bills and went off to save the world.
Been a year now and he's still there,
Chasin' ghosts in the thin dry air.
Meanwhile back at home the finance company took his car;
Just another poor boy, off to fight a rich man's war.

When will we ever learn?
When will we ever see?
We stand up and take our turn,
And keep tellin' ourselves we're free.

Ali was the second son of a second son.
Grew up in Gaza, throwing bottles and rocks when the tanks would come.
Ain't nothin' else to do around here; just a game children play.
Somethin' 'bout livin' in fear all your life makes you hard that way.
He answered when he got the call;
Wrapped himself in death and praised Allah;
A fat man in a new Mercedes drove him to the door;
Just another poor boy, off to fight a rich man's war.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: TonyA
Date: 12 Sep 09 - 12:19 AM

Roamin' Jack (from the U.S. Civil War)

It was on an autumn evening, an old man bent with age
Strolled up to the village express, just off of a dusty stage.
"Is this the express office? I've come to meet my son.
They told me that his train was due this place at half-past one."

"You've made a great mistake, sir, I would like for you to know.
This is the express office, not the town depot."
"You do not understand me, lad," with quivering lips he said.
"He's not coming as a passenger. He's coming to me dead."

Just then a whistle pierced the air. "The express!" someone cried.
And with feeble, trembling steps, the old man passed outside.
Just then a casket in a box was lowered to the ground.
It was an eager, tearful crowd that quickly gathered round.

"Don't handle him so roughly, boys. He is my darling Jack.
He went away as you are now. See how he's coming back.
He has broken his poor mother's heart. Mine is broken, too.
We told him that he'd come back dead if he joined those boys in blue."


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Amos
Date: 12 Sep 09 - 12:56 AM

I have always fallen back on "Last Night I had the Strangest Dream" for short eloquence.



A


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: eddie1
Date: 12 Sep 09 - 04:39 AM

We're never going to agree on "The greatest" - we all have our personal favourites but reading this thread is thought provoking and has reduced me to tears on several occasions.
One song that I play evry two or three weeks on my Radio programme (For those interested, "On The Road Again" on www.blast1386.com every Thursday between 1000 & 1300 UK time) I play Pete Seegr singing "Bring Em Home" The horrifying thing is that this song was written during the Vietnam era yet exactly the same kind of wars are happening today!

On reflection, I guess my favourite has to be "Strangest Dream" because it does not come up with clever answers, it doesn't try to apportion blame, it just tells of a wonderful dream. If only!

Eddie


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Sep 09 - 08:46 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJ5xZQVkhak
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJ5xZQVkhak
this one was written by Dominic Williams,I like it anyway


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: frogprince
Date: 12 Sep 09 - 10:04 AM

All of those that have been meaningful to me have been mentioned, except one, and I've found a lot of strong ones here that are new to me. The one that I didn't find mentioned was "Touch A Name On The Wall", by Joel Mabus; it's particularly devastating to hear it conclude with "Never Again", coming from the Vietnam context, with us trying to imagine whatever end to the Iraq sacrilige.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,tom franke
Date: 12 Sep 09 - 10:18 PM

frogprince, thanks for mentioning Joel Mabus's "Touch a Name on the Wall," one of my favorites in this genre. the lyrics are posted on Joel's site, at http://joelmabus.com/288_lyrics.htm#name%20wall.

Although there are a lot of great songs mentioned in this thread, I am moved most by those that tell a very personal story as opposed to the more didactic ones. Another in this category is "Teardrops Falling in the Snow" http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=32367, Unfortunately it is marred by the maudlin final verse about the mother and son meeting in heaven. I change the ending to "Scenes like this have been repeated, far too many times I know, Mothers waiting at the station, their teardrops falling in the snow."


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: sing4peace
Date: 13 Sep 09 - 08:36 PM

Greatest? Ever? I don't know about but I've been singing this one for over 40 years. It still makes me cry -

I Come And Stand At Every Door (also known as the Little Girl From Hiroshima) - Lyrics adapted from a Turkish Poem by Nazim Hikmet. Translated into English by Jeanette Turner. Adapted by Pete Seeger Music by James Waters,"The Great Silkie" (information courtesy of Where Have All The Flowers Gone? by Pete Seeger)


I come and stand at every door
But none can hear my silent tread
I knock and yet remain unseen
For I am dead -
For I am dead.

I'm only seven although I died
In Hiroshima, long ago
I'm seven now as I was then
When children die
They do not grow.

My hair was scorched by swirling flame
My eyes grew dim, my eyes grew blind
Death came and turned my bones to dust
And that was scattered by the wind.

I need no fruit, I need no rice
I need no sweets, nor even bread
I ask for nothing for myself
For I am dead
For I am dead.

All that I ask is that for peace
You fight today, you fight today
So that the children of this earth
May live and grow
And laugh and play.

---------

also in the cue (besides many already referenced by other posters):

God On Our Side - Bob Dylan
The Gentlement of Distinction - Malvina Reynolds
Political Science - Randy Newman
The Rainbow Race - Pete Seeger
The Merry Minuet - Sheldon Harnick
This World Is One - Charlie King

----------
In Peace and Song,
Joyce


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: CupOfTea
Date: 13 Sep 09 - 08:45 PM

So many of the songs mentioned have touched me with their eloquent depiction of the horrors of war. Some of these have been neutralized by being played too relentlessly often by those whose skill was not up to the quality of the song. For many years the song "Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye"" was like that for me. Then I heard it done by opera singer Ben Luxon. He played, toured and recorded two albums of traditional songs with the late Bill Crofut which were part of what drew me into traditional music. I saw them perform this song live. Bill set up a drum tattoo on the head of his banjo as the only backing to Ben's vocals. Performed in an operatic baritone, with more conviction than any other singer I've ever seen - it was VERY operatic - and you could easily imagine on the stage there with him was the lad "You havn't an eye, you havn't a leg, you're an eyeless, boneless chickenless egg..." and my body was covered in goosebumps. Every hair on my body stood up. I could barely breathe till he sang "I'm happy for to see you home..." Dunno if there's a "best" anti war song, but I'd mark this as the best performance of one in my life.

How a song functions best varies vastly. Some of the more complex or long have the most impact only when sung by those who are very good at it. Other songs are wonderful anthems for peace marchers - more simple, easy to learn, easy to sing. The more cynical songs like " "Hanging on the old barbed wire"" are good for getting folks engaged in the concept who don't realize they too MIGHT have antiwar feelings, but would never find themselves singing "those peacenick" songs.

I'm drawn to the "aftermath of war" sorts of songs. A pair I sing together are Richard Thompson's ""How will I ever be simple again"" and Margaret Nelson's ""Died in the War."" Margaret & Phil Cooper's version of ""Rosemary's Sister"" hits the civilian side of war's aftermath. Years ago I heard Robin & Linda Williams introduce ""Don't let me go home a Stranger"" as always reminding them of a veteran relative. Perhaps it's the gentle feel of thes songs with the message that war touches us all, for years after, that gives them a different sort of powerful impact.

Joanne in Cleveland


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 08:30 AM

Tommy Makem did the definitive performance of Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya' for me.

He starts the song with a mixture of anger for having been deceived and sarcasm at
the "doleful damsel's cry" with the right reaction of bitterness which the actor Tommy Makem delivered so convincingly.

Then the song takes a shift. "I'm happy for to see you home" is a plaint so heartbreaking.

This will always be one of the main performances I remember Tommy doing.
The other is "Dick Darby, the Cobbler".

Tommy's "Johnny" was for me the most potent comment on anti-war ever done.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: jaze
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 10:14 AM

The Day After Tomorrow--written by Tom Waits and sung by Joan Baez--about soldier in Iraq war


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: t.jack
Date: 15 Sep 09 - 09:12 AM

RIBBON TO A CHAIN

THERE ARE HEROS ON THE HIGHWAY
THERE ARE RIBBONS IN THE RAIN
WHEN THE WAR IS AT MY DOOR STEP
THEN THAT RIBBON IS A BALL AND CHAIN..

IN QUIET ROOMS AROUND NEW TABLES
OLD MEN SIT AND DREAM OF WAR
PROPAGANDA AND SPIN DOCTORS
YOUNG MEN DIE ON DISTANT SHORES

ACROSS THE CORNFIELD COMES THE ARMY
ACROSS THE RIVER ACROSS THE PLAINS
ACROSS THE OCEANS ACROSS THE MOUNTAINS
ACROSS THE CROSS THEY CARVE A NAME

JESUS WAS A LONELY HOBO
BEFORE THE CROSS HE LOOKED BOTH WAYS
TIPPED THE TABLES IN THE TEMPLE
YOU BETTER FIND A BETTER WAY

THERE ARE CHILDREN IN THE CRADLE
THERE ARE CHILDREN IN THE GRAVES
THERE ARE CHILDREN IN THE CORNFIELDS
THERE ARE CHILDREN THAT WON`T PLAY

         NORMAN DOUCETTE


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Martin Harwood
Date: 15 Sep 09 - 09:34 AM

Bogle's the modern master for me but from history how about Ye Jacobites (I get angry when I sing it) and The Flowers o the Forest (makes me cry - try Mairi Campbell's version with The Cast


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,PT
Date: 21 Sep 09 - 02:03 PM

Universal Soldier, Buffy St Marie


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: voyager
Date: 21 Sep 09 - 06:08 PM

Once we get away from the 'Greatest Ever....' frame of mind then I'd add these tunes to our list -->

The General - Dispatch

The Cutty Wren - Mudcat Thread

Arthur McBride - Mudcat Thread

Fixing to Die Rag - Mudcat Thread

I have a longer story about writing to Country Joe over the Copyright Infringement Lawsuit over FTDR.

Peace
voyager


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Teribus
Date: 22 Sep 09 - 10:46 AM

When Margaret was Eleven - Pete St. John

Bogle's "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda" as far as "lyrics : fact" is a mess.

Example:

"Oh its well I remember that terrible day
When our blood stained the sand and the water
How in that hell they called Suvla Bay
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter"

Fact of the matter: The Landings at Suvla Bay were completely unopposed nobody died. The scenes Bogle is trying to described happened a couple of weeks earlier with the initial landings at ANZAC Cove.

If you are going to write a retrospective song "in the tradition" you should at least make some sort of effort to get it right.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 22 Sep 09 - 01:03 PM

My personal favorite is still "Masters of War."

Russ (Permanent GUEST)


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,hannahma
Date: 22 Sep 09 - 10:06 PM

David Francey's song "Flowers of Saskatchewan".
The radio played it on Nov. 11th... I ran out and bought all his records.

The King's Own Calgary Regiment was in fact at Dieppe.



The sun was shining on the English Channel
on a ferry off the coast of France
and it was summer and a pleasant morning
and high above gulls wheeled and danced.

And high above the cliff of morning
The gun emplacements that stood in ranks
And I walked over to the railing
and I heard the ghosts of the Calgary Tanks.

And I remembered pictures |I'd seen
in history books and magazines
of three men standing smoking, staring
among the dead men on a rocky beach

And in the light of that pleasant morning
as we sailed under the cliffs above
I though of all their silent prayers
and the final thoughts of the ones they loved,

That they'd left behind at prairie stations
waving to their pride and joy
waving to the smiling faces, smiling faces on the soldier boys

No waves of grain will claim the fallen
Just the Channel cold and grey as steel
and no return to the rolling prairie
and a silent cross on a lonely field.

oh the sun was shining on the rolling prairie
far from the Channel cold and grey
shone on the families, friends and lovers
of the prairie boys who fell that day
but they could not know on that sunny morning
the future held for them no joy
they'd wait in vain at prairie stations
wait in vain for their soldier boys.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,mayomick
Date: 28 Sep 09 - 10:02 AM

Come Ye Jacobites by name - Robert Burns

Ye Jacobites by name, give an ear, give an ear,
Ye Jacobites by name, give an ear,
Ye Jacobites by name,
Your fautes I will proclaim,
Your doctrines I maun blame, you shall hear.

What is Right, and What is Wrang, by the law, by the law?
What is Right and what is Wrang by the law?
What is Right, and what is Wrang?
A short sword, and a lang,
A weak arm and a strang, for to draw.

What makes heroic strife, famed afar, famed afar?
What makes heroic strife famed afar?
What makes heroic strife?
To whet th' assassin's knife,
Or hunt a Parent's life, wi' bluidy war?

Then let your schemes alone, in the state, in the state,
Then let your schemes alone in the state.
Then let your schemes alone,
Adore the rising sun,
And leave a man undone, to his fate.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Bardan
Date: 28 Sep 09 - 01:25 PM

Is it me or has no-one mentioned The Banks of the nile? Also pady's lament (the one the starts well it's by the hush me boys and thats to mind your noise.) Still eric bogle is the master.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Sep 09 - 01:30 PM

With God On Our Side


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Gulliver
Date: 28 Sep 09 - 02:51 PM

Teribus wrote: Fact of the matter: The Landings at Suvla Bay were completely unopposed nobody died.

This is not quite correct. The landings at Suvla Bay were chaotic (the commander, Stopford, was subsequently sacked). The first companies of the 11th Division that landed at B beach suffered casualties: one third of the men and almost all the officers. On A Beach shortly afterwards the 11th Battalion suffered 200 casualties upon landing there. They then became targets for Turkish snipers. The following day after a forced march an exhausted 32nd Brigade was practically wiped out after a bayonet charge.

Don


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Jim P
Date: 29 Sep 09 - 01:57 AM

Like some who responded above, I find many of the songs mentioned above have lost their effectiveness through repetition or, it must be said, sheer heavy handedness. While I understand the need of the singer/songwriter to get the message across, sometimes a light touch works better than a sledgehammer. Here's one that always makes me mist up:

ONE OF THE MANY
by Phil Sampson

She's the center of attraction everywhere she goes
Life of the party, and everybody knows
That trouble's never touched her, they think she never cries
But I saw something in those pretty eyes.

A momentary lapse, it took her by surprise
It came on accidentally and she dropped her disguise
It only lasted for a moment, then the feeling it was gone
But I could see a memory lingered on.

She's one of the many whose life has come undone
And the first of a million more to follow
And as long as soldiers go to war and lovers stay at home
There'll be someone leaving someone else tomorrow.

One night she felt like talking, I happened to be around
She began to tell a story of a love she'd barely found
And how it had been torn away, a story in her life
Leaving only empty in her eyes.

Now the medals and the ribbons and the shiny silver wings
They don't serve to comfort her, they don't mean a thing
They only tell a story about the price of glory
Her lover paid it all at once, now she pays every day.

She's one of the many...


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Teribus
Date: 29 Sep 09 - 02:40 AM

Teribus wrote: Fact of the matter: The Landings at Suvla Bay were completely unopposed nobody died.

Sorry Gulliver but I will stand by that in the point I was making with regard to Eric Bogle's lyrics:

"Oh its well I remember that terrible day
When our blood stained the sand and the water
How in that hell they called Suvla Bay
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter"

The fatalities you mention occurred AFTER the men had got ashore and had started belatedly to move inland. The Turks only had 1,500 men watching Suvla Bay from the inland side of the Salt lake. The delay in moving men inland to take the heights turned what would have been a success into a military disaster and inevitable stalemate of trench warfare, but nobody died during the landings themselves and there were certainly no instances of the carnage suggested by Bogle's lyrics, another glaring discrepancy is of course that while Australian troops did land at ANZAC Cove only British Troops and formations landed at Suvla, what Australians did die on the day of the landings at Suvla were the poor bastards ordered to attack Lone Pine Ridge in support of the landings, similar attacks were also launched to support the Suvla landings to the south at Helles Point.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Sep 09 - 02:46 AM

Sorry Gulliver forgot this one:

"Johnny Turk he was ready, he primed himself well
He rained us with bullets and he showered us with shell
And in five minutes flat we were all blown to hell
He nearlyy blew back home to Australia"

Not at Suvla he didn't

- No Australian troops
- Only 1,500 Turks present against over 20,000 British troops
- The German Officer commanding the Turkish Forces had no machine guns and absolutely no artillery.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: LostHills
Date: 29 Sep 09 - 02:48 AM

We're fortunate to have so many great anti-war songs. And then again, maybe we're not....

I'm glad so many folks listed Where Have All The Flowers Gone, and I Ain't Marching Anymore, surprised that I didn't see Turn, Turn , Turn, or If I Had A Hammer, or Down By The Riverside, or I've Got To Know, or Bring 'em Home.

The greatest ant-war song ever written is Blowin' In The Wind.

If you play all the anti-war songs you know at a peace vigil, that is the song that will engage people more than any other. It's the greatest peace song ever written.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Gulliver
Date: 29 Sep 09 - 09:49 PM

Teribus, I'm not defending Eric Bogle's account, I'm just disputing your accuracy in claiming that no-one was killed in the landings at Suvla. And BTW the same source below stated that the Turkish defenders there under their German commander did have some heavy guns and field guns.

From CALLWELL, MAJOR-GENERAL SIR C.E. The Dardanelles Campaigns and Their Lessons. Constable And Co, 1919:
Beach A as a matter of fact had turned out to be a bad landing-place, quite apart from this particular trouble (ie, rifle-fire). The water inshore was shallow and several of the beetles grounded some way out, obliging the troops to struggle to land through water as much as four and a half feet deep. Beetles and troops were, moreover, enfiladed from about Gazi Baba as well as from Lala Baba, and the beach itself was sown with land mines which caused casualties and confusion in the dark.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Teribus
Date: 30 Sep 09 - 12:51 PM

My apologies Gulliver. Major Wilhelm Willmar, a Bavarian Cavalry Officer who was in command of the Turkish Forces tasked with defending the heights overlooking Suvla did indeed have a few artillery pieces but no machine guns. No account I have read makes any mention of mines, the confusion on the part of the landing forces is attributed to the landing being undertaken at night, a complete and utter lack of leadership combined with troops being set down in places as much as 1000 yards out of position thereby causing them to miss the landmarks and topographical features that they had been briefed on.

My particular interest in this campaign was initially fired by listening to my next door neighbour when I was a boy, "Pop" Collier, who was fortunate enough to have lived through it. Many believe that the Dardanelles Campaign and Gallipoli only involved the ANZACs - it didn't not by a bloody long shot:

Gallipoli casualties

Allied Total 44,092 Killed/ 96,937 Wounded/141,029 Total Casualties

United Kingdom - 21,255 Killed/52,230 Wounded/73,485 total casualties
France (est) - 10,000 Killed/17,000 Wounded/27,000 total est casualties
Australia - 8,709 Killed/19,441 Wounded/28,150 total casualties
New Zealand - 2,721 Killed/4,752 Wounded/7,473 total casualties
India - 1,358 Killed/3,421 Wounded/4,779 total casualties
Newfoundland - 49 Killed/93 Wounded/142 total casualties

Ottoman Empire (est) - 86,692 Killed/164,617 Wounded/251,309 total casualties

The "Butchers Bill" in full - 130,784 Killed/237,290 Wounded/336,048 total casualties.

""In the English-speaking world, many people who otherwise might not have heard of the landing at Suvla Bay know something of its history through the song "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" written in 1972 by Eric Bogle and covered by numerous artists including the Clancy Brothers, Joan Baez and the Pogues. The song, while emotionally charged and vivid, is not an accurate historical account of the landing and subsequent events.""

""Suvla Bay also plays a role in the climax of the Peter Weir movie Gallipoli (1981 film) in which the third and final wave of Australian troops is ordered into a suicidal advance to maintain pressure on the Turkish/German troops despite the failure of the landing. The fictional character General Gardiner orders the advance reconsidered, with the famous line "at Suvla" ..."the [English] officers are sitting on the beach drinking cups of tea".""

Of course the incident upon which the film Gallipoli was based had nothing whatsoever to to with the landings at Suvla, the attack was the ANZAC operation to take the "Nek".

""The ANZACs are revered as heroes and, in Australia are stereotyped as typical tough Australians betrayed by incompetent and callous British superiors, impressions re-affirmed by films such as Peter Weir's Gallipoli, even though, according to Australian historian Les Carlyon, "the scale of the tragedy of the Nek was mostly the work of two Australian incompetents, Hughes and Antill.""

As I said previously if you are going to go to the trouble of writing a retrospective song about an actual event then the least you should do is take the trouble to get it right.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Gulliver
Date: 30 Sep 09 - 02:28 PM

My interest is simply that my grandfather was at Gallipoli, with the Dublin Fusiliers, and I have a few well-worn books of his. He was evacuated and then went on to the Western Front and then to Russia with the Expeditionary Force before being demobbed. Don


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Bearheart
Date: 12 Oct 13 - 03:55 PM

I found this thread while looking for a Feed Small song about the Danish peoples' evacuation of the Danish Jews to Sweden, when Hitler's henchmen were going to round them up and take them off to concentration camps, called December 1943. Does anyone here have the words? I was told of it by a woman I met whose parents were holocaust survivors. My dad (Danish American) was 13 at the time this happened, and it made a huge impact on him. Something he was very proud of. 2000 Danish Jews were saved by their countrymen.

I would really like to find this for him.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 12 Oct 13 - 07:52 PM

"The Greatest Ant-War Song Ever Written" is the title of Jon Lighter's utterly brilliant analysis of "Johnny I hardly Knew Ye". It's a study of the song's history (which everyone seems to have gotten wrong), and the what it has meant to people in a changing culture.
It's $9.95 from CAMSCO Music, and I can't recommend it more highly.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Lighter
Date: 12 Oct 13 - 08:41 PM

> and I can't recommend it more highly.

Thank you, Dick.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Eddie1
Date: 13 Oct 13 - 06:56 AM

When I saw this thread I thought, "Looks interesting! Funny, I haven't seen this before!" Then I found a post from me some 4 years ago! I used to have a memory!
Still stand by the two songs I mentioned for the same reasons:

Pete Seeger Lyrics
Bring 'Em Home Lyrics
If you love your Uncle Sam, Bring them home, bring them home.
Support our boys in Vietnam, Bring them home, bring them home.

It'll make our generals sad, I know, Bring them home, bring them home.
They want to tangle with the foe, Bring them home, bring them home.

They want to test their weaponry, Bring them home, bring them home.
But here is their big fallacy, Bring them home, bring them home.

I may be right, I may be wrong, Bring them home, bring them home.
But I got a right to sing this song, Bring them home, bring them home.

There's one thing I must confess, Bring them home, bring them home.
I'm not really a pacifist, Bring them home, bring them home.

If an army invaded this land of mine, Bring them home, bring them home.
You'd find me out on the firing line, Bring them home, bring them home.

Even if they brought their planes to bomb, Bring them home, bring them home.
Even if they brought helicopters and napalm, Bring them home, bring them home.

Show those generals their fallacy: Bring them home, bring them home.
They don't have the right weaponry, Bring them home, bring them home.

For defense you need common sense, Bring them home, bring them home.
They don't have the right armaments, Bring them home, bring them home.

The world needs teachers, books and schools, Bring them home, bring them home.
And learning a few universal rules, Bring them home, bring them home.

So if you love your Uncle Sam, Bring them home, bring them home.
Support our boys in Vietnam, Bring them home, bring them home.

And:
From Ed McCurdy
Last night I had the strangest dream
I ever dreamed before
I dreamed the world had all agreed
To put an end to war
I dreamed I saw a mighty room
The room was filled with men
And the paper they were signing said
They'd never fight again

And when the papers all were signed
And a million copies made
They all joined hands and bowed their heads
And grateful prayers were prayed
And the people in the streets below
Were dancing round and round
And guns and swords and uniforms
Were scattered on the ground

Last night I had the strangest dream
I ever dreamed before
I dreamed the world had all agreed
To put an end to war

Eddie


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 13 Oct 13 - 11:35 AM

Ed McCurdy wrote

Last night I had the strangest dream
I never dreamed before


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: cetmst
Date: 13 Oct 13 - 05:47 PM

Bearheart - type "Denmark 1943" in Lyrics and Knowledge box at top.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Bearheart
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 12:20 PM

I did try the search but it wasn't helpful, just lots of references to the date. Searching Fred Small got me to his site but the link to lyrics hasn't been set up yet. And searching Fred Small here didn't bring it up either. Guess I'll just have to do a separate thread.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: ollaimh
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 12:40 PM

phil ochs also wrote the great song: "the marines have landed on the shores of santo domingo"

I wonder if bruce Cockburn's :" if I had a rocket launcher" qualifies but it's a great song , as his older song:"look away across the bay, yanqui gunboat come this way"

and if you are into poetry I do like "the naming of parts" by reid but w.h. Auden wrote the definitive poem about mass war.if you haven't read:"the shield of Achilles" your are not really participating in the human condition.

Ayden's "sonnet from china have many great anti war poems as well--especially the original unedited version. like

here war is harmless like a monument
a telephone is talking to a man
pins on maps declare that troops were sent
a boy brings milk in bowls,there is a plan

for living men in terror of their lives
who thirst at dawn who were to thirst at noon
who can be lat, and are, and miss their wives
and unlike an idea can die too soon.

but ideas can be real although men die
for we have seen a myriad of faces
estatic from one lie

and pins on maps can really point to places
where live is evil now
nanking, dachau


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,AlbertsLion
Date: 26 Jun 14 - 06:39 AM

Surprised no-one has mentioned Bright Golden Buttons by Shel Silverstein. It's one I sometimes do and last night I performed my personal favourite, The White Cockade (Trad updated, by friend Peter Kay),to a bunch of young soldiers in my local pub - they liked it a lot and bought all the beer! Last verse:

'from Flanders to the Falklands, Crimea to Dunkirk
the ones who give the orders are not the ones to do the work
it's not their wives who sorrow, it's not their wounds that bleed
and they are not, no they are not
fit to govern, they are not fit to lead!

Amen!


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: PHJim
Date: 26 Jun 14 - 11:51 AM

I haven't read the whole thread, but Steve Goodman's Ballad Of Penny Evans deserves a mention:


Oh my name is Penny Evans and my age is twenty-one
A young widow in the war that's being fought in Viet Nam
And I have two infant daughters and I do the best I can
Now they say the war is over, but I think it's just begun.

And I remember I was seventeen on the day I met young Bill
At his father's grand piano, we'd play good old 'Heart and Soul'
Well, I only knew the left hand part and he the right so well
He's the only boy I slept with and the only one I will.

It's first we had a baby girl and we had two good years
It was next the 1A notice came and we parted without tears
It was nine months from our last good night our second babe appears
So it's ten months and a telegram confirming all our fears.

And now every month I get a check from an Army bureaucrat
And it's every month I tear it up and I mail the damn thing back.
Do you think that makes it all right, do you think I'd fall for that ?
And you can keep your bloody money, it sure won't bring my Billy back.

I never cared for politics, and speeches I don't understand,
And likewise never took no charity from any living man
But tonight there's fifty thousand gone in that unhappy land
And fifty thousand 'Heart and Soul's' being played with just one hand.

And my name is Penny Evans and I've just gone twenty-one
A young widow in the war that's being fought in Viet Nam
And I have two infant daughters and I thank God I have no sons
Now they say the war is over, but I think it's just begun.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE GREAT MANDALA (Peter Yarrow)
From: Larry The Radio Guy
Date: 26 Jun 14 - 12:13 PM

I'm surprised nobody's mentioned The Great Mandala---of Peter, Paul, and Mary's "Album 1700".

PETER, PAUL AND MARY
"The Great Mandala (The Wheel Of Life)"
(Peter Yarrow)

So I told him that he'd better shut his mouth
And do his job like a man.
And he answered "Listen, Father,
I will never kill another."
He thinks he's better
than his brother that died
What the hell does he think he's doing
To his father who brought him up right?

[Chorus:]
Take your place on The Great Mandala
As it moves through your brief moment of time.
Win or lose now you must choose now
And if you lose you're only losing your life.

Tell the jailer not to bother
With his meal of bread and water today.
He is fasting 'til the killing's over
He's a martyr, he thinks he's a prophet.
But he's a coward, he's just playing a game
He can't do it, he can't change it
It's been going on for ten thousand years

[Chorus]

Tell the people they are safe now
Hunger stopped him, he lies still in his cell.
Death has gagged his accusations

We are free now, we can kill now,
We can hate now, now we can end the world
We're not guilty, he was crazy
And it's been going on for ten thousand years!

Take your place on The Great Mandala
As it moves through your brief moment of time.
Win or lose now you must choose now
And if you lose you've only wasted your life.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: JedMarum
Date: 26 Jun 14 - 01:04 PM

How about Woody Guthrie's

The Sinking Of The Reuben James


Have you heard of a ship called the good Reuben James
Manned by hard fighting men both of honor and fame?
She flew the Stars and Stripes of the land of the free
But tonight she's in her grave at the bottom of the sea.

Tell me what were their names, tell me what were their names,
Did you have a friend on the good Reuben James?
What were their names, tell me, what were their names?
Did you have a friend on the good Reuben James

Well, a hundred men went down in that dark watery grave
When that good ship went down only forty-four were saved.
'Twas the last day of October we saved the forty-four
From the cold ocean waters and the cold icy shore.

It was there in the dark of that uncertain night
That we watched for the U-boats and waited for a fight.
Then a whine and a rock and a great explosion roared
And they laid the Reuben James on that cold ocean floor.

Now tonight there are lights in our country so bright
In the farms and in the cities they're telling of the fight.
And now our mighty battleships will steam the bounding main
And remember the name of that good Reuben James.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: JedMarum
Date: 26 Jun 14 - 01:07 PM

OK - just a bit of a wind-up. I know this is a "let's go to war" song and not an anti-war song. It's from a great American songwriter and thinker .... but still a good song.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Mehitabel
Date: 26 Jun 14 - 11:06 PM

So many great songs have been mentioned but the one that always gets to me is Tom Lewis's song, "Some Mother's Son" which is included on his CD, "Mixed Cargo", apparently written in response to the murder of Jean McConville:

There's some mother's son on her doorstep lies bleeding,
with no one to give him the comfort he's needing,
And sure as her God's high above in His heaven,
with ten kids already, this one makes eleven,
Though he's wearing a uniform she ought to hate,
she cradles his poor head and seals her own fate -

For the one thing that binds us, when all's said and done -
every man dying is some mother's son.

Then twelve of her neighbours, apostles from hell,
tore her from her family, no time for: "Farewell",
No 'ashes to ashes' and no 'dust to dust',
no loving remembrance, this cannot be just,
She had daughters and sons, a family who loved her,
she was sentenced to death just for being a mother,

But the one thing that binds us, when all's said and done -
every man dying is some mother's son.

Somewhere there's a family who owe her a life,
a one-time young squaddie with kids and a wife,
When she thought he was dying she chose love and pity,
a terrible crime in this desperate city,
For when some mother's son on her doorstep lay bleeding
she knelt down to give him the comfort he was needing,

Now the one thing that binds us, when all's said and done -
every man dying is some mother's son.

I am also always brought to tears by David Francey's song, "Flowers of Saskatchewan".


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Jordana
Date: 24 Jul 14 - 02:48 PM

I'm fond of "Crow on the Cradle," myself. Learned it from a Furnace Mountain CD.

The sheep's in the meadow
The cow's in the corn
Now is the time for a child to be born
He'll laugh at the moon
And cry for the sun
And if it's a boy he'll carry a gun
Sang the crow on the cradle

And if it should be that this baby's a girl
Never you mind if her hair doesn't curl
With rings on her fingers
And bells on her toes
And a bomber above her wherever she goes
Sang the crow on the cradle

The crow on the cradle
The black and the white
Somebody's baby is born for a fight
The crow on the cradle
The white and the black
Somebody's baby is not coming back
Sang the crow on the cradle

Your mother and father will sweat and they'll slave
To build you a coffin and dig you a grave
Hush-a-bye little one, never you weep
For we've got a toy that can put you to sleep
Sang the crow on the cradle

Bring me my gun, and I'll shoot that bird dead
That's what your mother and father once said
The crow on the cradle, what can we do
Ah, this is a thing that I'll leave up to you
Sang the crow on the cradle
Sang the crow on the cradle


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Subject: Chords Add: Business Goes on as Usual (Fred H.)
From: Jason Xion Wang
Date: 02 Nov 14 - 09:36 PM

I'm gonna add one of my favorite anti-war songs to the list. Words by Fran Minkoff, music by Fred Hellerman of the Weavers, first sung in 1965 by Joe Frazier of the Chad Mitchell Trio on album "Violets of Dawn".


Business Goes on as Usual
(Fred Hellerman; Fran Minkoff)

Asus2    A7sus2    Asus2    A7sus2)


Asus2
Business goes on as usual -
                            G9
The corn and the profits are high.
       C Gsus4/B Am7    C    Gsus4/B Am
And the T-Vs      boom in every living room,
         FMaj7                      Em
And they tell us which deodorant to buy.


Asus2
Business goes on as usual,
                         G9
Except that my brother is dead.
       C   Gsus4/B Am7      C    Gsus4/B Am
He was twenty   -   five and very much   alive,
       FMaj7                                 Em
But the dreams have all been blasted from his head -


    Am G   Am          G
In a far-off land with a gun in his hand,
   F                   E       E7
He died in a war he did not understand!


    Am
And business goes on as usual -
                                  G9
There's plenty to choose from the rack.
       C Gsus4/B Am7       C      Gsus4/B Am
And the rumor    goes, the latest thing in clothes
FMaj7 Esus4
Will be...
Asus2
Black!


Am
Business goes on as usual...

Business goes on as usual...

Business goes on as usual...
                            Em G Am
Business goes on as usual...

As usual.

The chords above are based on John Denver's version - apparently he learnt it from Paul Prestopino.

I can't guarantee the chords are 100% accurate.

Jason


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Subject: RE: Business Goes on as Usual
From: Jason Xion Wang
Date: 03 Nov 14 - 08:19 AM

Oops, just noticed that the two "Em"s at the end of the first two verses should be "E". Sorry for the mistake!

Jason


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: topical tom
Date: 03 Nov 14 - 01:50 PM

I did not take the time yet to read all the posts but if it has not already been mentioned I would suggest Christmas in the Trenches by John Mcutcheon.Extremely moving!


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: topical tom
Date: 03 Nov 14 - 01:57 PM

Sorry, in my post I misspelled the name McCutcheon. My apology!


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 04 Nov 14 - 01:33 PM

I ws going to give my choice but the majority already gave it. Just worth mentioning that Dylan's God On Our Side, is in effect a version of Dominick Behan's, The Patriot Game


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Subject: Lyr Add: ALL QUIET ALONG THE POTOMAC TO-NIGHT
From: GUEST,Jim Dixon 17 Feb 2015
Date: 21 Feb 15 - 03:45 PM

From The Southern Literary Messenger, Vol. 37 No. 2 (Richmond: MacFarlane & Fergusson, Feb., 1863), page 103.

[This is presented as a poem, not a song. Note that it consists of 4-line stanzas, whereas the song is rearranged as 8-line stanzas. No doubt this is what necessitated dropping 4 lines. I have boldfaced the words that are different from the song in the DT. Also note that the author Fontaine is not credited in the DT.]


"ALL QUIET ALONG THE POTOMAC TO-NIGHT."
By Lamar Fontaine, Company I, Second Regiment Virginia Cavalry. Written while on picket on the bank of the Potomac, 1861.

"All quiet along the Potomac to-night,"
Except here and there a stray picket
Is shot as he walks on his beat to and fro
By a rifleman hid in the thicket.

'Tis nothing?a private or two now and then
Will not count in the news of the battle;
Not an officer lost! only one of the men
Moaning out, all alone, the death-rattle.

"All quiet along the Potomac to-night,"
Where the soldiers lie peacefully dreaming,
And their tents in the rays of the clear autumn moon
And the light of their camp-fires are gleaming.

A tremulous sigh, as a gentle night wind
Thro' the forest leaves slowly is creeping,
While the stars up above, with their glittering eyes,
Keep guard o'er the army while sleeping.


There's only the sound of the lone sentry's tread,
As he tramps from the rock to the fountain,
And thinks of the two on the low trundle bed
Far away in the cot on the mountain.

His musket falls slack?his face dark and grim,
Grows gentle with memories tender,
As lie mutters a prayer for the children asleep,
And their mother?"may Heaven defend her."

The moon seems to shine as brightly as then?
That night when the love yet unspoken,
Leaped up to his lips, and when low murmur'd vows
Were pledged to be ever unbroken.

Then drawing his sleeve roughly over his eyes,
He dashes off the tears that are welling;
And gathers his gun close up to his breast
As if to keep down the heart's swelling.

He passes the fountain, the blasted pine tree,
And his footstep is lagging and weary;
Yet onward he goes thro' the broad belt of light,
Toward the shades of the forest so dreary.

Hark! was it the night-wind that rustled the leaves?
Was it the moonlight so wond'rously flashing?
It looked like a rifle! "Ha! Mary good by!"
And his life-blood is ebbing and splashing.

"All quiet along the Potomac to-night."
No sound save the rush of the river:
While soft falls the dew on the face of the dead,
The Picket's off duty forever.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Bert (17 Feb 2015)
Date: 21 Feb 15 - 03:46 PM

For some reason I don't recall ever hearing of a song that praises the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima.

Probably the most anti war weapon ever invented.

It saved an estimated one million American lives at a time when the casualty ration was running at about twelve Japanese to one American.

So that means that it saved twelve million Japanese


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Dave (18 Feb 2015)
Date: 21 Feb 15 - 03:47 PM

I would second Jordana's nomination of Sydney Carter's The Crow on the Cradle


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,henryp (19 Feb 2015)
Date: 21 Feb 15 - 03:48 PM

From: Bert Date: 17 Feb 15 - 11:39 PM

"For some reason I don't recall ever hearing of a song that praises the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima. Probably the most anti war weapon ever invented.

"It saved an estimated one million American lives at a time when the casualty ration was running at about twelve Japanese to one American.
So that means that it saved twelve million Japanese."

Bert - It was so effective that they dropped an even bigger bomb on Nagasaki three days later. The thermo-nuclear-bomb is more powerful still.

Cranes over Hiroshima by Fred Small gives an alternative view.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,henryp (19 Feb 2015)
Date: 21 Feb 15 - 03:50 PM

The Morning Lies Heavy - by Allan Taylor.

"The young Scottish group, Breabach, have recorded the song I wrote in 1971, "The Morning Lies Heavy", a song inspired by my brother-in-law Jimmy who was called to the draft in America during the Vietnam War. It's great to know that a song I wrote so long ago still resonates with a new generation."


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Dave Hanson (19 Feb 2015)
Date: 21 Feb 15 - 03:52 PM

Tom Paxton's 'Jimmy Newman '


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,MartinRyan (19Feb15)
Date: 21 Feb 15 - 03:53 PM

when the casualty ration was running at about twelve Japanese to one American - some diet!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Lighter (19 Feb 2015)
Date: 21 Feb 15 - 03:54 PM

Bert, try Karl & Harty's "When the Atom Bomb Fell," released in December, 1945:

Smoke and fire it did flow through the land of Tokio,
There was brimstone and dust everywhere.
When it all cleared away, there the cruel Japs did lay,
The answer to our fighting boys' prayers (Yes, Lord!)
The answer to our fighting boys' prayers.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 21 Feb 15 - 07:38 PM

"Bert, try Karl & Harty's "When the Atom Bomb Fell," released in December, 1945"

That song certainly celebrates dropping the atom bomb on the citizens of Hiroshima. Perhaps it reflected a thread of opinion at that time in America. Was it a popular song?


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 07:32 AM

Another mention for Political Science by Randy Newman. It's perhaps better known as Let's Drop the Big One.

Boom goes London and boom Paree
More room for you and more room for me
And every city the whole world round
Will just be another American town

Oh, how peaceful it will be
We'll set everybody free
You'll wear a Japanese kimono, baby
And there'll be Italian shoes for me

They all hate us anyhow
So let's drop the big one now


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Lighter
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 08:03 AM

> Was it a popular song?

No. It seems to have been recorded only once.

On the other hand, everyone was indeed thankful that the war was over, irrespective of the method.

That was especially true, on the Allied side, for the soldiers already in training for the invasion of Japan.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 06:25 PM

Thank you. The comparison with Political Science is extraordinary.

On the face of it, Political Science might have been the follow-up record.


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