To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=31329
98 messages

Vietnam era protest songs

26 Feb 01 - 10:27 AM (#406484)
Subject: Vietnam era protest songs
From: jeepman (inactive)

A lot of the Vietnam protest songs were very good and well worth remembering. I need help with a couple.

All I remember is, they were performed at Woodstock, and on the radio. 1) "Houses made of tiky tac", was part of one song.

"Send your son to Vietnam and get him back in a box",

This is probably not accurate but may stir some memories. Jeepman


26 Feb 01 - 10:53 AM (#406501)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,Russ

The 1st song is Malvina Reynolds' "Little Boxes." It is in digitrad. I cannot recall the 2nd song.


26 Feb 01 - 11:16 AM (#406515)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: late 'n short 2

Country Joe MacDonald has a similar "boy in a box" line in "Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag". Check it here. Check it here


26 Feb 01 - 11:23 AM (#406521)
Subject: Lyr Add: I-FEEL-LIKE-I'M-FIXIN'-TO-DIE RAG^^
From: A Wandering Minstrel

Could that 2nd one be Country Joe & the Fish? If memory serves, It went along these lines:

Come on all of you big strong men, Uncle Sam needs your help again
Got himself in a terrible jam, way down yonder in Vietnam
So put down your book and pick up a gun, Gonna have a whole lot of fun

(CH) And its 1,2,3 what are we fighting for
Don't ask me I don't give a damn, Next stop is Vietnam
And its 5,6,7 open up the pearly gates
Ain't no time to wonder why, WHoopee were all gonna die

Come on Generals lets move fast, Your big chance is here at last
Now go out and get those reds for the only good commie is the one thats dead
(line here I can't remember)...and blow em all to kingdom come(?)

Come on Fathers don't be slow, man this is war-agogo!
Come on mothers don't hesitate, send your boy off before it's too late
Be the first one on your blocks to have your son come home in a box!

Thats all I can remember


26 Feb 01 - 11:23 AM (#406522)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: late 'n short 2

Sorry. Try this


26 Feb 01 - 11:24 AM (#406525)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,Roll&Go-C

"Little Boxes" that you remember is probably the anti-war parody rather than Malvina's original version. You can probably find it with a thread search of the DT. I always liked "Step by Step" (anon. but passed on by Pete Seeger) for warming up a crowd before a long march.


26 Feb 01 - 12:59 PM (#406590)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: jeepman (inactive)

You guys are good!! Jman


23 Nov 04 - 03:38 PM (#1336759)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST

Sky Pilot. Don't remember who did it but remember my brother in law listening to it when he got back from vietnam.


23 Nov 04 - 03:44 PM (#1336766)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: Peace

The Animals

Album: The Best of Eric Burton& The Animals
The original Animals slowly disbanded but Burdon reappeared in California
with his new group at the 1967 Monterey International Pop Festival,
The band went on to define the era musically with many songs now considered hippie classics such as the fiercely antiwar song 'Sky Pilot'.        

Lyrics:
He blesses the boys as they stand in life
The smell of gun grease and their bayonets they shine
He's here to help them all that he can
To make them feel wanted he's a good holy man.
Sky pilot, sky pilot, how high can you fly
You'll never never never reach the sky.
He smiles at the young soldiers
Tells them it's all right
He knows of their fears in the forthcoming fight
Soon there'll be blood and many will die
Mother and fathers back home they will cry.
Sky pilot, sky pilot, how high can you fly
You'll never never never reach the sky.
He humbles a prayer and it ends with a smile
The order is given they move down the line
But hell stay behind and he'll meditate
But it won't stop to bleeding or is the hate.
As the young men move out into the battle zone
He feels good with god you're never alone
He feels so tired and he lays on his bed
Hopes the men will find courage
In the words that he's said.
Sky pilot, sky pilot, how high can you fly
You'll never never never reach the sky.
You're soldiers of god you must understand
The fate of your country is in your young hands
May god give you strength do your job really well
If it all was worth in only time it will tell.
In the morning they returned with tears in their eyes
The stench of death drifts up to the skies
A young soldier so it looks at the sky bright
Remember the words thou shalt not kill.


23 Nov 04 - 05:48 PM (#1336933)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: harvey andrews

Try Phil Ochs. Anyone sing "Cops of the world" anymore?Pure prophesy.


23 Nov 04 - 06:04 PM (#1336953)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: Eric the Viking

Try Some Donovan songs, Ballad of a crystal man,The war drags on. There were some others. He also did one by Buffy St Marie-can't remember title.


23 Nov 04 - 06:09 PM (#1336965)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: Richard Bridge

Universal Soldier
Eve of Destruction
With God on our Side (Martin Gibson probably believes the sentiment)


23 Nov 04 - 06:18 PM (#1336975)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: Peace

Silent Night/Six O'clock News--Simon and Garfunkel
Blowin' in the Wind--Dylan
Draft Dodger Rag--Ochs
Where Have All the Flowers Gone?--Seeger


23 Nov 04 - 07:30 PM (#1337049)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker

dont know if it counts here..
But new CD from "Old Crow Medicine Show"
includes a song
"Big time in the jungle"
which on 1st listening I thought must be a cover
of an old 60's protest song..

But it must be a new song in that genre
written by this young[ish] band


23 Nov 04 - 07:59 PM (#1337092)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: pdq

There's always The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band's "Suppose They Give a War and No One Comes".


23 Nov 04 - 09:47 PM (#1337200)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: Margret RoadKnight

"I Was Only 19" by Redgum


23 Nov 04 - 10:44 PM (#1337243)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,punfolkrocker

[if memory can be trusted]

David Peel & the Lower East Side..

a tragic stoner hippy parody of

"Please Mr Custer"


23 Nov 04 - 11:09 PM (#1337256)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: Bobert

Not too sure what the name of the song is but John Prine wrote it about a vet returning from Nam:

There's a hole in daddy's arm
Where all the money goes
Jesus died fore nuthin'
I suppose

Bobert


23 Nov 04 - 11:13 PM (#1337260)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: Peace

Sam Stone
by John Prine


Sam Stone came home,
To the wife and family
After serving in the conflict overseas.
And the time that he served,
Had shattered all his nerves,
And left a little shrapnel in his knees.
But the morhpine eased the pain,
And the grass grew round his brain,
And gave him all the confidence he lacked,
With a purple heart and a monkey on his back.

There's a hole in daddy's arm where all the money goes,
Jesus Christ died for nothin I suppose.
Little pitchers have big ears,
Don't stop to count the years,
Sweet songs never last too long on broken radios.

Sam Stone's welcome home
Didn't last too long.
He went to work when he'd spent his last dime
And soon he took to stealing
When he got that empty feeling
For a hundred dollar habit without overtime.
And the gold roared through his veins
Like a thousand railroad trains,
And eased his mind in the hours that he chose,
While the kids ran around wearin' other peoples' clothes...

There's a hole in daddy's arm where all the money goes,
Jesus Christ died for nothin I suppose.
Little pitchers have big ears,
Don't stop to count the years,
Sweet songs never last too long on broken radios.

Sam Stone was alone
When he popped his last balloon,
Climbing walls while sitting in a chair.
Well, he played his last request,
While the room smelled just like death,
With an overdose hovering in the air.
But life had lost it's fun,
There was nothing to be done,
But trade his house that he bought on the GI bill,
For a flag-draped casket on a local hero's hill.

There's a hole in daddy's arm where all the money goes,
Jesus Christ died for nothin I suppose.
Little pitchers have big ears,
Don't stop to count the years,
Sweet songs never last too long on broken radios.


24 Nov 04 - 01:25 AM (#1337301)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: Mark Cohen

Thanks, Brucie, I remembered the chorus of that song but had forgotten most of the verses. Prine's writing is like a Diane Arbus photograph: vivid, searing, and true.

Aloha,
Mark


24 Nov 04 - 06:25 AM (#1337435)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: Leadfingers

The late Sidney Carter's Crow on the Cradle and a few by tom Paxton - Talking Vietnam Pot Luck blues and Lyndon Johnson Told the Nation are two that spring to mind .


24 Nov 04 - 06:32 AM (#1337439)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: freda underhill

Vietnam war song links n lyrics


24 Nov 04 - 06:54 AM (#1337452)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,kenny

Another 4 great songs:

"The Fields Of Vietnam" – written by Ewan McColl, sung by Mick
Moloney on his recording "We Have Met Together".
"The Ballad Of Penny Evans" – Steve Goodman.
"The Ballad Of Tim LeBlanc" – Vin Garbutt.
"Hey, Sandy!" – Harvey Andrews.


24 Nov 04 - 07:56 PM (#1338267)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: The Fooles Troupe

"Paint It Black' was supposed to have grown out of it.


24 Nov 04 - 08:18 PM (#1338279)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: jaze

"It Could Have Been Me" by Holly Near. About Kent State.


24 Nov 04 - 09:29 PM (#1338323)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,Auggie (cookieless)

Next to the "Fixin' to Die Rag", the best Anti-Nam song has to be



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 begun.

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
And 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 ?
You can keep your bloody money, sure won't bring my Billy back.

Well, 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 don't know, now even daughters are getting served up as fodder in this current one. Does anybody who was of draft age back then remember how our generation was going to change things when we got in control of the world, and keep shit like this from ever happening again? Sometimes I don't know whether to be angry, humbled, ashamed, or just embarrassed at the way we failed in keeping our word when it comes to old promises like those.

Sorry bout the thread drift, but yesterday here in our little town of 7000 souls, they buried a 24 year old Marine corporal who fell in Iraq, same age as my only son, and it just leaves you feeling....empty.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


24 Nov 04 - 10:34 PM (#1338373)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,Rapaire

My son John (Paxton)
Sergeant, I'm a Draftee (Paxton)
Talking Vietnam Blues (Ochs)


The first one starts

My son John was a good boy and good to me
When we had hard times well he stood by me....

The second

Sergeant, I'm a draftee and I've just arrived in camp
I've come to wear the uniform and join the martial tramp
And I want to do my duty, but one thing I do implore
You must give me lessons Sergeant, for I've never killed before.

The third

Sailing over to Vietnam
Southeast Asian Birmingham....

Yeah, I still sing "Lydon Johnson told the nation" and "Draft Dodger rag." But no body listens.


24 Nov 04 - 10:35 PM (#1338376)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,Rapaire

Oh, yeah:

Buy a gun for your son
We didn't know at all


24 Nov 04 - 10:36 PM (#1338378)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,Rapaire

God, when you start the mind dump....

What did you learn in school today?


24 Nov 04 - 11:59 PM (#1338426)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: number 6

Vietnam Blues by the late great J.B. Lenoir


25 Nov 04 - 04:43 AM (#1338575)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: rich-joy

Mark Spoelstra's "White Winged Dove" :
was that the one about buying a gun for your son, Rapaire???

There's also "Agent Orange" - which I do. I'm not sure when Muriel Hogan wrote it (Kate Wolf sang it), but I did start a thread about it some time back ...

I seem to recall that there have also been CDs produced of Music of the Vietnam War era ...

Cheers! R-J


25 Nov 04 - 06:01 AM (#1338600)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: catspaw49

One of Pat Sky's best....We have run several threads besides this one over the years and this one has come up several times.

JIMMY CLAY.......Patrick Sky


So as you walk down the street who will talk to you
Six o' clock it's getting late
The moon is rising and the sticky dew
fall's to the ground by the gate

With your rifle on your shoulder as you walk alone
Listening to the boot-heels hit the sod
Smokin your cigar as you hum a song
Thinking of your mother and your God

Now you're alone Jimmy Clay
As your smoke your cigar and earn your pay
With 15000 soldiers marching by your side
Now you're alone Jimmy Clay

Do you remember New York Town, good old New York Town
The cops, the friends, the drunks and all
The whores who took your money when you couldn't stand
All those roaring nights you can't recall

Do you remember Alice Faye, good old Alice Faye
She's been through life at least ten times around
And when she said she loved you well she meant it boy
Do you remember the night you nearly drowned

Now you're alone Jimmy Clay
As you smoke your cigar and think of yesterday
But yesterday don't matter when it's going away
Now you're alone Jimmy Clay

Now as you lie there in the mud who will talk to you
Nobody, Jimmy Clay
For if you've gone mankind soon follows after you
Doesn't it Jimmy Clay

And your face will grown mouldy when they've kissed your cheek
And say please die for us, Jimmy Clay
Ans so you died a soldier and a hero's death
Congratulations Jimmy Clay

Now you're alone Jimmy Clay
As you smoke your cigar and earn your pay
Somewhere in the distance hear a fiddle play
But not one note will change Jimmy Clay


**********************************************************

Spaw


25 Nov 04 - 07:45 AM (#1338662)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,Betsy

Lyndon Johnston told the Nation, have no fear of escalation
- I am trying everyone to please
And though it's just another war, we're send ing 20,000 more
-To help save Vietnam from Vietnamese.
Sounds painfully like Iraq !!!

There's an Aussie one Martin Whyndam-Read used to sing in the 60's "William White " about a school teacher who wouldn't be conscripted - it's a beaut.

Apologies - I can't attribute the songwriters names


25 Nov 04 - 08:03 AM (#1338673)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker

i've remembered the title of the David Peel & lower east side
pot addled p*ss-take of "Please Mr Custer"

"Please Mr Draft Board"

http://shop.fye.com/product.aspx?sku=63501843&loc=50244


25 Nov 04 - 11:17 AM (#1338848)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: NH Dave

As I recall, The Green Fields of France was written about that time, and Knee Deep in the Big Muddy was also sung about the Viet Nam mess.

Dave


25 Nov 04 - 12:02 PM (#1338885)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: Juan P-B

There're two Tom Paxton Songs that stick in my mind

"Talking Vietnam Pot Luck Blues" - Brilliant talking blues about a rookie on his first patrol in 'nam and discovering that 'the weed' grows in abundance

And...

The Superb "Jimmy Newman" - Guy waiting to be medi-vacced out of the M.A.S.H and telling the guy in the next bed to wake up coz they're going home. - Still makes me weep!

Juan P-B


25 Nov 04 - 12:39 PM (#1338910)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,Betsy

There was also another one - amazingly enough because it just about ruined his substantial career in the USA - therefore the world .The U.S Music Establishment cold-shouldered Mr. Roy Orbison (of all people)for his rendition :-
Chorus:-
No there won't be many coming home
No there won't be many coming home
No there won't be many – maybe 5 out of 20 ,
No there won't be many coming home

All that defeatist stuff did NOT go down well.
Again sorry no name of songwriter


25 Nov 04 - 12:55 PM (#1338922)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: MojoBanjo

Little Boxes??????????

That song was expressly about the rise of the suburb in the American society. It's about conformity that was exemplified by cookie cutter style houses that couldn't be told apart and, by extension, people taught and conditioned to be all the same.

Mojo Banjo


26 Nov 04 - 01:50 AM (#1339380)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: PoppaGator

I recently heard (on the radio) a great one by Bill Withers, famous for "Ain't No Sunshine," "Use Me," "Just the Two of Us," etc. I'm almost positive it dates back the the Vietnam era (as do Bill's hits) but it's something I don't remember ever having heard before.

It was a live recording (audible audience reaction) with a long spoken introduction, about visiting a veterans hospital, meeting with wounded and disabled returnees from Nam. He stops speaking and begins singing after starting to tell us about one amputee, who asks Bill to write a letter to his mother. The title (and first sung lyric):

"I Can't Write Left Handed." Very powerful stuff.


26 Nov 04 - 03:37 AM (#1339444)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: nutty

Harvey Andrews failed to mention "Death Cone Easy" which I think is an amazing song and one of his best.


26 Nov 04 - 09:14 AM (#1339642)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: Leadfingers

The question was Vietnam ERA protests Mojo , though I think Little Boxes is a little early !! Its still a protest song !!


27 May 07 - 07:32 PM (#2062047)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,agustin

i heard a song the other day on a documentary on vietnam..it was kinda old and it had some vietnam era songs.. i dont really recall the lyrics of the song..the only thing i know it said was "stop! now blah blah blah"..or "stop blah blah".. man i hope i could remember..


28 May 07 - 01:49 AM (#2062217)
Subject: Lyr Add: FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH (Buffalo Springfield)
From: Joe Offer

That's a good one, Agustin. I found the lyrics at Lyrics World, my favorite source for pop lyrics.
-Joe-

For What It's Worth
Words and music by Stephen Stills, 1967
As recorded by Buffalo Springfield as a single and later on the re-release of "Buffalo Springfield" (1967)

There's somethin' happenin' here.
What it is ain't exactly clear.
There's a man with a gun over there
A-tellin' me I got to beware.
I think it's time we stop; children, what's that sound?
Everybody look what's goin' down.

There's battle lines bein' drawn.
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong.
Young people speakin' their minds,
A-gettin' so much resistance from behind.
It's time we stop; hey, what's that sound?
Everybody look what's goin' down.

What a field-day for the heat!
A thousand people in the street
Singin' songs and a-carryin' signs
Mostly say, "Hooray for our side."
It's time we stop; hey, what's that sound?
Everybody look what's goin' down.

Paranoia strikes deep.
Into your life it will creep.
It starts when you're always afraid.
You step out o' line, the man come and take you away.
We better stop; hey, what's that sound?
Everybody look what's going down.
We better stop; hey, what's that sound?
Everybody look what's going down.
We better stop; now, what's that sound?
Everybody look what's going down.
We better stop; children, what's that sound?
Everybody look what's going down.


(Field day for the HEAT??? I thought it was 'East')
I looked in a dozen fakebooks and didn't find this song.


28 May 07 - 07:56 AM (#2062310)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: Jeri

Joe, I thought you were there, man! The 'heat' = the police.

I saw CS&N in the 70's, and Stills did this incredible camp-meeting preacher style rap in the middle of the song, a similar version of which was recorded on one of his later albums with his later band.


28 May 07 - 08:06 AM (#2062312)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: Big Mick

It is, indeed, "heat", Joe. As Jeri points out, this is a reference to the police, likely the Chicago Police.

Mick


28 May 07 - 10:15 AM (#2062345)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: Peace

Under the loving guidance of Mayor Daly.


30 May 07 - 02:31 AM (#2063794)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: PoppaGator

Big Mick, et al:

The "heat" definitely meant the cops, but this particular song ("For What It's Worth") couldn't possible have referred to the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. It's at least a year older than that; I'm quite sure that Buffalo Springfield (the group with whom Steven Stills recorded his composition) had broken up by late 1968.

In fact, Stills' next group (CS&N, predecessor to CSN&Y) was probably in the process of forming up, writing songs and arrangements, etc., by the time of the convention, which was in late August or early September of '68, and they may even have begun working in the studio. Their first album was released during the 1968-69 school year, but the group didn't perform in public until the summer of 1969, at Woodstock. ("We've never sung in public before, man!" ~ remember that?)

I remember reading somewhere ~ probably the liner notes for the album on which "FWIW" first appeared ~ that Stills wrote the song immediately after some relatively minor (and since-forgotten) peace demonstration on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles.

Anyway, what a great song ~ right? It's very evocative of its era, of course, but I think it stands on its own merits as well.


30 May 07 - 11:31 AM (#2064084)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego

"I'm only 16, I got a ruptured spleen and I always carry a purse..."
I can't recall whether Arlo Guthrie did that one, but it sounds about right. Gordon Lightfoot did several anti-war songs earlier in his career, though the messages were sometimes more oblique than direct. Among them are "Sit Down, Young Stranger," "Don Quixote," "Leaves of Grass" and "The Patriot's Dream." The way a lot of folks dealt with that whole era might have been summed up in Brewer & Shipley's song, "One Toke Over The Line."


30 May 07 - 11:48 AM (#2064100)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: bobad

DRAFT DODGER RAG
(Phil Ochs)

I'm just a typical American boy from a typical American town
I believe in God and Senator Todd and keeping old Castro down
And when it came my time to serve I knew better dead than red
But when I got to my old draft board, buddy, this is what I said:

Sarge, I'm only eighteen, I got a ruptured spleen
And I always carry a purse
I got eyes like a bat, my feet are flat, and my asthma's
getting worse
O think of my career, my sweetheart dear, and my poor old
invalid aunt
Besides, I ain't no fool, I'm a goin' to school, and I'm
working in a defense plant

I've got a dislocated disc and a racked up back
I'm allergic to flowers and bugs
And when bombshells hit, I get epileptic fits
And I'm addicted to a thousand drugs
I got the weakness woes, I can't touch my toes
I can hardly touch my knees
And if the enemy came close to me
I'd probably start to sneeze

I hate Chou En Lai, and I hope he dies,
but one thing you gotta see
That someone's gotta go over there
but that someone isn't me
So I wish you well, Sarge, give 'em Hell
Yeah kill me a thousand or more
And if you ever get a war without blood and gore
Well I'll be the first to go


30 May 07 - 01:23 PM (#2064174)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: Rog Peek

Phil Ochs was uncompromising in his opposition to war, and in particular the Vietnam War and he wrote many songs which reinforced this opposition. One of my favourites is "White Boots Marching in a Yellow Land".

    E             C#m          A             E
The pilots playing poker in the cockpit of the plane
                C#m             A               F#m
The casualties are rising like the dropping of the rain
       E             C#m         A             B
And a mountain of machinery will fall before a man
               E    G#m A             B      E
When you're white boots marching in a yellow land

It's written in the ashes of the village towns we burn
It's written in the empty beds of fathers unreturned
And the chocolate in the childrens eyes will never understand
When you're white boots marching in a yellow land

C#m      
Red blow the bugles of the dawn
    B         
The morning has arrived you must be gone
       A                      B
And the lost patrol chase their chartered souls
    E                            D   
Like old whores following tired armies

Train them well, the men who will be fighting by your side
And never turn your back if the battle turns the tide
For the colours of a civil war are louder than command
When you're white boots marching in a yellow land

Blow them from the forest and burn them from your sight
Tie their hands behind their back and question through the night
But when the firing squad is ready they'll be spitting where they stand
At the white boots marching in a yellow land

Red blow the bugles of the dawn
The morning has arrived you must be gone
And the lost patrol chase their chartered souls
Like old whores following tired armies

The comic and the beauty queen are dancing on the stage
Raw recruits are lining up like coffins in a cage
Oh we're fighting in a war we lost before the war began
We're the white boots marching in a yellow land

And the lost patrol chase their chartered souls
like old whores following tired armies.

That's the version which can be found on "Tape from California"
(1968)and later included in "The War is Over - The Best of Phil Ochs" (1988).

I have a recording of Phil on wbai nyc 1965, singing an earlier version with no chorus:

The swamps are turning red along the fevered jungle days
Their casualties are counted in so many different ways
For the killing of a soldier is the murder of a man
When you're white boots marching in a yellow land

It's written in the ashes of the village towns we burn
It's written in the empty chairs of fathers unreturned
And the hatred in the children's eyes is clear to understand
When you're white boots marching in a yellow land

Flush them from the forest 'til you're sure they all are gone
Tie their hands behind their backs and question them 'til dawn
But when the firing squad is ready they'll be spitting where they stand
At the white boots marching in a yellow land

Helicopters hound the skies and circle in the night
And lead the boys to victory in a thousand little fights
But every battle won is just another grain of sand
When you're white boots marching in a yellow land

Oh the brave bombs of the wealthy will shatter as they shine
But the bloodiest of course can only buy a little time
And history is waiting for the very best of plans
By the white boots marching in a yellow land

Centuries of colonies of slavery and worse
Now lead us to a future of their past all in reverse
Yes we're fighting in a war we lost before that war began
For we're white boots marching in a yellow land.

Lyrics to most if not all Phils songs can be found here:
http://web.cecs.pdx.edu/~trent/ochs/lyrics.html


30 May 07 - 06:13 PM (#2064393)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: Phil Cooper

Tom Rapp's Fourth Day of July is great.


30 May 07 - 07:23 PM (#2064439)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,'Ray Bucknell

Phil Och's "Is There Anybody Here" (who'd like to change his clothes into a uniform....); Fred Hellerman's "Business Goes On as Usual"; Tom Paxton's "Born on the Fourth of July."


31 May 07 - 07:07 PM (#2065302)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,Mike B.

DRAFT DODGER RAG
(Phil Ochs)

I'm just a typical American boy from a typical American town
I believe in God and Senator Todd and keeping old Castro down ...


I believe it was actually 'Senator Dodd', referring to Thomas Dodd of Connecticut. Ironically, he's the father of current Sen. Chris Dodd who's running for the Democratic presidential nomination as an outspoken opponent of Bush's Iraq war policies.

Other Vietnam protest songs - Pete Seeger's "Waste Deep In The Big Muddy", Tom Paxton's "Lyndon Johnson Told The Nation", Ochs' "The War Is Over." On the opposite (pro-war) side - Merle Haggard's "Okie From Muskogee" and "The Fightin' Side Of Me", Barry Sadler's "Ballad of the Green Berets."

Not sure if Dylan wrote anything specifically addressing Vietnam - may have been done with protest music before US involvement there became a hugely divisive national issue.


31 May 07 - 11:06 PM (#2065442)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,number 6

I mentioned the late JB Lenoir's Vietnam Blues previously in this thread.

Here are the lyrics ... I think this song says it all.

"Vietnam Vietnam, everybody cryin' about Vietnam
Vietnam Vietnam, everybody cryin' about Vietnam
The law all the days (?) killing me down in Mississippi, nobody seems to give a damn

Oh God if you can hear my prayer now, please help my brothers over in Vietnam
Oh God if you can hear my prayer now, please help my brothers over in Vietnam
The poor boys fightin', killin' and hidin' all in holes,
Maybe killin' their own brother, they do not know

Mister President you always cry about peace, but you must clean up your house before you leave
Oh how you cry about peace, but you must clean up your house before you leave
How can you tell the world how we need peace, and you still mistreat and killin' poor me."

biLL


31 May 07 - 11:55 PM (#2065464)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: Leadfingers

And dont forget that Tom Lehrer has already warned us that if we want any World War Three songs ,to start writng them before it starts , cos
there sure as hell wont be time once it starts .


01 Jun 07 - 12:46 AM (#2065481)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,Mike B.

Neglected to mention this one when I posted earlier -

SAIGON BRIDE
Music by Joan Baez, Lyrics by Nina Duscheck

Farewell my wistful Saigon bride
I'm going out to stem the tide
A tide that never saw the seas
It flows through jungles, round the trees
Some say it's yellow, some say red
It will not matter when we're dead

How many dead men will it take
To build a dike that will not break?
How many children must we kill
Before we make the waves stand still?

Though miracles come high today
We have the wherewithal to pay
It takes them off the streets you know
To places they would never go alone
It gives them useful trades
The lucky boys are even paid

Men die to build their Pharoah's tombs
And still and still the teeming wombs
How many men to conquer Mars
How many dead to reach the stars?

Farewell my wistful Saigon bride
I'm going out to stem the tide
A tide that never saw the seas
It flows through jungles, round the trees
Some say it's yellow, some say red
It will not matter when we're dead


01 Jun 07 - 09:03 PM (#2066181)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: Charley Noble

Oh, the memories!

Words by Charlie Ipcar, © 1972
Tune: inspired by Bob Dylan's "Maggie's Farm"

Draft Dodger's Farewell


Dm-------C-------Dm-------------C-----Dm
I'm leaving Monday morning, headed for the North,
-----------------C----Dm-------------------C-------Dm
'Long a road I've often traveled, while tripping back and forth;
------------C------Dm----------------C-------Dm
I'll cross the old St. Lawrence, roll on to Mon-tre-al
F------Dm-F------Dm-------------C---Dm
There I plan to settle down, give 'em all a call.

Chorus:

F-------------------------Dm---------------C--Dm
Don't want my draft board to worry 'bout me any more, more, more,
-----------------------------------------C-------Dm
Don't want my draft board to worry 'bout me any more;
Dm---------F---------------------Dm----------------C----Dm
Don't want my draft board to worry 'bout me any more, more, more,
------------F-----------------------C-----------Dm
Don't want my draft board to worry 'bout me any more!


Now my draft board's very busy, they work both day and night,
They need warm bodies for our mighty nation's fight,
Well, my body's cold and shivering when I think of all they do,
So I'm leaving Monday morning, gonna leave this song with you. (CHO)

I saw the recruiting sergeant, I asked him for advice,
He said, "The Peace Corps full of Commies, son, I'll find you something nice;
Right here on this dotted line your name you must sign,
Don't ask me where you're going, I just know your luck is fine!" (CHO)

"Sit right down," the doctor said, "Tell me all the news;
Do you love your mammie? Did you ever have the blues?
Tell me all about yourself, how you live your life,
Did you ever wet the bed, and why don't you have a wife." (CHO)

"Now listen, Doc, I had a dream just the other day,
I dreamed that I was a spy for the CIA;
Our President, he says to me, 'You's gonna need both fists,
For I'm sending you down to Lansing town to look for Communists!'" (CHO)

"I walked into a tavern there, stepped up to the bar,
My steel-trap mind could tell that there was trouble not too far,
Then the whole place exploded, there was Commies everywhere,
I said, 'I'm from the CIA!' They didn't seem to care." (CHO)

"Get your pad," nurse, the doctor said, "I think this boy's insane;
Evil spirits have infused the soft spots in his brain;
He's obviously insecure, I bet he sucks his thumb;
He's an unpatriotic, no-good, bearded, rotten bum.

So I'm leaving Monday morning, heading for the North,
'Long a road I've often traveled, while tripping back and forth;
I'll cross the old St. Lawrence, roll on to Montreal
There I plan to settle down, give 'em all a call.

Chorus:

        Don't want my draft board to worry 'bout me any more, more, more,
        Don't want my draft board to worry 'bout me any more;
        Don't want my draft board to worry 'bout me any more, more, more,
        Don't want my draft board to worry 'bout me any more!


Cheerily,
Charley Noble


02 Jun 07 - 12:26 AM (#2066295)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: katlaughing

Well done, Charley!!


02 Jun 07 - 07:24 AM (#2066414)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: artbrooks

Now, while not precisely anti-war (and we sang/played the others as well) this one by the Animals has to be the definitive anthem for those of us who were in Korea or Vietman at the time (me, 1969 and 1971, respectively). Hearing 100 drunk soldiers singing along with a Korean girl-band on the chorus was a definite experience.

WE GOTTA GET OUT OF THIS PLACE
(Weil/Mann)

In this dirty old part of the city
Where the sun refused to shine
People tell me there ain't no use in tryin'

Now my girl you're so young and pretty
And one thing I know is true
You'll be dead before your time is due, I know

Watch my daddy in bed a-dyin'
Watched his hair been turnin' grey
He's been workin' and slavin' his life away
Oh yes I know it

(Yeah!) He's been workin' so hard
(Yeah!) I've been workin' too, baby
(Yeah!) Every night and day
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!)

We gotta get out of this place
If it's the last thing we ever do
We gotta get out of this place
'cause girl, there's a better life for me and you

Now my girl you're so young and pretty
And one thing I know is true, yeah
You'll be dead before your time is due, I know it

Watch my daddy in bed a-dyin'
Watched his hair been turnin' grey, yeah
He's been workin' and slavin' his life away
I know he's been workin' so hard

(Yeah!) I've been workin' too, baby
(Yeah!) Every day baby
(Yeah!) Whoa!
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!)

We gotta get out of this place
If it's the last thing we ever do
We gotta get out of this place
Girl, there's a better life for me and you
Somewhere baby, somehow I know it

We gotta get out of this place
If it's the last thing we ever do
We gotta get out of this place
Girl, there's a better life for me and you
Believe me baby
I know it baby
You know it too


21 Jun 07 - 12:13 PM (#2083170)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,an Old Grunt

As a combat veteran of the war, I'm surpirsed that no one has listed John Prine's "The Ballad of Sam Stone"

The Ballad Of Sam Stone

    * (John Prine)

      Chorus:
      There's a hole in daddy's arm where all the money goes
      Jesus Christ died for nothing, I suppose
      Little pitchers have big ears, don't stop to count the years
      Sweet songs never last too long on broken radios

      Sam Stone came home to his wife and family
      After serving in the conflict overseas
      And the time he had served had shattered all his nerves
      And left a little shrapnel in his knee
      But morphine eased the pain, and the grass grew round his brain
      And gave him all the confidence he lacked
      With a Purple Heart, and a monkey on his back

      Sam Stone's welcome home didn't last too long
      He went to work when he'd spent his last dime
      So Sam took to stealing when he got that empty feeling
      For a hundred-dollar habit, without overtime
      But the gold flowed through his veins like a thousand railroad trains
      And eased his mind in the hours that he chose
      While his kids ran round wearing other people's clothes

      Sam Stone was alone when he popped his last balloon
      Climbing walls while sitting in a chair
      And he played his last request while the room just smelled like death
      With an overdose hovering in the air
      You see, life had lost its fun, there was nothing to be done
      But trade his house he'd borrowed on the G.I. bill
      For a flag-draped casket on the local heroes' hill


21 Jun 07 - 04:52 PM (#2083386)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: eddie1

"Grey October" was written by Peggy Seeger and IIRC, Jack Warshaw, in 1966 after the Aberfan disaster. It compares, verse by verse, Aberfan with a primary school in Thuy Dan in Vietnam, bombed by US planes on the same day.
The last two verses:

"Tears are shed for Glamorgan children
And the world mourns Aberfan
But who will weep for the murdered children
Beneath the rubble of Thuy Dan.

Grey October in Glamorgan
Warm October In Vietnam
Where children die and we stand by
And shake the killer by the hand."

I still find this song difficult to sing for thinking of the children from both places.

Eddie


21 Jun 07 - 06:15 PM (#2083481)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: EuGene

Old Grunt:

"Peace" printed the "Sam Stone" lyrics in post #17 to this thread (23 Nov '04).

Artbrooks:

Yeah, man, we would often sing "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place" and "Where Have All The Flowers Gone?" as we walked through the jungle and rice paddies - the whole 100+ man Infantry company would be singing real low and quiet-like.

There was some anti-war, anti-military stuff in "Alice's Restaurant" as they were sittin' there on Bench W going through all that draftee stuff while playing with the pencils.

Eu


21 Jun 07 - 08:58 PM (#2083608)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,mike_in_st_c (at work)

Here's one I remember... (please excuse the poor line breaks..
Oh your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore

They're already overcrowded from your dirty little war

Now Jesus don't like killin'

No matter what the reason's for

And your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore.

Mike


21 Jun 07 - 10:07 PM (#2083644)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: oldhippie

yep, John Prine. And the words work as well today as they did in Vietnam.


22 Jun 07 - 03:09 AM (#2083752)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: mrdux

I'm sorta surprised no one's mentioned Phil Ochs' I Ain't Marching Anymore.


22 Jun 07 - 06:39 AM (#2083845)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,Rog Peek

'I Ain't Marching Anymore'

Anti war, not specifically Vietnam.

I posted it here:

thread.cfm?threadid=102569&messages=13


04 May 12 - 11:10 PM (#3347039)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,geegee

there was song I can't remember it... the lyrics were
"it was on a hill, they said, it was in action, that my boy was killed..
walking to my door thinking to myself." thats all i can remember I have search and search for that song... ANY one know?


05 May 12 - 09:08 PM (#3347334)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: Stewie

I don't believe this set has been mentioned. Expensive, but comprehensive:

Next Stop Is Vietnam.

--Stewie.


14 Nov 20 - 04:14 AM (#4079562)
Subject: RE: LYR ADD-Concerning a conscript's death in Vie
From: Sandra in Sydney

Conscription in Australia In 1964 compulsory national service for 20-year-old males was introduced under the National Service Act 1964. The selection of conscripts was made by a sortition or lottery draw based on date of birth, and conscripts were obligated to give two years' continuous full-time service, followed by a further three years on the active reserve list. The full-time service requirement was reduced to 18 months in October 1971.
The Defence Act was amended May 1964 to provide that national servicemen could be obliged to serve overseas, a provision that had been applied only once before, during World War II ... During the late 1960s, domestic opposition to the Vietnam War and conscription grew in Australia. (read on)

Concerning a Conscript's Death in Vietnam, Singabout, Journal of Australian Folksong 6(1), 1966, page 19
Another anonymous contribution that arrived in the form of a broadside from Melbourne

Come all you Sons and Daughters of this rich wide Land,
Lift up your voices and lift up your Hands,
They are selling this country to America and then,
They are sealing the Bargain with conscripted men.

The first Australian Conscript is barely one day dead,
When H.M.A.S. Sydney goes sailing through The Heads,
With four hundred more, four hundred more,
To murder and be murdered for the Madmen who want War.

We did not know the dead Man, We knew he once drew Breath
We know Nobody's Freedom was paid for with his Death,
And how many more, how many more,
Will murder and be murdered for the Madmen who want War?

There's a Man with a Smile who Sympathy extends,
To all the grieving Relatives and all the grieving Friends,
In this Nation's highest interest, he says the Conscript died,
We are shamed by his Death, We are shamed by the Man who died.

Errol Wayne Noack, 24th May 1966

HMAS Sydney was based at Garden Island Naval Base in Sydney & made 25 voyages to Vietnam between 1965 and 1972.


15 Nov 20 - 12:39 PM (#4079730)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: Geordie-Peorgie

Tom Paxton’s “Jimmy Newman”!


15 Nov 20 - 02:29 PM (#4079733)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,.gargoyle

In the DT

https://mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=3572

I Got a Letter from LBJ

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

I collected most of the cards they had to offer: 1-A, 1-H, 2-S, 4-F


15 Nov 20 - 10:05 PM (#4079763)
Subject: RE: LYR ADD - OLD HO CHI MINH
From: Sandra in Sydney

from Singabout, Journal of Australian Folksong 6(1), 1966, page 18

OLD HO CHI MINH
(John Dengate)
A new song sent in by John Dengate who says it is sung to the tune of Frankie and Johnnie.

Take your Armalite rifles, take your poison gas,
Take your napalm rockets and stick them in your trash,
Old Ho Chi Minh, he knows he's going to win.

Remember when Indo China used to belong to France,
The Foreign Legion fought for its life, but it didn't stand Buckley's chance,
At Den Bien Phu, and you know its true.

Yanks say 'Heavens to Betsy, Reds are at it again,
Must save South Vietnam, send three quarters of a million men.'
Old Ho Chi Minh, he's got a big wide grin.

You can hammer away at Hanoi, he's ready to pay the price,
Because he knows a Saigon prostitute's no substitute for rice -
Takes it on the chin, does Ho Chi Minh.

Air Marshal Ky is righteous, Air Marshal Ky is good,
Air Marshal Ky can fly away and the Buddhists wish he would,
And at Da Nang, that's the song they sang.

Don't hold a demonstration, don't start an awful din,
Don't sing disloyal disruptive songs in praise of awful Ho Chi Minh,
And don't deplore, Vietnam's lovely war.


16 Nov 20 - 08:49 AM (#4079820)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: Sandra in Sydney

I've just been told by John's old mate Old Ho Chi Minh was written by John Dengate who had supplied a few other songs in the same issue of Singabout.

The original second line went: Take your napalm rockets and shove them them right up your ... er ... shirt.
The fourth verse finishes with: Takes (not Take) it on the chin ...

or the second line could have been "stick ‘em up your arse" according to his wife, or more likely, different versions were sung at different times!

sandra


16 Nov 20 - 01:44 PM (#4079854)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,CJB666

All You Need Is Love - Songs of War and Protest - Charles Chilton

11. "Go Down, Moses!: Songs of War and Protest"

"My Country, 'Tis of Thee", "Yankee Doodle", "Dixie", Presidential
Campaign of 1840, "Land of Hope and Glory", Songs of Freedom, "The
Battle Hymn of Lt. Calley", "The Killers That Run the Other
Countries", Hollywood blacklist, People's Songs, Hootenanny (US TV
series)

Leonard Cohen, Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Vera Brodsky Lawrence, Yip
Harburg, Bing Crosby, Glenn Miller, Vera Lynn, The Andrews Sisters,
Woody Guthrie, The Weavers, Bob Dylan, The Kingston Trio, Peter, Paul and Mary, Leon Rosselson, Joan Baez, Country Joe McDonald, John
Marshall, James Simmons, Ireland's Freemen

(Viewer discretion at end during Pete Seeger's last song "A Hard Day's Rain is Gonna Fall")

====

Download link:

https://chrisjb-seedbucket.cloud.seedboxes.cc/api/share/DAI7rOEcWXxr8XDnguUX

====


16 Nov 20 - 01:50 PM (#4079855)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,CJB666

Folks might not know that the Critics Group, under the leadership of Ewan MacColl and Charles Parker, produced a series of 6 BBC Radio Ballads about the experiences of American black soldiers in the Vietnam War. They were never aired on the BBC. Only one has survived - "Off Limits - #2" The ABC in Australia aired it recently.

The versions are here:

http://www.mediafire.com/folder/3uzbdkw1ifxji/Radio+Ballad+-+Off++Limits+2+(Blacks+in+Vietnam+War)

====


16 Nov 20 - 03:54 PM (#4079864)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: voyager

Jimi got it right - Machine Gun Live at the Fillmore (1970) Jimi Hendrix

voyager


16 Nov 20 - 08:06 PM (#4079894)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: John P

Ohio by Neil Young

3-5-0-0 from Hair

I've heard a theory that "It Ain't Me Babe" by Bob Dylan was written as an anti-war song to America. It almost makes sense that way than as an anti-love song. Those were the days of those great sentiments "America - Love it or Leave It" and "My Country - Right or Wrong".


16 Nov 20 - 08:41 PM (#4079896)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,.gargoyle

Listed through world catalogue is a 100 song paperback collection published by Sing Out in 1969.

ABE sells them used for about 16.00 usd.

The table of contents is worth a brief stroll down memory lane.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle



World cat jumped into every search yesterday...today I cannot dredge it up with a pitch-fork.


16 Nov 20 - 08:54 PM (#4079897)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,.

It is not my genre....but...

http://peacehistory-usfp.org/protest-music-vietnam-war/


17 Nov 20 - 09:16 AM (#4079947)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: Georgiansilver

I believe this song came about in that era. https://youtu.be/SRVLbjzWGF8


17 Nov 20 - 11:18 AM (#4079957)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,henryp

From: Eric the Viking Date: 23 Nov 04 - 06:04 PM Try Some Donovan songs, Ballad of a crystal man,The war drags on. There were some others. He also did one by Buffy St Marie-can't remember title.

That was Universal Soldier, from 1964. Sainte-Marie said: "I wrote 'Universal Soldier' in the basement of The Purple Onion coffee house in Toronto in the early sixties. It's about individual responsibility for war and how the old feudal thinking kills us all." In 1965, Jan Berry of Jan and Dean released as a single an answer song presenting the opposite point of view, titled "The Universal Coward", which criticized anti-war protesters. Dean Torrence objected and did not participate. (Wikipedia)

Soldier Blue is a 1970 American Revisionist Western film directed by Ralph Nelson. Nelson and Gay intended to utilize the narrative surrounding the Sand Creek massacre as an allegory for the contemporary Vietnam War. The title song, written and performed by Buffy Sainte-Marie, was released as a single and became a top ten hit in the UK as well as other countries in Europe and Japan during the summer of 1971. (Wikipedia)

The B-side was Moratorium (Bring Our Brothers Home), which she performed on BBC2 - it must have been the Old Grey Whistle Test;
Corporal Thomas McCann is a three year marine
Someone told him he'd better join up It would would make him a man
He came home and to the park he went And he sat down on a bench
And a dungaree girl told him he'd been a man all along
And he looked at the sign that she carried in her hand
It said, "Fuck the war and bring our brothers home"
And Corporal McCann he looks into her eyes
And I believe that he's begun to understand


17 Nov 20 - 05:50 PM (#4080003)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: rich-joy

Guest, henryp : Thanks for that reference re Jan Berry's "The Universal Coward" - never heard it before - thankfully, (esp. with lines like "The mighty USA has got to be the Watchdog of the World") ......
It is sadly, IMHO, a pretty crappy effort all round ......

R-J


19 Nov 20 - 02:38 PM (#4080267)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,henryp

Universal Soldier appeared on It's My Way!, Buffy St Marie's first album, released by Vanguard Records in April 1964. It must have been an early - perhaps the very first - song to have been directly inspired by US participation in the Vietnam war. “I had been traveling from Mexico to Toronto and had a layover in San Francisco,” recalls Sainte-Marie. “In the middle of the night a group of medics came into the airport wheeling wounded soldiers and we got to talking. I asked one of them if there really was a war in Vietnam because the politicians at home were saying there wasn’t one. The medics assured me there was indeed a huge war going on. I started writing the song in the airport and on the plane, and I finished it in the basement of the Purple Onion in Toronto.”

Timeline; By 1964, 23,000 US advisors were stationed in South Vietnam. In the Gulf of Tonkin incident in August, a U.S. destroyer was alleged to have clashed with North Vietnamese fast attack craft. Shortly before midnight on August 4, Johnson interrupted national television to make an announcement in which he described an attack by North Vietnamese vessels on two U.S. Navy warships, Maddox and Turner Joy, and requested authority to undertake a military response. The U.S. Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and gave President Lyndon B. Johnson broad authority to increase American military presence in Vietnam. Johnson ordered the deployment of combat units for the first time and increased troop levels to 184,000. On 8 March 1965, two battalions of U.S. Marines waded ashore on the beaches at Danang. Those 3,500 soldiers were the first combat troops the United States had dispatched to South Vietnam to support the Saigon government. Thanks to Wikipedia.


19 Nov 20 - 04:25 PM (#4080284)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GerryM

Phil Ochs' Talking Vietnam Blues, mentioned earlier in this thread, also dates to 1964, though I don't know which month.


19 Nov 20 - 05:18 PM (#4080287)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,henryp

[Buffy St Marie] attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where she studied philosophy (with an Asian focus) and education. She received a bachelor’s degree in 1962. Sainte-Marie began performing her songs in coffeehouses during her college years, and after graduation she moved to New York City to take part in the bohemian arts scene of Greenwich Village. (Britannica) Sainte-Marie wrote Universal Soldier in 1962, a time when people fretted over missile gaps. (buffysainte-marie.com/?p=809)

The college vocal harmony group The Highwaymen were first to record The Universal Soldier in 1963. (They had already had a gold record in 1961 with Michael [Row The Boat Ashore].) (Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame) The Highwaymen ?– Universal Soldier / I'll Fly Away Label: United Artists Records ?– UA 647 Format: Vinyl, 7", 45 RPM, Single, Styrene, Mono Country: US Released: Sep 1963. (Discogs)

In 1963, an obscure Louisiana-based country singer called Bob Necaise released ‘Mr. Where is Viet-Nam’. It was the first record made in the United States to allude to the Vietnam War in its title and highlighted that, according to opinion polls, most Americans paid little or no attention to the developing conflict in Indochina, which would consume their nation for 20 years. (History Today) However, the date of 1963 is disputed on http://www.45cat.com/record/nc712946us; MISTER, WHERE IS VIET NAM? w & m Robert Necaise. 2 p. © Robert Necaise; 10Jun71; EU259064. Definitely 1971, unless it was re-issued. Anyway the only copyright filings were in 1971. Nothing before that.

One of the earliest notable protest songs of the JFK-era was published in the New York folk magazine Broadside on 20 September 1963, two months before Kennedy’s assassination. ‘Talkin Vietnam’ by Phil Ochs criticised the government for ‘training a million Vietnamese, to fight for the wrong government, and the American way’. It also attacked South Vietnam’s Catholic president Ngo Dinh Diem for his one family rule and suppression of the majority Buddhist population: ‘families that slay together, stay together’. However, songs that focussed solely on opposing the Vietnam conflict were uncommon until 1964. The turning point was the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. (History Today)


19 Nov 20 - 06:45 PM (#4080290)
Subject: ADD: I Don't Want Your Pardon (Tom Paxton)
From: GUEST

This song by Tom Paxton sprang to my mind.

I Don't Want Your Pardon

I don't want your pardon; I don't want your amnesty.
Don't you smile with Christian sympathizing.
Don't you tell me you're forgiving me.
I am doing no apologizing.

I didn't kill no children; I didn't burn no towns.
I didn't leave no country nothing but craters.
Those who did are your kind of good clean kids,
While those of us who would not, you call traitors.

So save your pardon for the ones who really need it.
I'm not ashamed to do what I had to do.
I'm the one who understands, had no blood upon my hands.
Maybe someday soon we'll see about pardoning you.

Hey, you think your forgiveness is everything on earth,
Something so important that I'd pay plenty.
Let me ask you: How much was it worth
To pardon that old man in San Clemente?

So save your pardon for the ones who really need it.
I'm not ashamed to do what I had to do.
I'm the one who understands, had no blood upon my hands.
Maybe someday soon we'll see about pardoning you.

I don't want your pardon; I don't want your amnesty.
Don't you smile with Christian sympathizing.
Don't you tell me you're forgiving me.
I am doing no apologizing.
Don't you tell me you're forgiving me.
I am doing NO apologizing.


20 Nov 20 - 06:13 AM (#4080314)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,henryp

I Don't Want Your Pardon; Words and music by Tom Paxton, 1975 Notes: The song was originally published in "Come for to Sing" Magazine Vol. 7, No. 2 [Should be Vol. 2 No. 1 HP], but the chords given on the magazine were completely wrong. The magazine also said that "the song will be on Tom's next Private Stock album", while it didn't wind up on any album. It was performed at the famous "End of the War" celebration concert, which was organised by Phil Ochs on 11th May 1975 (https://ddpro.ucoz.com/tpchords/pardon.htm)

In September 1974, President Gerald R. Ford offered an amnesty program for draft dodgers that required them to work in alternative service occupations for periods of six to 24 months. In 1977, one day after his inauguration, President Jimmy Carter fulfilled a campaign promise by offering pardons to anyone who had evaded the draft and requested one. (Wikipedia)


20 Nov 20 - 06:32 AM (#4080316)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,henryp

“Alice’s Restaurant” had its radio premiere in February of 1967 on New York City’s WBAI-FM, in a live performance, and it almost immediately became a runaway hit.

[Arlo] Guthrie spends Thanksgiving with Alice (of the restaurant), and then as a favor tries to drive her trash out to the dump, only to find that the dump is closed for Thanksgiving. So he dumps the trash in a garbage pile by the side of the road and is subsequently arrested for littering — which, when Guthrie comes before the draft board, is the reason the military cites for choosing not to draft him.

“You want to know if I’m moral enough join the army, burn women / Kids, houses, and villages after being a litterbug,” drawls Guthrie, to which the sergeant replies, “Kid, we don’t like your kind.” (Vox)


21 Nov 20 - 07:52 AM (#4080456)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,I Signed Up for What?

So many songs; a great nation created a great library of anti-war tunes and lyrics while the war went on and on for about 15 years. Makes me kind of think that maybe singing as a means to stop wars or to redirect other irrational expressions of power is either very weak or produces results at a snail's pace. Why didn't it work? How can we find a better way? I didn't raise my child to be a soldier.


22 Nov 20 - 08:29 PM (#4080625)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: Jack Campin

I could never summon up any interest in this stuff. Who cares if some ineffectual fraction of a nation of mass murderers gets a minor attack of principles?   Or if some of the killers get fucked up for life by participating? It's like one of those books that asks you to care about the abusive childhood of a serial killer.

What I would have liked to hear about was what the people of south-east Asia had to say about their experience of decades of murder, destruction and degradation at the hands of the Americans. If these "protest" singers had had a scrap of principle they would have just shut the fuck up until the Vietnamese had got the chance to speak in their own voice. And that NEVER happened.   Not one of those posers put their career second to the real issue.


22 Nov 20 - 11:36 PM (#4080633)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: mg

i care. i am one if the killers and i am fucked up for life. we are among you.


22 Nov 20 - 11:54 PM (#4080635)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,henryp

"If these "protest" singers had had a scrap of principle they would have just shut the fuck up until the Vietnamese had got the chance to speak in their own voice. And that NEVER happened."

Well, you wouldn't have heard about it if it had.

But I hope that you're excluding Soldier Blue from your criticism. Perhaps you didn't recognise the narrative surrounding the Sand Creek massacre as an allegory for the contemporary Vietnam War. And, of course, Buffy St Marie had a vision informed by her membership of an oppressed minority and by her degree in Eastern philosophy.


23 Nov 20 - 06:31 AM (#4080643)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,Christopher Conder

Another exception is 'political activist–folksinger' Barbara Dane (who I admit I'm not familiar with), who released a recording of North Vietnamese people and their songs in 1971. It's still available:

https://folkways.si.edu/vietnam-will-win/historical-song-struggle-protest-world/music/album/smithsonian#:~:text=The%20Vietnam%20War%2C%20seen%20as,for%20most%20of%20the%20conflict.


23 Nov 20 - 09:57 AM (#4080659)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: Jeri

Jack has redeeming qualities. it's very kind of him, that even though "I could never summon up any interest in this stuff", he still wrote two paragraphs.

Unfortunately, I grew up in the USA, I know English, a teeny bit of French, and a smattering of a few other languages. No Vietnamese, though. Not other than "di di mao", anyway.

But
protest songs in Vietnamese? Who would have heard them? Who would have learned them and sung them? Were they North or South Vietnamese song? It was a stupid, stupid war. I'm not sure we haven't done something similar in Afghanistan, but there re no jungles there to hide in. I don't know if there are songs. I think that war might've started with a decent motivation. Vietnam was political grab-ass. It was about how scared we were of communism.

The songs have probably been listed like mad already.
It IS remarkable that this was the first 22 Nov I'm aware of that nobody mentioned Kennedy.


23 Nov 20 - 10:59 AM (#4080667)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,henryp

Buffy St Marie had communication covered too!

See all the wonders that you leave behind
The wonders humble people own
I know a boy from a tribe so primitive
He can call me up without no telephone

See all the wonders that you leave behind
Enshrined in some great hourglass
The noble tongues, the noble languages
Entombed in some great English class


23 Nov 20 - 11:10 AM (#4080668)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,henryp

One of the earliest notable protest songs of the JFK-era was published in the New York folk magazine Broadside on 20 September 1963, two months before Kennedy’s assassination. ‘Talkin Vietnam’ by Phil Ochs criticised the government for ‘training a million Vietnamese, to fight for the wrong government, and the American way’. It also attacked South Vietnam’s Catholic president Ngo Dinh Diem for his one family rule and suppression of the majority Buddhist population. (History Today)


23 Nov 20 - 11:04 PM (#4080751)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GerryM

Christopher Conder, run, don't walk, and get yourself a copy of Barbara Dane – Anthology of American Folk Songs, released on LP in 1959, on CD in 1997 (Tradition TCD 1062). No protest songs, just a beautiful deep voice singing Little Maggie, and Gypsy Davy, and Don't Sing Love Songs, and a dozen other fine oldtime songs.


25 Nov 20 - 01:31 PM (#4080936)
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
From: GUEST,Christopher Conder

Thanks Gerry.

I've just added it to my list of recommended albums on Spotify and will have a listen soon.