Saturday, November 24, 2007

Do we ever learn anything? a small sample ...

This little outburst of YouTube was inspired by Enigma's son asking what music did you listen to when you were my age. I listened to a lot of protest music, so these are a few protest songs I listened to as a teenager. The war in Viet Nam was raging & failing, yet many people seemed to be mentally stuck on sticking it out. Anti-war sentiment built up & spilled out into the streets. Have we learned anything since then? I used to think we might learn someday, but now I'm not sure. In viewing some of the updated video footage, I see I'm not the only one struck by similarities separated by 40-years. Ah, but I was so much older then ...

I feel like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag by Country Joe and The Fish:
as sung live at Woodstock, a good introduction to 60's war protest attitude

Untitled Protest by Country Joe (with updated video footage):
offered as proof that Country Joe and evocative anti-war music are timeless

Eve of Destruction by Barry McGuire (updated video footage produced by Mickey Morris): "There'll be no one to save with the world in a grave"

The Chimes of Freedom Flashing by Bob Dylan:
"Flashing for the Warriors whose strength is not to fight, Flashing for the Refugees on the unarmed road of flight, and for each and every underdog Soldier in the night" ... this is for anyone who's ever had an epiphany during an all-out lightning storm.

For What It's Worth by Buffalo Springfield (video by Jordan Sharp):
"Something's Happening Here" ... classic scenes from back in the day

Finally, a soldier's poignant memories of war ... I wanted to leave you with this one because I was a devoted Tim Buckley fan. His songs & sad haunting voice live forever, despite his tragic early death. Here, then, is Once I was a Soldier:

Of course, there was much other good 60's protest music, but this is enough for one sitting. We had lots of other good music, too, but that's another post. Do you have a favorite protest song?


enigma4ever said...

Ohhhhh this is so wonderful...I can not wait to share this with 6-6....he has a bunch of these on his ipod....and I think many of these are my avs.....but Gimme Shelter by the Stones for some reason says it ALL to me.....but it is songs that I dont expect that tug at my heart- like Johnny Cast "Hurt" is definently a War Protest Song...but all of these are so wonderful...I had a hard time with Blogger tonight so good for you for getting this post

Pursey Tuttweiler said...

Tin soldiers and Nixon coming... I was listening to some live music by a young band recently and an audience member shouted out repeatedly, "Don't you know there is a war going on? Where are your protest songs? Do you have one protest song?" I agreed and cheered him. It may seem rude, heckling young musicians, but it seemed even ruder for them to be so out of touch. Sure there is no rule saying artists should be in touch with the times, or is there? Artists do reflect the culture and these kids were living proof that their is no fear of war in the culture of youth. Of course they do not represent everyone their age, but if there was a draft and their drummer had been shipped to Iraq you can bet money they would have been belting out an antiwar song.

Fran said...

I like Bob Dylans *Masters of War* one of his most hard hitting cutting edge songs.

Cost of Freedom by CSNY is a heavy song.

All along the Watchtower is a great tune.

John Lennon did a photo montage with the *so this is christmas* (war is over) with gritty video of Vietnam war footage. Intense.

Edwin Starr did the WAR song (What is it good for- absoultely nothing)

Universal Soldier
(check out the short flash of Bush on this one!)

There are so many....but I can't pick one favorite because each one has it's meaning & intent.

D.K. Raed said...

Enigma: Gimme Shelter! Maybe also Sympathy for the Devil?

Pursey: I looked for Tin Soldiers, but didn't find what I wanted. Good story & pics at:

Joni Mithcell did a haunting version, too. Yes, the draft certainly mobilized the youth. I was struck with the appropriateness of current video footage, almost as if the songs were written just yesterday, instead of 40-yrs ago.

Fran: Masters of War does hit hard. I'm a huge Dylan fan. Funny, I actually had that, All Along the Watchtower, and War cued up & ready to post. But where to stop? The list is long. Even "Let the Sun Shine" from Hair, always grabs me (facing a dying nation).

Fran said...

The name of the song with the Tin Soldier lyric is titled *Ohio*
Neil Young solo
CSNY 2006 version

Cartledge said...

I can’t add to the usual litany of 60’s protest music. This offering was later and if you enjoy the Aussie accent then you might like it. Only 19 - Written John Williamson, performed by Red Gum

D.K. Raed said...

Fran: thanks! you know, you & I are going to have to figure out how to link in comments ... someday! I listed a website for Pursey above your comment that has interesting notes about writing that song.

Cartledge: I couldn't access your link, so I searched youtube for "Red Gum Only 19". Wow, that is amazing! I had never heard of it. I know Aust troops were with us in VN & also our soldiers loved to take R&R in Australia (the woman were reputed to be incredibly friendly). Now, I know this is an Irish band, but when I think of ANZAC troops, I always think of The Pogues "Waltzing Matilda" about Gallipoli:

I think it makes still-valid points about disabled vets returning home to less than the full medical care they expected & was the least they deserved.

Cartledge said...

d.k. now you really confused me :) We have a lot of Caleagh Bands (Irish) here as part of our bush music tradition. Red Gum is one of them.
More important, when i pulled that file up the son of a friend was here. Young Jake is 17 and in his last year of army cadets. He is hoping to sign up soon in transport.
He and his cadet friends apparently play that track as an anthem. Go figure...

D.K. Raed said...

Your young cadet friends play the Red Gum song? Or the Waltzing Matilda song? (see, I get confused, too ... oh wait, maybe I was unclear, it was The Pogues I was referring to as being irish). I really liked Red Gum. I should look into some of their other stuff. I know you have a good strong irish musical influence down there.

Fran said...

dk~ I went to the link you posted, that was well done, documenting the whole story. It was interesting to see the 45 single of OHIO was packaged in a wrapper that had the bill of rights imprinted on it. I have a whole new respect for Neil Young.

someday we will catch up with the technology... but for now I can handle the copying & pasting of a url.

Cartledge said...

d.k. these 17 year olds listen to only 19 lol. I must work on my written expression.
Waltzing Matilda is a national anthem, but not to kids particularly.

Fran said...

Oh! I had never heard of the *Untitled Protest* song before. That was Haunting- a kind of mantra, with the words of truth in a form of poetry.

D.K. Raed said...

Bill of Rights for an album sleeve -- Neil Young will rock forever! I heard him lambasting a fluff reporter recently, saying, why don't you ask any important questions, not just of me, but of anyone? One of those Ohio links was about then-CA-Gov Reagan saying a few weeks before Kent State, "if it takes a bloodbath, let's get it over with". Just chilling, I mean, there he was talking about killing student protestors like that was a solution.

Glad you liked "Untitled Protest". I found it very eerie; hard to forget. I listened to a lot of Country Joe, even met him once when he was advising students on avoiding the draft.

I think it is MY fractured syntax that needs work. well, I write like I talk! ps, The Pogue's Waltzing Matilda is NOTHING like the standard anthem. Nothing Shane MacGowan does is standard.

Cartledge said...

d.k. My Canadian darling told me today that she has trouble understanding me now I'm a year back hear. I've reverted to Australian.
But more to the point - Waltzing Matilda was an early Aust protest song used by the shearers union and signaling the birth of the left here - and the Labour Party who just won government. Not that they are left anymore, but moderate I'm more than happy with.
The oldest protest song for this country, I believe, is Botany Bay - an anti transportation song.

proudprogressive said...

One song Rise Up by Toronto disbanded group Parachute Club , came out in the early 80s. I like the new stuff too, by Neil Young on Living with War. People we got to keep a fire in our bellies or kindle one up ,if it is just a meek flicker of flame. Our government is so deaf - its taking too long for the change we the people WANT NOW. no yesterday.

Fran said...

Untitled Protest actually brought me to tears. I showed it to my 19yr old, who asked me to play it a 2nd time, and then he said-" how can I find a way to live in this world? I can't believe my country is doing this". He is leaning towards some kind of Peace Corps, or major humanitarian work. He asked me if I would be opposed to him going to into some kind of ministry/overseas work. I told him, I can't hardly say no to him wanting to be a male version of Mother Teresa now could I?

D.K. Raed said...

Fran: your son is showing a rational reponse to irrationality. That is a good sign of a fine mind. The world is hard to take, as a whole, but the little pieces we get to interact with in our daily lives, now those are things we can alter. Good for him, I say, to be considering how to make the world better. ps, look at
to see what he's been doing with his life. Your son might like to read his testimony at the Chicago 7 trial (under Who Am I?). It's a big site with much info, past & present, kind of a diary of our times. I found the Untitled Protest video there. There's a ton of other stuff & links to everything.

Now, PProg: I was well (WELL!) beyond my teenage yrs by the 80's, but I think the fire has never left my belly. oh sure, sometimes it's died down for yrs, decades, but then shit that just can't born starts happening all over again, and it flares up. If we don't get a massive turn-out at the elections next yr, I'm really afraid it will be deja-vu all over again.

Catledge: don't take this wrong, but since you bring it up, I've always wanted to ask an Aussie ... if you have transported ancestors, are you as a descendent generally happy with how it turned out? 'course, you know how we wretched refuse in america feel about our huddled masses finding their way here, but I'm wondering how an Aussie feels about his ancestors being forced out, often for some petty crime, uprooted & plopped down in a primitive environment.

Cartledge said...

d.k. The era of sensitivity over a convict past is long gone. There was an excellent article at the weekend proudly detailing Kevin Rudd’s convict antecedents. But the reality is still, for convict or free settler families, England gave us a wonderful gift,
Transportation was an economic policy, clearing out the excess bodies not absorbed by the industrial revolution. Look what we got – sunshine, clean air, space to stretch your arms out.
It is what we do with that gift now that concerns me, but there are very few Briton’s who don’t want to leave those tiny islands now. But Australians are also great travellers, probably more about isolation than transportation, but we have a world view is another gift of being here.

TomCat said...

Thanks, DK. I'm a retreaded 1960s activist and these are some of my favorites. :-)

D.K. Raed said...

Cartledge: I know that's how I would look at it (as a gift of sunshine & opportunity), from the safe distance of a couple hundred yrs, but I'm glad to hear you say it. Besides, anyone alive today must have a whole rogue's gallery in the family tree. It's the rogue who succeeds during hard times & thereby lives long enough to breed.

Tomcat: You're welcome. Those retreads look good on you!

Spadoman said...

Right now, as I type, we are listening to Emma's Revolution. The 21st Century's version of the icons that stood for peace in the 1960's. Also, we like Sarah Thomsen out of Duluth, MN.

Seems these folks don't get much play time. You have to really look around to find a public station that streams. The publics are the only ones that have the guts to play them. They play Neil Young because he is an established icon.

Deke, Emma's Revolution is going to be southwest in February. Might be around your neck of the woods, you can catch a listen.

Also a lot of Reggae that still fits the situation from long ago right up to now. Jimmy Cliff, Ziggy Marley and Father Bob Marley. Stuff like Redemption Song.

Peace to All.

Cartledge said...

d.k. from the safe distance of a couple hundred yrs I know what you are saying there, but I’ve researched the period from 1840 through in respect to my family arrivals.
Sure life was tough at times, but modern convenience aside, it was not uniformly bleak. My own forebears had the leisure time to allow them to engage in establishing a social infrastructure.
They were involved in establishing early savings banks, housing schemes and employment creation. They weren’t wealthy, but did operate various businesses. I was amazed to find just how much convicts and free contributed to building a society.

proudprogressive said...

Music , spirit feeding, spirit sustaining ART. Its all so human of us. We are connected to something larger through it. And it transcends all time and space.

TomCat said...

LOL, thanks DK. My favorites are Abraham, Martin and John and Ohio.

D.K. Raed said...

Spado: thanks for the tips, I'll check them out. And of course, Bob Marley is always good for what ails ya!

Cartledge: seems your ancestors were a lot more industrious than mine, who were mostly small farmers, miners, occasional outlaws & societal misfits. I wasn't kidding about wretched refuse.

PProg: may it always connect us, through time & space. But now "human" ... well, in my life I've had the pleasure of knowing two dogs who actually listened to music. Unfortunately, one of them is slowly going deaf right now. She used to love Beethoven's Ninth (Ode to Joy), but now has become much like the composer himself, very keen of eye & observant of actions, but living in a muted world.

Tomcat: Fran & Pursey also cited "Ohio"! Abraham Martin & John used to make me cry, especially the end part about Bobby walking up over the hill. I once lost a Trivial Pursuit game that hinged on naming "the 4th person" in that song. I answered "Bobby" because that is what the song says. The answer was Robert Kennedy (duh!). The person I was playing against was a stickler, so I lost. For years, I wanted to yell at those Trivial Pursuit guys about that question & another one they botched about which body of water the Colorado River empties into. Now it's just another funny memory.

Spadoman said...

Is there any water left in the Colorado River to empty into anything? That had to be a trick question in the TP game.

My Dad, he passed in 1983, used to say that the Country would come together if they played march music again. He was thinking like John Philip Sousa marching band anthems and such. This was back in the 70's when he felt we were divided after Vietnam was over and then exposed for what it was, another country-lying-to-its-people episode.

If the media outlets weren't owned, bought and paid for by corporations that stand to gain as the fascists take over, we could do the same today by playing this "old" music.

Remember the Jackson Browne song called "Lives In the Balance"?

D.K. Raed said...

Spado, I thought it was a trick question, too. And learning from my previous mistake of interpreting a question too literally, I responded something like: in the few years it actually trickles into any body of water, that would be the Sea of Cortez, also known as The Gulf of California. Surprise! The Trivial Pursuit answer: The Pacific Ocean! This all happened back in the mid-80's & I'm still a bit frosted.

Now, I don't know about marching bands, or if the country will EVER be able to come together again, but I remember that Jackson Browne song, esp the line about the ones who take us to war never being the ones to fight & die.

Jamie said...

Creedance Fortunate Son

Nothing has really changed. Those who can do other things aren't likely to be fighting and the profiteer's children will have great trust funds.

D.K. Raed said...

Jamie: oooh, that was a sweet vid, thanks! I listened to a lot Creedance & that one particularly (still love the line, I ain't no senator's son). Really takes me back, remembering Who'll Stop the Rain, and Bad Moon Rising, etc.

What upsets me most about the "ownership economy" Bush touts is the career choices for many lower income level kids being dwindled down to feeding the military machine ... while the children of those who make these social policies have choices limited only by their own ambition.

ps, I've been inexcusably lazy getting back to visit you, but been meaning to tell you how much Hub & I enjoyed The Free Rice Game!

eProf2 said...

Imagine by John Lennon. Masters of War by Bob Dylan. And, so many songs by Joan Baez. You would think with all the anti-war, pro-peace music in the world we would have leaders that truly would go to war only as THE last resort instead of pre-emptive stikes and call for war at the drop of a hat. Speaking of which, have you ever seen the short film, The Hat? Two guys walking up and down a border on military patrol. One of them drops their hat, and now they don't know how to get it back without crossing the border and starting a war. A cartoon filled with the irrationality of warfare.

D.K. Raed said...

EProf: nice to see ya here! Masters of War was/is masterful. Still says it all with a gut punch in the end. I heard Eddie Vedder do a powerful rendition one night at a Bob Dylan retrospective. I think he topped Dylan. And OMG, Joan Baez, absolutely! Husband E.K. has been in LOVE with her forever.

I don't know why The Hat sounds familiar. I tried googling it, but ended up seeing Cat in the Hat movie promo stuff. If it's a very short film, maybe it's on YouTube?

Richard said...

I'm a little late to this thread DK, but what better day than this the 27th anniversary of an old Liverpool friend of mine's senseless murder in New York, to look at and listen to this, eh?

Give Peace A Chance - John Lennon.