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Thread: War songs

  1. #1
    Banned stillakid's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
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    War songs

    I didn't do any real research before dropping this thread in here so take it for what it's worth...

    But I got to wondering about war songs. I don't know what was going on in WWI. WWII had the airwaves full of propaganda tunes. I think that musicians skipped Korea. Vietnam was the opposite of WWII as the protest song took over. The Cold War gave us a couple of tunes, like RUSSIANS (Sting). But the first Iraq war and Bush Jr.'s Busy Day haven't produced really anything. No songs of protest. No songs of support. Why is this? Has the music industry checked out of the political arena? Where are the modern U2-type's? Activists like Dylan or flag wavers like the Andrew's Sisters?

  2. #2

    Re: War songs

    Didn't the first Iraq war give us that song by Lee Greenwood or was that song just adopted for the war? I'm not sure but I remember being in 3rd grade when the war was happening and hearing that song everyday in class.
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  3. #3

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    there were several songs done in support of the US concerning 9-11 and the subsequent military activities. Toby Keith comes to mind (courtesy of the red, white and blue). and didn't springsteen do an anti-involvement song?

  4. #4

    Re: War songs

    Maybe people just got tired of the political retardation of our country in song form. I'd much rather hear real songs about anything but. However Green Day's American Idiot is good, unlike all the other USA junk out there.
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  5. #5

    Re: War songs

    It seems to me we see more songs about supporting our soldiers rather than supporting or opposing military action. Again Toby Keith comes to mide, but there are indeed others. Mostly in the country music realm.

    This allows musicians to show support for the military without endorsing any military action like Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Many musicians have expressed opinions over the military conflicts without making new songs.
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  6. #6

    Re: War songs

    Bruce Springsteen has an album coming out soon, which is said to have at least one anti-Iraq song.

    The Dixie Chicks recorded a fine track about the Vietnam War called "Travelling Soldier" around the time Bush started mentioning invading Iraq.

    Mellencamp's new song "Walk Tall" is more a general anti-Bush song, but has a great anti-war line: "Be careful of those who kill in Jesus' name, 'cause He didn't kill at all."

    Tom Morello has recorded several songs under the name Nightwatchman (and they sound more Dylan than Rage).

    Morello also organized the Axis of Justice concerts, in which he and fellow heavy metal performers (along with Pete Yorn, who's cool but doesn't seem to fit in) fight the power.

    Joan Osborne did a (disappointly tepid) version of "What's Going On" a couple of years back.

    Steve Earle, Keb Mo, Kris Kristofferson, and Robert Cray have also done recent protest songs that I haven't heard.

    Lenny Kravitz and Yoko Ono both did pretty bland songs at the time of the first Gulf War. (In the case of Yoko, I use the word "song" very loosely.)

    Although they weren't geared toward any particular war (or were about the Vietnam War), Johnny Cash wrote and recorded anti-war songs up until his death. (If you ever decide to overlook your disdain for country, check out a track from American Recordings called "Drive On.")

    That's what comes to mind at this point. I'm sure there are more. However, the fact that most radio stations (being owned by one of two conglomerates) won't play much anti-establishment music ("American Idiot" being an odd exception), they don't get heard.

    And besides, you saw what happened to the Dixie Chicks. They'll never be played on country radio again. Not that that's any great loss, since country radio should be shot into the sun or something.
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  7. #7

    Re: War songs

    It seems like the music industry has lost its way, become more about the "industry" aspect than the "artistic" one. There is no passion for anything real anymore except the pursuit of commercial success, and the public fuels this by continuing to support pre-fabricated artists like Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, even the rap world has gone kinda corporate on us. Sure there is an underground, but the greedy music industry suits - the same ones who have gotten tech makers and governments alike to bend to their will despite a lack of constitutionality - drive the underground WAY underground so as not to lose a buck. This means that what you hear in the mainstream is more controlled than ever by people who don't want to offend, don't want to risk alienating any possible consumers, and don't care if the product suffers so long as they get $15 per CD that is purchased exclusively because of the 1 or 2 radio hits it features. Art appears to be dead and music is now about money - maybe that's an overly-pessimistic view of the music industry, but they brought it upon themselves. So why aren't there more songs about passionate opinions concerning world events? Because they don't sell since they're a threat to the fluff that the industry makes bank on.
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  8. #8
    Registered Kidhuman's Avatar
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    Re: War songs

    How about War Pigs? Good "War" song
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  9. #9

    Re: War songs

    U2's latest CD has a song titled Love and Peace or Else which directly references the Palestinian conflict.

    Elsewhere in the CD are other references to some of the political work that Bono has been doing the past few years. He's been trying to get gov't's to forgive debt's that some starving African nations will never be able to repay, plus get more AIDS meds for them. He feels that Africa can become a breeding ground because of the extreme poverty and the fact that either thru war or disease there are thousands, if not millions of orphans. And not many adults to teach them. Instead the kids grow up with nothing, they know crime to survive, and resent countries (read US) that could've helped but didn't.

    Sorry, didn't mean to get too political in the music thread. Check out Crumbs From Your Table from "... Atomic Bomb".
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  10. #10

    Re: War songs

    War Pigs, an all time classic, KH.

    Chux, that Mellencamp lyric actually goes "He don't believe in killin' at all."

    Mellencamp did "To Washington" back in 2003 and took some guff for it. Nice song.


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