War Protests 1960-2011

Fortunate Son: Creedence Clearwater Revival

Merle Haggard: That’s the News


In the first song by CCR they are pprotesting the draft during the Vietnam War.  Specifically the fact that those young men being drafted tended to be poor/middle class and politically unconnected while those from the upper class were able to avoid service.  The song by Merle Haggard, while also about war, is about how while the government has declared the war in Iraq “over” there are still soldiers fighting and dying.

While both are about war and also address the duplicity of those in power (not sending their sons to Vietnam, and declaring the war over when it is not) the biggest difference is their focus.  CCR in their song were acting as “The Media” getting the word out to the people.  In the Merel Haggard song his focus is addressing the media and its part in getting information / misinformation to the people.  This shift in focus in protest songs I feel is a product of our 24/7 news cycle and people’s total acceptance of what they see there.


Panye & Pink

The 1st video is Freda Payne’s song Bring the Boys Home (1971) that demonstrated her displeases of the Vietnam War in the 70s. “Fathers are pleading, lovers are all alone. Mothers are praying-send our sons back home. You marched them away-yes, you did-on ships and planes. To the senseless war, facing death in vain” The 2nd video is about Pink’s and the Indigo Girls’ song Dear Mr. President that was said to be an open letter to President Bush in 2006 to protest against the Iraq war. “How do you sleep while the rest of us cry? How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye? How do you walk with your head held high? Can you even look me in the eye and tell me why?” The lyrics in both songs clearly state the singer/writer’s true feeling about war. In Payne’s song her messages were more conservative than Pink’s. As a contemporary singer, Pink speaks out directly to the President’s wrong doing of unwanted hostilities.