Protest Songs

i aint marching anymore

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american idiot

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I ain’t marching anymore by Phil Ochs stirred the blood when Phil Ochs performed it at anti-Vietnam War and Civil Rights rallies. His song is from the point of view of a soldier as he is called on to fight through America’s history, culminating in the atomic bomb attack on Japan.  It became a signature song for Ochs and was at its most powerful at the infamous Chicago Democratic National Convention in 1968 when members of the crowd burnt their draft cards during his performance. Green Day’s American Idiot was released on September 2004, it criticizes the current American foreign policy and the ex president Bush. As we can see that from the old days to now, protest songs are covering even a wider aspects. In the 1960s most of the protest songs were about anti war or human rights, however now, artists more write songs to protest the mess media and politics.


protest songs

The first song is “Masters of War”, written by Bob Dylan at 1962. The second song is “Let’s Impeach the President” written by Neil Young. Both of the songs are shared the idea of anti-war. However, the first song is to describe what war matters did. The war matters did nothing good for our society. They killed people, destroyed people house, and created fear to the next generation. In the end, Dylan starts to ask war masters that “Is your money that good will it buy you forgiveness” and also show how people feeling of wars and war masters. In contrast, the second song is to blame on the president Bush who started war on Afghanistan and Iraq which cause people lose their money and privacy. Young also blame Bush that he did not solves the problem of Katrina hurricane on New Orleans and his second term.


“Don’t matter what color, all that matters we gathered together”


The first video is a song originally written by Bob Dylan in the 60’s. It is a song questioning the way things are. For example, the line ‘Yes, how many years can some people exist before they’re allowed to be free ?’ is a question based on civil rights for blacks.The second video is Mosh by Eminem and it was released in 2004. Eminem in this song was trying to encourage people to go out and vote. He wanted to encourage people to try to change and challenge the politicians ( Example: Bush ) that were taking advantage of them. Mosh had more anger being shown than Blowing in the Wind. Mosh is more aggressive.


War is good for nothing~

The first song I chose is called War by Edwin Starr which is a protest song about the Vietnam War, and this song came out around the 1960’s. In the song War their is a famous line “War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothin’!” which basically meant that war is pointless. If you look at the lyrics of this song it talks about how war causes so much destruction and pain to everyone. The second song I chose is called Boom! by System of a Down which is a protest song about war and militarism. In Boom!’s lyrics it talks about why do we have to waste money on build bombs and other things to kill out own kind.

In the song War their is a couple of the lyrics that stood out to me “Ohhh, war, I despise, Because it means destruction, Of innocent lives”, “War means tears, To thousands of mothers eyes, When their sons go to fight, And lose their lives” these lyrics shows how bad war is causing pain to everyone.  Even though these two songs talk about war they differ in a way. In Boom! the lyrics aren’t entirely about war its more about how we spent so much money on build weapons instead of using that money to save lives. Some examples are “Unnecessary deaths, Nobody gives a fuck, 4000 hungry children leave us per hour, from starvation, while billions spent on bombs, creating death showers” the song is still about how war is unnecessary but it is more about how we waste our money.


Where Is The Love?

The two songs I chose are “Give Peace A Chance” by John Lennon and “Where Is The Love?” by Black Eyed Peas. The first song “Give Peace A Chance”, was released in 1969. John Lennon repeats “All we are saying is give peace a chance” in the chorus part multiple times. This song soon became the anthem of the anti-war movement during the height of the Vietnam War. Millions of protesters in Washington D.C repeated the chorus, singing the famous lines of John Lennon’s song at the Vietnam Moratorium Day on October 15, 1969.The Black Eyed Peas released the single “Where Is the Love?” in 2003, two years after the attack of 9/11/01. This song covers issues that we are facing in society and as a nation. Issues that are coved in the song are terrorism, war, racism, discrimination, government hypocrisy, greed, juvenile crime and the invasion of Iraq.


I am on your TV…vote for me

War hero President Ike Eisenhower campaign for presidency was the first time presidential commercials were use.  This helped the republicans win win the election, after 20 years of democrats being in office.  This along with Eisenhower promise to clean up the white house. This showed how presidents can not only show the themselves to the people, but how if marketed well, you can become president if you attract voter with advertisement.


To face the fact

After reading David Blight book, I found that was quite interesting to me because I always doubted that the actuality of history, especially the long past history, someone might falsify the truth but we didn’t know. In David Blight book he revealed the people who were forgotten by us was like discovering the truth, so it was quite interesting to me. Also I think everyone might benefit from reading this because we should learn the right history.

The book review tells me the idea that historical memory can be remembered in different way. The examples from the book review are on page 2, during 1870s, some of the Southern publications described slavery as “faithful servants who protected their masters’ property”. The second example is in 1877 after Reconstruction, most of the Northern and Southern whites accepted the Negro rule.

One of the historical memories which were remembered in different way was Nanjing massacre in1937; approximately 300,000 Chinese people were killed by the Japanese soldiers. However, now what the Japanese government trying to do is putting an invented history in their textbook. I think the reason behind this action is the Japanese government tries to fix their bad image which is “cruel murderer”.