I’m firmly convinced that one of the differences between the hippy counter culture of 1960s, to some extent the punk counter culture of 1980s as well, is the cultural explosion that happened opposing the war, and by and large all wars. “DFH” has become an acronym & a cliche, but also it implies that the left is something of the past; a bit of a dinosaur. Which is somewhat true, I guess.
Today, those of us on the left, well, we still revere the music of those earlier times — for some of us we’re stuck on Creedence Clearwater and others from the 60’s, for others it’s the Clash, and for still others it’s Public Enemy (both 1980s) , and there’s some 90’s stuff as well, although that was a fairly tame era for war by the US standards . Since, I make left music right now today, I naturally went looking for other peoples stuff.
First thing I came across was this :
Anti-war songs fall flat
I won’t bore you with a quote from this article, but basically as the title says, the author claimed that modern anti war music was dead in the marketplace, and poked a lot of fun at Tori Amos who penned ‘Yo George,’ against Bush & war. And at first, I thought that might well be correct, I mean again…look how focused we are on much older stuff here.
But, looking a little more; at just the stuff from the Afghan/ Iraq wars to present, I found a lot of stuff I didn’t expect–including several anti war mega hits, that politico somehow didn’t bother to mention. Eminem penned a huge selling rap song, because he didn’t want his brother to go to war. Post punk icon Green Day has at least two recent huge anti war hits, maybe more. Old timers like Neil Young & the late Johnny Cash have recent anti war songs, and Bruce Springstein, has apparently gone far, far left from his 1970’s hayday. In fact, in genres from Afro Pop and Reggae to Alternative or Country, artists are writing left and anti war music. Maybe what’s happening now isn’t one counter culture movement, but a whole bunch of different anti war movements–diffused out into a more diverse cultural environment.
So here’s the 40 songs I came up with, screen-grabs taken off of itunes for those who don’t have it
(my own effort at #2 on the list, after the maligned by politico, Tori Amos) :
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