Modern Anti War Music

(9AM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

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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(Uprating this mix is good for me, and everyone else on the list !!!)  

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  1. anti war music, I’ll add it, or maybe do another list if there’s enough of it.

    By the way, not all anti war music is necessarily ‘left’, though it seems like most of it (maybe all on the list? ) sure is.  

    • Edger on December 21, 2010 at 4:23 am

    Here’s another old DFH anti-establishment song from way way way waaaay back!

    It applies as much if not even more today than it did when she wrote it so many years ago, imo. 😉

  2. (Hopefully, it’ll get met with more enthusiasm than my last wild idea, viz., On Jan 1, 2011, Let’s Water-Balloon Obama in Effigy, Nation-wide! Let’s kick off Primary Obama / Dump Obama evangelizing with a splash!!  🙂 )

    Why not have a DFH World-Wide Anti-War Rock Concert?

    (Sub-title – let’s show the kids how it’s done).

    Only anti-Vietnam era war songs would get played. (OK, maybe a couple of exceptions allowed.) If we could get original artists – fine. If not, other bands can play the anti-war classics. And unlike a more typical concert or protest gathering, people could talk about what it meant to be parts of movements that had real ambitions for radical change, and the excitement of that time. Right now, sincere activists are demoralized, and could use some energizing from a more exciting and hopeful period of modern American history.

    There must be tens of MILLIONS of ex-DFH’s out there, who could still teach us a thing or two.

    I was too young to be a DFH, and frankly couldn’t have gotten into most of the wild lifestyle experimentation. However, I do appreciate the idealism and at least attempted non-conformity into what many youngsters of the 60’s considered a corrupt society. They were certainly right about the corruption!

  3. More info on her here, but I didn’t see her story of how her career was suppressed because she refused to back down from her anti-war songs. Since she had her baby, I don’t think she’s been keeping up her web sites, etc.

    There may be something on her at Democracy Now, which played her “19 miles to Baghdad”.

    Also, what about the Dixie Chicks?

  4. I by no means knew about all these artists/ songs, and was pretty surprised by some…

  5. The Girl With Two heads just arrived on this morning:

  6. no one beat me to this one

    • RiaD on December 21, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    compared, as i don’t have time now, but rossl did an essay about this too….

    you may find some more there.

    good job btw!

  7. and this post caught my attention. Probably won’t ever particpate here again, but some things are bigger than my reasons for not participating here. Such as:

    Just one of their many anti-war songs.


  8. If you look through the top 100 hits of 1968 from Billboard, there isn’t much that looks like anti-war music to me, and likewise for 1969.

    Maybe it’s also worth mentioning that the idea that with all our sub-genres we’re a lot more culturally divided today than in the Sixties isn’t really supported by those lists, where Henry Mancini, Marvin Gaye, Neil Diamond, the Lettermen, Sammy Davis Jr, Nilsson, the Edwin Hawkins Singers (?), and the Doors shared the airwaves, and at the very top of the list, #1 in 1969…


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