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Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?

Related threads:
Anti-war songs from WWI (58)
Anti-war songs to fit the occasion (57)
Have anti-war songs changed anything? (108)
Lyr Add: The Price of Oil (Billy Bragg) (8)
Lyr Add: Stop the war songs (4)
Links to Anti-War Songs sites (5)


Stewie 16 Nov 21 - 08:26 PM
Stewie 16 Nov 21 - 08:08 PM
Lighter 16 Nov 21 - 08:07 PM
Stewie 16 Nov 21 - 07:44 PM
Raedwulf 16 Nov 21 - 04:37 PM
Lighter 16 Nov 21 - 02:46 PM
Lighter 16 Nov 21 - 07:58 AM
Raedwulf 16 Nov 21 - 07:03 AM
PHJim 16 Nov 21 - 01:11 AM
Stewie 15 Nov 21 - 11:07 PM
Steve Shaw 14 Nov 21 - 08:09 PM
GUEST,Don Meixner 14 Nov 21 - 03:00 PM
Steve Shaw 14 Nov 21 - 12:48 PM
Donuel 14 Nov 21 - 09:52 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 14 Nov 21 - 09:17 AM
punkfolkrocker 10 Oct 21 - 01:56 AM
PHJim 10 Oct 21 - 12:13 AM
Steve Shaw 09 Oct 21 - 06:44 PM
Joe_F 09 Oct 21 - 06:11 PM
rich-joy 15 Jan 19 - 06:42 PM
peteglasgow 15 Jan 19 - 01:41 PM
GUEST,Gerry 13 Jan 19 - 05:38 PM
GUEST,Gerry 13 Jan 19 - 05:30 PM
GUEST,Gerry 13 Jan 19 - 05:23 PM
Lighter 13 Jan 19 - 01:24 PM
GUEST,John Orford 13 Jan 19 - 12:18 AM
GUEST,Kmccjoe1 12 Jan 19 - 11:09 PM
GUEST,henryp 23 Feb 15 - 06:25 PM
Lighter 23 Feb 15 - 08:03 AM
GUEST,henryp 23 Feb 15 - 07:32 AM
GUEST,henryp 21 Feb 15 - 07:38 PM
GUEST,Lighter (19 Feb 2015) 21 Feb 15 - 03:54 PM
GUEST,MartinRyan (19Feb15) 21 Feb 15 - 03:53 PM
GUEST,Dave Hanson (19 Feb 2015) 21 Feb 15 - 03:52 PM
GUEST,henryp (19 Feb 2015) 21 Feb 15 - 03:50 PM
GUEST,henryp (19 Feb 2015) 21 Feb 15 - 03:48 PM
GUEST,Dave (18 Feb 2015) 21 Feb 15 - 03:47 PM
GUEST,Bert (17 Feb 2015) 21 Feb 15 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,Jim Dixon 17 Feb 2015 21 Feb 15 - 03:45 PM
GUEST,Desi C 04 Nov 14 - 01:33 PM
topical tom 03 Nov 14 - 01:57 PM
topical tom 03 Nov 14 - 01:50 PM
Jason Xion Wang 03 Nov 14 - 08:19 AM
Jason Xion Wang 02 Nov 14 - 09:36 PM
GUEST,Jordana 24 Jul 14 - 02:48 PM
Mehitabel 26 Jun 14 - 11:06 PM
JedMarum 26 Jun 14 - 01:07 PM
JedMarum 26 Jun 14 - 01:04 PM
Larry The Radio Guy 26 Jun 14 - 12:13 PM
PHJim 26 Jun 14 - 11:51 AM
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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Stewie
Date: 16 Nov 21 - 08:26 PM

FLOWERS OF SASKATCHEWAN
(David Francey)

The sun was shining on the English Channel
On a ferry off the coast of France
And it was summer and a pleasant morning
And high above gulls wheeled and danced

And high above the cliffs of morning
The gun emplacements that stood in ranks
And I walked over to the railing
And I heard the ghosts of the Calgary Tanks

And I remembered pictures I'd seen
In history books and magazines
Of three men standing smoking, staring
Among the dead men on a rocky beach

And in the light of that pleasant morning
As we sailed under the cliffs above
I thought of all their silent prayers
And the final thoughts of the ones they loved

That they'd left behind at prairie stations
Waving to their pride and joy
Waving to the smiling faces
Smiling faces on the soldier boys

No waves of grain will claim the fallen
Just the channel cold and grey as steel
And no return to the rolling prairie
And a silent cross on a lonely field.

Oh the sun was shining on the rolling prairie
Far from the channel, cold and grey
Shone on the families, friends and lovers
Of the prairie boys who fell that day

But they could not know on that sunny morning
The future held for them no joy
They'd wait in vain at prairie stations
Wait in vain for the soldier boys

YT clip

Most historians agree that the allied raid on Dieppe on 19 August 1942 was an unmitigated disaster. The planners grossly underestimated the strength of the German garrison and the difficulties presented by the cliffs and stony beaches. Churchill privately admitted: ‘It would appear to a layman very much out of accord with the accepted principles of war to attack the strongly fortified town front without first securing the cliffs on either side, and to use our tanks in frontal assault off the beaches’. British war historian, David Reynolds, described Lord Louis Mountbatten, the architect of the raid, as ‘this egregious political climber’ who had been ‘absurdly over-promoted’ by Churchill. Of the 6000 allied troops involved, 4963 were Canadian. Of the latter, only 2104 returned to England, many of whom were wounded. 913 were killed and 1946 captured.

Canadian historian, Pierre Berton, wrote: ‘How ironic it is that for Canadians the defining battle of the Great War was a glorious victory – Vimy Ridge – while its counterpart, 25 years later, was a bitter defeat’. One of the 3 Canadian soldiers awarded the Victoria Cross had the last word: ‘The people who planned it should be shot’.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Stewie
Date: 16 Nov 21 - 08:08 PM

This one was mentioned above in 03 but no link to a recording.

NORMANDY ORCHARDS
(Keith Marsden)

They're building a camp on the cornfields at Arlingham
Bulldozers churning and changing the land
Long barbed-wire fences and acres of tarmac
Nissen huts raised where the crops used to stand
Wide-eyed young village girls, giggling and staring
At tanks and transporters that darken the sky
There's convoys of lorries with fresh faces peering out
So many young men come learning to die

Chorus:
They say you can still hear the village-hall band
Grey, ghostly couples still glide round the floor
But Normandy orchards were waiting to welcome
New partners for death in the mad dance of war

Mother has started a ‘comforts committee’
But Reverend John's more concerned about sin
Hughes at The White Swan is rubbing his hands a lot
Watching the troops and the profits roll in
Eager young squaddies with overdone courtesy
Tipping their caps to the girls going by
But too soon from school to be licentious soldiery
So many young men come learning to die

Chorus

And mother would have a blue fit if she knew about
Lieutenant Johnson and walks in the wood
She's laid down the law and she's always gone on about
Men being beasts, so a girl must be good
But even she'd laugh at our clumsy propriety
Me far too fearful and him far too shy
She might even pity his lonely bewilderment,
One of the young men come learningto die

Chorus

And peace came to Arlingham many long years ago
Time passing by healed the scars on the land
Tanks on the village green just a fond memory
Now corn grows again where the huts used to stand
Yet when I walk in the woods on a summer's night
By the trees' edge when the wind starts to sigh
I still hear their voices all rising in harmony
Lost, wasted, young men come learning to die

YT clip -Cockersdale

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Nov 21 - 08:07 PM

The Argonne is sometimes considered one battle, sometimes several.

If just one, it's by far the biggest battle in American history.

And yes, few people have heard of it today.

Fun fact: The terms "H Hour" and "D Day" were coined in 1918 to designate the beginning of the Argonne assault.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Stewie
Date: 16 Nov 21 - 07:44 PM

This one was composed by Mike Craver, an original member of one of my all-time favourite American groups, the Red Clay Ramblers. After leaving the Ramblers, Craver released a clutch of fine solo albums. 'Argonne Wood' is on his 'Shining Down' album.

ARGONNE WOOD                                                         
(Mike Craver)

Billy Leonard was a boy from here
A stout-hearted fellow, Billy knew no fear
He learned about the war from the newsreels
He’d seen in the movie house
Billy figured that he’d take a chance
He joined the army and he sailed for France
He’d give that Kaiser a kick in the pants
Any good man should
The officer said, ‘Don’t you worry, son
‘We’re gonna give the dickens to the lousy Hun
‘And when we’ve blown ‘em all to kingdom come
‘We’ll cross and make our claim’

Oh Billy, don’t you weep no more
You lost your battle but you won our war
Just like we knew you could
There’s no pretty ladies where the poppies grow
Nobody told you what you had to know
The only ones who could
Lay buried in the Argonne Wood

And the orders come and the whistles blow
Up from the trenches all the laddies go
They looked at each other, but how could they know
They’d be cut down like the grain
They said it’ll all be over in forty-two days
The world situation would improve in ways
But none could see it through the murky haze
That billowed from an unjust cause

Oh Billy, don’t you weep no more
You lost your battle but you won our war
Just like we knew you would
There’s no pretty ladies where the poppies grow
Nobody told you what you had to know
The only ones who could
Lay buried in the Argonne Wood

Billy had it better than some of his friends
He’s still alive and he still pretends
But sometimes at night, he prays for an end
To the hell of his same old dream
He’s come back home to his family’s care
He wears his medals as he sits in his chair
But his legs are gone and his soul’s not there
He’d claim it if he could
Deep in the Argonne Wood

Oh Billy don’t you weep no more
You lost your battle but you won our war
Just like we knew you could
No big parades where the poppies grow
Nobody told you what you had to know
The only ones who could
Lay deep in the Argonne Wood

Youtube clip

The greatest American battle of WWI is largely forgotten today. The Meuse-Argonne Offensive, also known as the Battle of the Argonne Forest, was part of the final Allied offensive that stretched along the entire Western Front. It was fought from 26 September 1918 until Armistice on 11 November. During those 47 days, the American Expeditionary Force had over 26 000 killed and almost 96 000 wounded, making it the largest and bloodiest of the war for the Americans. The majority of their ground forces fought their way through rough, hilly terrain that the German army had spent 4 years fortifying. The aim was to capture the railway hub at Sedan which would break the German railway support network. Coupled with British and French offensives elsewhere on the Western Front, the assault through Argonne was critical in breaking German resistance and bringing the war to an end. Mike Craver noted: ‘Argonne Wood was inspired by my mother’s writings about life and coming of age in the little North Carolina crossroads community where I was born’.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Raedwulf
Date: 16 Nov 21 - 04:37 PM

Aye, Lighter. It's one reason, amongst others, why I post it once in a while. We can't unwish history. I do wish me might learn from it occasionally. We never seem to, alas... :-/


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Nov 21 - 02:46 PM

Raedwulf, "fifty sons" at age 24.

It's a viewpoint that doesn't get enough attention.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Nov 21 - 07:58 AM

If poems are of interest, how about this anonymous marker placed on a mass British grave in France after the German Spring Offensive of 1918:

The Devonshires held this trench.
The Devonshires hold it still.

Or two lines from the poet F. S. Flint, about the young combatants of the same war, regardless of nationality (also in 1918):

They no longer inherit the earth.
The earth inherits them.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Raedwulf
Date: 16 Nov 21 - 07:03 AM

Not a song, but a poem (if that's permitted?), and perhaps not precisely anti-war either. I've posted it more than once before, so here's a link that says everything that needs to be said. I am generally fairly placid, but I think this moves me more than anything else I have ever read or heard.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: PHJim
Date: 16 Nov 21 - 01:11 AM

Infantryman - John Wort Hannam

My boy came home from the war today
I stood by as his plane touched down
An infantryman on foreign shores
Coming on back to his hometown
And it's been so long since he's been gone
I stand before him now and gaze in disbelief
My boy came home from the war today
Draped in the Mapleleaf

My boy came home from the war today
With a medal for valour in combat
They hoisted high on their shoulders
And everyman gathered there clutched his hat
But no fanfare played and no speeches were made
No pretty young maids waved a hankerchief
My boy came home from the war today
Draped in the Mapleleaf

When my boy came home from the war today
He was draped in the Mapleleaf
My boy came home from the war today
Now my heart is filled with grief


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Stewie
Date: 15 Nov 21 - 11:07 PM

I reckon this one is worthy of inclusion in an anti-war song collection:

THE RILEY BOYS                                                            
(Carol Denney)

It was lovely in the spring
All the flowers were in bloom
And we met beside the shore
For a moment
There were birds and there were planes
Flying patterns all around
And we shared a single sound
For a moment

If the Riley boys were here
They would tell us all was well
Not to cry and not to worry for tomorrow
If the Riley boys were here
This would be a joyous tear
Instead of one for mercy and for sorrow

If it’s quiet in the street
It is not for want of feet
That would march if they could only
Find the way
If the halo round the light
In this quiet street tonight
Showed the hearts that wander by
It would be crying

If the Riley boys were here
They would probably take our hands
And remind us that on earth our days are fleeting
If the Riley boys were here
And their gentle voices near
They’d remind us all that someday we’ll be meeting

It’s so hard to read the news
And so beautiful outside
And the world that seemed so wide
Now seems so broken
All the things we love and keep
In our dreams and in our sleep
Startled birds that we have suddenly awoken

If the Riley boys were here
They would tell us not to cry
Dry your eyes, they’d say
There’s work to do tomorrow
If the Riley boys were here
We’d hold fast another year
And be thankful for what mercy we could borrow
And be thankful for what mercy we could borrow

Here's a rendition by Finest Kind:

Riley Boys

Carol Denney - singer, writer and grassroots activist - composed a quiet, dignified song, The Riley Boys, which she said was her personal metaphor for the Iraq war dead. It was born in the aftermath of Abu Graib when their voices were all she could hear. Carol lives in California, but her roots are in small town West Virginia where she says ‘the loss of one person is felt deeply and mourned collectively’. In such a rural community, discussion of war is more nuanced. Which is more natural - war or peace? Perhaps it is a matter of asking the right question. During the war in Sarajevo, Vedran Smailovic went out into the town square and played his cello whilst bombs were dropping around him. Someone from the press ran out and asked: ‘Sir, why are you playing your cello while they are dropping bombs?’ Smailovic replied: ‘Why are they dropping bombs while I’m playing my cello?’

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Nov 21 - 08:09 PM

From the Guardian's obit on Edge:

Of his seemingly lugubrious piece Late Lament on that album, Edge, who also enjoyed a reputation as the group’s bon vivant, insisted that it was intended to be joyous and uplifting. “It’s a young boy discovering that he loves somebody for the first time, and he just wants to shout it out from the hills – and shout it out again!” he told Rolling Stone in 2018.

So not exactly an anti-war song then...


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Don Meixner
Date: 14 Nov 21 - 03:00 PM

I haven't seen "I Come and Stand At Every Door" listed. It very likely was and I missed it. In a field of some many great songs to choose just one is very near impossible. I think that song that affects each of us the most is the best there every was.

Don


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Nov 21 - 12:48 PM

It's "Nights," not "Knights."

The Late Lament section at the end of the song is presumably what you are referring to, which is the part written by Edge. I fail to see how it's an anti-war song (or poem). Perhaps you could explain.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Donuel
Date: 14 Nov 21 - 09:52 AM

Graeme Edge's 'Knights in White Satin' could be included.
He passed this month.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 14 Nov 21 - 09:17 AM

Peteglasgow
            re the Hexham riots of 1761, I'm sure the late Terry Conway & Liz Law had a song about this & put it on a CD about 20 years ago?


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 10 Oct 21 - 01:56 AM

Take yer pick...


Charlie Drake - Mr. Custer


David Peel & The Lower East Side - Hey, Mr. Draft Board (1970)


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: PHJim
Date: 10 Oct 21 - 12:13 AM

The Ballad Of Prnny Evans -Steve Goodman


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Oct 21 - 06:44 PM

From Alias Ron Kavana: "Thoughts of Abilene"

In the silence I succumb to Thoughts of Abilene
A song that ran into my head in Nineteen-Sixteen
As I lay there in the rubble with a rifle in my hands
Old enough to know why, too young to understand
And in the rain that was fallin’ I heard the dyin’ cry
A machine gun was hammerin’, hammerin’ out a life.
It was a worker’s hand that put the bullets in the gun,
It was into a worker’s heart that the bloody bullets spun.

    Guns’n’drums and drums’n’guns, aroo, aroo,
    As cannon fodder for the cause we’ll do, we’ll do,
    As we rally ‘round the flag boys, rally once again
    Shoutin’ the battle cry of Freedom!

As metal rang on metal to explode the firing caps
The flashing of the gunfire lit the metal of his hat
His young face was filled with fear, his eyes shone white with fright
As he sent a dozen bullets into my chest that night
And in the silence I succumbed to Thoughts Of Abilene
As the bullets smashed into my bones in Nineteen-Sixteen.
Now you might wonder who I was, but more importantly than that
In which war did I die, you don’t know and that’s a fact.


Then there's Country Joe and the Fish with the Vietnam Song. .


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Joe_F
Date: 09 Oct 21 - 06:11 PM

Just this morning I happened to be listening to Leslie Fish sing "Through a Glass Darkly" by Gen. George S. Patton, realized to my amazement that he was *that* one, and looked it up: here. He believed he was the reincarnation of a line of big-time killers, and he wrote poems that described the psychopathology of war from within, with pride. Perhaps some of the others should be set to music. With prowar songs like these, who needs antiwar songs?


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: rich-joy
Date: 15 Jan 19 - 06:42 PM

This one moves me greatly and was a huge favourite of my late Partner, Paul Lawler, who sang it powerfully. Thanks to Stewie, we learnt it from a great Tom Reid recording. Lyrics are elsewhere on a Mudcat thread.

"When Princes Meet" - Tom Paxton (c.1973)

R-J (Down Under)


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: peteglasgow
Date: 15 Jan 19 - 01:41 PM

in 1761 there was a riot in Hexham following attempts (by ballot) of enforced conscription. about 50 people were killed by the military with at least 300 injured. i had heard nothing about this til i saw a plaque in the town square last year. are there songs about it - you would think so given the traditions of the area. or maybe there are no songs - which is why it is not known about so much


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 13 Jan 19 - 05:38 PM

Here's an Israeli song, The Last War lyrics in Hebrew and English. Chorus:

I promise you - my little girl,
That this will be the last war.

Here's a recording.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 13 Jan 19 - 05:30 PM

Back on 14 Feb 2003, BuckMulligan wrote,

"I never saw Draft Dodger Rag as an anti-war song. It's from Ochs's superpatriot stage and I've never been convinced he had his tongue in his cheek. I think he really was poking at draft dodgers (love to be wrong of course)."

Ochs' superpatriot stage? Draft Dodger Rag was on the I Ain't Marching Any More album, along with the title track, and Days of Decision, and Here's to the State of Mississippi, and Iron Lady, and Talking Birmingham Jam. I wasn't aware that Ochs ever had a "superpatriot stage", but if he did, I don't see how Draft Dodger Rag was part of it.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 13 Jan 19 - 05:23 PM

Back on 20 Feb 2003, GUEST,Longarm wrote, "Don't know about the song but Alistair Huelett wrot an anti war/leftwing song and the most telling line was: 'A bayonet has a working class man on each end"! Perceptive eh?"

There's a thread on that song, Don't Sign Up For War


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Lighter
Date: 13 Jan 19 - 01:24 PM

But check out this thread:

/mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=146300#3387145


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,John Orford
Date: 13 Jan 19 - 12:18 AM

There are many fine ant-war songs - my favourite too is "Me Johnny I hardly knew ye". The whole story is told very simply; the poor girl is so shocked she makes mild fun of her soldier. It also shows the beautiful Irish way of singing tragic words to happy tunes,


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Kmccjoe1
Date: 12 Jan 19 - 11:09 PM

Anyone have the chords (or even the key) for 'A 1000 Candles, A 1000 Cranes'?


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 06:25 PM

Thank you. The comparison with Political Science is extraordinary.

On the face of it, Political Science might have been the follow-up record.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Lighter
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 08:03 AM

> Was it a popular song?

No. It seems to have been recorded only once.

On the other hand, everyone was indeed thankful that the war was over, irrespective of the method.

That was especially true, on the Allied side, for the soldiers already in training for the invasion of Japan.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 07:32 AM

Another mention for Political Science by Randy Newman. It's perhaps better known as Let's Drop the Big One.

Boom goes London and boom Paree
More room for you and more room for me
And every city the whole world round
Will just be another American town

Oh, how peaceful it will be
We'll set everybody free
You'll wear a Japanese kimono, baby
And there'll be Italian shoes for me

They all hate us anyhow
So let's drop the big one now


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 21 Feb 15 - 07:38 PM

"Bert, try Karl & Harty's "When the Atom Bomb Fell," released in December, 1945"

That song certainly celebrates dropping the atom bomb on the citizens of Hiroshima. Perhaps it reflected a thread of opinion at that time in America. Was it a popular song?


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Lighter (19 Feb 2015)
Date: 21 Feb 15 - 03:54 PM

Bert, try Karl & Harty's "When the Atom Bomb Fell," released in December, 1945:

Smoke and fire it did flow through the land of Tokio,
There was brimstone and dust everywhere.
When it all cleared away, there the cruel Japs did lay,
The answer to our fighting boys' prayers (Yes, Lord!)
The answer to our fighting boys' prayers.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,MartinRyan (19Feb15)
Date: 21 Feb 15 - 03:53 PM

when the casualty ration was running at about twelve Japanese to one American - some diet!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Dave Hanson (19 Feb 2015)
Date: 21 Feb 15 - 03:52 PM

Tom Paxton's 'Jimmy Newman '


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,henryp (19 Feb 2015)
Date: 21 Feb 15 - 03:50 PM

The Morning Lies Heavy - by Allan Taylor.

"The young Scottish group, Breabach, have recorded the song I wrote in 1971, "The Morning Lies Heavy", a song inspired by my brother-in-law Jimmy who was called to the draft in America during the Vietnam War. It's great to know that a song I wrote so long ago still resonates with a new generation."


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,henryp (19 Feb 2015)
Date: 21 Feb 15 - 03:48 PM

From: Bert Date: 17 Feb 15 - 11:39 PM

"For some reason I don't recall ever hearing of a song that praises the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima. Probably the most anti war weapon ever invented.

"It saved an estimated one million American lives at a time when the casualty ration was running at about twelve Japanese to one American.
So that means that it saved twelve million Japanese."

Bert - It was so effective that they dropped an even bigger bomb on Nagasaki three days later. The thermo-nuclear-bomb is more powerful still.

Cranes over Hiroshima by Fred Small gives an alternative view.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Dave (18 Feb 2015)
Date: 21 Feb 15 - 03:47 PM

I would second Jordana's nomination of Sydney Carter's The Crow on the Cradle


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Bert (17 Feb 2015)
Date: 21 Feb 15 - 03:46 PM

For some reason I don't recall ever hearing of a song that praises the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima.

Probably the most anti war weapon ever invented.

It saved an estimated one million American lives at a time when the casualty ration was running at about twelve Japanese to one American.

So that means that it saved twelve million Japanese


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Subject: Lyr Add: ALL QUIET ALONG THE POTOMAC TO-NIGHT
From: GUEST,Jim Dixon 17 Feb 2015
Date: 21 Feb 15 - 03:45 PM

From The Southern Literary Messenger, Vol. 37 No. 2 (Richmond: MacFarlane & Fergusson, Feb., 1863), page 103.

[This is presented as a poem, not a song. Note that it consists of 4-line stanzas, whereas the song is rearranged as 8-line stanzas. No doubt this is what necessitated dropping 4 lines. I have boldfaced the words that are different from the song in the DT. Also note that the author Fontaine is not credited in the DT.]


"ALL QUIET ALONG THE POTOMAC TO-NIGHT."
By Lamar Fontaine, Company I, Second Regiment Virginia Cavalry. Written while on picket on the bank of the Potomac, 1861.

"All quiet along the Potomac to-night,"
Except here and there a stray picket
Is shot as he walks on his beat to and fro
By a rifleman hid in the thicket.

'Tis nothing?a private or two now and then
Will not count in the news of the battle;
Not an officer lost! only one of the men
Moaning out, all alone, the death-rattle.

"All quiet along the Potomac to-night,"
Where the soldiers lie peacefully dreaming,
And their tents in the rays of the clear autumn moon
And the light of their camp-fires are gleaming.

A tremulous sigh, as a gentle night wind
Thro' the forest leaves slowly is creeping,
While the stars up above, with their glittering eyes,
Keep guard o'er the army while sleeping.


There's only the sound of the lone sentry's tread,
As he tramps from the rock to the fountain,
And thinks of the two on the low trundle bed
Far away in the cot on the mountain.

His musket falls slack?his face dark and grim,
Grows gentle with memories tender,
As lie mutters a prayer for the children asleep,
And their mother?"may Heaven defend her."

The moon seems to shine as brightly as then?
That night when the love yet unspoken,
Leaped up to his lips, and when low murmur'd vows
Were pledged to be ever unbroken.

Then drawing his sleeve roughly over his eyes,
He dashes off the tears that are welling;
And gathers his gun close up to his breast
As if to keep down the heart's swelling.

He passes the fountain, the blasted pine tree,
And his footstep is lagging and weary;
Yet onward he goes thro' the broad belt of light,
Toward the shades of the forest so dreary.

Hark! was it the night-wind that rustled the leaves?
Was it the moonlight so wond'rously flashing?
It looked like a rifle! "Ha! Mary good by!"
And his life-blood is ebbing and splashing.

"All quiet along the Potomac to-night."
No sound save the rush of the river:
While soft falls the dew on the face of the dead,
The Picket's off duty forever.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 04 Nov 14 - 01:33 PM

I ws going to give my choice but the majority already gave it. Just worth mentioning that Dylan's God On Our Side, is in effect a version of Dominick Behan's, The Patriot Game


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: topical tom
Date: 03 Nov 14 - 01:57 PM

Sorry, in my post I misspelled the name McCutcheon. My apology!


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: topical tom
Date: 03 Nov 14 - 01:50 PM

I did not take the time yet to read all the posts but if it has not already been mentioned I would suggest Christmas in the Trenches by John Mcutcheon.Extremely moving!


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Subject: RE: Business Goes on as Usual
From: Jason Xion Wang
Date: 03 Nov 14 - 08:19 AM

Oops, just noticed that the two "Em"s at the end of the first two verses should be "E". Sorry for the mistake!

Jason


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Subject: Chords Add: Business Goes on as Usual (Fred H.)
From: Jason Xion Wang
Date: 02 Nov 14 - 09:36 PM

I'm gonna add one of my favorite anti-war songs to the list. Words by Fran Minkoff, music by Fred Hellerman of the Weavers, first sung in 1965 by Joe Frazier of the Chad Mitchell Trio on album "Violets of Dawn".


Business Goes on as Usual
(Fred Hellerman; Fran Minkoff)

Asus2    A7sus2    Asus2    A7sus2)


Asus2
Business goes on as usual -
                            G9
The corn and the profits are high.
       C Gsus4/B Am7    C    Gsus4/B Am
And the T-Vs      boom in every living room,
         FMaj7                      Em
And they tell us which deodorant to buy.


Asus2
Business goes on as usual,
                         G9
Except that my brother is dead.
       C   Gsus4/B Am7      C    Gsus4/B Am
He was twenty   -   five and very much   alive,
       FMaj7                                 Em
But the dreams have all been blasted from his head -


    Am G   Am          G
In a far-off land with a gun in his hand,
   F                   E       E7
He died in a war he did not understand!


    Am
And business goes on as usual -
                                  G9
There's plenty to choose from the rack.
       C Gsus4/B Am7       C      Gsus4/B Am
And the rumor    goes, the latest thing in clothes
FMaj7 Esus4
Will be...
Asus2
Black!


Am
Business goes on as usual...

Business goes on as usual...

Business goes on as usual...
                            Em G Am
Business goes on as usual...

As usual.

The chords above are based on John Denver's version - apparently he learnt it from Paul Prestopino.

I can't guarantee the chords are 100% accurate.

Jason


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Jordana
Date: 24 Jul 14 - 02:48 PM

I'm fond of "Crow on the Cradle," myself. Learned it from a Furnace Mountain CD.

The sheep's in the meadow
The cow's in the corn
Now is the time for a child to be born
He'll laugh at the moon
And cry for the sun
And if it's a boy he'll carry a gun
Sang the crow on the cradle

And if it should be that this baby's a girl
Never you mind if her hair doesn't curl
With rings on her fingers
And bells on her toes
And a bomber above her wherever she goes
Sang the crow on the cradle

The crow on the cradle
The black and the white
Somebody's baby is born for a fight
The crow on the cradle
The white and the black
Somebody's baby is not coming back
Sang the crow on the cradle

Your mother and father will sweat and they'll slave
To build you a coffin and dig you a grave
Hush-a-bye little one, never you weep
For we've got a toy that can put you to sleep
Sang the crow on the cradle

Bring me my gun, and I'll shoot that bird dead
That's what your mother and father once said
The crow on the cradle, what can we do
Ah, this is a thing that I'll leave up to you
Sang the crow on the cradle
Sang the crow on the cradle


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: Mehitabel
Date: 26 Jun 14 - 11:06 PM

So many great songs have been mentioned but the one that always gets to me is Tom Lewis's song, "Some Mother's Son" which is included on his CD, "Mixed Cargo", apparently written in response to the murder of Jean McConville:

There's some mother's son on her doorstep lies bleeding,
with no one to give him the comfort he's needing,
And sure as her God's high above in His heaven,
with ten kids already, this one makes eleven,
Though he's wearing a uniform she ought to hate,
she cradles his poor head and seals her own fate -

For the one thing that binds us, when all's said and done -
every man dying is some mother's son.

Then twelve of her neighbours, apostles from hell,
tore her from her family, no time for: "Farewell",
No 'ashes to ashes' and no 'dust to dust',
no loving remembrance, this cannot be just,
She had daughters and sons, a family who loved her,
she was sentenced to death just for being a mother,

But the one thing that binds us, when all's said and done -
every man dying is some mother's son.

Somewhere there's a family who owe her a life,
a one-time young squaddie with kids and a wife,
When she thought he was dying she chose love and pity,
a terrible crime in this desperate city,
For when some mother's son on her doorstep lay bleeding
she knelt down to give him the comfort he was needing,

Now the one thing that binds us, when all's said and done -
every man dying is some mother's son.

I am also always brought to tears by David Francey's song, "Flowers of Saskatchewan".


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: JedMarum
Date: 26 Jun 14 - 01:07 PM

OK - just a bit of a wind-up. I know this is a "let's go to war" song and not an anti-war song. It's from a great American songwriter and thinker .... but still a good song.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: JedMarum
Date: 26 Jun 14 - 01:04 PM

How about Woody Guthrie's

The Sinking Of The Reuben James


Have you heard of a ship called the good Reuben James
Manned by hard fighting men both of honor and fame?
She flew the Stars and Stripes of the land of the free
But tonight she's in her grave at the bottom of the sea.

Tell me what were their names, tell me what were their names,
Did you have a friend on the good Reuben James?
What were their names, tell me, what were their names?
Did you have a friend on the good Reuben James

Well, a hundred men went down in that dark watery grave
When that good ship went down only forty-four were saved.
'Twas the last day of October we saved the forty-four
From the cold ocean waters and the cold icy shore.

It was there in the dark of that uncertain night
That we watched for the U-boats and waited for a fight.
Then a whine and a rock and a great explosion roared
And they laid the Reuben James on that cold ocean floor.

Now tonight there are lights in our country so bright
In the farms and in the cities they're telling of the fight.
And now our mighty battleships will steam the bounding main
And remember the name of that good Reuben James.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE GREAT MANDALA (Peter Yarrow)
From: Larry The Radio Guy
Date: 26 Jun 14 - 12:13 PM

I'm surprised nobody's mentioned The Great Mandala---of Peter, Paul, and Mary's "Album 1700".

PETER, PAUL AND MARY
"The Great Mandala (The Wheel Of Life)"
(Peter Yarrow)

So I told him that he'd better shut his mouth
And do his job like a man.
And he answered "Listen, Father,
I will never kill another."
He thinks he's better
than his brother that died
What the hell does he think he's doing
To his father who brought him up right?

[Chorus:]
Take your place on The Great Mandala
As it moves through your brief moment of time.
Win or lose now you must choose now
And if you lose you're only losing your life.

Tell the jailer not to bother
With his meal of bread and water today.
He is fasting 'til the killing's over
He's a martyr, he thinks he's a prophet.
But he's a coward, he's just playing a game
He can't do it, he can't change it
It's been going on for ten thousand years

[Chorus]

Tell the people they are safe now
Hunger stopped him, he lies still in his cell.
Death has gagged his accusations

We are free now, we can kill now,
We can hate now, now we can end the world
We're not guilty, he was crazy
And it's been going on for ten thousand years!

Take your place on The Great Mandala
As it moves through your brief moment of time.
Win or lose now you must choose now
And if you lose you've only wasted your life.


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Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
From: PHJim
Date: 26 Jun 14 - 11:51 AM

I haven't read the whole thread, but Steve Goodman's Ballad Of Penny Evans deserves a mention:


Oh my name is Penny Evans and my age is twenty-one
A young widow in the war that's being fought in Viet Nam
And I have two infant daughters and I do the best I can
Now they say the war is over, but I think it's just begun.

And I remember I was seventeen on the day I met young Bill
At his father's grand piano, we'd play good old 'Heart and Soul'
Well, I only knew the left hand part and he the right so well
He's the only boy I slept with and the only one I will.

It's first we had a baby girl and we had two good years
It was next the 1A notice came and we parted without tears
It was nine months from our last good night our second babe appears
So it's ten months and a telegram confirming all our fears.

And now every month I get a check from an Army bureaucrat
And it's every month I tear it up and I mail the damn thing back.
Do you think that makes it all right, do you think I'd fall for that ?
And you can keep your bloody money, it sure won't bring my Billy back.

I never cared for politics, and speeches I don't understand,
And likewise never took no charity from any living man
But tonight there's fifty thousand gone in that unhappy land
And fifty thousand 'Heart and Soul's' being played with just one hand.

And my name is Penny Evans and I've just gone twenty-one
A young widow in the war that's being fought in Viet Nam
And I have two infant daughters and I thank God I have no sons
Now they say the war is over, but I think it's just begun.


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