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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Support the Troops

The sixties were well known for protest and anti-war music. The Iraq War is finally beginning to produce significant protest music. WIllie Nelson, the Dixie Chicks, Pink and many other have weighed in against Bush's Folly. Green Day had their say. There have been several "Rock Against Bush" albums. Neil Young has just recorded a very anti-War and anti-Bush album.

I've been trying to find a CD of an old 60s album, "War! War! War!" It was recorded by Country Joe and the Fish, and set the war poems of Robert L. Service to music. Service, a Canadian who wrote mostly of the Yukon, and is best known for his long ballads and story poems, had served in the "Great War" and been quite disillusioned by it. In his introductory poem to the book "Rhymes of a Red Cross Man" he writes:
So here's my sheaf of war-won verse,
And some is bad, and some is worse.
And if at times I curse a bit,
You needn't read that part of it;
For through it all like horror runs
The red resentment of the guns.
And you yourself would mutter when
You took the things that once were men,
And sped them through that zone of hate
To where the dripping surgeons wait;
And wonder too if in God's sight
War ever, ever can be right.
Sadly, the album appears to be out of print.

Country Joe MacDonald became well known in the 60s for his anti-war songs, including the anthemic "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag," the refrain of which is
And it's one, two, three
What are we fighting for ?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam.
And it's five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain't no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! we're all gonna die.
The main stanzas of the song speak of war profiteers, and those who pay the real price of war.

Today I found this cartoon, obviously inspired by Country Joe:

If you poke around Country Joe's website, you'll find this new song of his, Support the Troops:
Beat the drum, wave the flag,
For those who won’t be coming back.
Numbers rising, build another Wall
For those who answered the Country’s call.
Support the troops
Support the troops

Gold Star Mothers, Gold Star Dads
Left with nothing but a folded flag.
Gold Star Brothers, Sisters too
Feel their pain, it could be you!
Support the troops
Support the troops

Some day soon, don’t know when
We’ll see the wounded women and men
Lining the walls of American streets
Hands out begging for something to eat.
Support the troops
Support the troops

Forgotten heroes from a forgotten war
Wondering "What were we fighting for?"
World War III around the bend
That’s what we get with the George Bush Plan.
Support the troops
Support the troops

Chicken hawk, draft dodging, son Of A Bush
Look at all the damage you did!
American war in the Holy Land
Blood for oil, not in my name!
Oh, not in my name
Oh, not in my name
Oh, not in my name
Not in my name
American shame
Not in my name
American shame.
Not in my name, either.


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