The Vietnam War Music Analysis

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Throughout the existence of the United States music has been a part of American life, but it wasn’t until the introduction of lyrics that songwriters were able to tap into truly relatable music. A good artist will reach his target audience one way or another it just depends on the method they use. This is why so many artists over our history have used infamous wars to create legendary tracks. These tracks are recorded because of an artist's passion, they're trying to get their views on matter across to the public. Any war will automatically have a side opposing it, musicians took advantage of this to express their displeasure through song and compiled an array of memorable lyrics and tunes. Anti-war songs as they are known today were first…show more content…
In the eyes of many folks the U.S. began a pointless war that claimed many innocent lives. Though the goal was to contain communism, the U.S. exerted far too much effort and resources for such a disappointing result. Before the anti-war movement picked up steam, artists would use their music to spread a message, in fact “Some of the first organized activities against the Vietnam War centered on the singing of songs at concerts, in clubs, and on campuses,” (Franklin 204). This trend would only grow as the war progressed and soon enough a full-fledge movement had emerged. One of the earlier protest songs of the era, Tom Paxton’s “Lyndon Johnson Told the Nation” directly targeted both Lyndon B. Johnson as well as the action going on overseas. In one verse from the tune Paxton says “Lyndon Johnson told the nation, ‘Have no fear of escalation, I am trying everyone to please.’ Though it isn’t really war, we’re sending fifty thousand more to help save Vietnam from the Vietnamese.”. These lines hit home for many Americans at the time and was driving factor behind the initial anti-war movement. A song that emerged when the movement had become more prominent was “War” by Edwin Starr. It’s filled with a blatantly clear message and directly goes against the entire concept of war. One of the more memorable verses of song was “War is something that I despise. Because it means destruction of innocent lives. War means tears in thousands of mothers' eyes. When their sons go out to fight and lose their lives.”. Starr rips into the war and uses the idea of death to move his listeners and win their approval. This song helped to keep growing the movement one person at a time with its catchy tune that caught people’s attention and didn’t let
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