1960s Protest Songs

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Protest music was an effective tool used as a weapon in peaceful protest. Singers and songwriters would express their views through the lyrics of their songs, effectively spreading awareness and informing people about the changes that need to take place, and the ideas of peace over war. Protest music was a major contributor in the escalating support for the peace movements, as well as many other movements, against the horrors of the Vietnam War and increasing acts of sexism, racism and the lack of equality in America in the 1950s and 1960s. Many famous artists took the initiative to write protest songs to spread awareness about the cause, generating a broader impact and having different effects on the many different members of society. Protest…show more content…
The Vietnam War took place during the cold war era, which lasted many years and could be described as the clashing of two conflicting ideologies between the communist eastern countries and the capitalist western countries. The Americans aimed at stopping the spread of communism in Vietnam, based on the their policy of containment, which was set up to stop the spread of communism to any other country in the world. Many American citizens opposed the sending of their own troops to fight in a war that was not even theirs to lose. Many of the soldiers being sent to Vietnam were members of the youth, which led to increasingly rapid protest action amongst students, as well as the parents of the young men being conscripted. These American troops were being placed to fight in unfamiliar and harsh terrain – as the majority of Vietnam was overgrown with forests and dangerous wildlife - which negatively affected the Americans morale and diminishing their possibility of success in the war. Many African Americans were sent to fight in Vietnam, which was ironic due to the fact that they experienced much hardship and racism back in their home country, which they were fighting to protect. These issues led to mass protest against the continuation of involvement in Vietnam – ultimately leading to increased protest action as well as the popularity of protest music. This form of…show more content…
Protest music made it possible to influence the youth in order to create change at a much faster rate, as songs could be repeated and memorized at a easier than a document or notice. This nonviolent method made it a lot easier for the average person to take part in the protest, making the idea of protest more enjoyable, “instead of throwing fists and shooting guns, people could make their voice heard through song”, which emphasizes the idea of peaceful protest rather than resulting to violent methods. This unorthodox method of protest made the need for change seem a lot more crucial, as well as allowing more people to actively join in on the protest. Although protest music was not the main reason for the end of the involvement in the Vietnam War, “ it did raise concern and attention about United States’ involvement in Vietnam”. (Source
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