Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Greatest Liberal Rock Songs

Sub-optimal blogging conditions continue. Basically, the Boy has been sick, and up many times a night. Therefore, a frivolous and perhaps mildly amusing post from over two years ago.


Now that someone has put together the list of The 50 Greatest Conservative Rock Songs, someone ought to compile a list of the greatest liberal rock songs. Since I have an hour to kill, I think I'll give it a whirl. This is very much off the cuff, so bear with me.

Perhaps, as R.J. Eskow huffed in a recent post, this is an unnecessary exercise, since all rock music is by definition liberal. It is liberal because, according to him, it “raises blood pressure, stimulates adrenaline, [and] creates sexual stimulation and physical aggression.”

That's a little too much information. Suffice it to say that rock music doesn't provoke sado-masochistic impulses in everyone.

Nevertheless, even if we were to stipulate that all rock music is liberal, some is obviously more liberal than the rest. As a matter of fact, the vast majority of rock music, at least until recently, was surprisingly apolitical -- or at least the politics was implicit and ambiguous, such as in Bob Dylan’s best work (very early on he saw through the left and stopped writing the kind of tedious and didactic songs they enjoy, such as Masters of War). Just last night, I was thinking about how, say, Van Morrison -- one of the handful of truly great "rock" artists -- has never written a song with any overt political message.

It’s true that when there is an explicit political message in rock music, it is virtually always from the left. In fact, this is what makes the songs so unartful, ham-handed, and generally lame. It is what makes them so wince-worthy and time-bound -- except for when they are timelessly stupid, for example, Give Peace a Chance. As we have discussed before, there is a vast difference between art and didacticism, the latter being a form of pornography.

In no particular order, I’m just going to rely upon my memory to call up some of the greatest liberal songs of all time. I'm pretty much limiting myself to the "classic rock" era, so the list will obviously be incomplete. I could include dozens of more recent examples, but the genre has largely drifted into such a self-caricature of recycled and rigidly predictable adolescent developmental arrest, that it would be redundant.

The first song that comes to mind is War, by Edwin Starr. Although it is now over 35 years old, it still expresses the universal leftist contempt for the military and about the need to defend ourselves from evil. In fact, the king of moonbat rockers, Bruce Springsteen, has taken to singing it in concert. Its boneheaded lyric asks the famous question,

What is it good for?

The answer, of course, being absolutely nothing! (say it again, y’all!).

For the left, the problem is never the existence of evil. They scoff at that unsophisticated notion. Rather, it is the existence of people who fight it. For war itself “is an enemy to all mankind.” It “can't give life, it can only take it away!,” as every Jew who survived the Holocaust or every Kurd who escaped Saddam’s torture chambers knows.

They say we must fight to keep our freedom,
But Lord knows there's got to be a better way!

Sure there’s a better way. As the girl who spoke at the New School commencement put it, “We have nothing to fear from anyone on this living planet.... We can change the universe by being who we are.... it really is just that simple.” It seems to me that this approach has a long way to go before it can even be considered simple minded, then simplistic, and on to simple.

Even before Neil Young, there were America-bashing Canuckleheads making an extravagant living by attacking the country that makes their frivolous lives possible. American Woman, by the Guess Who, expresses sentiments that are still widely shared by our leftist friends to the north, who, in a recent poll, ranked the United States as the most dangerous country on earth:

American woman, said get away...
Don’t come hangin’ around my door
Don’t wanna see your face no more
I don’t need your war machines
I don’t need your ghetto scenes
Colored lights can hypnotize
Sparkle someone else’s eyes
Now woman, get away from me
American woman, mama let me be.

Of course, not all Canadians share the sentiments of their their pinheaded elites. I am told that normal Canadians who live outside the major cities, especially in the western provinces, are much more appreciative of the security and prosperity made possible by the United States. They know that the American “war machine” actually shoulders their share of the world’s defense, so their government can waste money on other things, such as the fascist thought-enforcement commission that has been persecuting Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn.

But leftist elites have always had trouble relating to the middle class. Secretly (and not so secretly) they have contempt for middle and working class people, whom they regard as clueless boobs for not being default leftists. They just can’t figure out why an ordinary American would ever vote Republican, since Democrat elites know what is best for them. The song Pleasant Valley Sunday, written by Carol King, expresses the contempt and condescension that leftist superbians feel toward suburban Americans who are not bitter activists and who simply want to enjoy their lives:

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
Charcoal burning everywhere
Rows of houses that are all the same
And no one seems to care

See Mrs. Gray she's proud today because her roses are in bloom
Mr. Green he's so serene, he's got a TV in every room

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
Here in status symbol land...

Creature comfort goals
They only numb my soul...

Carol King is a wonderful pop-rock songwriter, one of the greatest ever. But give me a break with the "creature comforts." I think she owns a village in Idaho. Then again, I suppose she can afford to be its idiot.

Of course, a major theme of contemporary liberalism is gender identity confusion. For this reason, I have chosen I’m a Boy, by the Who, which expresses the anger and confusion of a child whose mother is obviously a doctrinaire feminist who believes that sexual differences are simply cultural constructs:

I'm a boy, I'm a boy
But my ma won't admit it
I'm a boy, I'm a boy
But if I say I am, I get it!

Remember The Eve of Destruction, by Barry McGuire? Liberals like to make fun of fringe religious groups that predict the end of the world, and rightfully so. But hysterical mainstream liberals have been predicting the end of the world since I was a little kid, whether it's alar in apples, or acid rain, or nuclear power plants, or over-population, or running out of natural resources, or DDT. In the 1980s it was global cooling. Liberal scientists were unanimous that the world was catastrophically cooling as a result of manmade influences. Now they unanimously agree (except for the thousands who don’t) that the world is catastrophically warming.

For the hysterical left, it’s always the Eve of Destruction:

Al Gore’s mind, it is implodin’
Penguins dyin’, cities floatin’
If he says that cars are bad, it seems to me he's lyin’
He don’t believe in oil, but what's private yet he's flyin'?

What is it with the left’s perennial fascination with authoritarian regimes, whether Castro, or Arafat, or the Sandinistas? In Washington Bullets, the Clash sang,

For the very first time ever,
When they had a revolution in Nicaragua,
There was no interference from America
Human rights in America

Yup, for the first time, human rights in America. For the left, it’s a topsy-turvy world. Because of their hatred of America, it causes them to ally themselves with anyone who opposes America. For example, leftist heavyweight intellectual Noam Chomsky, who was also a champion of the totalitarian Sandinistas, argues that the genocidal policies of Hamas are “more conducive to a peaceful settlement than those of the United States or Israel."

It’s like the criminals are the good guys and the police are the bad guys. That’s what Eric Burdon sang in San Franciscan Nights:

Cop's face is filled with hate
Heavens above,
He's on a street called "Love"
When will they ever learn?

Cops. Selfish bastards. They’re nothing at all like the beautiful people of the left. As Joanie Mitchell put it in Woodstock,

We are stardust
We are golden
And we've got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

Yes, that would be the same reality-based garden where we have nothing to fear from a single person on this planet. Even if he wants to blow up the garden.

I’ll admit it, when I was in high school and had a devastating crush on Suzie Campbell, who sat next to me in biology class, I didn’t really get Love the One You’re With. Sure, it sounds good on paper, but unless you’re a rock star with groupies at your feet or a President with interns under your desk, how do you get the opposite person of the complementary gender to cooperate?

If you're down and confused

Yes, that would be me.

Concentration slips away

Check. It's like he can read my mind.

There's a girl, right next to you
And she's just waiting for something to do

Really? With me?

Turn your heartache right into joy
She's a girl, and you're a boy
So get it together, make it nice
You ain't gonna need, any more advice

Wait! Don’t go away! I think I do need some more advice!

If you can't be with the one you love,
Love the one you're with
Love the one you're with
Love the one you’re with

Stop taunting me!

Stephen Stills' partner, Graham Nash, is another moonbat who doesn’t see evil as the problem. Rather, it’s the military. Any military. In Military Madness, he sang,

In an upstairs room in Blackpool
By the side of a northern sea
The army had my father
And my mother was having me
Military Madness was killing my country

Not nazi madness, totalitarian madness, anti-Semitic madness, Islamo-fascist madness. Just “military madness.” And as we already know from Edwin Starr, war itself is evil. It can’t give life, it can only take it away. Presumably, Nash's father was insane for fighting the nazis:

And after the wars are over
And the body count is finally filed
I hope that The Man discovers
What’s driving the people wild
Military madness is killing your country

Similarly, Donovan, in The Universal Soldier (written by Buffy Saint Marie), blamed the individual GI:

He's the one who gives his body
As a weapon of the war,
And without him all this killing can't go on.

He's the Universal Soldier and he really is to blame,
His orders come from far away no more,
They come from here and there and you and me,
And brothers can't you see,
This is not the way we put the end to war.

Such a terminally adolescent view of the world. Speaking of which, check out the adolescent self-righteousness of this one by the Association, Enter the Young, which could be Obama's theme song:

Enter the young, yeah
Yeah, they've learned how to think
Enter the young, yeah
More than you think they think
Not only learned to think, but to care
Not only learned to think, but to dare
Enter the young

Yeah, here they come
some with questions, some decisions
Here they come
And some with facts and some with visions
Of a place to multiply without the use of divisions
To win a prize that no one's ever won!

Perhaps the Doors, in their epically bad The End, touched on the reasons for this pervasive developmental arrest:

Father, yes son, I want to kill you.
Mother... I want to... f*** you!!!!!!

I think I can sum up liberalism with just a few more anthems. First, as John Lennon observed, All You Need is Love. Just don’t ask for details of how this would work in practice. For if you read dailykos or huffingtonpost or listen to Air America, you immediately realize that the Who were correct: I Can’t Explain. Why? Because, as Morris Albert crooned, liberalism is based upon Feelings, nothing more than feelings...

Still, what does it hurt to live in a parallel reality-based world? The number one liberal anthem, as always, is Imagine:

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing John's brownstone

I don’t know... I imagine other things...

Imagine no Islamists
It isn’t hard to do
No damn bin Laden
And no al Sadr too
Imagine all the Muslims
Living in our century....


The readers speak:

"One Tin Soldier," from the movie Billy Jack
"Sky Pilot," by Eric Burdon
"Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag," by Country Joe and the Fish (Also, let's not forget the brilliant "Fish Cheer" at Woodstock)
"The Flower Children," by Marcia Strassman
"San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)," by Scott McKenzie
"At Seventeen," by Janis Ian
"When the Music's Over" and "Five to One," by the Doors
"Street Fighting Man," by the Strolling Bones
"Get Together," by the Youngbloods
"God Save the Queen (The Fascist Regime)," by the Sex Pistols
Rage Against the Machine, Their Entire Angry Corpus
"Little Boxes," written by Malvina Reynolds
"American Skin--41 Shots," Bruce Springsteen (try getting past his security & count the shots)
"Woman Is The N-Word Of The World," by John Lennon (who had some major issues with abusing women)

There were some obvious ones I purposely left off the list, such as:
"Give Peace a Chance," by John Lennon (who was, not coincidentally, giving heroin a chance when he wrote it)
"Almost Cut My Hair," by crackhead felon David Crosby (with CSNY)
"Long Time Gone," by felonious crackhead David Crosby (with CSN)


hoarhey said...

The newest hit duo 'The Saviours' is a husband and wife team singing ballads about how Americans need to get involved in community activism and social work and reject the "money culture". Of course they can afford to having made their millions and secured their mansion by participating in the "money culture" including making underhanded deals with the likes of Tony Rezko. Sort of reminds me of the last duo singing the same tunes from Arkansas, 'The Grifters'.
Perhaps they could compose a song of how heavenly and happy the world would be if everyone were a social worker administering to the whiners among us.

Gagdad Bob said...

How about the Moody Blues' ode to the sociopath Timothy Leary:

He'll fly his astral plane,
Takes you trips around the bay,
Brings you back the same day,
Timothy Leary, Timothy Leary.

He'll take you up, hell bring you down,
He'll plant your feet back firmly on the ground.
He flies so high, he swoops so low,
He knows exactly which way he's gonna go.
Timothy Leary, Timothy leary.

Wizard said...

This post has never happened before. It will never happen again.

mushroom said...

I like this one. It is a nice counterpoint to the thought-provoking Memorial Day post:

Liberalism, the Anti-Thought.

Here's one for you, Hoarhey:

Those were the days, my friend,
we thought they'd never end.
We've got Barack,
Now we can bring them back.

I have never been able to give the Beatles, i.e., Lennon and McCartney, the same homage as the rest of my age group. I did like Daltry and the Who. Shoot, I even liked Herman's Hermits.

For the majority of you who are too young to remember, people my age were driving around in Rustangs and Camaros listening to this crap on the AM radio. As bad as top-40 radio was, even worse were the low-power FM campus stations or "community radio", like KOPN in Columbia, Missouri -- pumping communist propaganda 24/7 to all those J-School students at Mizzou. Radio was the way we kept track of what was going on -- that and guys like Uncle Walter on the evening news. The wonder is that all our brains did not atrophy down to the medulla oblongata.

Gagdad Bob said...

It's true. I essentially got all my politics through osmosis from the dopey youth culture. I have no idea how conservatism survived prior to talk radio and the internet. Can't recommend this book too highly, A Conservative History of the American Left. It's even worse than I thought.

Aquila said...

Here's one from an unlikely source: ostensibly right-wing rocker Ted Nugent's "Great White Buffalo." If you've never heard this sub-literate goulash of Rousseavian noble-savage mythologizing, easily debunked American historical revisionism, pseudo-environmentalism, and foulmouthed millenarian ranting, consider yourself lucky.

Why *The Nuge*, an ignorant, hostile blowhard who recently *waved around real firearms onstage while threatening elected politicians by name*, remains a conservative icon, is one of the great mysteries of American political culture.

Gagdad Bob said...

Another one by the Guess Who:

I'll be there to shake your hand
I'll be there to share the land
That they'll be givin' away
When we all live together

Gagdad Bob said...


I think it was a career move for Ted. His music is so perfectly awful, he had to find a way to market it.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Bob! Ted was good in Damn Yankees.
Just sayin'...

He's actually more a libertarian with a conservative streak.
It is fun to watch him blast leftists and PETA despises the man. :^)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Al Gore’s mind, it is implodin’
Penguins dyin’, cities floatin’
If he says that cars are bad, it seems to me he's lyin’
He don’t believe in oil, but what's private yet he's flyin'?"

LOL! You write better than Barry does, Bob!
I can't believe I actually liked that stupid song as a boy.
I thought nuclear annihilation was imminent...for a few days.
Fortunately, I got over that rather quickly.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Here's a partially liberal song by Five Man Electric Band: Signs

Sign, sign.
Everywhere a sign.
Blockin' out the scenery.
Breakin' my mind.
Do this. Don't do that.
Can't you read the sign?

Now, hey you, Mister, can't you read?
You got to have a shirt and tie to get a seat.
You can't even watch. No, you can't even..
You ain't supposed to be here.
The sign said, "You've got to have a membership card
To get inside." Uh.

And the sign said, "Everybody welcome.
Come in. Kneel down and pray."
And when the passed around the plate at the end of it all,
I didn't have a penny to pay
So I got me a pen and a paper
And I made up my own little sign.
I said, "Thank you, Lord, for thinkin' 'bout me.
I'm alive and doin' fine."

Of course, by the last verse they came to their senses.
That's not to say they didn't have a point, but it was laced with anarchy.

I love the song though. Just takes a bit of tweaking to make it great.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Of course, I do agree with Aquila, the personal threat thing was way outta line.
Hillary probably liked it, however. :^)

julie said...

Re. dopey youth culture, it's still alive and well, it's just more mainstream these days. After all, some of the biggest supporters and purveyors of today's dyc are yesterday's free-lovin' hippies. And thanks to the internet, it's easier to spread than ever - just look at today's Bleat (via QP)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"It’s true that when there is an explicit political message in rock music, it is virtually always from the left. In fact, this is what makes the songs so unartful, ham-handed, and generally lame."

Indeed. The same holds true for hollyweird movies. When they get more preachy than a fire n' brimstone fundamentalist Preacher, it just sucks, and even most liberals don't support that crap.
Err America is perhaps the best example.

It's impossible to entertain or inspire while fascistically shovin' Big Brother down the audience's throat.
For that is what the song or movie becomes...just another manifesto of tyranny.

They simply bring the listener down, man.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"I am told that normal Canadians who live outside the major cities, especially in the western provinces, are much more appreciative of the security and prosperity made possible by the United States."

Obviously, this isn't true of all cities, but why do most big cities tend to almost always lean left?
And some, like SF, Seattle, Berkeley, etc., are downright riddled with the cancer of leftism and anarchy.

hoarhey said...

Just a suggestion.
I agree with the critique of the song 'Great White Buffalo', but for those feeling a little cramped up by the barrage of P.C. culture, live a little dangerously and give a Nuge concert a try. You may hate the music but you'll looove the show.
It's so far over the edge that it'll bring you back to normal. Guaranteed to leave a smile on your face and a bulge in your boxers. (even the wiminz)
There's a direct correlation between imbibing small doses of hostile blowhards like Ted and maintaining one's sanity in the current oppresive left wing political blowhard culture (i.e. Keith Olberman, Chris Matthews, etc.).
Ted will show you the other margin in a funfilled way. And his song 'Kiss My Ass' more than makes up for 'Great White Buffalo'.
Coming to a town near you Summer 08'.

hoarhey said...

Ben said,
"Obviously, this isn't true of all cities, but why do most big cities tend to almost always lean left?
And some, like SF, Seattle, Berkeley, etc., are downright riddled with the cancer of leftism and anarchy."

You do remember what happened during those experiments where scientists put rats into increasingly crowded conditions don't you?

Just sayin'.

bob f. said...

Maybe the exception that proves the rule of lefty dreck is the Kinks' Muswell Hillbillies, which came out in the early 70's; it's about real people being uprooted by urban renewal; check out "Oklahoma USA" (and the last couple of cuts)to see that someone somewhere somewhen got it.

bob f. said...

Let's also not forget, in this trip down memory lane, Don McLean's American Pie:
"And in the streets the children screamed
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed
But not a word was spoken
The church bells all were broken
And the three men I admire most
The Father, Son and the Holy Ghost
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died."

So maybe all is not lost (although I have no idea what the above means).

old yeller said...

A critique of liberal rock songs, redux. Fascinating and enlightening reading, even if one doesn't make it past the title.
Here's another topic for your consideration, to sharpen your sarkazein in the opposite direction: the Greatest Conservative Rock Songs. Barry Sadler for one could use the press.

Robin Starfish said...

"Carol King is a wonderful pop-rock songwriter, one of the greatest ever. But give me a break with the "creature comforts." I think she owns a village in Idaho. Then again, I suppose she can afford to be its idiot.

Said village is for sale. If you're interested. Would make a nice Raccoon Retreat™, dontcha think? ;-)

Course, a lot of extra time would need to be spent making nice with all the neighbors she pissed off over the years (it's in the fine print).

mushroom said...

I'm putting Flynn's book on my list for my next trip to Borders or B&N. I'm such a luddite that I still hate buying stuff over them internets.

I am somewhat cynical with regard to the Guess Who. There is a B-side to the inane "American Woman", an amalgam of two songs -- Randy Bachman's evocative ode to saccharine, "No Sugar", and "New Mother Nature" by Cummings. Here's a sample of Burton Cumming's "social conscience":

Jocko said "No," when I came back last time
It’s looking like I lost a friend
No use callin’ ‘cause the sky is fallin’
And I’m getting pretty near the end
A smoke-filled room in a corner basement
The situation must be right
A bag of goodies and a bottle of wine
We’re gonna get it on right tonight

‘Cause it’s the new Mother Nature taking over
It’s the new Splendid Lady come to call
It’s the new Mother Nature taking over
She’s gettin’ us all
She’s getting’ us all...


My guess is that Cummings or Bachman stole that last line from Barry White. It's the only one that makes sense.

I actually saw Ted Nugent live two or three times back in the 70's. For some reason we always got Ted or REO Speedwagon as free concerts. Hoarhey nailed it. Nugent used to put on a pretty good show, in the sense of a spectacle. And he can certainly thank God for feedback.

mushroom said...

Bob F., despite the quality of "American Pie" I will forever hold a grudge against Don McLean for inspiring Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly (with his song)".

old yeller said...


Interesting story re: Killing Me Softly It was originally sung by Lori Lieberman. A whole different song. Roberta just butchered it is all, by turning an introspective piece into an uber- successful pop ditty. If you can find the original, it's in the vein of oh, maybe Sarah McLachlan, but 30 years earlier.

mushroom said...

Cool, OY. I'll have to check that out, for the historical interest if nothing else.

Now that you've mentioned it, it seems like I kind of remember Lori Lieberman, maybe from one my folky-dopey-hippie girlfriends. Also, I was a DJ on one of those carrier-current stations for awhile in '73/'74 -- it's possible I even played that version.


tsebring said...

Some more liberal classic gems:

Fortunate Son, Creedence;
Unknown Soldier, The Doors;
Reach Out of the Darkness, Friend and Lover;
Lay Down, Melanie;
Ball of Confusion, Temptations;
Young Man Blues, the Who;
Volunteers, Jefferson Airplane;
Reach out and Touch Somebody's Hand, Supremes;
I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing, Hillside Singers/New Seekers/Coca Cola Company;
Ghost of Tom Joad, Bruce;
I am Woman, Helen Reddy;
One World, Queen;
Don't Kill the Whale, Yes;
Gimme some Truth (which could be a conservative one, too), John Lennon
Wake Up, Harold Melvin & Bluenotes;
What the World Needs Now, Burt Bachrach;
The entire soundtrack of Hair
Anything by Joan Baez

And some more conservative nuggets:

Something for Nothing, Rush;
A Farewell to Kings, Rush ( a nice view of what a caliphate might look like)
Anything by Charlie Daniels;
Man in the Mirror, Michael Jackson (go figure);
Same Rain, Sam Phillips

And don't forget the anti-religious ditties:

Hymn 41, Jethro Tull;
Nothing, Frank Zappa;
Free Will, Rush;
Jesus He Knows Me, Genesis;
Only the Good Die Young, Billy Joel;
Patty Smith's version of "Gloria";
The aforementioned Imagine;
Goody Two Shoes, Adam Ant

Quite a smorgasbord, I must say.

tsebring said...

what Roberta did to the song was nothing compared to the massacre the Fugees did to it.

walmart shopper said...

I stopped by B&N this evening to pick up the Flynn book. They seemed to have every book Noam Chomsky has ever written -- at least 6 or 7 titles -- but no Flynn. I wound up picking up a copy of Sam Harris's book because I wanted something to read and it was cheap. I look forward to reading it and remaining unperturbed by it. I look forward to pitying him.

BTW, my favorite anti-Left book (which is to say, a book that says things about the left that are true) is David Horowitz's Politics of Bad Faith. The best part is that it includes some of the letters he exhanged with his lefty friends as he was turning coat and becoming a conservative (which is to say, a liberal). You want to talk about some powerful stuff. The letters have special poignance because he's writing to people he loves, and because he's writing both as a critic of the left and also as one who understands and sympathizes with the left. In my opinion, it's right up there with Whitaker Chambers' stuff in terms of its power. I can still remember where I was when I first read it. Anyway, highly recommended.

Smoov said...

What is the technical term for "below stupid" or "not even stupid"?

These people aren't "stupid" in the traditional sense as they can clearly score well on standardized IQ tests, however they are analagous to a man who has had a large chunk of his brain shot away. He may still function normally in some respects, but there will be gaping deficits where entire aspects of reality are simply missing for him. This isn't stupidity so much as vacuity.

The human intellect is a complex and wondrous thing indeed. People like the communists that currently control the venerable New Scientist remind us of this by displaying this twisted parody of a well-rounded intellectual foundation. They've been shot in the head, spiritually speaking, yet somehow continue to function...

Religion is a product of evolution, software suggests

Smoov said...

Any 'Coon Horror Movie fans out there?

Me neither.

However if perchance you do feel the need to induce feelings of horror--even nausea--well then my friends, here ya go:

Curriculum Designed to Unite Art and Science


Bill said...

How about "Wooden Ships", "Chicago", and "Ohio" by the afore mentioned CSNY. " Ohio" Lyrics:

Tin soldiers and Nixon coming
We're finally on our own
This summer I hear the drumming
4 dead in Ohio
Gotta get down to it
Soldiers are gunning us down
Should have been done long ago...

ad nauseum

for sheer self mocking lunacy

David Peel and the Lower East Side

"Happy Mother's Day
Happy Mother's Day
I am your son I am a runaway
Living on the eastside
Always getting stoned
I'm glad that I'm here
I'm glad I'm not home..."

ge said...

re your lost post: beware the wiles of Ahriman! who couldn't let it live?

Jeff Brokaw said...

Great post. "American Woman" and "War" and "Imagine" are songs I really cannot tolerate any more. And "Give Peace A Chance" ... that worked out real well, with the whole Khmer Rouge thing. I don't recall the followup song by Lennon on the ways he was wrong about that. Huh.

One quibble though: "Love the One You're With". I used to despise this too, but on closer listening I decided it was about somebody who'd been dumped, and so rationalized that pining for somebody who isn't there was vastly inferior to using your eyes to see who is there in front of you.

Don't be angry
Don't be sad
Don't sit cryin' for good times you had

Which does make some sense ...

Uncle Jefe said...

'Billy, don't be a hero, don't be a fool with your life...Billy, don't be a hero, come back and make me a wife...and as he started to go, she said Billy keep your head low...Billy don't be a hero, come back to me.'

And a song the Allman Bros covered in their early days 'God Rest His Soul'...the last verse...
"What we gonna do when war is come, and we're dyin'...dyin' for the cause unkown..."

EricTheRed said...

What about the new songs by aging lefties, who in their 50's and 60's STILL DON'T GET IT:

Exhibit A: Barbra Streisand

You May be someone elses sweetheart
Fighting someone elses war
And if you suffer for the millions
Then its what your fighting for

- "Stranger in a Strange Land," 2005

They tell us lies
They try to tell us who we are
But we have grown
And we remember in the future not to cry
You could be an angel
Look in your ancient eyes

- "All the Children," 2005

Exhibit B: The Eagles

Moon shining down through the palms
Shadows moving on the sand
Somebody whispering the twenty-third Psalm
Dusty rifle in his trembling hands
Somebody trying just to stay alive
He got promises to keep
Over the ocean in America
Far away and fast asleep.


Music blasting from an SUV
On a bright and sunny day
Rolling down the interstate
In the good ol' USA
Having lunch at the petroleum club
Smoking fine cigars and swapping lies
"Gimme 'nother slice of that barbecued brisket!"
"Gimme 'nother piece of that pecan pie"

Freeways flickering, cell phones chiming a tune
We're riding to Utopia; road map says we'll be arriving soon
Captains of the old order clinging to the reins
Assuring us these aches inside are only growing pains
But it's a long road out of Eden

- "Long Road Out of Eden," 2007

Look at the weather, look at the news
Look at all the people in denial
We're burning time, bleeding grace
Still we worship at the marketplace
While common sense is goin' out of style
I thought that I would be above it all by now
In some country garden in the shade


Monuments to arrogance reach for the sky
Our better natures buried in the rubble
We got the prettiest White House that money can buy
Sitting up there in that beltway bubble
And when "El Jefe" talks about our freedom
But this is what he really means...

Business as usual
How dirty we play
Business as usual
Don't you get in the way ...

- "Business as Usual," 2007

CGHill said...

Philadelphia songwriting team John Madara/Dave White (Lesley Gore's "You Don't Own Me" might be their most recognizable tune) put together an "answer" to "Eve of Destruction," just as tuneless but nowhere near as angst-ridden. "Dawn of Correction," billed to "the Spokesmen" - Madara sang lead, if I remember correctly - charted fairly high, and some Top 40 stations listed it alongside "Eve of Destruction," perhaps as an act of atonement.

Anonymous said...

I love you cosmos commenters, and cosmos too. Am an occasional visitor. Just had to say, from personal experience growing up in the 60's and falling for it hook, line and sinker, that for me,life was too easy, too good and I took that for granted...at the same time dumb youth culture rejected spiritual values, and we felt keenly the lack of a spiritual meaning to life. Because of that vacuum I/we were vulnerable (as well as stupid) and fell for such solutions as hating America, hating mommy and daddy, and arrogance - WE would change the world. Quite embarassing in retrospect. But the spiritual need - that has to be filled, and I/we rejected our Judeo-Christian heritage because it was largely in a stale phase and we went traipsing off to India or Moscow, mentally at least. Bad choice! Now I'm back, God in my life, America is wonderful again. Not perfect, but wonderful.

Oh yes, and I totally fell for the songs mentioned. Some still give me goosebumps but my brain knows it's crap. Still in liberal recovery I guess.