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Playlist for an Old Soldier | Protest Songs

Updated on September 25, 2010

This hub may come as a surprise to those folks that aren’t close to soldiers in general, and this one in particular. While you serve you submit to the authority of the chain of command, all the regulations, etc and if you’re a volunteer you so willingly. If you’re drafted you so, so you can get your 2 years done and get out without going to jail or creating any ‘Bad Time’ that you’d have to make up before discharge.

But when your First Sergeant or Platoon Sergeant gives the command at the end of the day “Fall Out!” it is your time to lament and sometimes defy authority. Some of the protests songs of the 60’s and early 70’s would get your ‘Lifer’ NCO charged up since it was so identified with “Pot Smoking, Long Haired, Dirty Rotten Protesting  Hippies”, a PFC with no power could identify with the antithesis of everything around him by going to his bunker or C hut and cranking it up.  Plus the music was pretty good, and sometimes linked up with the animal inside, like War, Soul Sacrifice, or Iron Man, or made a comment on the dumb side of politics or governments like Feeling Like I’m Fixing to Die, or Alice Restaurant.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this little trip down memory lane here, by the way there haven’t really been any good protest songs since, The Gulf War had “From a Distance” but no power or real emotion in that one, to mamby pamby.   No good ones I’ve heard since 2001 though the politics of the wars are contentious, no real good protest stuff has come from the music makers. I wonder why, no draft maybe?

This is the Granddaddy of them all, and the Chorus ws in use as marching cadence by the time I joined the Army in 72. We would sing it marching out to the ranges on Ft Polk, La  Our Drill Sergeant figured we might as well get used to the idea that we had no time to wonder why whoopee were all gonna die.

War was the biggest hit of Edwin Starr’s career selling over 3,000,000 copies. First published in 1969 this is one that was understood and embraced by us all over there. Nothing good ever comes from it seemed like a simple truth.

The great solos in this song were like the screams of your soul that only you could hear in the quiet of the night.

Sums up the psyche pretty good for the times.


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    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      Pretty nice collection all around here Hmrjmr1! I'm with you brother Vet!

    • profile image

      lynnechandler 7 years ago

      Awesome group of songs. Have had many a debate about the roll of toilet paper in Alice's Restaurant, hehe. Love em all.

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 7 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Dusty - Many a beer was chugged to the songs above (and still are) Thanks my brother..

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 7 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Ken - One good thing about that long less traveled by road, is the music was great! Thanks my friend

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 7 years ago from Arizona

      Hammer some of them are drinking tunes but I know every one, and they get air time around here at times best forgotten voted you up,50

    • Ken R. Abell profile image

      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Great Hub about great songs. Borrowing a phrase from another hippy tune, thanks for the reminder of what a "long, strange trip it's been. . ."

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 7 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Glad you liked it Tom, He gave an awful lot of guys a good time Thanks for the high compliment!

    • Tom Whitworth profile image

      Tom Whitworth 7 years ago from Moundsville, WV


      Your hub evokes the memory of the DJ portrayed by Robin Williams in the movie, "Good Morning Viet Nam"!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Great Hub!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 7 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Pop - Thats cause great minds think alike!! Glad you had fun with it too.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 7 years ago

      It's amazing I was just thinking that I enjoy this kind of hub so much when voila! here comes another one. Voted awesome!