"WAR, WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! – MAYBE, BUT WAR SONGS ARE INVALUABLE TO OUR PSYCHE"
War is a sensitive subject but war songs evoke feelings of inspiration, pride, fear, remembrance, confusion and hope.
Later there were “cavalier” ballads about the Spanish Armada, English Civil War and American Civil War. Songs were commonplace during both World War I and II.
Music engulfed the Second World War. Songs were readily available in the USA and Britain and every country used this powerful media to rally people and troops. Germany censored some radio, but music played a major part in the war. Political propaganda used in some compositions gained mental points over the opposition.
Vera Lynn sang the popular war song, “(There’ll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover”. It was written before America had joined the war, and Germany had conquered most of Europe and were bombing Britain. Both countries’ aircraft fought over the hills of Dover and the song looked forward to hopeful and peaceful times.
Other songs included Vera Lynn’s “We’ll Meet Again” and the theme to TV’s “Dad’s Army”, “Run Rabbit Run” by Flanagan and Allen.
Today, we know “19” by Paul Hardcastle was about the Vietnam War, the soldiers drafting age. We remember Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s controversial video to “Two Tribes” showing a hand to hand fight between Reagan and Chernenko. Both were anti-war. Did you know that some war songs were loved for very different reasons? Here’s a couple to make you re-think.
“Born In The USA” by Bruce Springsteen – Patriotic anthem? Ronald Reagan misunderstood the negative lyrics about the Vietnam War effects as national pride. It actually laments loss of national pride and ignorance of the public voice.
Are there war songs that you have taken to your heart for any reason, inspiring, protesting, hopeful or reflective?
So war is good for nothing, but songs about war are essential to our minds, hearts and souls in this climate of destructive leaders.