Reflective song

Edwin Starr (American)

Born Charles Edwin Hatcher on January 21,  1942 in Nashville, Tennessee, Edwin was raised and educated in Cleveland, Ohio.  In 1962, after completing two years of military service in the USA and Germany he moved to Detroit. By the middle of the decade he was a member of the artistes on the up-and-coming RicTic label under Ed Wingate.   Together they released one immortal Northern Soul hymn after another.  One of Starr's most memorable work is "War."

 

War! What is a good war? 

Absolutely nothing


War, huh, good God
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Listen to me

Ohhh, war, I despise
Because it means destruction
Of innocent lives

War means tears
To thousands of mothers eyes
When their sons go to fight
And lose their lives

I said, war, huh
Good God, y'all
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it again

War, whoa, Lord
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Listen to me

War, it ain't nothing but a heartbreaker
War, it's got one friend
That's the undertaker
Ooooh, war, has shattered
Many a young mans dreams
Made him disabled, bitter and mean
Life is much to short and precious
To spend fighting wars these days
War can't give life
It can only take it away

Ooooh, war, huh
Good God y'all
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it again

War, whoa, Lord
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Listen to me

War, it ain't nothing but a heartbreaker
War, friend only to the undertaker
Peace, love and understanding
Tell me, is there no place for them today
They say we must fight to keep our freedom
But Lord knows there's got to be a better way

Ooooooh, war, huh
Good God y'all
What is it good for
You tell me
Say it, say it, say it, say it

War, huh
Good God y'all
What is it good for
Stand up and shout it
Nothing 

 

 

Phil Ochs (American)

Phil Ochs was a singer/songwriter during the 1960's (variously categorized as ``topical'', ``protest'' and ``folk''). He was a contemporary (and friend) of Bob Dylan. (who said: ``I just can't keep up with Phil. And he's getting better and better and better.'') He was a prolific writer of protest songs such as Draft Dodger Rag, I Ain't Marchin' Anymore and Outside Of A Small Circle Of Friends. His output diminished at the end of the 60's after putting out 7 albums. He wrote little in the 70's and, sadly, took his own life in 1976.


I Ain't Marching Anymore 

Oh I marched to the battle of New Orleans
At the end of the early British war
The young land started growing
The young blood started flowing
But I ain't marchin' anymore

For I've killed my share of Indians
In a thousand different fights
I was there at the Little Big Horn
I heard many men lying
I saw many more dying
But I ain't marchin' anymore

It's always the old to lead us to the war
It's always the young to fall
Now look at all we've won with the sabre and the gun
Tell me is it worth it all

For I stole California from the Mexican land
Fought in the bloody Civil War
Yes I even killed my brother
And so many others
And I ain't marchin' anymore

For I marched to the battles of the German trench
In a war that was bound to end all wars
Oh I must have killed a million men
And now they want me back again
But I ain't marchin' anymore

For I flew the final mission in the Japanese sky
Set off the mighty mushroom roar
When I saw the cities burning
I knew that I was learning
That I ain't marchin' anymore

Now the labor leader's screamin' when they close the missile plants,
United Fruit screams at the Cuban shore,
Call it "Peace" or call it "Treason,"
Call it "Love" or call it "Reason,"
But I ain't marchin' any more. 

 

Source: http://web.cecs.pdx.edu/~trent/ochs/

 

 

Tom Paxton (American)

Thomas Paxton, born in 1937 is an folk singer and songwriter who has been writing, performing and recording music for over forty years. In 2009, Paxton received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.  Tom Paxton's songs can be emotionally affective and cover a wide range of topics, from the serious and profound to the lighthearted and comical. "What Did You Learn in School Today?" mocks the way children are often taught lies. "Jimmy Newman" is the story of a dying soldier, and "My Son John" is a moving song about a soldier who comes back home and can't even begin to describe what he's been through. "Beau John" is a civil rights era song about taking a stand againstracial injustice .  "A Thousand Years" tells the chilling tale of Neo-Nazi uprising, and "Train for Auschwitz" is about the Holocaust . "On the Road to Srebrenica" is about Bosnian Muslims who were killed in a 1995 massacre in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  "The Bravest" is a song about the firefighters who gave their lives while trying to save others on Setptember 11, 2001. 

 

What Did You Learn in School Today? 

What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
I learned that Washington never told a lie.
I learned that soldiers seldom die.
I learned that everybody's free.
And that's what the teacher said to me.
That's what I learned in school today.
That's what I learned in school.


What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
I learned our government must be strong.
It's always right and never wrong.
Our leaders are the finest men.
And we elect them again and again.
That's what I learned in school today.
That's what I learned in school.

What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
I learned that war is not so bad.
I learned of the great ones we have had.
We fought in Germany and in France.
And some day I might get my chance.
That's what I learned in school today.
That's what I learned in school.   

 

 

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