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Pearl Harbor Day Isn’t Happy

Today is the 71st anniversary of Pearl Harbor. This morning, an idiot  newscaster actually said “Happy Pearl Harbor Day”

It gave me a reason to do a blog today about protest songs. There were many songs protesting war. Unfortunately none of them succeeded in actually stopping war.

I have compiled a list of 20 of my favorite protest songs about war and injustice. They may not be the most popular. Some, you may have never even heard. But these are the ones that stuck with me over the years and still have an effect on me today. A few even bring me to tears.

In order of intensity:

20. Better End Soon – Chicago (before they did chick music for fags)

19. Free Nelson Mandela – The Special AKA (You will sing along to this one)

18. Biko – Peter Gabriel (really gets the point across)

17. I Ain’t Marching Anymore – Phil Ochs (I could have picked any Phil Ochs song, but I like this one the best)

16. People Have The Power – Patti Smith (I wish it were true Patti)

15. Ohio – CSNY (see Phil Ochs comment above)

14. Change is Gonna Come – Sam Cooke (probably more relevent before Obama became President)

13. Volunteers – Jefferson Airplane (start the revolution or pass the joint

12. Power To The People – John Lennon (see Patti Smith comment above)

11. For What It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield ( the mother song of all kids getting off their asses and going to a sit in)

10. Revolution #1 – The Beatles (I know I got John Lennon in there, but this one is the fab four. worth the post just for the part where John says ” don’t you know you can count me out…in”)

9. This Land Is Your Land– Woody Guthrie (I thought this was a kids song until I heard all the verses)

8. Fortunate Son – Creedence Clearwater Survival (Fogerty’s voice alone tells you he means business)

7. Unknown Soldier – The Doors (in all his overacting glory, Jim Morrison gets me)

6. Death or Glory – The Clash (one of the most powerful anti-war songs ever)

5. War Pigs – Black Sabbath (no holds barred)

4. Gimme Shelter – The Rolling Stones (impossible to ignore it’s value in the category)

3. Strange Fruit – Billie Holiday (the imagery alone will give you a chill)

2. Some Mother’s Son – The Kinks (wow…is all I can say…wow)

and my number 1 favorite protest song:

1. Masters Of War – Bob Dylan (I know I could have said Blowin In The Wind or Times They Are A Changin or countless others, but this one is a killer. Just listen to it. You WILL be pissed off)

So, on this day of remembrance, as it should be called, I would like to say thank you to the vets past and present for their service.

And to all the above artists for paying attention.



About Stevie GB

60 year old stand up comedian from Long Island. My approach to comedy is telling the truth about being married, middle aged and living in the suburbs. I enjoy making people laugh without making them feel uncomfortable. My act is clean and clever. Featured in Newsday and on News12. Winner of the Huntington Arts Council Laff-off, 2006. 3rd place winner of LI Press Best of LI 2011, A regular on The Long Island Comedy Festival for 9 consecutive years. Opened for Dennis Miller, Louie Anderson, Kevin Pollak, Bobby Collins, Bob Nelson, Uncle Floyd, Kevin Meaney, and many more.

3 responses to “Pearl Harbor Day Isn’t Happy

  1. Gerard ⋅

    Some great songs in between them, others I don’t know, but going to check them out.

    Nr. 2 is my Nr. 1, but I am biased ofcourse… War Pigs with the sirenes gives me goosebumps every time i hear it.

    I am missing Edwin Starr with ‘War’ and ofcourse the famous Frankie Goes To Hollywood with ‘Two Tribes’

  2. No The Kinks- Yes Sir, No Sir? haha good list otherwise the only one i didnt know was the Phil Ochs song

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