We’re all against wars, right?
Wrong. although I know I am because my father “fought the war for the likes of me.”
Well, according to Wikipedia from the end of his war [WWII] in 1945 until 1989 there were 159 wars; from 1990 to 2002 there were 62; from 2003 to 2010 there were 32; and, finally, from 2011 up to now there are, or have been, 19.
Categories such as insurgency, invasion, skirmish, revolution and civil war are included in the grand total of 262, with 36 wars still being waged. Indonesians might be interested in the three mentions. As a Brit, I hadn’t realised that my father’s generation had engaged in a secret war in Vietnam, known as Operation Masterdom, against the Commies. We lost that one, but the French carried on, and when they lost, the Americans took over until they lost in 1975.
And on March 17 1968, I took part in the anti-Vietnam war rally in Trafalgar Square which ended in a violent confrontation between demonstrators and police in Grosvenor Square, home of the American Embassy. (video here) I was cleared out of the Square by the same police horse as Mick Jagger, but that was no time to ask for his autograph.
That war is ever present means that music and songs are too.
Perhaps the Berthold Brecht/Kurt Weill song ‘Ballad of a [Nazi] Soldier’s Wife‘ is the ‘classic’. In this recording Weill plays the piano while his wife and regular partner Lotte Lenya sings in German. For non-German speakers, this is PJ Harvey’s version.
This is a selection of other anti-war songs in my archives.
01. douBt – There is a War Going On
02. Keith Cross & Peter Ross – Peace In The End
03. Yael Naïm & Antonin-Tri Hoang – Shipbuilding
04. Antony Phillips – The Women Were Watching
05. Ric Ocasek w. Alan Vega – Smell War
06. Sons Of Hippies – Gimme Shelter
07. Iain Matthews – Bride 1945
08. Talking Heads – Life During Wartime
09. Art Bears – (Armed) Peace
10. Brinsley Schwarz – (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding?
11. Colin Scot – Do the Dance Now, Davey
12. douBt – Goodbye My Fellow Soldier
Coda: Dory Previn – The Veterans Big Parade