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  2. The Beatles - Revolution

  3. History • In early 1968, media coverage in the aftermath of the Tet Offensive spurred increased protests in opposition to the Vietnam War • The Tet Offensive was a military campaign during the Vietnam War • The Viet Cong and North Vietnam attacked South Vietnam, the United States and their allies in a surprise attack during a period of time when there were supposed to be no attacks • On March 17, 1968 several thousand demonstrators marched to the American embassy in London’s Grosvenor Square and violently clashed with police • The Beatles had avoided expressing political viewpoints • Lennon soon decided to write a song about the social upheaval • “I thought it was about time we spoke about it [revolution], the same as I thought it was about time we stopped not answering about the Vietnamese war. I had been thinking about it up in the hills of India.”

  4. History • Lennon expressed in “Revolution” that he wanted “to see the plan” from those advocating toppling the system • The repeated phrase “It’s gonna be alright” in “Revolution came directly from Lennon’s meditation experiences in India • He was trying to convey the idea that God would take care of the human race no matter what happened politically.

  5. POLITICAL RECEPTION • There were immediate responses from the New Left and counterculture press • The New Left is a reference to activists, educators, agitators and others in the 1960s and 197 who sought to implement a broad range of reforms – associated with the Hippie Movement • Others on the left praised the Beatles for rejecting radicalism and advocating pacifism • The far right remained suspicious of the Beatles • Saying they were moderate subversives •

  6. Creedence Clearwater Revival – Fortunate Son

  7. HISTORY • The song was inspired by David Nixon, the grandson of Dwight David Eisenhower ,who married Julia Nixon, the daughter of President Richard Nixon in 1968 • John Fogerty said: • “Julie Nixon was hanging around with David Eisenhower, and you just had this feeling that none of these people were going to be involved with the war. In 1968, the majority of the country thought morale was great among the troops, and eighty percent of the them were in favor of the war. But to some of us who were watching closely, we just knew we were headed for trouble.”

  8. HISTORY • At the time the draft was going on and it seemed the only boys getting out of being drafted were the “well to do” and the politician’s sons. • This is an antiestablishment song of defiance and blue-collar pride, both ant- Washington and against the Vietnam War • John Fogerty and Doug Clifford were both drafted in 1966 and discharged from the army in 1967

  9. HISTORY • Though it speaks out against the Vietnam war, it is supportive of the soldiers fighting there •

  10. Marvin Gaye – “What’s Going on”

  11. HISTORY • The song’s inspiration came from Renaldo “Obie” Benson, a member of the Motown vocal group the Four Tops • In Berkeley, CA, on tour, Benson witnessed police brutality and violence in the city’s People’s Park during a protest held by anti-war activists • Benson said: “I saw this and started wondering ‘what the heck is going on, what is happening here?’ One question led to another. Why are they sending kids so far away from their families overseas? Why are they attacking their own children in the streets”

  12. HISTORY • Benson discussed what he saw with songwriter Al Cleveland, who in turn wrote and composed a song to reflect Benson’s concerns. • Benson wanted to give the dong to his band, but they turned it down saying it was a protest song. • Benson then presented the song to Marvin Gaye

  13. HISTORY • Marvin added a new melody and revised the song to his liking adding his own lyrics • Gaye was inspired by social ills committed in the United States, emotional conversations shared between him and his brother Frankie, who returned from three years of service in Vietnam and his cousin’s death while serving troops. • Gaye said: “With the world exploding around me, how am I supposed to keep singing love songs?” •

  14. Edwin Starr – “War”

  15. HISTORY • “War is a soul song written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong for the Motown label in 1969 • The Temptations were supposed to be the original vocalists but their recording of it was withheld to not alienate their more conservative fans • Whitfield then recorded the song with Edwin Starr

  16. HISTORY • Starr’s version of “War” was a number one hit in 1970 • “War is one of the most popular protest songs ever recorded • Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S., the song was placed on the list of post-9/11 inappropriate titles •