IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

Two of my favorite war/peace songs

A few years back when I was teaching a class on regional conflicts, and multimedia computers were first available in classrooms, I tried for a while to find a nice class “theme song”.  I found some great tracks, which I will share from time to time (not for downloading of course, that would not be legal 🙂 ).  One that my students really liked was “The War Song” by Boy George and Culture Club.  The song starts with what is the refrain:

“War war is stupid
And people are stupid
And love means nothing
In some strange quarters”

(full lyrics available here)

What appealed to the students, I think was that as the course went on, and we talked about Rwanda, Sierra Leone, the Balkans, etc… it became clearer and clearer that war really was stupid, and people are stupid if they let themselves be manipulated into violence by leaders with very dark agendas.

One of my personal favorites is “Civil War” by Guns N’ Roses (and I am not a big fan of the group, by any means).  The song starts with what I think is part of the famous monologue from the film “Cool Hand Luke” about “What we have here is a failure to communicate…” and then launches into a sometimes soft and lyrical, sometimes heavy metal indictment of violent conflict.  Here is one verse I really like:

“My hands are tied
The billions shift from side to side
And the wars go on with brainwashed pride
For the love of God and our human rights
And all these things are swept aside
By bloody hands time can’t deny
And are washed away by your genocide
And history hides the lies of our civil wars”

…and then ends with Axel Rose asking : “What’s so civil ’bout war anyway”  (what a great one-liner!…full lyrics here ).

There are many, many other great peace songs (yes, of course, including “Blowin’ in the Wind” 🙂 ), so please share some you like.

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November 9, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , ,

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