19 March 2013

From the Past; For Today (Music Involved)

It's time, methinks, for another blast from the past. In 2010, I wrote about a song - a rock and roll song - that spoke of the times in which it was written and the atmosphere in the US in 2010. Little has changed - at least for the positive - in that nation. So, I reprise that old blog entry for your reading and listening pleasure. (Don't forget to go to the bottom of the page and actually enjoy the song).

The song was titled "For What It's Worth," but it was known by the phrase, "Somethin' Happening Here." It was sung by a group known then as Buffalo Springfield.

The group itself was only together for two or three years, although all its members went on to great musical careers. This song, which came out in 1967, was their big hit. Not only that, but it became the rock anthem of the 60s and 70s. 

The year 1967 was a tumultuous year in the US and around the world. Protest against the war in Vietnam was at its height. Demonstrations; rallies; even violence over the unpopular war was widespread. Priest Daniel Berrigan, with several others, went into a draft office and splattered red liquid – made up partly of their own blood – over draft records. Martin Luther King, Jr. declared that the US government is “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.  Part of the lyrics for the song read like this:

What a field-day for the heat  
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and they carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side
It's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down.

(Of course, I can hear the music in my head).

Paranoia and fear were all around.[Flash forward to 2013: Americans buying guns in record numbers, distrust of government at all time high, states submitting petitions to secede from the union (I admit these are mostly to make a point and would have little chance of succeeding)].

I propose this song as the Rock Anthem of today, for an indefinite period.

We're out of Bush's unpopular war (for the most part) and we're entrenched in Obama's unpopular war. The economy is in bad shape (don't ever accuse me of understatement!). Election campaigns are dirtier than ever. Race relations are in the toilet. [More on Obama's "Post-Racial America" in days to come]. Winter's coming and we're still dependent on foreign oil. Immigration politics and policies are dividing the nation. Fear of socialism - in our own country  - is rampant.

Anybody who is a member of any patriotic organization is labeled a domestic terrorist suspect. Our names are on several lists gathered and disseminated by our own government. Mistrust of the government is probably at its highest since the 60s (if not higher).

Paranoia and fear are all around.
There's somethin' happenin' here.
What it is ain't exactly clear.
There's a man with a gun over there
A-tellin' me I've got to beware.

I think it's time we stop.
Children, what's that sound?
Everybody look what's goin' down.

There's battle lines bein' drawn.
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong.
Young people speakin' their minds
A-gettin' so much resistance from behind.

The song is only 2 minutes and 39 seconds long. Its worth a listen. And maybe we should "stop. Children, what's that sound?
Everybody look what's goin' down."

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