The Times They Are A-Changin' ... again

Create: 05/23/2024 - 20:33

Recently I was involved in a discussion with my partner and some of his friends who came of age in the 1960s. Our discussion was all about how upside down the world is these days with wars going on in the Ukraine and Gaza killing many thousands of people and destroying cities. It is interesting to hear from people who grew up in the 1960s and 70s because they bring an historical background to what is happening now. Many people I know were part of the hippie and counter culture movement of the time.

During that time there was much social upheaval and a major war was happening with the US invasion of Vietnam. Young people of the time took to the streets to protest at universities and colleges all across North America. One of the driving forces behind the anti war movement and the counter culture had to do with popular musicians. Teens and young people were listening to music that for the first time ever confronted the authorities and challenged a war that made no sense to the average citizen.

The young people of that time kept protesting and organized to produce their own media in many cities and towns that pushed back on the war mongers, racism and bigotry of the time. It is amazing to realize that so many young people who were frustrated with the war, environmental issues, racism and bigotry of the time decided to create their own newspapers and magazines. This gave young people a voice and connected them so that they could organize to try to change things in a more positive way. This actually worked as the hippie, counter culture movement helped to stop the war in Vietnam and forced the corrupt US President Richard Nixon of the time to be impeached. These same waves of counter culture movements also included the modern environmental and conservation movements, the anti-war movement, the anti-nuclear movement, the LGBTQ+ movements and the Civil Rights movements. It was at this time that the American Indian Movement grew in popularity in the US and in Canada saw the rise of Indigenous groups and organizations that wanted to represent their people.

There is no doubt that the hippies of the 60s find it frustrating that we are still dealing today with the same senseless wars, dangerous climate change and governments and corporations moving toward undemocratic directions. However thank goodness young people are finally rising up and protesting the war in Gaza in universities and colleges across North America. Our young musicians and artists are rising up to challenge the move away from democracy and protesting against war and corruption in government. I have hope because the same situation occurred in the 60s and 70s and it was only through constant peaceful protest and unwavering consistent solidarity that they were successful. The Indigenous movements and governments that came out of this era are proof of that success. Protests can be ignored for a while but they can not be ignored indefinitely.

I love all kinds of music and I really find some of the protest songs of the 1960s and beyond inspirational and powerful. They can be found on many streaming services on line. Many of these protest songs are still relevant today, songs like: “Eve Of Destruction” by Barry McGuire, “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” by Peter Paul and Mary, “War (What Is It Good For)” by Edwin Starr, “For What It’s by Worth” by Buffalo Springfield, “Ohio” by Crosby Stills Nash and Young, “The Times They Are A-Changin” by Bob Dylan, “Draft Dodger Rag” by Phil Ochs, “I Don’t Wanna Go To Vietnam” by John Lee Hooker, “A Change Is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke, “Blowin’ In The Wind” by Bob Dylan, “Fortunate Son” by Creedance Clearwater Revival, “Peace Train” by Cat Stevens, “Universal Soldier” by Donovan, “Give Peace A Chance” by the Plastic Ono Band, “Imagine” by John Lennon, “The Unknown Soldier” by The Doors, “The Star Spangled Banner” by Jimi Hendrix, “I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin-To-Die Rag” by Country Joe and The Fish, “Time Has Come Today” by the Chambers Brothers, “Simple Song Of Freedom” by Tim Hardin, “Sky Pilot” by Eric Burdon and The Animals, “People Got To Be Free” by the Rascals and “Abraham, Martin and John” by Dion. 
 This playlist and many other songs like this changed the world back then. If the world tunes in like they did in the 1960s it is almost certain the times will change again.

Date Published: 
Thursday, May 23, 2024 - 20:32