Anti War Songs Based on Vietnam From the 1960's to the Present Day

This page will list most well known Vietnam anti war songs written from the 1960's to the present day. On the general music page, there are select artists/songs, that have with them, an in depth analysis as to their meaning. Because it would be too time consuming to provide an analysis for every song, here is a list of anti war Vietnam songs over the past 50 years.

(To read an in depth analysis of various war songs click here) Music and Music Continued

Bob Dylan with his girlfriend Suze Rotolo.
Bob Dylan with his girlfriend Suze Rotolo.

"Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" PETER, PAUL & MARY (1962)
"Masters of War" BOB DYLAN (1963)
"Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues" BOB DYLAN (1963; commercial release, 1991)
"Waist Deep in the Big Muddy" PETE SEEGER (1963)
"The Times They Are A-Changin'" BOB DYLAN (1964)
"MLF Lullaby" and "Send the Marines" from TOM LEHRER's That Was The Year That Was (1965)
"Eve of Destruction" BARRY McGUIRE (1965)
"I-Feel-Like-I'm-a-Fixin'-to-Die Rag" COUNTRY JOE & THE FISH (1965)
"Draft Dodger Rag" PHIL OCHS (1965)
"I Ain't Marching Anymore" PHIL OCHS (1965)

Simon and Garfunkel

"Lyndon Johnson Told the Nation" TOM PAXTON (1965)
"Viet Nam Blues" DAVE DUDLEY (1965)
"I Told Them What You're Fighting For" MAYBELLE CARTER (1966)
"Ballad of the Green Berets" STAFF SERGEANT BARRY SADLER (1966)
"Ballad of the Fort Hood Three" PETE SEEGER (1966)
"Bring 'Em Home" PETE SEEGER (1966)
"7 O'Clock News/Silent Night" SIMON & GARFUNKEL (1966)
"Alice's Restaurant" ARLO GUTHRIE (1967)
"The Story of Isaac" LEONARD COHEN (1967)
"For What It's Worth" THE BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD (1967)

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (L to R: Dallas Taylor (drums); Greg Reeves (bass), Graham Nash, Stephen Stills, David Crosby, Neil Young)
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (L to R: Dallas Taylor (drums); Greg Reeves (bass), Graham Nash, Stephen Stills, David Crosby, Neil Young)

"Sky Pilot" ERIC BURDON & THE ANIMALS (1968)
"War Is Over" PHIL OCHS (1968)
"Talking Vietnam Pot Luck Blues" TOM PAXTON (1968)
"Okie from Muskogee" MERLE HAGGARD (1969)
"Give Peace a Chance" JOHN LENNON (1969)
"The Fiddle and the Drum" JONI MITCHELL (1969)
"Run Through the Jungle" CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL (1970)
"War" EDWIN STARR (1970)

Marvin Gaye playing the piano.
Marvin Gaye playing the piano.

"Stop the War Now" EDWIN STARR (1970)
"What's Going On?" MARVIN GAYE (1971)
"Bring the Boys Home" FREDA PAYNE (1971)
"Sam Stone" JOHN PRINE (1971)
"Still in Saigon" THE CHARLIE DANIELS BAND (1981)
"Goodnight Saigon" BILLY JOEL (1981)
"Born in the USA" BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN (1984)
"The Big Parade" 10,000 MANIACS (1989)
"There's a Wall in Washington" IRIS DeMENT (1996)

"2 + 2 = ?" - The Bob Seger System

Bob Seger System 2+2=?
Bob Seger System 2+2=?

All I know is that I'm young and your rules they are oldIf I've got to kill to live Then there's something left untold I'm no statesman I'm no general I'm no kid I'll never be It's the rules not the soldier That I find the real enemy Allmusic calls it "a ferocious antiwar song." Released as a single in 1968, then included on The Bob Seger System's Ramblin' Gamblin' Man in 1969, "2+2=?" speaks unflinchingly from the perspective of someone whose high school buddy went to Vietnam and is now "buried in the mud" in "foreign jungle land."

"Bring 'Em Home" - Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger Bring Them Home If You Love Your Uncle Sam
Pete Seeger Bring Them Home If You Love Your Uncle Sam
If you love your Uncle Sam Bring 'em home, bring 'em home Support our boys in Vietnam Bring 'em home, bring 'em home It'll make our generals sad, I know Bring 'em home, bring 'em home They want to tangle with the foe Bring 'em home, bring 'em home Pete Seeger is one of those artists who crossed genre lines with his strong anti-war sentiments, and was welcomed with open arms on the "alternative" stations that would play songs mainstream radio wouldn't touch. "Bring 'Em Home" is just one example of many anti-war protest songs written and/or recorded by Seeger.

"Eve of Destruction" - Barry McGuire

Barry McGuire Eve of Destriction
Barry McGuire Eve of Destriction

You're old enough to kill but not for votin'You don't believe in war, but what's that gun you're totin'And even the Jordan river has bodies floatin'But you tell me over and over and over again my friendAh, you don't believe we're on the eve of destructionHad it not been for the hastily written (by P.F. Sloan) and hastily recorded (in one take) "Eve of Destruction" Barry McGuire's musical legacy may well have consisted solely of having once been one of the anonymous voices in the ensemble folk group, The New Christy Minstrels. It turned out that the time (late 1965) was right for the lyrically and vocally powerful warning about war's destructive results.

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