Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Children Start to March: Music throughout The Cold War and How it shaped the time

The Children Start to March!
By Jonathan Solares

The events transpiring during the period gave way to many songs that were politically charged toward non-violent civil disobedience and also revolution that needed to transpire and also protests of the Vietnam War. The 1960-2000’s was a period of tension, resistance against the governments of the world, uprisings and revolts, unjustified mass killings, uncalled for shootings of protestors and unjust wars.
Songs in the realm of War Pigs[1970], Children of the Grave[1971] (Both by the first Metal band Black Sabbath) are songs that support the view of both the main singer and guitarist at the time which was that with non violent uprising the people themselves can create a difference.
Such as this excerpt from the song Children of the Grave which gives the sense of the period in such a way that it sometimes gives chills, the feeling of wanting change so badly that even the Children of the World began to protest and March against the governments in order to procure change.
Revolution in their minds
The children start to march
Against the world in which they have to live
And all the hate that's in their hearts
They're tired of being pushed around
And told just what to do
They'll fight the world until they've won
And love comes flowing through.
Another protest song which was and in some cases is still considered a rant of politically charged lines is that of the song of “London Calling” (released 1979) by the punk rock band the Clash. It presents issues ranging from the fear of the Nuclear race and what it might lead to in the future to the way their government was acting toward events occurring at the time. As the line “London is drowning I, and I live by the river” states, they felt their city being demolished and there was nothing they could do about it. An interesting fact about the punk rock movement is that it helped paved the way toward the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Sunday Bloody Sunday, by the political rock band U2 is a song that is a charged political protest song. Being about the actual event of Sunday Bloody Sunday (1972) in which the British Army fired upon civil rights protests and bystanders. The song carefully and with great emotion presents the feelings and effects felt by the family of the victims and the appall the people felt toward the British Government for committing such an unjustified action toward a peaceful protest. The way the band themselves is felt the most with the lines
I can't believe the news today
Oh, I can't close my eyes and make it go away
How long, how long must we sing this song?
How long? How long?
And as a way to wrap up the series of songs I present the power ballad by the heavy metal band The Scorpions “Winds of Change”. This song to me best exemplifies the end of The End of The Cold War and the way the majority of the people felt. Along with the fall of the Berlin Wall it celebrates the Perestroika which was the movement of reform in the USSR.
The world is closing in
Did you ever think
That we could be so close, like brothers
The future's in the air
I can feel it everywhere
Blowing with the wind of change

Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
In the wind of change
These lyrics present the feeling of such happiness that the Cold War had ended and that the Berlin Wall, which had separated the people of Germany, had finally fallen. The line “Did you ever think that we could be so close, like brothers!” presents the closeness of the German peoples after the country began its reunification.

It is apparent that music, for most of the last and century has played a vital role in the society of the world we live in. It has helped to present and protest issues, enforce opinions or refute them, and unify peoples of different origins. Though there is still meaningful music today it is not presented in a mainstream light anymore as the media and record companies do not want the people to have fear any more but want to present music that will keep the population happy and not worried about the current events occurring around the world that can still be considered horrific beyond belief. There are still bands that protest and speak about events or issues that are currently happening that have made it into the mainstream, bands such as Muse, System of a Down, U2, many punk bands, and some metal bands still address issues of importance. There will however always be music that is for “fun and parting” and then there will be true and raw music that addresses these issues even though it might not always see the light of day or the mainstream. 

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