War (What is it good for?) by Edwin Starr

The news out of Ukraine is following the depressingly familiar pattern that always accompanies war: death, destruction, and refugees fleeing their homes.

This version of the Vietnam protest song became a #1 hit in 1970 but its message is timeless.


  1. xohjoh2n says

    There was a 90s scifi show -- something involving space marines -- where one of them found an old copy of this song and used to play it over the intercom as they flew their space fighters into battle.

    Annoyingly I can’t find any reference to it any more.

  2. John Morales says

    What’s mildly interesting is that the USAnian song is rather aggressive, whilst the Ozzie songs (good one, Holms) are kinda melancholic.

  3. prl says

    I prefer Eric Bogle’s No Man’s Land (aka The Green Fields of France or Willie McBride) to The Band Played Waltzing Matilda.

  4. chigau (違う) says

    The neat thing about “where have all the flowers gone” is that it takes about ten minutes to teach it to a bunch of kindergarteners. And if you sing it again throughout the day, they will never ever forget it.

  5. grahamjones says

    The song that comes to my mind is The Call Up by The Clash.
    It’s up to you not to heed the call up / You must not act the way you were brought up
    Maybe I wanna see the wheatfields / Over Kiev and down to the sea
    Who gives you work and why should you do it / At 55 minutes past 11?

  6. says

    Bruce Cockburn’s “If I Had A Rocket Launcher” was about Guatemala in 1984 and Efrain Rios Montt’s US-backed campaign of terror, but it remains apt today.

  7. Rob Grigjanis says

    Intransitive @12: A great song, but another of his songs has one of my favourite lines of all time; “Lovers in a Dangerous Time”;

    You gotta kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight

    Not technically an antiwar song, but…

  8. morsgotha says

    @xohjoh2n #1

    Space above and beyond? That song was hey ho lets go by the Ramones.

  9. xohjoh2n says

    @14 I definitely remember something using War… first time I’d heard the song.

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