The Effects Of War And Music Together
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Abernathy 1Phillip AbernathyFreshman English 111-04Dr. Doyle17 December 1999The Effects of War and Music TogetherHow are music and war related? Music puts a voice in the people's ears, and tells them whether or not we should be involved in that war. It helped out the troops when they were over seas to not be so home sick. Also, every war preceding the Vietnam War had music to help or support the war, but the Vietnam War is where music during wartime changed. The Vietnam War has been called 'America's first rock-and-roll war' because of rock music that was played and listened to by all Americans. As the draft was raised and draft dodgers were being cracked down on, an overwhelming number of military personnel belonged to one generation: the average age of combat soldiers was 19 and 90 percent were under 23 years of age (Vietnam War Characteristics).
Many of these soldiers did not want to be in Vietnam, and no one wanted to be away from his surroundings back home. Abernathy 2Therefore, many soldiers took things that reminded them of home. Rock music was what most soldiers brought from home, along with beads and peace symbols. The beads and peace symbols were worn with the uniforms to remind the soldiers of the family at home (Abernathy interview).Between the military branches, there was no preference in what music was liked, however officers liked one thing and soldiers liked another. Most soldiers preferred hard rock or psychedelic music; 30 percent enjoyed rhythm and blues; 10 percent, country; 5 percent, classical; and 10 percent, folk (Decurtis 74)
The men often complained that Armed Forces radio station were horrible, part of that was not the radio stations fault because the Vietnam government would allow certain music to be played. Because Vietnam government banned a lot of songs from the airwaves soldiers preferred to listen cassette tapes, either brought from home or purchased on leave. The tape players were small, battery operated, highly portable, and therefore easily carried into the field. Rock music during this time period reflected on the Vietnam War, and since music helps define a situation, Abernathy 3music helped define the Vietnam War and how people despised the fact that we were involved. Lyrics of popular songs were used in the context of the war. Rock-and-roll substituted for lock and load, referring to the procedure for readying the M16 for firing or for switching the weapon from semiautomatic to automatic fire. Songs were written in protest to Vietnam. One song that protested the war was 'Purple Haze,' by Jimi Hendrix.
The song is about a paratrooper, landing in the jungles to purple smoke (Hendrix). During the Vietnam War there was a catch phrase, 'sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll.' Having sex with anyone and everyone was acceptable during this time period. It was called "Free Sex." The drugs were experimented with as well. Marijuana, LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), Cocaine, and many other drugs were tried. Many people believed that The Beatles' 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,' was perceived as a song describing LSD.
Of course rock-and-roll played a major part in the Vietnam War, and there is no better description of this than Woodstock. Woodstock Abernathy 4was a music and arts festival that took place in Bethel, New York, on August 15, 16, and 17 1969. This festival reflected the opinions of how people felt about having troops over in Vietnam, all they wanted was "Peace." Woodstock was place for people to put their worries behind them and speak what was on their minds, and that is exactly what they did. Music has always provided a needed relief during wartime, but in the Vietnam War music provided us with controversy. World War II was different from the Vietnam War in that the World War II the war was fought for a reason. Everyone agreed that we needed to stop the racism, and all the bad things that were going wrong.
Most people at the beginning supported the Vietnam War, but in the later stages of the War, there was hardly any support the war. This was the first war in which the soldiers listened to antiwar and protest songs while fighting in the in a war. In previous wars, the music had always been supportive of why we were fighting a war.
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