[This is crossposted from dKos]

As Cindy Sheehan does what we all should be doing, I am reminded of a few song lyrics, not uplifting, not joyous but inspired by necessity.  I would like to share a bit of them below the fold.
The first comes from a recitation in Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant:

And the only reason I’m singing you this song now is cause you may know somebody in a similar situation, or you may be in a similar situation, and if your in a situation like that there’s only one thing you can do and that’s walk into the shrink wherever you are ,just walk in say “Shrink, You can get anything you want, at Alice’s restaurant.”  And walk out.  You know, if one person, just one person does it they may think he’s really sick and they won’t take him.  And if two people, two people do it, in harmony, they may think they’re both faggots and they won’t take either of them.  And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out. They may think it’s an organization.  And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day,I said fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out.  And friends they may thinks it’s a movement.

Next, from Country Joe and the Fish’s bitter Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag (one of the most popular songs amongst the American soldiers in Vietnam):

Come on all of you, big  strong men,

Uncle Sam needs your help again.

He’s got himself in a terrible jam

Way down yonder in Vietnam

So put down your books and pick up a gun,

We’re gonna have a whole lotta fun….  

Well, come on mothers throughout the land,

Pack your boys off to Vietnam.

Come on fathers, don’t hesitate,

Send ’em off before it’s too late.

Be the first one on your block

To have your boy come home in a box.  

Let’s follow that with a couple of snippets from Phil Ochs, first from I Ain’t Marching Anymore:

For I marched to the battles of the German trench

In a war that was bound to end all wars

Oh I must have killed a million men

And now they want me back again

But I ain’t marchin’ anymore

It’s always the old to lead us to the war

It’s always the young to fall

Now look at all we’ve won with the sabre and the gun

Tell me is it worth it all

For I flew the final mission in the Japanese sky

Set off the mighty mushroom roar

When I saw the cities burning

I knew that I was learning

That I ain’t marchin’ anymore

And then from The Marines Have Landed on the Shores of Santo Domingo:

Ready for the tricks, their bayonets are fixed, now they are rolling

And the tanks make tracks past the trembling shacks where fear is unfolding

All the young wives afraid, turn their backs to the parade with babes they’re holding

The marines have landed on the shores of Santo Domingo

A bullet cracks the sound, the soldiers hit the ground, the sniper is callin’

So they open their guns, a thousand to one, no sense in stalling

He clutches at his head and totters on the edge, look how he’s falling

The marines have landed on the shores of Santo Domingo

In the red plaza square, The crowds come to stare, the heat is leaning

And the eyes of the dead are turning every head to the widows screaming

The soldiers make a bid, giving candy to the kids, their teeth are gleaming

The marines have landed on the shores of Santo Domingo

Up and down the road, the generals drink a toast, the wheel is spinning

And the cowards and the whores are peeking through the doors to see who’s winning

But the traitors will pretend that it’s getting near the end, when it’s beginning

The marines have landed on the shores of Santo Domingo

Depressing?  Yes.  But we are at a time of crisis.

Next comes Bob Dylan’s Masters of War

You that never done nothin’

But build to destroy

You play with my world

Like it’s your little toy

You put a gun in my hand

And you hide from my eyes

And you turn and run farther

When the fast bullets fly

Both Bob Dylan and Phil Ochs owed a lot of their inspiration to Woody Guthrie, who wrote All You Fascists:

I’m gonna tell you fascists

You may be surprised

The people in this world

Are getting organized

You’re bound to lose

You fascists bound to lose.

Let’s follow that with a younger (though not so young, any longer) songwriter, Elvis Costello with Oliver’s Army:

There was a checkpoint charlie

he didn’t crack a smile

but it’s no laughing party

when you’ve been on the murder mile

only takes one itchy trigger

one more widow, one less white nigger…

Hong kong is up for grabs

london is full of arabs

we could be in palestine

overrun by a chinese line

with the boys from the mersey and the thames and the tyne

but there’s no danger

it’s a professional career

though it could be arranged

with just a word in mr. Churchill’s ear

if you’re out of luck you’re out of work

we could send you to johannesburg

Cindy Sheehan, these may not be the most uplifting songs (as I pointed out), but what you are doing is not an act of joy.

We support you, even though few of us can be with you today in more than spirit.

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