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Anti-war songs

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Most Covered Classic Anti-War Songs
Note, Dylan wrote the top six! Blowin' in the Wind (375+), The Times They Are a Changin' (123+), Masters of War (60+), Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 (46+), With God on Our Side (46+), When the Ship Comes In (36+), Imagine (32+), .Morning Dew (24+),. .War Pigs (16+),. (What's So Funny 'bout) Peace, Love and Understanding? (15+), Get Together (12+), I Ain't Marchin' Anymore (12+), If I Had a Hammer (10+), Last Night I had the Strangest Dream (9+), Street Fighting Man (9+), It's the End of the World as We Know It (8+), Where Have All the Flowes Gone? (8+), Gates of Eden (7+), Oliver's Army (7+), Edwin Starr's War (7+), Ball of Confusion (6+), A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall (6+), Run Through the Jungle (6+), And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda (5+), Shipbuilding (5+), Talkin' World War III Blues (5+), Between the Wars (4+), Born in the USA (3+), Doctor My Eyes (3+), For What It's Worth (3+), I Don't Want to Be a Soldier (3+), Peace in Our Time (3+), Peace Train (3+), People Got to be Free (3+), Pledge of Resistance (3+), Billy, Don't be a Hero (2+), Fortunate Son (2+), My Youngest Son Came Home Today (2+), Think Again (2+), Universal Soldier (2+), The Unpeople (2+), Vigilante Man (2+), We Gotta Get Outta This Place (2+), The Grave (1+), New Order (1+), Happy X'mas, War is Over (1+), Hey, Joe (1+), No Man's Land (1+), Ohio (1+), One Tin Soldier (1+), World Turned Upside Down (1+)
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Wars still rage around the world -- Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza, Sudan and a dozen other places. It seems that the news is nothing but stories of war. So much for the sixties anthem War is Over If You Want It. During the Vietnam War any artist worth their salt was writing anti war songs and getting air time for them. Today, even with so many wars raging, you have to hunt and search the web to find anything approaching an anti-war song and good luck finding anything on the radio. Apathy or corporate control? PlayOnLyrics.com presents the Top 20 Anti War lyrics in order of the song’s release.

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20. Dirty Harry. Gorillaz. 2005.

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Gorillaz, the virtual band created by Damon Albarn of Brit-pop band Blur, has created a number of great singles since its inception. This song from the album “Demon Daze” details a British soldier’s awful experiences in the deserts

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of Iraq even after the war was declared over by President Bush. The song was a major hit and was nominated for a Grammy.

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19. Bomb the World. Michael Franti and Spearhead. 2003.

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Hip-hop/folk/reggae artist, ex-lead singer of the hip hop group Disposable Heroes of Hiphopcrisy, Michael Franti wrote "Bomb the World” soon after 9/11, and it has become an anthem in the protest communities, repeating the integral phrase, "You can bomb the world to pieces, but you can't bomb it into peace.” The song, which first appeared on the album “Everyone Deserves Music” paired Franti with reggae legends Sly and Robbie.

18. Travelin’ Soldier. Dixie Chicks. 2002.

Although written from the perspective of a girl who lost her guy in Vietnam, this could apply to any war -- especially the expected 2003 US invasion of Iraq. This song from the six times platinum “Home” was a number one country hit. The Dixie Chicks would a year later become vilified for having the temerity to criticize the US president and his Iraq adventure. The backlash from those comments almost destroyed their careers but they bounced back in 2006 with a hit album.

17. War No More. Wyclef Jean. 2002.

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This song was one bright light on an otherwise poor album from the ex-Fugees singer. Jean's third album, “Masquerade,” was released in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and this song tried to warn against the growing hunger for war.

16. Civil War. Guns N’ Roses. 1993.

In spite of the fact that the nineties were a relatively peaceful time for the United States, Axl Rose and Duff McKagen decided to pen this song as a tribute to the anti war songs of the sixties. Like Black Sabbath before them they were one of the few heavy metal bands to pen an anti-war song. This song appears on “Use Your Illusion II,” although it was originally written for and appeared on the Romanian orphan charity album “Nobody’s Child” in 1990.

15. The Marching Song of the Covert Battalions. Billy Bragg. 1990.

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It is hard to pick just one song from Bragg’s extensive protest songbook but this song from “Internationale” has some of his most powerful lyrics. This Brit has been a lone voice for a number of years but has remained a staple of the English folk rock scene since his first hits in the mid 1980s.

14. Attack of the Peacekeepers. Jello Biafra and DOA. 1989.

Odd song from the always controversial Jello Biafra, ex lead singer of the Dead Kennedy’s. This song poked fun at the cold war and the ineptitude and danger or the US military in Europe. It song would later appear on the soundtrack to the film “Terminal City Ricochet.” We have never heard of it either.

13. Don't Let The Bastards (Get You Down). Kris Kristofferson. 1988.

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The album “Third World Warrior” released in 1990 was a failure due to Kristofferson’s declining popularity as a song writer and coming during a lull in his acting career. But it did feature this great track. The whole album from this ex-army helicopter pilot and original cowboy outlaw was decidedly left wing but the anti-war sentiment summed up in this song was universal.

12. Born in the USA. Bruce Springsteen. 1984.

Perhaps one of the most misunderstood anti-wars songs. The Boss was angered by President Reagan using the booming song as a pro-USA anthem during political rallies that left many casual Springsteen fans confused by the seeming change in political stance. A careful listening of the song, however, reveals all the usual Springsteen motifs as he details the pain of those who come home from wars and are abandoned by those that sent them. Springsteen would redo the song as a painful and plaintive acoustic ballad.

11. If I Had a Rocket Launcher. Bruce Cockburn 1984.

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An odd choice for an anti war song as it advocates violence. But justified violence. At the height of the Wars in Central America, Cockburn went to Guatemala and the harrowing experience turned the normally mild Canadian folkie into a politicized activist. This song from “Stealing Fire” remains one his most powerful and best known.

10. Southampton Dock. Pink Floyd. 1983.

This song appeared on Pink Floyd's 1983 album, “The Final Cut,” the last featuring songwriter Roger Waters. He has continued to perform this song live. The whole album explores war and loss, specifically World War Two. But this song, while referencing WWII, is also a song about Britain’s war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands the year before.

9. Invisible Sun. The Police. 1981.

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Sting has written a number of anti-war songs both as a member of The Police and in his subsequent solo career. This song from “The Ghost in the Machine” is perhaps one of his most haunting and effective. It takes the point of view of a man in Northern Ireland at the height of The Troubles who must choose between fighting or living.

8. War. Edwin Starr. 1970.

This song was actually written by Whitfield and Strong of The Temptations a year earlier but the song was popularized the following by Edwin Starr. The Vietnam War was at the height of its conflict, and Starr's intense vocals transformed the Temptations album track into a number one chart success and an anthem for the antiwar movement.

7. War Pigs. Black Sabbath. 1970.

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An unlikely source for an anti-war song, but British heavy metal pioneers Black Sabbath, lead by Ozzie Osborne created this masterpiece for their 1970 album, “Paranoid.” The song talks about war and the absurdities of those who make war without regard to the powerless people who are sent to die. Originally intended to be the title-track, the name of the album was changed to “Paranoid” by the record company feared a backlash by supporters of the Vietnam War.

6. Ohio. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

1970. While not technically an anti war song this song by Neil Young is inextricably linked with the war in South East Asia. After hearing that students protesting the US invasion of Cambodia had been gunned down at Kent State College, Ohio by National guardsmen Young wrote and recorded the single in two days. It was an instant classic and remains an anthemic protest song.

5. Fortunate Son. Creedence Clearwater Revival. 1969.

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With American kids being drafted and sent to die in Vietnam, John Fogerty wrote this anti-war anthem for the album “Willy and the Poor Boys.” Fogerty said the song was inspired by David Eisenhower, the grandson of President Eisenhower who avoided the draft and Vietnam and got into the navy reserve, much like another fortunate son.

4. Give Peace a Chance. John Lennon. 1969.

At the end of his week-long "bed-in" with his wife Yoko Ono, Lennon wrote and recorded this pro-peace song along with a roomful of visitors. Lennon was still a Beatle and the song got instant attention. This was at the height of the Vietnam War and this song became an anthem of the peace movement.

3. I Ain’t Marching Any More.Phil Ochs. 1965.

His light has dimmed since the sixties but at the 10

time Ochs was regarded as one of the most influential singer songwriters of the era. This song cemented his reputation. Detailing a soldier who has had enough with war it followed his anti-draft song Draft Dodger Rag onto the charts in 1965.

2. Universal Soldier. Buffy Sainte-Marie. 1964.

Written and recorded by Canadian singer-songwriter Sainte-Marie the song appeared on her debut album “It's My Way” in 1964. It was not a popular hit at the time of its release. The following year, English folk singer Donovan recorded the song and his version became a hit. It has since become a standard of the anti-war song book.

1. Masters of War. Bob Dylan. 1963.

Bob Dylan burst onto the folk scene with the album “Freewheelin with Bob Dylan” in 1963. "Blowin' in the Wind," from this album was arguably Dylan's most famous song but this song from the same album was an early anti-war song before the Vietnam War had even started.

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two, one two three four Ev'rybody's talking about Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism This-ism, that-ism ism ism ism All we are saying is give peace a chance All we are saying is give peace a chance its goin' great Everybody's talkin' bout'ministers, sinisters, banisters and canisters, bishops and fishops and rabbis and pop eyes, and byebye, byebyes

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Lifer Courtney Love Fozzy Ol' Dirty Bastard Billy Idol Keane Fountains Of Wayne Ja Rule Ll Cool J R Kelly

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I Wish Rider Bitch I Feel Too Much Kite The Bonus Plan World That Came

all we are saying is give peace a chance, all we are saying is give peace a chance, let me tell you now Ev'rybody's talking about Revolution, evolution, masturbation, flagellation, regulation, integrations,

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meditations, United Nations,

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All we are saying [eep talking] is give peace a chance All we are saying is give peace a chance

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Oh Let’s stick to it Ev'rybody's talking about John and Yoko, Timmy Leary, Rosemary, Tommy smothers, Bobby Dylan, Tommy Cooper, Derek Tayor, Norman Mailer, Alan Ginsberg, Hare Krishna, Hare Hare Krishna All we are saying is give peace a chance All we are saying is give peace a chance Voting result: (out of 36 total votes) Your Vote:

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Word of the day. Lyricosis (
1. sung; 2. not knowing the actual lyrics, but singing anyway. Usually type one causes type two in the listeners,

singing so poorly that nobody can understand wha

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Click Here to Write Your Misheard Version of this Song!

the condition is considered contagious.

We have a lot of lyrics on this site and there are plenty of m

lyrics. Every now and then the singer gets so much into a s

he or she blows a line, or it is just written in such a way that

impossible to sing a line clearly. It happens all the time. And it is a line or two that can produce such hilarity. ... read more

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Lyrics Directory > John Lennon > Live in New York > Give Peace A Chance

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Give Peace A Chance
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John Lennon
two, one two three four Ev'rybody's talking about Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism This-ism, that-ism ism ism ism All we are saying is give peace a chance All we are saying is give peace a chance its goin' great Everybody's talkin' bout'ministers, 14

s Top 20 Anti War

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tured Artists
Lifer Courtney Love

Fozzy Ol' Dirty Bastard Billy Idol Keane Fountains Of Wayne Ja Rule Ll Cool J R Kelly

sinisters, banisters and canisters, bishops and fishops and rabbis and pop eyes, and byebye, byebyes

tured Songs
It's About Time I Wish Rider Bitch I Feel Too Much Kite The Bonus Plan World That Came

all we are saying is give peace a chance, all we are saying is give peace a chance, let me tell you now Ev'rybody's talking about Revolution, evolution, masturbation, flagellation, regulation, integrations, meditations, United Nations,

Miro

Congratulations.

Who Needs Pictures All we are saying [eep talking] is give peace a chance Mourning Air

All we are saying is give peace a chance

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Oh Let’s stick to it Ev'rybody's talking about John and Yoko, Timmy Leary, Rosemary, Tommy smothers, Bobby Dylan, Tommy Cooper, Derek Tayor, Norman Mailer, Alan Ginsberg, Hare Krishna, Hare Hare Krishna All we are saying is give peace a chance All we are saying is give peace a chance Voting result: (out of 36 total votes) Your Vote:

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Misheard Lyrics from this Song

Weekly Features

Word of the day. Lyricosis (
1. sung; 2. not knowing the actual lyrics, but singing anyway. Usually type one causes type two in the listeners, the condition is considered contagious.
Click Here to Write Your Misheard Version of this Song!

singing so poorly that nobody can understand wha

We have a lot of lyrics on this site and there are plenty of m

lyrics. Every now and then the singer gets so much into a s

he or she blows a line, or it is just written in such a way that

impossible to sing a line clearly. It happens all the time. And it is a line or two that can produce such hilarity. ... read more

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Most Prolific Anti-War Song Artists
Billy Bragg (11), .The Compassionate Conservatives (11),. Bob Dylan (11), Sting (8), Pink Floyd (8), Peter Hicks and Geoff Francis (8), Pete Seeger (8), U2 (8), Robb Johnson (7), Phil
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Ochs (7), Jackson Browne (6), Madeleine Begun Kane (6), R.E.M. (6), Stephen Smith (6), Bruce Springsteen (6), John Lennon (5), Eric Bogle(5), Nick Fnord (5), Jimi Hendrix (5), John Warner (5), Neil Young (5), Roy Zimmerman (5), Elvis Costello (4), Joe McDonald (4), Minutemen (4), Dave Stoddard (4), Saul Williams (4), Bad Religion (3), Faith No More (3), Jello Biafra (3), Creedence Clearwater Revival (3), Ani DiFranco (3), Steve Earle (3), The Foremen (3), Gill Scott Herron (3), Jynkz (3), Lawnmower R'N'B (3), Rojo y Negro (3), The Rolling Stones (3), David Rovics (3), Uncle Ted's Garage (3), Willie Nelson (3), Atilla the Stockbroker (2), James Brown (2), Carter USM (2), Johnny Cash (2), Cat Power (2), Eugene Chadbourne (2), Change (2), The Clash (2), Bruce Cockburn (2), Dead Kennedys(2), .Donovan(2),. Fish (2), Arlo Guthrie (2), Makem & Clancy (2), Pat Humphries (2), The Impressions (2), Iron Maiden (2), Yusuf Islam (2), Live (2), Phyl Lobl (2), Bob Marley (2), Curtis Mayfield (2), George Michael (2), Manic Street Preachers (2), Midnight Oil (2), Graham Nash (2), Randy Newman (2), PeaceSong (2), John Prine (2), Rage Against the Machine (2), Sleater-Kinney (2), The Staple Singers (2), .Utopia (2),. Bruce Watson (2)

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