The following is an excerpt from what many consider to be the first ‘real’ protest song in America. The song is “Eve of Destruction” written by P.F. Sloan and released in 1965 by Barry McGuire.
The eastern world it is explodin’,
violence flarin’, bullets loadin’,
you’re old enough to kill but not for votin’,
you don’t believe in war, what’s that gun you’re totin’,
and even the Jordan river has bodies floatin’…
Don’t you understand, what I’m trying to say?
Can’t you see the fears that I’m feeling today?
If the button is pushed, there’s no running away,
There’ll be no one to save with the world in a grave , take a look around you, boy, it’s bound to scare you, boy…
Yeah, my blood’s so mad, feels like coagulatin’,
I’m sittin’ here, just contemplatin’,
I can’t twist the truth, it knows no regulation,
handful of Senators don’t pass legislation,
and marches alone can’t bring integration,
when human respect is disintegratin’,
this whole crazy world is just too frustratin’…
Think of all the hate there is in Red China
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama!
Ah, you may leave here, for four days in space,
but when you return, it’s the same old place, the poundin’ of the drums, the pride and disgrace,
you can bury your dead, but don’t leave a trace,
hate your next-door-neighbour, but don’t forget to say grace,
and you tell me over and over and over and over again my friend,
you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.
no you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction…
Sad that a protest song written 46 years ago still has relevance today.You would hope that in that time society and the world at large would have made a change for the better. Oh there’s progress in some areas, but we still seem to be perched on the eve of destruction, perhaps even a little closer to it than we were then.
Sure a few of the lines need changing, like the ‘old enough to kill, too young for voting’ line. In 1965 you could be drafted and sent to Viet Nam at age 18 but the voting age was 21. Today Iraq has become our Viet Nam and our boys are now old enough to kill and for voting. Interestingly the line ‘even the Jordan river has bodies floatin’, could very well come to pass again. With the unrest in Syria and the mounting violence, bodies could indeed be floating in the Jordan sooner than you think.
Today Red China could be any of a number of hate filled countries, just as Selma Alabama could be Columbine, Seal Beach or a host of other U.S. cities that have been rocked by death and violence. And still after all these years, legislators in Washington and state capitals across the country continue their bickering, party loyalties and block legislation vital to the well-being of all Americans, legislation for the majority instead of just the chosen few. And the beat goes on.
The ‘four days in space’ line is a dated reference to our space program which was still in its infancy in 65. We were locked in a bitter “race for space” with the Russians and orbiting the planet in a manned space capsule for a string of days was major! 4 years later Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon. Mission accomplished.
Today NASA is seriously talking about a manned mission to mars a multi-billion dollar venture, money that could be put to much better use right here in the good old USA. Think about what the space program money could do our struggling economy, our homeless, unemployed and foreclosed would be so grateful. Hey I’m all for exploring space and “boldly going where no man has gone before,” but I believe we need to take care of our own space right here on planet Earth first. I say we put NASA and the space program on hold for as long as it takes to get our house in order. The money is better spent on “We the people”.
Yeah, were on the eve of destruction all right, and people are getting feed up. And not just Americans! Currently we are seeing a resurgence of that protest spirit of the 60’s. Around the world people are uniting and protesting social and economic injustice. We are seeing a massive ‘Occupy Together’ movement which began with ‘Occupy Wall Street’ in mid September. Since then over 900 ‘Occupy’ protests have sprung up in cities worldwide. 82 different countries are involved.
Locally there is an ‘Occupy’ protest outside Los Angeles city hall where city officials have grown tired of the assemblage and are looking for a peaceful way to disperse or move the protesters. Other major California cities include San Diego, Sacramento, San Francisco and Oakland. Most major cities from coast to coast are under siege by protest. Already clashes between police and protesters in Oakland and Atlanta have turned violent and resulted in numerous arrests. In Oakland was protester an U.S. Army Iraqi War hero was seriously injured when he was struck by a tear gas canister fired by police. Ugly.
I gotta tell you this sure looking an awful lot like the 60’s. The current movement is billed as a “democratic awakening” when in reality it is more of a re-awakening of ideals an principals formed in the 60’s. The counter culture revolution began as a reaction against conservatism and social conformity, war and human rights. Well, it’s still about human rights, it’s still about war, it’s still about questioning authority and government and demanding what’s right for America!
Open your eyes citizens our national debt is spiraling out of control. America is deteriorating at an alarming rate. The rich get richer and the rest of us get a little poorer with each passing day. Current legislators are content to place band aids and quick fixes on our nations problems and let future generations deal with the problem. Is this the world we want for our children and their children? I don’t think so.
The current economic slump is affecting everyone except the wealthy, social injustice in some countries runs rampant. The natives are restless my friends. both here and abroad. We’re fed up and can’t take it anymore, won’t take it anymore! The time for change is at hand! The time is right. We are on the eve of destruction. Let the revolution begin!