Which song would you choose for an exposition with the topic : "flower power -songs of protest"? I have to analyse the song -> historical background, relation to the singer...!

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted on

For "flower power," I would add the 5th Dimension's "Age of Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In." It's taken from the quintessential flower power cultural demonstration, the 1967 Broadway hit musical Hair: "flowin', blowin', long as I can grow it, my hair ...." It represents everything about the flower power generation with its locus in San Francisco. For "songs of protest," I'd suggest one of my favorites, "Peace Train" (1971) by Cat Stevens. This was not as overt a protest song as, say, Buffalo Springfield's "Stop! Hey, What's That Sound," but Cat Stevens envisioned the end of peace that all the protest songs strove for, as a result, it was sung often at peace rallies and protests.

"Stop! Hey, What's That Sound"

There's battle lines being drawn.
Nobody's right, if everybody's wrong.
Young people speakin' their minds,
getting so much resistance from behind.

It's time we stop.
Hey, what's that sound?
Everybody look what's goin' down.

What a field day for the heat,
a thousand people in the street.
Singing songs an' their carryin' signs,
mostly sayin' "Hurray for our side." (Buffalo Springfield)

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Michael Ugulini | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

I would include "Monster" by the band Steppenwolf. The song is an anthem against corruption, greed, and the the decline of morality in America, as well as the lack of leadership in government "for the people".

I especially love the lines:

     America, where are you now
     Don't you care about your sons and daughters
     Don't you know we need you now
     We can't fight alone against the monster

The song was on Steppenwolf's album of the same name - Monster - which they put out in 1969. Lead singer John Kay and drummer Jerry Edmonton wrote this song. John Kay continues to write and perform music today and lives in Tennessee. Jerry Edmonton was tragically killed in an auto accident in California back in 1993.


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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I would suggest looking at any songs by "The Mamas and the Papas," "Jefferson Airplane," or "Blood, Sweat and Tears." Many of their songs define the movement and speak to the intense emotional feelings of the period.

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e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Jimi Hendrix was an exemplar of flower power. His songs "The Wind Cries Mary" and "Power of Love" are both songs that take up the atmosphere and the tenets of flower power, promoting ideas of change through compassion and emotional power. 

A non-flower power musician who wrote many songs of protest is Bob Marley. He wrote a number of great protest songs including "I Shot the Sheriff" and "Get Up, Stand Up". 

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I can't think of any song more appropriate than the late Scott McKenzie's "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)." It is a "flower power" anthem of the late 'Sixties (written in 1967). McKenzie died in August 2012. Runner-up: Country Joe (McDonald) & The Fish's Vietnam protest song, "The Fish Cheer," made famous at the Woodstock Festival.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I agree with the first post here that these are two of the best protest songs.  I have used both to teach my history classes about protest duriing Vietnam. But neither of those has much in the way of "flower power."  For that sort of song that captures both the anti-war aspect and the hippie vibe, I'd try either "One Tin Soldier" by Coven or "Universal Soldier," most famously sung by Donovan.

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mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

Because I am over 60, I would choose either Bob Dylan's "Masters of War"  or Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son".  I probably would choose "Fortunate Son" simply because war usually is a rich man's war who send the poor to do the actual fighting.  Like the song says, "I ain't no senator's son" which means he could be sent to fight as he will not be excused as President Bush was during the Vietnam war and never sent into active duty.  He was an example of a "fortunate son".  There are so many other choices from Bruce Springsteen to Green Day and covering protests against the Vietnam War, President Bush and the war in Iraq, etc. and so many artists to choose from that you need more than my answer.  

kmsrocks678's profile pic

kmsrocks678 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

"We're not gonna take this" by twisted sister is a good anthem protest song.

Also, "Give peace a chance" by John Lennon. That is a good one.

yechielgordon's profile pic

yechielgordon | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

I like all these bands, but can't think of any songs by Blood Sweat and Tears,

in particular, that have much to do with protesting war or, really, with protesting

against anything. Which songs were you thinking of? Thanks...

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