Masters of Non-War

Following up my post on the music of war, Nadia Abu-Zahra has kindly directed me to an excellent website devoted to thousands of anti-war, pacifist and anti-militarist songs here.  It includes a searchable database, downloads and videos, and is a marvellous resource.

The curators explain the origins of the project, which went online the day the US-led war on Iraq started:

When rumours of a new war against Iraq started spreading more and more insistently, the members of two Italian Usenet newsgroups, it.fan.musica.gucciniand it.fan.musica.de-andre, and of two other mailing lists dedicated to Italian songwriters, “Fabrizio”and “Bielle” spontaneously began to collect a great number of antiwar songs which were posted every day… So, this site originates from the spontaneous reaction of a number of people, who have chosen to witness their opposition to this war, and to any war, by collecting antiwar songs and by putting them at everyone’s disposal.

(If you just want to see a quick list, try this one from Stop the War‘s ‘anti-war song of the week’: everything from Vera Lynn  – admittedly with Johnny Cash – to Radiohead).

I’ve also been digging around for materials on music and the Vietnam War, and here I can recommend David James, ‘The Vietnam War and American music’, Social text 22 (1989) 122-43 and Kenneth Bindas and Craig Houston, ‘”Takin’ Care of Business”: Rock music, Vietnam and the protest myth’, The Historian 52 (1989) 1-23: both of which may leave your illusions blowin’ in the wind…

UPDATE Dan Clayton adds this excellent suggestion: Kim Herzinger, ‘The soundtrack of Vietnam’, in A. Wiest, M. Barbier and G. Robbins (eds), America and the Vietnam War: re-examining the culture and history of a generation (Routledge, 2010), 255–71

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