10 Songs That Embody the Vietnam War Era

Of this series, I am already anticipating that this is the arc I will get yelled at a lot over.  Because of the sheer amount of great music from this period, and the fact that we have so many PJM members who grew up then (many of whom served in-country), means that no list I produce will make everyone happy. Understanding this, this will be a 3-part arc (I can expand that, if there’s enough interest), and I will rely heavily on comments and suggestion for subsequent articles.

It’s an oft-repeated meme – mentioned, for example, in the movie Watchmen - what America might be today, had none of this occurred. Certainly the Protest Generation would likely never have happened, without the war to rally around (“I want to do drugs, sleep around, wear my hair long, and have poor hygiene” is a really lousy call-to-arms, after all). But it did happen, and we’re still living its effects to this day.

As I understand it, this was originally written about the general world situation and the Cold War, not Viet Nam, but was picked up on and frequently played as a standard throughout the war.

1. Barry McGuire – “Eve of Destruction” (1965)