Simple Songs of Freedom - Lest We Forget

Remembrance Day Nov. 8 Cover.jpg

Submitted by Cashbox Canada

“Let it fill the air, tell the people everywhere that we the people don’t want a war…” (Simple Song of Freedom written by Bobby Darin)

War is an organized conflict that is carried out by different countries against each other as a way of resolving differences.  It is usually characterized by extreme violence, and economic destruction and multiple deaths. The way it is carried out is called warfare. An absence of war is usually called peace. War has been waged from the beginning of time and continues to this day, and every year on November the 11th, we here in Canada honour the ones who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the rights and liberties of their homeland and its people. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month at 11 o’clock a minute of silence is observed across the country and a well-deserved respect is paid to armed forces past and present, dead, alive and wounded.

Today we will attempt to put into words the effect war has had on music and music on war. Music is a powerful medium and the power of the songs on the psyche of the world cannot be denied.

John Lennon appealed to the powers that be and the public by making a simple statement “Give Peace a Chance”. As he said ‘all we are saying, is give peace a chance.  Dino Valenti wrote about the power of love versus hate with “Get Together” (performed by The Youngbloods) a 1960’s anthem extolling the virtues of peace and love over war and hatred.  Bobby Darin wrote “ it’s true that there are those who love to battle, like presidents, prime ministers and kings. So let’s all build them shelves, so they can fight among themselves and leave the people be who love to sing”. Indeed to sing “A Simple Song of Freedom” And from the same era, Ed McCurdy told the story of a dream he had. He “dreamed the world had all agreed, to put an end to war”, as he sang in “Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream.”

And it’s heartening and reassuring to know that today’s generation has carried the torch and continue to write and record songs of peace and living in harmony. The anti war songs of today aren’t as angry as those in the 60’s, like “Eve of Destruction” and “War”, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing!  The message of today is just as firm in conviction but not as angry as in the past. More stories of the effects war has on families and loved ones.

George Canyon’s “I Want You To Live, Aaron Line’s “ Somebody’s Son”, Bryan Adams’ “ Never Let Go”  Jon Patterson’s “Hero”  Michael  Spilliane, husband of Canadian singer extraordinaire Lisa Hartt,  “Who’ll Stop the War”, Don Graham “Heart of a Hero” Dale Goodie's "They Died With Pride" Matt Minglewood's "Kandahar"  Jill Younghusband's "Proud Canadian Soldier", The Original Caste’s ‘One Tin Soldier’ and  the collaboration of Sonny Del-Rio, Georgie Fab, Jason Simpson and Skip Prokop of their song “Canadian Heroes are great examples of the modern message. As Bob Marley said in The Redemption Song “Won't You Help To Sing These Songs of Freedom?”

It is so important that as Canadians we continue to honour the tradition of Remembrance Day on November 11th and never forget the sacrifices that were made on our behalf.  We may not be able to stop wars from happening but we can learn from the past and try our best to show our respect for the brave and unselfish veterans of past wars and the defenders of our freedom who are active today.

The answer may well be “blowing in the wind”, but in the meantime on November 11th let’s “bow our heads and say a prayer for the good ones that are gone.”

In the words of Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae:
“Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields”



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