This may seem a strange subject for the show but, given that in the UK we have a General Election and the war in Afghanistan is not on the agenda, we should be protesting now!
Also I play music I like and which means something to me. Today’s music meets both criteria. I make no comment about the effectiveness of the songs but their longevity is unquestioned.
UPDATE: 14.15 21 April 2010 I have now added the 9 videos into a Youtube playlist. You can find the playlist for today’s show here. Soon I’ll put all shows onto their own playlist and eventually I’ll understand tags so that you can search for playlists. Once I’ve got tags working, keywords will include: CalumCarr, Sunday Morning Coffee.
The 1960’s took me from being 10 to 20, a particularly impressionable age-range. Perhaps that is why this age of protest means more to me than any other.
We start with a song from the father of protest songs – Pete Seeger – but don’t forget your coffee.
If I Had a Hammer
In this clip Pete is 74 and singing at an annual concert – in 1993 - with Arlo Guthrie and the families of each. I think Pete also appeared in his 90th year.
His voice has gone now but his song lives on!
It’s worth copying the last verse:
“Well I've got a hammer
And I've got a bell
And I've got a song to sing
All over this land
It's the hammer of justice
It's the bell of freedom
It's the song about love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land”
The words are as important today as they were over forty years ago.
We move on with a song written by Buffy St Marie but made famous by Donovan in 1965.
Simon and Garfunkel recorded so many brilliant songs but one of my (many) favourites is this.
Silent Night / 7o’Clock News
What a powerful effect is created by the mixing of the Carol and the violence in the news.
I have listened to this countless times over the years: I am moved by it on each hearing.
I couldn’t possibly keep Dylan out of the show and here he sings with Joan Baez.
Blowin’ in the Wind
Why today can we not pay heed to these words?
“Yes, how many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky ?
Yes, how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry ?
Yes, how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died ?
The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.”
This next song is one of the most powerful anti-war songs but I must warn you that the video contains some images of death which you may not want to watch. Despite these images or rather because of them I selected this particular video. This is sheer obscene horror.
Eve of Destruction
The roughness and rawness in Barry McGuire’s voice is perfect for this song.
If you watched the video I hope you were OK with it.
A trio which it would have been impossible to exclude is Peter, Paul and Mary. Sadly Mary (Travers) died last year but their music survives her. Today the trio sing two songs at a 1971 peace march in Washington.
Blowin’ in the Wind / Give Peace A Chance
P, P and M are joined by John Denver for the second song.
I’m sure there are better recordings of this but I wanted to give one at a major rally. Mary’s voice sails out to everyone!
The pernickety among you may say that “Give Peace a Chance” was a 70’s protest song but it was recorded in 1969.
UPDATE: @ 10.30 18 April
Apologies. There are now 9 tracks in this show. Somehow, in error, I put in 2 versions of “Blowin’ in the Wind” and missed out “Where Have All the Flowers Gone”. Rather than removing one version I’ve just added the extra track.
Where Have All the Flowers Gone
An old Pete Seeger again with one of his great songs. No compilation could have been complete without this.
I can rest easy now that I’ve corrected my mistake.
We return to the original show now and the second last track is one of the most widely used of all protest songs and we have Joan Baez for the second time.
We Shall Overcome
Wherever there is struggle this song will be a companion.
Rather than saying my goodbyes at the very end I say them here because I want nothing to distract or detract from the last video.
Well, that’s it for another week. I hope you enjoyed your coffee and the music. Tune in again next week and thanks for listening.
Here we are at the last track which is 17 minutes long and so you might want to get another coffee. I had only listened to snippets before but like most I had heard so much about the man and his speech.
This is the only possible way to finish the show: Martin Luther King’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech.
If you haven’t listened to all of this before, please take the time and hear the greatness of the man and his message.