A Few Songs that Wish an End to War

A Brief Comment from Doug Draper

Posted November 11th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

While Remembrance Day is so rightfully set aside as a time for honourng the sacrifices of those who fought in past wars, I always felt that a little bit of that time should also be set aside for a discussion on how we, as a human species, can work to prevent war from ever happening again.

I’m not saying that some discussion of “NEVER AGAIN’ doesn’t happen, but I sure don’t remember much of it back in the 1960s and 70s when I was going to school.

Of course, there are times when there is no choice but to fight back, as the Ukrainians are so bravely doing, against a brutal psychopath like Russian leader Vladmir Putin, but then Russians should be asking why so many of them support a warring monster like Putin.

Some of the more powerful statements against war come through songs, and here are a couple of them.

The first, which you can listen to by clicking on the screen below, came out of Motown Records through singer Edwin Starr during the Vietnam War era in the late 1960s and early 1970s –

The second song is from American singer/songwriter Jackson Browne, which contains some of my favourite lyrics in an anti-war song. They go like this –

“I want to know who the men in the shadows are
I want to hear somebody asking them why
They can’t be counted on to tell us who our enemies are
But they’re never the ones to fight or to die
And there are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire”

To hear that Jackson Browne song, click on the screen below –

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4 responses to “A Few Songs that Wish an End to War

  1. “Save This House” by Canadian band Spirt Of The West could serve as a call to end wars too.


  2. My wife and I are very patriotic Canadians, support our Armed Forces, are very proud of their present and past service: Afghanistan; Peacekeepers; Korea; WW2; WW1; Boer War; and War of 1812.

    Because of that, I have to say, since World War 2 wars and conflicts have increased exponentially to become a global pandemic by 2022. Our planet cannot sustain the costs of wars and conflicts and the environmental and infrastructural and economic damage and pollution and the injuries and deaths any longer, let alone a global war destroying everything.

    Instead of World War One 1914-1918 being “the war to end all wars”, the 1945 global military industrial complex and subsequent wars have proliferated exponentially ever since, and the world is teetering on another all-out global war that will end ‘everything’ because of Russia’s Vladimir Putin threatening to being forced by the NATO countries supplying weapons and strategic intelligence to Ukraine Russia might have to use Nukes against Ukraine. Our planet cannot sustain war damage and pollution any longer, let alone a global war destroying everything.

    The $ 2 Trillion plus spent every year would wipe out all the things people war over, hunger, poverty, most diseases, etc.

    read “The Arms Bazaar” 1977 by Anthony Sampson


    Short version of the last thing Canadian Dr. Norman Bethune wrote in 1939 was:

    “Are wars of aggression, wars for the conquest of colonies, then, just big business? Yes, it would seem so, however much the perpetrators of such national crimes seek to hide their true purpose under banners of high-sounding abstractions and ideals. They make war to capture markets by murder; raw materials by rape. They find it cheaper to steal than to exchange; easier to butcher than to buy. This is the secret of war. This is the secret of all wars. Profit. Business. Profit. Blood money.

    Behind all stands that terrible, implacable God of Business and Blood, whose name is Profit. Money, like an insatiable Moloch, demands its interest, its return, and will stop at nothing, not even the murder of millions, to satisfy its greed. Behind the army stand the militarists. Behind the militarists stand finance capital and the capitalist. Brothers in blood; companions in crime.

    What do these enemies of the human race look like? Do they wear on their foreheads a sign so that they may be told, shunned and condemned as criminals? No. On the contrary. they are the respectable ones. They are honoured. They call themselves, and are called, gentlemen. What a travesty on the name, Gentlemen! They are the pillars of the state, of the church, of society. They support private and public charity out of the excess of their wealth. they endow institutions. In their private lives they are kind and considerate. they obey the law, their law, the law of property. But there is one sign by which these gentle gunmen can be told. Threaten a reduction on the profit of their money and the beast in them awakes with a snarl. They become ruthless as savages, brutal as madmen, remorseless as executioners. Such men as these must perish if the human race is to continue. There can be no permanent peace in the world while they live. Such an organization of human society as permits them to exist must be abolished.

    These men make the wounds.”

    last chance is now to stop “these men” before they finally imminently soon destroy everything.


  3. I had been unaware of the Jackson Browne song until now. Wonderful. Thank you Doug.


  4. The pale blue dot by Carl Sagan really hits home about how futile war and human arrogance is and the fragility of mother earth..


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