Music Social Commentary

Topics: United States, Iraq War, 2003 invasion of Iraq Pages: 3 (1171 words) Published: October 24, 2007
Why can't we be friends?
Do the numbers 3828 (US Fatalities by Month) and 47378 (R. Smith) mean anything to you? How about $502 billion and $536 billion (in today's dollar) (Wolf)? They should, these are the number of U.S deaths and the costs of the war in Iraq and the Vietnam War. "Older men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die!" was once said by Herbert Hoover (Simoni). War though some people may not like to admit it, has shaped the United States into what we are today. War always seems to bring out the patriotic side of people, whether it is in the form of protest, free speech or by expressing their feelings and thoughts through songs.

War has always existed in U.S history, and during those times of war, there have been song writers to express their feelings about war, whether it be for the war or against it. The Vietnam War and the War in Iraq, being very controversial issues during their time, have motivated many artists to express their feelings on the issue through their songs. Songs like Marvin Gaye's "What's Happening Brother" written during the Vietnam War in 1971 and System of a Down's "Boom!" written during the Iraq War in 2002 talk about the same topic. Though two different wars, decades and styles of music, these songs still depict the artist view on the issues of war. "What's Happening Brother" and "Boom!" both deal with the issues of war and what they believe the issue behind the war really is about. The lyrics "Are things really gettin' better, like the newspaper said" (M. Gaye) in "What's Happening Brother" and "Filtering information, For the public eye, Designed for profiteering" (Down) in System of a Down's "Boom!" both deal with the media and what they actually report. They both ask the question if things are really better like the media is saying, but System of a Down takes it a step further stating that the media is withholding information and in hopes that the government makes profit. Why would major companies...

Bibliography: Bush invokes 'tragedy of Vietnam ' against Iraq pullout. 22 August 2007. 2007 1 October .
System of a Down , Steal this Album, Sony(2002), 87062
Gaye, Frankie. Marvin Gaye, My Brother. San Francisco: Backbeat Books, 2003.
Marvin Gaye, What 's Going On, Motown(1971,) 11190
Page, Susan
Simoni, Justin. War Quotes. 2007 01 October .
Smith, Dane. System of a Down Rally in D.C. 04 April 2006. 2007 02 October .
US Fatalities by Month. 2007 1 October .
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