February 20, 2011

War War War - Country Joe McDonald [1971]

Early 70s Country Joe released a winning body of solo work: Thinking of Woody Guthrie, Tonight I'm Singing Just For You, Hold On It's Coming, Paris Sessions, each in their different ways concept albums. From this period, War War War coheres around Country Joe compositions based on poems of "bard of the Yukon" Robert W. Service (1874 - 1958). Service saw war first hand as World War I red cross ambulance crew member. Much of his poetry celebrates duty to country in war, and though often dwelling on personal sacrifice of the common soldier, is not out and out "anti-war" writing:

Yet may it not be, crime and war
But efforts misdirected are.
And if there's good in war and crime
There may be in my bits of rhyme,
My songs from out the slaughter mill:
So take or leave them as you will.

Room for ambiguity, focus on the human cost and it's not hard to see Service's appeal to Country Joe, whose commitment to supporting Vietnam veterans is unwavering.

So you'll live, you'll live, Young Fellow My Lad,
In the gleam of the evening star,
In the wood-note wild and the laugh of the child,
In all sweet things that are.
And you'll never die, my wonderful boy
While life is noble and true:
For all our beauty and hope and joy
We will owe to our lads like you.

For more, visit Country Joe's Place.

Oddi wrth y brawd

1 comment:

TheRedHippieTeenager said...

Great Post, looks like an awesome Blog :)
Can you please re-up this one? been looking for it for ages now :)
Thank you