Vietnam Music Monday: “Street Fighting Man”

Street Fighting Man

Released in 1968, “Street Fighting Man” is considered one of the Rolling Stones’ most politically inclined works to date. (Newseum collection)

Music played an important cultural role during the Vietnam War, representing the rebellious views of a young generation and the traditional values of an older, so-called “silent majority.” The Newseum selected 40 songs released between 1963 and 1973 that typified the music of the Vietnam era. The songs captured the emotions of people for and against the war and reflected the mood of an increasingly diverse country amid dramatic social and political change.

The 40 songs, part of the Newseum’s “Reporting Vietnam” exhibit, are a fraction of the hundreds of recordings that dealt with the war and civil disobedience. Each week, one song from the playlist will be featured. We encourage you to add your favorite songs of the era to the comment section!

Street Fighting Man (1968)

Rolling Stones

Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger wrote “Street Fighting Man” — often described as the band’s most political song — in response to street riots in Paris and anti-war protests in the United States. Released a week before the violent clashes between the police and protesters at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, the song was banned by many U.S. radio stations because of its subversive lyrics.


Ev’rywhere I hear the sound
Of marching charging feet, boy
’Cause summer’s here and the time is right
For fighting in the street, boy

Purchase “Street Fighting Man” on Amazon or iTunes.

“Reporting Vietnam,” a new exhibit that marks the 50th anniversary of the start of America’s first televised war, explores the dramatic stories of how journalists brought news about the war to a divided nation.

CBS News

Contributing support for the “Reporting Vietnam” exhibit is provided by CBS Corporation, in memory of CBS News correspondent Bob Simon.

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