Vietnam Music Monday: “Revolution”


Released in August of 1968, “Revolution” was John Lennon’s response to the popular calls for uprising in the U.S. and Europe. (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!

Revolution (1968)

The Beatles

The Beatles, the most popular rock band in history, had mostly avoided overtly political songs and lyrics. The eruption of violent anti-war protests in London and around the world prompted John Lennon to write “Revolution,” which was criticized by the anti-war movement as pacifist and bourgeois. There were two versions of the song — this hard rock version released as a single, and a slower, bluesier version on the album “The Beatles,” better known as the White Album.


You say you want a revolution
Well, you know, we all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well, you know, we all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don’t you know that you can count me out

Purchase “Revolution” on 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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