Vietnam Music Monday: “Galveston”


Written by Jimmy Webb, “Galveston” was considered a Vietnam War protest song, but Glen Campbell’s up-tempo recording conveyed a more general message. (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!

Galveston (1969)

Recorded by Glen Campbell

Glen Campbell’s recording of “Galveston,” written by Jimmy Webb, shot to No. 1 on the country music charts in 1969. The story of a soldier dreaming about his home in Texas and the girl he left behind, the song was considered a protest against the Vietnam War, but Campbell was a strong supporter of the war. “People who are advocating burning draft cards should be hung,” he said in 1965.


Galveston, oh Galveston
I still hear your sea waves crashing
While I watch the cannons flashing
I clean my gun and dream of Galveston

Purchase “Galveston” 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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