Vietnam Music Monday: “Wooden Ships”

Wooden Ships

“Wooden Ships” appeared on Crosby, Stills & Nash’s self titled debut album released in 1969. (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!

Wooden Ships (1969)

Recorded by Crosby, Stills & Nash

Crosby, Stills & Nash were a folk-rock band best known for their multipart harmonies. “Wooden Ships” described a post-apocalyptic world after a nuclear war and the struggle for survival. The song appeared on the group’s debut album, and Jefferson Airplane also recorded the song for their “Volunteers” album. Both groups performed the song at the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969.


I can see by your coat, my friend
You’re from the other side
There’s just one thing I got to know
Can you tell me please, who won?

Purchase “Wooden Ships” 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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