Vietnam Music Monday: “Volunteers”


Released in 1969, “Volunteers” was the title track on Jefferson Airplane’s third album. (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!

Volunteers (1969)

Recorded by Jefferson Airplane

Jefferson Airplane was a San Francisco-based acid rock group known for its free concerts, rampant drug use and psychedelic light shows. “Volunteers” was the title track on their third album, which contained strong anti-establishment and political lyrics. The band performed the song at the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969, where lead singer Grace Slick declared, “It’s morning maniac music.”


Look what’s happening out in the streets
Got a revolution
Got to revolution
Hey I’m dancing down the streets
Got a revolution
Got to revolution

Purchase “Volunteers ” 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *