Vietnam Music Monday: “Peace Train”

Peace Train

“Peace Train,” featured on Cat Stevens’ 1971 album “Teaser and the Firecat,” became Stevens’ first U.S. top 10 hit. (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!

Peace Train (1971)

Recorded by Cat Stevens

British singer and songwriter Cat Stevens released a string of popular folk-rock albums in the 1970s, including “Teaser and the Firecat,” which featured “Peace Train.” The song became a top 10 hit, but while many fans enjoyed its positive message, some critics called it naive. In 1977, Stevens converted to Islam and changed his name to Yusuf Islam.


Now I’ve been crying lately
Thinking about the world as it is
Why must we go on hating?
Why can’t we live in bliss?
’Cause out on the edge of darkness
There rides a peace train
Oh, peace train take this country
Come take me home again

Purchase “Peace Train” 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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