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!
Recorded by Freda Payne
Soul singer Freda Payne was best known for her million-selling 1970 hit, “Band of Gold.” “Bring the Boys Home” was an anti-war song that described the pain of losing a loved one to war and implored the U.S. government to bring the troops home alive. The song went gold but was banned by the Armed Forces Vietnam Network, which feared it would “aid and comfort” the enemy.
Fathers are pleading, lovers are all alone
Mothers are praying — send our sons back home
You marched them away — yes, you did now — on ships and planes
To a senseless war, facing death in vain
Bring the boys home (bring ’em back alive)
|Listen to our “Reporting Vietnam” Playlist on Spotify|
“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.
|“Reporting Vietnam” Now Open|
Contributing support for the “Reporting Vietnam” exhibit is provided by CBS Corporation, in memory of CBS News correspondent Bob Simon.