Countless songs about the Vietnam war have been written over the years. There were songs denouncing the war, protesting against it, telling stories about the struggles, the sacrifices, the fighting, and the plight of those who suffered directly or collaterally as a result of the decision to engage in this unpopular military action. Here is a list of some such songs:
- Rock – The Rolling Stones – Paint It Black
This song was written from the vantage point of a man who is depressed over the Vietnam war and wants everything he sees to be painted black, as a sign of mourning.
- Rock – Jimmy Hendrix – All Along The Watchtower
This song was written in such a way that the troops serving in the Vietnam War could relate to it, about the confusion of why they are there fighting this war, what it means to fight this war, while telling a short story, depicting a scene from a watchtower in a Vietnamese battlefield.
- Rock – Bruce Springsteen – Lost In The Flood
This song was written about the plight of war veterans who have just returned home after fighting in the Vietnam veterans, and the confusion they are going through, as the world they have just come home to doesn’t make any sense any more.
- Rock - Thom Parrott – Hole In The Ground
This is a Vietnam war story about soldiers befriending a 10 year old Vietnamese boy whose father was fighting in the Viet Cong, and bribing him with candy to reveal information such as the location of the Viet Cong soldiers’ hideouts, and never knowing that the soldiers went and killed his father in battle due to his innocence and gullibility.
- Heavy Metal – Black Sabbath – War Pigs
This song basically lashes out at the wealthy politicians who are quick to go to war to serve their own interests and for war profiteering, callously indifferent to the fact that they send the poor people to do the fighting, and must bear the brunt of the sacrifices, while the “war pigs” make no effort to sacrifice anything at all.
- Blues Rock – The Animals – We Gotta Get Out Of This Place
It was a common sentiment among millions of soldiers that they wanted out of Vietnam. They were sent to fight, but their mission, their reason for being deployed there in the first place, was being questioned by everyone en masse. This song is about needing to finish the job and get out of Vietnam. There is a better life that awaits the song writer and his significant other, who is also fighting in Vietnam with him.
The Vietnam war was a critical time in our nation’s history. Many people sought to voice their protests against the war in the form of song. And these songs inspired an entire population, capitulating the general sentiment of the public