WE MADE HISTORY…WE DIDN’T JUST READ ABOUT IT AND WANE

The 50s, 60s and 70s were a period of intense discontent, mistrust and passionate “cultural change” in the United States. The Vietnam war, young folks protesting that war, burning draft cards and bras, the civil rights marches, Rosa Parks and freedom rides, the Civil Rights Act, Woodstock, Kent State, love-ins, LSD, pot, hippies, yuppies and the most profound of all, the assassination of JFK, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy, and other events, all set the course and pace for the years that followed. In the 50s, 60’s and 70’s “us kids” weren’t simply a part of history, we mad history; we didn’t just read about it and wane.

In 1966 BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD recorded “Stop Children What’s That Sound”. The lyrics are by Stephen Stills (the Stills in Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young). It’s a Protest Song as “us kids” called it. Those lyrics were written during those turbulent times. The words are as poignant, provocative and true today, as then.

“There’s something happening here… what it is ain’t exactly clear… a man with a gun over there telling me I got to beware”. During those days, we needed “to beware”, and even more so today. “Stop children…everybody look – what’s going down.”  We needed to stop then, and we need to stop now. Today we don’t need to ignore “what’s going down”. However, I’m afraid that’s what we’re doing and that’s sad for everyone.

“There’s battle lines being drawn”… Today battle lines are also everywhere, in our minds and on our land. The young people said it then, and they’re still saying it now, “Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong…. Young people speaking their minds… Getting so much resistance from behind…” Forty-eight years ago the younger generation told their parents and “leaders” what was on their minds. Today’s young people are doing the same thing, they protest just like their parents did, “Mostly saying, hooray for our side.” Each time, the older folks resisted the young folk’s and their changes. Each could, and sometimes they did, learn from each other during that time. That was good and gave hope to all.

“Paranoia strikes deep… Into your life it will creep… It starts when you’re always afraid…” Even when it doesn’t carry a threat, opposition is still, and always will be, feared. You don’t have to break a law, just “Step out of line, the men come and take you away…” And they will take you away. Respect sometimes seems to be a one-way arrangement.

In 1970, Art Garfunkel sang “A Bridge Over Troubled Water”. The lyrics are by Paul Simon (the Simon of Simon and Garfunkel). It’s not a protest song; it’s simply a song of hope. His lyrics were also written during that same time. His lyrics too are as poignant, provocative and true today, as then.

As time always proves, the good and beautiful in this world, by far, outweighs the bad and the ugly, thanks to God’s Mercy and Grace. That’s good; it gives hope to everyone.

Here are the complete Lyrics for “Stop Children What’s That Sound” and “A Bridge Over Troubled Water”…

 

“STOP CHILDREN WHAT’S THAT SOUND

There’s something happening here
But what it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware

I think it’s time we stop
Children, what’s that sound?
Everybody look – what’s going down?

There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking’ their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind

It’s time we stop
Hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look – what’s going down?

What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, “hooray for our side”

It’s time we stop
Hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look – what’s going down?

 

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
Step out of line, the men come and take you away

We better stop
Hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look – what’s going down?

We better stop
Hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look – what’s going down?

We better stop
Now, what’s that sound?
Everybody look – what’s going down?

We better stop
Children, what’s that sound?
Everybody look – what’s going down?

 

“A BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER”

When you’re weary, feeling small
When tears are in your eyes
I will dry them all

I’m on your side
Oh when times get rough
And friends just can’t be found

 

Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

When you’re down and out
When you’re on the street
When evening falls so hard, I will comfort you

I’ll take your part
Oh, when darkness comes
And pain is all around

Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

Sail on silver girl, sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way
See how they shine

Oh, if you need a friend
I’m sailing right behind

Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind

NOTE: I got all the above facts from Wikipedia and everything else is my opinion and my interpretation of those facts. I was there.

"The men come and take you away" in this...

“The men come and take you away” in this…

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12 thoughts on “WE MADE HISTORY…WE DIDN’T JUST READ ABOUT IT AND WANE

  1. I remember those songs and loved them even though I never did pot or drugs of any kind. Very insightful post!

    • Same here… The wildest I got back then was having a beer… I didn’t even have long hair during the 60’s or 70’s. I couldn’t stand my hair was touching my ears. Thanks for taking time to read this…

      • Oh my, I had flashbacks of my father sitting down to the supper table and staring at my brother’s ears… “Get out of here right now and get that hair cut in town! You don’t eat till it’s done!”

  2. Me too. I was at Berkeley in the mid-60s. Participated in the Free Speech Movement, sat on the floor of the Admin building and sang protest songs with Joan Baez while waiting for the police. -Curt

  3. Wonderful post. I love the difference in the songs. And yet a sameness. I wonder how many ‘kids’ of today would listen to these songs and get the same feeling that was evoked when they were written.

    • Thank you. It was fun writing it. And, that’s why I picked those 2 anthems, if you will. It makes me smile and wink at my kids, just a little, that there are lots of differences between the kids then and now; at the same time, there is also as a lot of sameness, as you said. I’m sure this would be to their horror, but it’s a fact… next time, just smile wink at your kids… it’s fun

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