It is strange that at a time when the people of the world are seeking peace, that so much time is spent looking at wars, and heroes of wars, and so little time is spent investigating those who had the strength to stand out from their societies and refuse to fight.
Here are three twentieth century British composers, who refused to fight in the world wars, and suffered much, both financially(as people refused for some time to play their work) creatively (as people poured huge scorn and hatred against them) and socially. They went on to be seen as three of the great composers of the century, and wrote three of the greatest anti war pieces of music, two of them commissioned to celebrate the same event, the opening of the Leicester Cathedral, which stands next to the bombed out remains of the old Cathedral.
The three composers were Benjamin…
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Johnny Hates Jazz may not be everyone’s cup of tea…but i admit i was in love with the song “Shattered Dreams” for a brief time in the 80’s. This song took me by surprise. Take a look and listen and if you cannot deal with the over the top 80s vibe just close your eyes and listen 🙂 OR just read the lyrics below. Either way, enjoy.
“I Don’t Want To Be A Hero”
With a gun in my hand
But I won’t pull the trigger
Our destiny is here
‘Neath the red, white and blue
So lead me to the slaughter
Now don’t be afraid
Come and join the parade
For the ultimate in sacrifice
It’s an old-fashioned story
Of hope and of glory
A ticket for taking a life
I, I don’t want to be a hero
I don’t want to die for you
I don’t want to be a hero
Oh send me off to war
In a far away land
I never knew existed
Subject me to the truth
To the horror and pain
Until my mind is twisted
And what if I fail
Will you put me in jail
For a murder I will not commit?
‘Cos you don’t understand
Till there’s blood on your hands
That it’s time to forget and forgive
And those who return
Come back only to learn
That they’re hated by those who they love
‘Cos you’re not satisfied
Till a thousand have died
And your anger is paid for in blood
Peace as a cause is back and it’s about time!
I know no one is going to tell me they ever gave up on the cause or that it became unpopular but I haven’t seen this level of peace activism since flower power gave way to disco fever.
Being for peace is being for many things. As Eddie Vedder said when introducing Imagine: “Well, so anti war make you pro many things. Pro peace, pro human, pro evolution, Makes you pro communication, pro diplomacy, pro love, pro understanding, pro forgiveness. You know some people don’t understand how you can be pro soldier. If you are anti war your pro soldier because you don’t want the soldier to be put in harms way.”
To quote from his post, Imagine That — I’m Still Anti-War, on the Pearl Jam website: “We are such a remarkable species. Capable of creating beauty. Capable…
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