William Elliott Whitmore: “Everything Gets Gone”[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/04-Everything-Gets-Gone.mp3|titles=William Elliott Whitmore: “Everything Gets Gone”]
Folk songwriter William Elliott Whitmore graced the cover of ALARM 35 back in 2009, right after he had made the jump to Anti- (read story here). At the time, he was promoting his new album, Animals in the Dark, which saw his blues-infused creations bolstered by additions of pedal steel, organs, strings, and drums. Now, he’s set to release a new full-length, Field Songs, which speaks to a uniquely American experience. Never one to hide his political beliefs, Whitmore was kind enough to share with us 10 of his favorite anti-war songs.
10 Anti-War Songs
by William Elliott Whitmore
1. Operation Ivy: “Unity”
A bit of protest from the Bay Area’s premier ska outfit.
2. The Coup: “Head (Of State)”
Almost every song written by Boots Riley could be taken as an anti-war song, but this one gets specific.
3. Portugal. The Man: “People Say”
A beautiful tune, one of my favorites of theirs.
4. Country Joe McDonald: “I Feel Like I’m Fixing to Die Rag”
This is one of the ultimate protest tunes, and it’s just tongue-in-cheek enough.
5. Tom Waits: “The Day after Tomorrow”
Written from the perspective of a young soldier who just wants to get home to his family. Very moving.
6. Crosby Stills Nash and Young: “Ohio”
Unforgettable melody used to describe a horrific event. Shows the callousness of law enforcers.
7. The Shadow Government: “Big Bazooka”
Everybody wants a big bazooka.
8. Bob Dylan: “Masters Of War”
A stirring minor-chord look at the ones that pull the strings and their lack of compassion for the marionettes.
9. Gil Scott Heron: “The Revolution will not be Televised”
The first conscious rapper, Mr. Heron was emulated by many but equaled by none.
10. Fugazi: “Repeater”
I was a name; now, I’m a number.