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There is Something in the Air, But It is Not on the Airwaves

There is Something in the Air, But It is Not on the Airwaves
By Chris Chandler and Anne Feeney arranged by David Roe

You know, we have GOT it together. There ARE people in the streets.
At the very onset of Oil War Two there were already more people on the
streets protesting than there were at the height of the Vietnam war.
There is something in the air, but it is not on the airwaves.

If there are a half a dozen Jaycees in Cincinnati on a street corner
waving yellow ribbons, Fox news acts like it's A Republican Woodstock.
"By the time we got to Fallujah we were half a million strong."
But put a million people on the street and they build a fence around you and
call it a protest zone.
We like to look at Vietnam through the soft focus of Hollywood ,
which took the blood of war and turned it into rose-colored glasses.
We see hundredss of beautiful semi-naked twenty-somethings putting daises in
the barrels of M16s, all to the tune of Country Joe McDonald singing "One two three what are we fightin for?"
It makes for spectacular video. Sometimes I see these images and I want
to run naked through the streets singing "Why don't we da do it in the
But I know better.
When the first American troops went in to Vietnam in 1964 there was
barely a soul on the streets, yet people were already singing Blowin'
in the Wind, and Waist Deep in the Big Muddy and I Ain't Marchin'
Anymore. These songs were being released on major record labels. Mega
hits would follow. Today we have more people on the streets and yet there has not been a single hit song on the radio. How could this be?
It's not like Barry McGuire was a deep thinking anti-war intellectual
when he sang "Eve of Destruction." No, he was jumping on a bandwagon
made possible by people in the streets. Yet right now, there are more
people on the streets than there was then, but you have to think twice
before jumping on that bandwagon for fear it might be a paddy wagon
bound for Guantanamo Bay .
If you speak the truth on national TV your show will be dropped,
regardless of the ratings...ask Bill Maher. A show doesn't need an
audience as much as it needs sponsors.
Sixties protesters were brought up in the brand-loyal fifties. These kids were major consumers of all
kinds of goods. They queued up to buy groovy Carnaby Street "Mod Gear"
and "Wear Your Love Like Heaven" cosmetics. Today's protester does not
BUY anything. They won't shop at GAP. They boycott Taco Bell. Hell,
they won't even go to Starbucks.

Oh, before the Berlin Wall fell
we loved to talk about how the Soviet Union would broadcast only the songs of the state and we romanticized
that is was our radio broadcasts wafting in from West Berlin that tore
down the wall. .
Yet now, the cell phone is in the other hand. There is a new wall running down
divided America . And it is American radio that is being manipulated by
the agenda of the state, because the state has become indistinguishable
from the corporation – which, as I said before, needs sponsors more
than it needs an electorate.
But I am warning you, there is something in the air, and soon it will
be the people's broadcasts wafting in from The Indie Media and Free
Speech TV, that tears down the wall, and this time it will not be the
Berlin Wall that falls, it will be Wall Street.
Because, the revolution is now.
There is something in the air and we
have got it together.

There is Something in the Air, But It is Not on the Airwaves (mp3)
While downloading is sometimes necessary please do it responsibly and (as with anything you do) consider the repercussions of what you do and if ya must do it – do it with the best intentions. - in other words, I'm hungry - chandler


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Thank you! I agree with your premise completely. I currently work in radio at an oldies station that plays all the old protest songs every day and I wonder why there aren't any new songs for this war. There is no doubt that the protests are much larger today than at anytime during Vietnam. Many of the old protest singers are still around but they remain silent. I guess at that time they were trying to make a living and jumped on the protest bandwagon because it sold, and now they don't need the money. Or is it that in this corporate world run by conservatives no one want's to be labeled as unpatriotic, but it didn't stop them then, so why is stopping them now? I believe with the release of the Downing Street Memos, something is in the air and if someone did write a protest song in the current style of today, it would get air-play and like in the sixties, once the music world saw it would sell then more artists would do it, at least that's my hope, but Karl Rove would probably pay stations not to play those songs!

The most effective protest today is one which completely avoids any reliance on mainstream is one. The grassroot movement in communities to keep their young from falling prey to "big time corporate government military" is our best bet. Freedom cannot be bought and it is time this administration finds out who is REALLY running the show here in America and exactly "WHO" refuses to continue being the only segment in this country to sacrifice for the beliefs of the few elite misguided!

"B.Y.O.B." (Bring Your Own Bombs) by System of a Down is a protest song if I've ever heard one. It lacks the mellow sound of many Vietnam-era protest songs but instead expresses rage and indignation through the use of loud electric guitars and screaming vocals. (The song's opening lyric sets the tone as one band member screams at the top of his lungs, "WHY DO THEY ALWAYS SEND THE POOR?") It also contains lyrics such as:

You depend on our protection / Yet you feed us lies from the tablecloth

Why don't presidents fight the war? / Why do they always send the poor?

I can't help but think of the current situation in Iraq and the Downing Street Memos whenever I hear this song. Still, I hope that in light of the DSM and continuing carnage in Iraq many more new protest songs will be broadcast on the radio. The louder we are the sooner our troops will be brought back home. (One can at least hope.)

If you go to System of a Down's official website, "B.Y.O.B." is the song that's playing as the page opens. You can also see the music video for "B.Y.O.B." on their website. I must warn you that it does contain some expletives but these words are not nearly as offensive as an illegal and unfounded war in which our troops and innocent Iraqis are dying daily.

Listen to "B.Y.O.B." Here --- Official Website of System of a Down

this is one of the best songs i have ever heard and i'm 40 years old. with it's armenian riffs and scathing lyrics. i love it. it is so appropriate.

everybody's goin' to the party have a real good time, dancin' in the desert blowin' up the sunshine...

I think alotta people dont understand the song... but its great! Love the lyrics ... love the music ... love the band ... This song is an anthem... Thanx...

"Oil War 2".....mmmmmhhhmmm. You must be paying under a buck a gallon now, right, you moron?
Were did all the "no blood for oil" protesters go? That's right, back behind the wheel of their cars and trucks, paying $2.25 or more per gallon. That must be one hell of burr under their saddles. They never let the facts get in the way of a good story. "Oil War 2" ?
You people have your heads shoved so far up Air America's Ass, you can't even see the gas prices. Do you think the anti-war protesters would never drive a vehicle again?, or have home heating oil, or thousands of other products that are made from oil and by-products.

What about airlines? Have any of you hypocritical morons flown in a plane since the War began? There's 300 gallons of aviation fuel (made from oil) every 10 minutes of flight. So get off the soap box, and take a warm shower while you're under the blanket of freedom provided by the US Armed Forces. Make your protests count for something; protest bigotry, racism, stupid laws, corrupt companies: anything except that which will give our enemies' strength to continue killing our Military forces.

there has been plenty of protest songs made, mainly due to bands and groups ability to record digitally at home, but protest songs do not sell. hence, no one has heard them.

There's a great one called Sunday Bloody Sunday, but its been remixed by an artists called RX, who's mixed in GWB's soundbites to sing Sunday Bloody Sunday. you should be able to download it here

Major record labels are unwilling to allow their artsists to release songs protesting the war, major labels are not going to spend vast amounts of their money to push a release like that, ie get radio airplay, promote to make sales, etc.

Often, there are tracks on CDs which are protesting the war, for example Le Tigre's New Kicks ('peace, now! we say no to war! no blood for oil!', etc).

Thats why i hope podcasts revolutionise radio, hopefully it will allow a more open and representative radio land.


Check out They are really telling it like it is. Looks like they will be getting air time too!

Here is the video that goes with this song:

It,s true that protest songs don't get airplay. We are still writing them though. This one called "Anyhow" charted top 10 Australian mp3 site for 9 months....

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