Vietnam – Hue – Protest at the Thien Mu Pagoda.

The pagoda is a focus for protest. In 1963 a monk from the Pagoda burnt himself alive in protest at the way Buddhists were being treated.

My Favourite Protest Songs – Woody Guthrie – Tear the Fascists Down.

When we see fascists marching on the streets again, strutting around and shouting their arrogant hatred it is hard to imagine that Britain and America fought a war in which millions died to rid ourselves of these Nazis. Are we going to have to fight another?

We have Trump supporting neo-Nazis and retweeting fascist propaganda.

Now is the time for protest!!

It is also hard to remember when Russia and China were allies against the evils of fascism. How quickly memory dims.

One thing I am clear on and that is that fascism can never win. There are more decent people on the planet than selfish, arrogant elitists with their racist nastiness.

Tear The Fascist Down – Woody Guthrie

There’s a great and a bloody fight ’round this whole world tonight
And the battle, the bombs and shrapnel reign
Hitler told the world around he would tear our union down
But our union’s gonna break them slavery chains
Our union’s gonna break them slavery chains

I walked up on a mountain in the middle of the sky
Could see every farm and every town
I could see all the people in this whole wide world
That’s the union that’ll tear the fascists down, down, down
That’s the union that’ll tear the fascists down

When I think of the men and the ships going down
While the Russians fight on across the Don
There’s London in ruins and Paris in chains
Good people, what are we waiting on?
Good people, what are we waiting on?

So, I thank the Soviets and the mighty Chinese vets
The Allies the whole wide world around
To the battling British, thanks, you can have ten million Yanks
If it takes ’em to tear the fascists down, down, down
If it takes ’em to tear the fascists down

But when I think of the ships and the men going down
And the Russians fight on across the Don
There’s London in ruins and Paris in chains
Good people, what are we waiting on?
Good people, what are we waiting on?

So I thank the Soviets and the mighty Chinese vets
The Allies the whole wide world around
To the battling British, thanks, you can have ten million Yanks
If it takes ’em to tear the fascists down, down, down
If it takes ’em to tear the fascists down


A Country Joe and the Fish Day! A bit of vintage West Coast Acid Rock Protest!

Country Joe and the Fish started life as a political Jug Band and went on to become the most radical voice coming out of Berkley. They pioneered the San Franciscan Acid sound of the sixties and melded it to social comment and particularly anti-Vietnam war songs.

Their first album – Electric Music for the Mind and Body, with its overtly LSD based lyrics, was the first Acid Rock album to be released and was a gem. They created a totally new sound that ranged from ethereal to strident and was ideally suited to the new climate of young minds, the light shows and use of Acid. Joe McDonald’s voice was pure and melodic and Barry Melton’s guitar sound was totally unique. I had never heard anything quite like it before.

The second album -I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ To Die – continued the acid theme but added some more political songs such as Untitled Protest and the title track.

They were famous for the Fish Cheer – Give me an F, Give me a U, give me a C, give me a K – What’s that spell? Which was tidied up for the album to spell FISH. Back in those days of censorship and conservatism it was considered totally obscene.

Country Joe and the Fish epitomised the generation gap, antiestablishment stance and protest of the sixties more than any other band.

Their third album Together was good but showing signs of running out of steam. After that it was pretty much downhill.

I saw them on tour in Britain (without Barry Melton) in the 2000s and they were brilliant. Oh for a band of that magnitude of idealism and protest in these times!! Oh for a unified protest movement and a generation who cared about the environment, social problems and civil rights. The time is ripe.

Woody Guthrie Quotes – A man who was a unique individual.

Woody is one of my heroes. He stood for fairness and justice. He stood against racism and supported the poor and exploited. Woody exemplified the Protest song that gave rise to Bob Dylan and the sixties rebellion against the establishment.

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Some men rob you with a six-gun — others rob you with a fountain pen.

The bankers and the politicians who support them have robbed the whole world. The people who hold power and pull the strings, who control the inequality and war in order to create profit, rob everyone. The system is corrupt. For someone to earn in 45 minutes more than an average man can earn from all the hard work of a full year is simply wrong.

The world is filled with people who are no longer needed — and who try to make slaves of all of us — and they have their music and we have ours.

Those people who hold the power have created a system that takes from the bottom and gives to the top. The inequality is obscene. There has to be more fairness and justice.

The best way to get to know any bunch of people is to go and listen to their music.

Music is a universal language. It transcends words.

There’s several ways of saying what’s on your mind. And in states and counties where it ain’t too healthy to talk too loud, speak your mind, or even vote like you want to, folks have found other ways of getting the word around. One of the mainest ways is by singing.

Woody sung his truth – about justice and freedom – on picket lines – to the unions and people being exploited.

I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim too ugly or too this or too that.

We are all human and should be treated with compassion. Racism, sexism and inequality need addressing.

Love is the only medicine I believe in.

He sound like Jose Mujica the Uruguayan President who said that the only good addiction is love.

A folk song is what’s wrong and how to fix it or it could be
who’s hungry and where their mouth is or
who’s out of work and where the job is or
who’s broke and where the money is or
who’s carrying a gun and where the peace is.

These are the songs we need more of. We need songs about real issues – there’s enough soppy love songs.

You can’t write a good song about a whorehouse unless you’ve been in one.

Woody had not only been in the whorehouses, he’d been on the road, he’d been down and out. He knew what it was like.

The words are the important thing. Don’t worry about tunes. Take a tune, sing high when they sing low, sing fast when they sing slow, and you’ve got a new tune.

The words are the important thing.

Poetry – The Answer – a protest at war and violence – conformity and intolerance.

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The Answer

There are rare occasions where war is the only answer – when an evil is too great to ignore. But those times are few and far between.

Wouldn’t it be better if people talked about their dreams and beliefs, argued their case and, no matter how strongly they felt, were able to accept and get along with those whose views are different?

Yet this seems not to be the case.

Politics and religion stir up division and hatred and unleash war and violence. People are forced to comply.

War is a terrible thing. It invariably stirs up more hatred. It makes matters worse.

It is not necessary that all people agree or believe in the same thing. How many religions, professing love, peace and harmony, seek war or strictly enforced customs, to enforce their views on anyone who doubts their validity? How many countries seek to increase their power or gain wealth through war and stoke up racism, division, fear, hatred and nationalism as an excuse?


The Answer

Answering grievances with bombs –

Settling scores.

Defending beliefs with guns –

Instead of love.

Proving points with power,

Threats and murder.

Dividing and demeaning,

Fighting and hating,

Despising and killing,

Controlling and enforcing,

Instead of arguing our case

And allowing others to weigh it up

For themselves –

Demanding, destroying and subjugating –

In a merry-go-round

Of politics,




And economic greed

Where war is always the answer.


Opher 30.10.2016

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Roy Harper – One Of Those Days In England – An epic song of social comment – more thoughts

Who is writing songs of this magnitude anymore? Nobody. The corporate machine has steamrolled music. Where is the social comment? The Protest? Is has disappeared.

This epic was full of it.

The greedy, selfish machine has taken control – society is heading down a road of destruction and control. 184 looms with its super-surveillance, laws, restrictions and overpopulation. We are consumers happily purchasing product. The natural, free life has gone. We are units to be controlled. We can’t stop this madness as it destroys the planet.

This is the age of non-creativity – of corporate madness, of wealth acquisition and a plastic universe. We are helpless before the onslaught but we still live inside as the world changes around us.

But stopping ain’t that possible this far into control
This far beyond the non imagination
No more than I can shed the moving forces of my soul
The time lords of the slowly revolution.

We are swarming over the planet and destroying nature. Now we’re heading out into space on some megalomaniacal mission to colonise the stars, to set up our missions and bring the word to alien worlds.

This is the gun-toting attitude of violence and power. It’s a game of winners and losers – the weak and the strong.

The robber barons, in their madness, want to conquer the universe.

You and me, mother, we’re gonna raise a ship full of kids and slowly lose them
Why does it matter where they’ve all gone, we don’t even have the power to choose them
You and me, father, we’re gonna colonise all of the stars with lots of our madness
Shooting through space with sons on our hips and guns on our lips to play snakes and ladders.

This version starts slowly but develops nicely.

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Here’s a few selected titles:

Rock Music

  1. The Blues Muse – the story of Rock music through the eyes of the man with no name who was there through it all.

2. In Search of Captain Beefheart – The story of one man’s search for the best music from the fifties through to now.

Science Fiction

1. Ebola in the Garden of Eden – a tale of overpopulation, government intrigue and a disaster that almost wipes out mankind, warmed by the humanity of children.

2. Green – A story set in the future where pollution is destroying the planet and factions of the Green Party have different solutions – a girl is born with no nervous system.

Kindle & Paperback versions:

The Environment

1. Anthropocene Apocalypse – a detailed memoir of the destruction taking place all over the globe with views on how to deal with it.


  1. A passion for Education – A Headteacher’s story – The inside story of how to teach our children properly.

There are many more – why not give them a go! You’ll love them!

To try or not to try – that is the question.

To try, or not to try – that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them.
I have been told that there is nothing we can do to take on the powerful who are presently destroying our planet, sowing the seeds of war, exploiting the poor and desperate and controlling us for their own greed and selfishness. That they are too big and too powerful and we are helpless. These massive global corporations who control our media, and through them our thoughts, buy our politicians, are funding both candidates in the USA election, are funding all parties in the UK, are running war for profit, creating inequality for profit, are too big to oppose.
I am pissing in the wind.
So we have two choices:
  1. We give up – retreat into the safety of our comfortable homes, despair at what is going on, feel helpless and acknowledge that the future is lost. There is nothing we can do but carry on our own lives and try to blot it out. Give up on our children’s children, the chimps, gorillas, elephants and all of nature. Accept the planet will be bulldozed for profit – to suffer the slings and arrows.
  2. We try – we oppose the wrong we see around us. We speak out. We protest. We campaign. We shout! WE SHOUT!!!!  WEEE SSSHHHHOOOOUUUUUTTTTT!!!!!!! as loudly as we can. We take up arms and oppose them.

I’m not one for giving up. I’m one for shouting. I’m taking up arms!

It may all be a gesture. There may be nothing we can achieve. But that does not matter. You do what is right with all your might.

Who knows? There are millions of us out there. The internet connects. Together we are strong. They told Ghandi he was nuts. They told Martin Luther King he couldn’t win. They told Nelson Mandela it was futile.

Sometimes – against the odds – great things can be achieved.

For the sake of the chimps, elephants, rhinos, starving people, the sweat shop employees, those in the filth of the shanty towns, the gorillas and polar bears, the rainforests and coral reefs, the climate and those being bombed, gassed and executed – we have an obligation to try.

Bob Dylan – Blowin’ in the Wind – Lyrics – An early anti-war song. An example of early Dylan ‘Protest’.

The early Bob Dylan had a knack of taking an important subject, such as war, and encapsulating the emotion and presenting the case against in a few words. The songs were simple, had poetic content and were effective. They aroused the sensibilities of a generation and captured the mood of everyone involved. He put into words what everyone was thinking and helped them to make their own feelings and thoughts more concrete. He took us all on a journey into our conscience and helped us empathise and understand in a way nobody else had done. He drew people in so that what started as a small number became a much bigger movement. It fed directly into the late sixties protest movement. I wonder if all the sixties underground would have happened without him.

Albert Grossman recognised the potential (as did the Queen of Folk Joan Baez) and harnessed it. He took Blowin’ in the Wind and persuaded the more poppy Peter Paul and Mary to record it. It was a breakthrough. Dylan was big business. Protest was born. Dylan went on to change the course of Rock Music. He created an adult-orientated movement in both style, structure and content. The man is a genius.

In this time where the world is in uproar, barrel bombs are being dropped in Syria on children, schools, hospitals and relief convoys, we need our protest singers more than ever. Where is the new Bob Dylan? Someone to galvanise our horror into action?

Where is the old Bob Dylan? How about a new album of protest and outrage?

Bob Dylan – Blowin’ In The Wind

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man ?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand ?
Yes, how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they’re forever banned ?
The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.Yes, how many years can a mountain exist
Before it’s washed to the sea ?
Yes, how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free ?
Yes, how many times can a man turn his head
Pretending he just doesn’t see ?
The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

Yes, how many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky ?
Yes, how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry ?
Yes, how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died ?
The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

Songwriters: BOB DYLAN