List of anti-war songs

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An anti-war song is a musical composition that either states anti-war sentiments directly, one which the public and/or critics define as having an anti-war theme, or advocates universal peace.

Some anti-war songs comment on the aspects of war, while others satirize war. Most promote peace, in some form or another, while others sing out against specific armed conflicts. Still others sing about the physical and psychological destruction that warfare causes to soldiers, innocent civilians, and the human race in general. Many of these songs are considered protest songs, and some have been embraced by various peace movements and peace activists.

Some popular anti-war songs include:

General peace[edit]

Year Song Artist
2001 10th Man Down Nightwish
2001 Amerika The Brutal Six Feet Under
1983 A Little Good News Anne Murray
1995 The Aftermath Iron Maiden
2004 All These Things That I've Done The Killers
1991 Amani Beyond
2002 Angel's Punishment Lacuna Coil
2006 Anti-War Dub Digital Mystikz
1978 Armalite Rifle Gang of Four
1980 Army Dreamers Kate Bush
2005 B.Y.O.B. System of a Down
1974 Billy Don't Be a Hero Paper Lace and then Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods (also 1974)
2011 Bleed Red Ronnie Dunn
1963 Blowin' in the Wind Bob Dylan
2003 Boom! System of a Down
1985 Brothers in Arms Dire Straits
2004 Captured Malevolent Creation
1990 Civil War Guns N' Roses
1971 Classified 1A Cher
1986 The Crest The Men They Couldn't Hang
2005 Crying Shame Jack Johnson
1975 Den vita duvan Mats Rådberg
2006 Dear Darcy Joshua James
1954 Le Déserteur Boris Vian
1986 Disposable Heroes Metallica
1987 The Dogs of War Pink Floyd
2006 ca. Europa Globus
1965 Eve of Destruction Barry McGuire
2004 The Fiddle and the Drum Joni Mitchell
2009 The Field of Crying The Gazette
2007 Fields of Mars Bad Religion
1978 Fight War Not Wars Crass
1995 Foggy Dew Sinead O'Connor
2006 For the Greater Good of God Iron Maiden
1987 From a Distance Nanci Griffith
1998 The General Dispatch
2004 The Ghost of You My Chemical Romance
2009 G.I. Blues Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine
1978 Gimme Peace Tom T. Hall
1973 Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth) George Harrison
1969 Give Peace A Chance Plastic Ono Band, John Lennon
1987 Gods Of War Def Leppard
2002 Going Down In Flames 3 Doors Down
1983 The Gunner's Dream Pink Floyd
1962 La Guerre de 14-18 Georges Brassens
2007 Gunslinger Avenged Sevenfold
2010 Half A World Away Joe Cerisano
2008 Handlebars Flobots
1969 Harold Land Yes
1971 Happy Xmas (War Is Over) John Lennon, Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band
2010 Harmony Never Shout Never
1991 Heal the World Michael Jackson
2008 Hero Of War Rise Against
2007 Heroes and Martyrs Bad Religion
1995 HIStory Michael Jackson
2006 Hymn For The Dead Anti-Flag
1965 I Ain't Marching Anymore Phil Ochs
1987 I Don't Want to Be a Hero Johnny Hates Jazz
2012 I Drive Your Truck Lee Brice
1984 I Hope You Get Drafted The Dicks
1982 I Love A Man In A Uniform Gang of Four
1975 I Wish You Peace Eagles
1967 If I Can Dream Elvis Presley
2006 Il Nostro Sogno (Our Dream) Alfio
1971 Imagine John Lennon
1995 In Our Garden Naomi Shemer
2001 Jet Fighter Butthole Surfers
1962 John Brown Bob Dylan
2007 Just A Dream Carrie Underwood
1992 Killing in the Name Rage Against the Machine
1973 Lay Down Your Arms Doron Levinson
1986 Lay Down Your Guns Emerson, Lake & Powell
1980 Last Chance Shooting Star
1950 Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream Ed McCurdy
1966 Legend Of A Girl Child Linda Donovan
1971 Life Elvis Presley
2004 Like Toy Soldiers Eminem
1986 Live In Peace The Firm
2006 Living With War Neil Young
2001 The Lost Children Michael Jackson
1990 Love Can Build A Bridge The Judds
1973 Love Train The O'Jays
1970 Lucky Man Emerson, Lake and Palmer
1973 Luglio, Agosto, Settembre (Nero) Area
1967 Ma Avarech (With What Shall I Bless Him) Rachel Shapira/Yair Rosenblum
1982 Major General Despair Crass
1977 Man of War The Jacksons
1989 Mandatory Suicide Slayer
1997 March With Me Montserrat Caballé and Vangelis
1967 La Marseillaise Léo Ferré
1986 Master of Puppets Metallica
1963 Masters of War Bob Dylan
1997 Mercenary Song Steve Earle
2005 M.I.A. Avenged Sevenfold
1971 Military Madness Graham Nash
1961 Miss guéguerre Léo Ferré
2008 Mr. President Janelle Monáe
1970 Never Kill Another Man Steve Miller Band
1984 No Fuckin' War The Dicks
1978 No More Trouble Bob Marley & The Wailers
2009 One Day Matisyahu
1997 One More Parade Phil Ochs
1969 One Tin Soldier Original Caste
1961 Pacific Blues Léo Ferré
1989 Papa Stop the War Chicco Twala featuring Mzwaki Mbuli
1982 Part III Bad Religion
1988 Part IV (The Index Fossil) Bad Religion
1981 Peace Roger Lee Hall
1986 Peace Sells Megadeth
1971 Peace Train Cat Stevens
1977 Peace Will Come Tom Paxton
1970 Peace Will Come (According To Plan) Melanie Safka
2000 Pick Up the Bones Alice Cooper
1982 Pipes Of Peace Paul McCartney
1983 Power & the Glory Saxon
1986 Potshot Heard 'Round The World Dead Kennedys
1958 Prayer for Peace Perry Como
2002 Prisoners of War Funker Vogt
1976 Protocol Gordon Lightfoot
1981 Rainbow Stew Merle Haggard
1986 Rambozo the Clown Dead Kennedys
1979 Ratziti Sheteda Uzi Hitman
1961 Regardez-les Léo Ferré
2006 Right in Two Tool
2005 Road To Joy Bright Eyes
1993 Rooster Alice in Chains
1995 Sacrifice Motörhead
2006 Saraba The Gazette
1991 Semper Fi John Gorka
1993 Shades of Grey Billy Joel
1970 Shir LaShalom Lehakat HaNachal
1982 Short Memory Midnight Oil
1971 Soldier Blue Buffy Sainte-Marie
1966 The Soldier Has Come Home Barry Sadler
2005 Soldier Side System of a Down
2006 Soldier's Poem Muse
1981 Soldiers ABBA
1969 Some Mother's Son The Kinks
1995 Still Spinning Shrapnel Skyclad
2010 Stop the War Sugar Blue
1970 Stop the War Now Edwin Starr
1985 Stupid, Stupid War Dirty Rotten Imbeciles
2011 Survivor Guilt Rise Against
1992 Systematic Execution Malevolent Creation
1990 Take No Prisoners Megadeth
1978 Tank The Stranglers
1985 Territories Rush
1964 There but for Fortune Phil Ochs
2009 This is War Thirty Seconds to Mars
2009 'Til The Last Shot's Fired Trace Adkins
1980 Tin Soldiers Stiff Little Fingers
2010 Trigger Happy Hands Placebo
1966 Trooper's Lament Barry Sadler
1959 Turn! Turn! Turn! Pete Seeger
1971 Ungena Za Ulimwengu (Unite The World) The Temptations
1964 Universal Soldier Buffy Sainte-Marie
2006 Unknown Soldier Breaking Benjamin
1973 Us and Them Pink Floyd
1991 Véto de Dieu Alpha Blondy
2006 Waiting on the World to Change John Mayer
1979 Walked in Line Joy Division
1976 War Bob Marley & The Wailers
1970 War Edwin Starr
2010 War The Tengelsens
1998 War? System of a Down
1987 War Baby Mick Jagger
1990 War Ensemble Slayer
2005 War Is Not a Game Bill Durston
1970 War Pigs Black Sabbath
1984 The War Song Culture Club
1972 War Song Neil Young and Graham Nash
2006 War Sucks, Let's Party! Anti-Flag
1980 Wardance Killing Joke
1992 Wargasm L7
2004 Warrior Steve Earle
1980 Washington Bullets The Clash
1978 Wasted Life Stiff Little Fingers
2004 We Are Here to Change the World Michael Jackson
1981 We Don't Need the Army Slime
1984 We're Not Gonna Take It Twisted Sister
2005 We've Got Nothing But Love to Prove Faith Hill
2004 We've Had Enough Michael Jackson
2002 What If We All Stopped Paying Taxes Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
2001 What More Can I Give Michael Jackson
1965 What the World Needs Now Is Love Hal David/Burt Bacharach
1971 What's Going On Marvin Gaye
2002 What's Left of the Flag Flogging Molly
2011 When We Stand Together Nickelback
1989 When the Children Cry White Lion
1961 Where Have All the Flowers Gone? Pete Seeger
2003 Where Is the Love? The Black Eyed Peas
2010 White Flag Warrior Flobots
1980 Who's Gonna Win the War? Hawkwind
1964 With God on Our Side Bob Dylan
2004 World War Yellowman
2006 Worthless War the GazettE
1981 Wozu sind Kriege da? Udo Lindenberg
1969 The Yard Went On Forever Richard Harris
1979 Yihye Tov (It Will Be Good/Things Will Be Better) David Broza
1995 Yokel and Idiot Yoshiji Goto
2009 Young Hollywood Undead
1994 Zombie The Cranberries
1968 Zor and Zam The Monkees

American Civil War[edit]

Main article: American Civil War

World War I[edit]

Main article: World War I

Mexican-American War[edit]

Main article: Mexican-American War
  • "Once to Every Man and Nation" - James R Lowell (1845)

Spanish Civil War[edit]

Main article: Spanish Civil War

Spanish-American War[edit]

Main article: Spanish-American War

American Indian Wars[edit]

Main article: American Indian Wars

World War II[edit]

Main article: World War II

Korean War[edit]

Main article: Korean War

Vietnam War Era[edit]

Main article: Vietnam War

Vietnam War Era Kent State Shootings[edit]

Main article: Kent State shootings

Dominican Republic[edit]

  • "The Marines Have Landed on the Shores of Santo Domingo" - Phil Ochs (1966)

The "Troubles" of Northern Ireland[edit]

Main article: The Troubles

listen: anti-war songs (The Troubles) playlist

Anti-draft[edit]

Main article: Draft dodger

Cold War/Nuclear Annihilation[edit]

Main article: Cold War

Philippine-American War[edit]

Falklands War[edit]

Main article: Falklands War

Contras, Latin America[edit]

Main article: Contras

Yugoslav Wars[edit]

Main article: Yugoslav Wars

Gulf War(s), Iraq, 9/11, and the War on Terror[edit]

Traditional music[edit]

Apart from the various genres of modern music, some traditional and contemporary folk songs reflect the futile efforts of war and the attitudes of objectors prior to the major wars of the 20th century. Some of these include:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Harding, Mike. "Christmas 1914 | Mike Harding". Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  2. ^ Andresen, Lee (May 1, 2003). Battle Notes: Music of the Vietnam War. Savage Press. p. 129. 
  3. ^ Cusic, Don (July 30, 2008). Discovering Country Music. ABC-CLIO. p. 97. 
  4. ^ "The Cruel War (Version 1)". Contemplator.com. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  5. ^ "69th New York Songs". 69thnewyork.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 

External links[edit]

  • Anti-war Songs a website collecting thousands of antiwar songs from all over the world
  • Folk&More: Songbook & Tabs a growing collection of chords, tabs, and lyrics of anti-war songs from Bob Dylan to Bob Marley