As I was browsing the net searching for a popular culture item that was strictly anti war, I came across many different items; particularly songs. There were many songs that stood out, like Patti Smith’s “People have the Power”, and many of John Lennon’s songs like “Give Peace a Chance.” However the one song that I eventually picked for this assignment was written and sung by Peter Seeger, called “Bring Em Home,” (found at: http://folkmusic.about.com/od/toptens/tp/Top10Protest.htm). Seeger’s song specifically reflects about the Vietnam War, as it references the conflict on multiple occasions throughout the song. Peter Seeger’s song portrays a strong message about anti war in reference to the Vietnam War and it emphasizes the opposition of the family members who’s loved ones were being sent overseas to fight a problematic and stressful war.
In the very beginning of the song and at the very end, Seeger references his song to the Vietnam War. He says “support our boys in Vietnam,” which clearly states that the song is in reference to the war. One thing that stands out in this song for me is the fact that Seeger keeps repeating “bring em home, bring em home,” which stresses on his strong belief in pulling the military troops from the war. The very first line of the song is “if you love your uncle Sam/, Bring em home, bring em home,” which Seeger is targeting towards the families of the men and women fighting in the war. This part of song seems to represent an antiwar case that states that all the American family members and friends fighting in the Vietnam War should come home. Seeger, in my opinion, is stating throughout this song that the best way to support the troops in the Vietnam war is to bring them home.
The thing that is most fascinating about this song is Seeger’s strong will and lack of hesitance to portray his opinion about the war. In one part of the song he sings “ I may be right, I may be wrong,/ Bring em home, bring em home,/ But I got a right to sing this song,/ Bring em home, bring em home.” In these particular lyrics, Seeger is trying to express his own opinion about the war, despite what others may think; they have no right to tell him to stop. In another part he sings that “the world needs teachers, books…,/
And learning a few universal rules.” Over here Seeger is trying to demonstrate that proper education, partiality and common courtesy could help prevent wars. Seeger is just trying to say that everyone should be brave and fearless when arguing against the people that are in charge, and that voicing ones opinion is very important.
The only thing that I would change about this song is where he is supporting war on his doorstep. Meaning that if the fight came to his home, he would fight back. Then there is another part where he sings, “ there is one thing I must confess…I’m not really a pacifist…, if an army invaded this land of mine , you’d find me out on the firing line.” Even though he is trying to be anti war in his song, this passage seems to say otherwise. What he trying to stay is not necessarily wrong, because it is the rational thing to do, however, because he is trying to portray an anti war message, he should have tried to stay away from any contradictory message. In my opinion that is what would have made his message even stronger.
Peter Seeger’s song portrays a strong message about anti war in reference to the Vietnam War and it emphasizes the opposition of family members being sent overseas to fight a problematic and stressful war. “Bring Em Home.” Seeger’s song specifically reflects about the Vietnam War, as it is references the conflict on multiple occasions throughout the war. Seeger is inspirational in the sense that he emphasizes that everyone should be fearless, they should stick to their beliefs regardless of what others say or do. This is something that even people now can reflect and relate to.