The music of every era represents those times. The 1940’s was one of hope in darkness when so many faced certain death. Particularly if you were on the front line. Soldiers were determined to be able to be in battle for 240 days before their minds were totally destroyed. The good news was most of them were not expected to survive 240 days of fighting and would be wounded or dead. Aircrews had a life expectancy of perhaps 14 missions. The good news is that most of them never got past 6 missions. The navy, and merchant navy, never really got a good rap unless it was a major battle yet they died by the bucketful, and those that survived one sinking went back for more. To date it is still unknown how many died in the last world war, it is estimated to be between 50 and 60 million people out of a global population of roughly 2 billion.
That really says a lot about that generation, yet they had no choice but to do as they did.
Then we had the Korean war, Vietnam, and countless nameless wars that people fought, and died, in. We either ignored, forgot, or vilified them as we confronted the pressures of life and the attitudes of the times we lived in. Khmer Rouge, Pol Pot, Idi Amin. Do you remember them and what they did? I do as I grew up in that era. Does anyone know about what has been going on in West Papua, and has been for decades now? I do. Australia almost went to war with Indonesia over it in the 80’s but we avoided that by giving them 100 million for a bridge and dropping the genocide accusations. 59 years of killing so far, and getting worse because we are all looking the other way.
Does it surprise you to know that we have had war for the last 60 years and most of us simply didn’t notice or care?
The timeframe from 1946 to 2022 has been filled with conflict that failed to launch into a global conflict. Because of that we have had “global peace and prosperity” for no other reason that it has been convenient to ignore human suffering as it is both good and bad for business.
Also, because most people don’t give a shit unless it impacts them personally.
Face it we had better things to deal with. AIDS was a biggie back in the 80’s but Vietnam vets topping themselves wasn’t. Disco was dying and pub rock was growing … along with big hair and bad fashion choices.
Feeling a tad ashamed at all the current vets who are topping themselves and who barely rate a mention these days? You should be ashamed.
Fortunately, we had some great music to enshrine these times. Music has always been the voice of the voiceless when society fails and madness rules.
The songs, Joey, Tomorrow Wendy, and Jonestown cover, in order, alcoholism, AIDS, and religious massacre. Two were hits and the last was not. Concrete Blonde never fitted into one genre. They were Goth, Punk, and Rock all rolled into one unique style of their own. Then there was Martika with her hit song, “Toy Soldiers” which is about drug addiction.
Love it or hate it they are a part of the voice of an era.
Then we have “I was only 19” by Redgum which changed the view on Vietnam vets as it boldly stated the case of those veterans when they were still the outcasts of society and vilified. One song changed the attitude of a nation.
I wonder how current music will define the era of modern times. So far we have twerking and virtue signalling … Bleh.