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Speech About Muse

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Thousands of people die due to war, a song by Edwin Starr explains how there is no use for it. Good morning/afternoon fellow peers and teachers. The song I have chosen to speak about is War by Edwin Starr. It was released June 10th 1970 which was the time of great upheaval, protest, non-structured looks, and hippies. This song is about war, mainly the wars in Vietnam an obvious anti-Vietnam War protest. Edwin Starr suggests that there is no good in fighting; it never leads to anything good. It is not complicated to find out what war by Edwin Starr is about. The title says it all; this song is about war, war in Vietnam to be exact; this is a protest song, to get people to know about what the consequences of war will lead to, such as death and heartbreak. There was a sudden change of atmosphere from the late 60s to the early 70s.

The late 60s beetles would wear suits to their performances, but in the early 70s everyone wore daggy clothes, had long hair all out, it was a time of peace and love, the perfect time for war protest song. The song starts off with the chorus “war, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing.” This means there is no point in war. Edwin Starr also sings about the results in war, such as when he says “’it means destruction of innocent lives” which is straight forward, innocent people that aren’t even part of the war die as a result of it. “War means tears in thousands of mothers’ eyes When their sons go out to fight and lose their lives” meaning when young soldiers go out to fight they don’t always come back alive which makes the mums or friends heartbroken, and sad. In this song there is a lot of mention of death for example “friend only to the undertaker” so most of the lyrics are the same just said differently.

War by Edwin Starr can be used even today, since there is still war, fights and riots. Such as the London riots, a result of riots can lead to war between citizens and police, but what is that good for? Even in a recently new movie Gulliver’s Travels, war is used to express that you shouldn’t fight against each other, for there won’t be a happy ending and it’s a waste of time. Not to mention the ever going wars in Afghanistan.

I was drawn towards this song because I think it is relevant to us today. It was not a complicated song; I knew what it was about straight away. I also had heard of it before and thought it was a catchy, interactive song. Yet still I believe after all people do to protest against such things as war, no one pays any attention to these protests and continue with fighting and using war as a resolution. I think some people don’t see what really happens with war. People sitting at home cannot come close to comprehend with what soldiers deal with every day. It is hard to take someone’s life away; it is harder to know that one of your loved ones has died. Is that what it takes? To hear that everyone you care about is dead due to war. Then people may realise the effect war has on others which is what Edwin Starr is trying to say.

Some techniques they used were; repetition such as the chorus. They used repetition to get it into your head, to make sure the message got through, and that was mainly all Edwin Starr did. For as I said earlier there weren’t that many change in lyrics because Edwin Starr had a vision and wanted to make sure that by the end of the song you knew what he felt. Rhetorical questions, “what is it good for?” which has the effect of sticking in the listeners mind and encouraging them to see there is no point in war. Irony and hyperbole, such as “the thought of war blows my mind” it is ironic because bombs blow up in war and so is his mind and, for his mind doesn’t really blow up. So the effect is to exaggerate war so that listeners become aware of the realities. Other techniques include catchy music, to draw listeners’ attention, rhyme such as “lives and eyes” this affects the listeners to keep listening to a musical song not a boring lecture. These techniques and more make this song so effective.

In conclusion I think that protests should be heard and not swept under the carpet. War is just one of these many protests. This song may be about war in Vietnam, back in the 70s but that doesn’t mean that war can’t break out even now. I think war does not resolve conflicts, but creates more. War, what is it good for?

War-by Edwin Starr

War… Huh… Yeah!
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing!
Uhuh… uhuh…!

War… Huh… Yeah!
What it is good for?
Absolutely nothing!
Say it again y’all
War… Huh… Look out!
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing!
Listen to me – AAH!
War I despise
‘Cause it means destruction of innocent lives
War means tears in thousands of mothers’ eyes
when their sons go out to fight and lose their lives

I said:
War… Huh… Good God y’all!
What it is good for?
Absolutely nothing!
Say it again
(War… Huh!) Lord, Lord, Lord…
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing!
Listen to me:

(War) it ain’t nothing but a heartbreaker
(War) Friend only to the undertaker
War is the enemy of all mankind
The thought of war blows my mind
War has caused unrest within the younger generations
Induction then destruction
Who wants to die?

AAH! War… Huh… Good God y’all!
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing!
Say it, say it, say it!
War… Huh…! (Uhuh… Yeah… Huh!)
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing!
Listen to me:

(War) It ain’t nothing but a heartbreaker
(War) Got one friend, that’s the undertaker
War has shattered many young men’s dreams
Made him disabled, bitter and mean
Life is but too surely precious, to spend fighting wars each day War can’t give life, it can only take it away!

AAH! War… Huh… Good God y’all!
What it is a good for?
Absolutely nothing!
Say it again
War… Huh… Lord, Lord, Lord…
What it is a good for?
Absolutely nothing!
Listen to me:

(War) It ain’t nothing but a heartbreaker
(War) Friend only to the undertaker
Peace, love and understanding tell me,
is there a place for these today?
They say we must fight to keep our freedom,
but Lord knows there’s got to be a better way

War… Huh… Good God y’all!
What is it good for?
You tell me!
Say it, say it, say it, say it!
War… Good God now… Huh!
What is it good for?
Stand up and shout it! (Nothing!)

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