Sound & Vision – 60’s Political Protesting

We continue our current theme of the 1960’s.  In the previous posting I briefly covered two of the major highlights of that decade – music and fashion.

A third was political dissent & protest.  Even in the USA there was reason for dissatisfaction & dissent.  Some major reasons for protest were equal opportunities in general and also in politics, educational, and employment.  In addition, fighting for official policies against discrimination, war, and corruption.  Civil Rights.

In essence, we the people were simply making an appeal for our government & our fellow citizens, to back up & hold accountable to, the words of our Faiths, Constitution, and its Bill of Rights.  As can be expected, something of this value came with a cost – loss of life, liberty, happiness, health & reputation – to name a few.

As often happens, music helped make the case for these issues.  A “new” type of music – protest songs – were elevated for a greater hearing in the 60’s.  This genre of music actually predated the decade but took deep root in the 60’s. Nowadays, these songs are relatively common which may be a reason why we don’t usually recognize them as such as in times past.  Here are just a couple of samples:


music_note  Ohio written by Neil Young, performed by CSNY, & recorded here in Los Angeles.  It was given birth by the unbelievable killing of protesters at Kent State University in Ohio in 1970.  A very unfortunate event that shocked and offended what our nation stood for, leading to a storm of questioning and soul searching.








music_note  Next, is the all-time classic – The Times They Are a Changing, from the legendary folk rocker Bob Dylan. This came out in 1964.  However, below is a rare & alternative version sung by one of the kings of rock – Bruce Springsteen – in 1997 for the Kennedy Center Tribute to Bob Dylan.



The lyrics of Dylan for those who are at least as much into words as the music:


Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin’.
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin’.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’…





The times they have changed much since the beginning of the 60’s, half a century ago, much for the better and some not…And yet some things may never change as much as we pray and wish that they be so.

Other classic protest songs, just to name a very few,  are “I/We Shall Not Be Moved”, “Give Peace a Chance”, “Sunday Bloody Sunday”, & “I Shall Be Released”.  All I’ve done here is maybe lit a spark in the mind of a young person born decades after, or maybe warmed the heart of oldie who actually lived the decade.

You can do much more extensive research on the decade of the 60’s.  Books & books, college courses, check into people who’ve forgotten more about this period than I will ever know, etc, etc.  Frankly, I’m certain many of you readers could add more than a thing or two to this minute I’ve given to the decade of the 60’s.




OK, so this has continued my somewhat brief history of time in the 1960’s from someone who was much too young to be aware of anything  happening in that decade!  If you enjoyed this kinda thing drop me a line. I’ll see what kinda strings I can pull with the hidden iconic powers that be.  Whenever I’m lazy, tired – or worse – I’ll try to rely on the creativity of others who came before me.


Gotta go, born to run…




23 responses to “Sound & Vision – 60’s Political Protesting

  1. It will replace the current one— well, the current one won’t go AWAY…. it will be a continuation. Don’t worry, no two blogs to keep track of!

    • Shan, I meant me worrying if they were my blogs. When is your roommate gonna start hers? Or, give her your old one-Hohoho! I can hardly wait for this blog that’s been years in the making! If you need a name for it, try this: So Pasa’s Non-Daily Photo. Haha!

      SG:another, new, documentary on Bob Dylan!? What did the others fail to cover?

  2. Jim and I watched a really great new documentary on Bob Dylan last night.
    I know that it is recent because Joan Baez has short silvery hair.
    It is a great documentary in that it places Dylan in context: Can you even believe that Doris Day is in a clip singing “How Much is That Doggie in the Window.”??
    And what is of real note to me is that a long video song clip of the Irish Clancy Brothers is included. And Dylan (named after Dylan Thoms) comments that the Clancy Brothers are singing …protest…songs.

    • Kb, I’ve played real guitar. Posting is like they say, “so much to say, so little time to say it!” I’l come up with something for you within the next week. Yes, it’s Jack or John…so says de PA.

  3. Hi CP, thank you for visiting my blog. You are most welcome to visit again and then you can surely find the answer to the question you left for me on Jul 1. I read your post and as one who was born in the 60’s I enjoyed it a lot! All the best!!!!!

  4. Jack, really? And I know PA, isn’t that Springsteen tune Great? Guess you have to go to utube to get it; I think the dog chewed up the connection.

  5. I’ve really been enjoying your 60’s/60’s concept!
    I was totally immersed in it and in Art school – mid 60’s on. Art school was U.T. Austin, then U. of Iowa, Cafe.

    I got in on Dylan very early. An art school friend mentored me in music I should listen to, and art magazines I should read. It was all a heady and heavy experience and I’m glad to have witnessed it and been changed by it. Great shot of Dylan’s face on the video.
    I heard him live at the Long Beach Arena a couple of years ago!!! It is so great that he is still writing and performing. He has got to be my all time favorite!

    • Shanna, I haven’t heard Dylan perform live, but I did hear Joan Baez, also Pete Seeger, during that period. Last year, I kept thinking of Positively 4th Street by Dylan because we were living right there (at 4th and MacDougal in Greenwich Village).

  6. A fellow I went to grad school with was attending Kent State during that time and was completely swept up in the action. Thing is he’s got a different rendition of events. Supposedly had it’s genesis in the Art department!

    Hiker….it’s our mutual friend Jack Suliva—n.

    I don’t know dog. I think you have more of a passion for pop culture then cuisine. Loved the Springsteen version. Never heard it before.

    • Happy B-Day, PA. May you have another 80 more! It figures the artists created de trouble. Seems like everyone has their personal recollection, from the police, military, admin, students, and the artists with the most creative explantion of the events! I can only give my personal historian’s perspective!
      PA, you can call me a Renaissance K9.

      Marg, in a way I wish I could say that. But, better late than never, huh?! Where u been eating lately?

      • I was lucky enough to get to do these things when I was about 12. Going to the Fillmore was especially exciting. I remember explaining to the man I was dancing with that I was there with my friend and her mother, so I really had to get back.

    • I don’t wanna stik my k9 nose out to say any Springsteen vid is de best. This one clearly is not: I’ve heard a better version of this tune, and there’s NO video of the song! So, I dunno why this particular vid had its embeding disabled.