What Did They Know?

This morning, feeling a bit nostalgic, I was looking over my CDs and found some long-forgotten tunes from a bygone era — the 60s and 70s. I came across a few tunes that, back in the day, went relativity unoticed.

First we’ll take a look at Steppenwolf’s tune “Monster/America”, lyrics below. Other Steppenwolf hits, Born to be Wild, Magic Carpet Ride.  Know them now?

Words and music by John Kay, Jerry Edmonton, Nick St. Nicholas and Larry Byrom

Monster

Once the religious, the hunted and weary
Chasing the promise of freedom and hope
Came to this country to build a new vision
Far from the reaches of kingdom and pope
Like good Christians, some would burn the witches
Later some got slaves to gather riches
But still from near and far to seek America
They came by thousands to court the wild
And she just patiently smiled and bore a child
To be their spirit and guiding light
And once the ties with the crown had been broken
Westward in saddle and wagon it went
And ’til the railroad linked ocean to ocean
Many the lives which had come to an end
While we bullied, stole and bought our a homeland
We began the slaughter of the red man
But still from near and far to seek America
They came by thousands to court the wild
And she just patiently smiled and bore a child
To be their spirit and guiding light
The blue and grey they stomped it
They kicked it just like a dog
And when the war over
They stuffed it just like a hog
And though the past has it’s share of injustice
Kind was the spirit in many a way
But it’s protectors and friends have been sleeping
Now it’s a monster and will not obey
The spirit was freedom and justice
And it’s keepers seem generous and kind
It’s leaders were supposed to serve the country
But now they won’t pay it no mind
‘Cause the people grew fat and got lazy
And now their vote is a meaningless joke
They babble about law and order
But it’s all just an echo of what they’ve been told
Yeah, there’s a monster on the loose
It’s got our heads into a noose
And it just sits there watchin’
Our cities have turned into jungles
And corruption is stranglin’ the land
The police force is watching the people
And the people just can’t understand
We don’t know how to mind our own business
‘Cause the whole worlds got to be just like us
Now we are fighting a war over there
No matter who’s the winner
We can’t pay the cost
‘Cause there’s a monster on the loose
It’s got our heads into a noose
And it just sits there watching
America where are you now?
Don’t you care about your sons and daughters?
Don’t you know we need you now
We can’t fight alone against the monster

To hear this song again for the first time in a while is a real shocker. I had the album when I was in high school (8 track player in the 63 Belair Chevy), heard the words then also. But back in 69 none of us were that hip. Apparently John Kaye of Steppenwolf was.

The best verse in this song is:

America where are you now?
Don’t you care about your sons and daughters?
Don’t you know we need you now
We can’t fight alone against the monster

That verse almost makes me cry, really.

Really, what did he know? The last I heard about John Kaye was that he was living in a log cabin outside of Merlin, Oregon. Shortly after making this album (At Your Birthday Party), Steppenwolf slipped into obscurity. I wonder why — said with all deliberate sarcasm!

Next on the list is “1984” by Spirit. this song was written in 1969 by Randy California of Spirit

1984

1984 Knockin’ on your door
Will you let it come?
Will you let it run your life?
1984 Knockin’ on your door
Will you let it come?
Will you let it run your life?
Someone will be waiting for you at your door
When you get home tonight
Ah yes, he’s gonna tell you darkness gives you much more
Than you get from the light
Classic plastic guards well they’re your special friend
He sees you every night
Well he call himself the big brother but you know it’s no game
You’re never out of his sight
1984 Knockin’ on your door
Will you let it come?
Will you let it run your life?
It’s time you started thinking inside your head
That you should stand up and fight
Oh just where will you be when your freedom is dead
Won’t you listen tonight?
Those classic plastic coppers, they are your special friends
They see you every night
Well they call themselves protection but they know it’s no game
You’re never out of their sight
1984 Knockin’ on your door
Will you let it come?
Will you let it run?
1984 Knockin’ on your door
Will you let it come?
Will you let it run?
That is almost prophetic.

Next, Neil Young’s “Vampire Blues”, written in 1973 by Neil Young, on a very obscure album of Neil’s called. “On The Beach”. Neil made this album after reading the novel, On the Beach by Nevil Shute, which is is the book that the Mad Max movies with Mel Gibson are based on. This album was ignored by everyone. Glad I have it. You may want to check out “Revolution Blues” on the same album. )

Vampire Blues

I’m a vampire, babe,
suckin’ blood from the earth
I’m a vampire, baby,
suckin’ blood from the earth.
Well, I’m a vampire, babe,
I’ll sell you twenty barrels worth.
I’m a black bat, babe,
bangin’ on your window pane
I’m a black bat, baby,
bangin’ on your window pane.
Well, I’m a black bat, babe,
I need my high octane.
Good times are comin’,
I hear it everywhere I go
Good times are comin’,
I hear it everywhere I go.
Good times are comin’,
but they sure comin’ slow.
I’m a vampire, babe,
suckin’ blood from the earth
I’m a vampire, baby,
suckin’ blood from the earth.
Well, I’m a vampire, babe,
I’ll sell you twenty barrels worth.
Good times are comin’…… but
they sure comin’ SLOW!

The obvious oil man metaphor is hard not to notice. I accidentally sent this album to my daughter and she asked me when the song was written. When I told her 1973, she did not believe me but some of us are too young to remember what the world was like when gas was .16 cents per gallon (when I was in high school). When I got out of the army two years later it was nearly $1.00. That was called the “Oil Crisis of 1973”. Remember that? By the way, Neil Young took a 1962 Lincoln Continental with a 428 cu. in. engine and made it get 100 miles to a gallon of gas. And then there was a “mysterious” fire in his Los Angeles research lab that destroyed the lab and the car.

Lastly but certainly not least is the Buffalo Springfield (which included Neil Young and Steven Stills) classic “For What It’s Worth”. The lyrics of this song are much more relevant today then they were in 1968. (This is a song in which Neil Young plays his Gibson 5 string banjo that is strung with guitar strings — very unique sound.)

For What It’s Worth

There’s somethin’ happenin’ here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Tellin’ me, I got to beware
I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound?
Everybody look what’s going down
There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speakin’ their minds
Gettin’ so much resistance from behind
I think it’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look what’s going down
 
What a field day for the heat (Hmm, hmm, hmm)
A thousand people in the street (Hmm, hmm, hmm)
Singing songs and carrying signs (Hmm, hmm, hmm)
Mostly say, hooray for our side (Hmm, hmm, hmm)
It’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look what’s going down
Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away
We better stop, hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look what’s going down
We better stop, hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look what’s going down
We better stop, now, what’s that sound?
Everybody look what’s going down
We better stop, children, what’s that sound?
Everybody look what’s going down

So it would seem that there have always been those who “GOT IT”, and I gotta say it again,

“America where are you now?
Don’t you care about your sons and daughters?
Don’t you know we need you now
We can’t fight alone against the monster”

 

NOTE:  If you are considering making a move but don’t know where to go, we have one more space available in our small survivalist community in New Mexico.  If you would like more information, please contact us at surviving@lavabit.com

Whether or not you are considering changing your lifestyle, please feel free to email us there with any questions you may have.  We are always happy to help others.  That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

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9 thoughts on “What Did They Know?

  1. Yeah, but this trend started in the 70s! Talk down all you want about the Hippies and Flower Children, they sang this, back then.

    1. “It`s A Beautiful Day” put out a lot of good old music – “The girl with noi eyes, White Bird, Bombay. They were startyed back in `65,`66 or so. Black Sabbath and their song “War Pigs” is always good I thought. Deep purple and “The Mule” Old memories there Bonnie. Old Traffic, Canned Heat, The Kinks, Grand Funk Railroad, The Doors. The Taj Mahol The Who, The Dirty MacThere was a lot of good music back then. Janis Joplin,CCR, Jeff Beck & the Yard Birds – Geez ya could go on and on.

    2. @Bonnie.
      Have you ever considered that the “hippie thing” was a plan to discredit the intellectuals that opposed the Viet Nam war? CIA was known for dosing people with drugs particularly LSD.

      Talk about blowback from an operation!

      Nothing in our lives has every been what it appears.

      Inside The LC: The Strange but Mostly True Story of Laurel Canyon and the Birth of the Hippie Generation Part 1
      http://www.davesweb.cnchost.com/nwsltr93.html
      Not well written but thought provoking.

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703858404576214574291829718.html

  2. The Buffalo Springfield song has always put a chill down my spine.Many song writers spoke code but we all knew what they ment and so many of those songs have stood the test of time because they are still relivent today.

  3. Another ’60s tune that is still eerily relevant is “Pride of Man.” Check out the version done by Quicksilver Messenger Service on youtube.

    “Turn around, go back down, back the way you came
    Can’t you see that flash of fire ten times brighter than the day
    And behold the mighty city broken in the dust again
    Oh God, the pride of man, broken in the dust again

    “Turn around, go back down, back the way you came
    Babylon is laid to waste, Egypt’s buried in her shame
    Their mighty men are beaten down, their kings have fallen in the ways
    Oh God, the pride of man, broken in the dust again

    “Turn around, go back down, back the way you came
    Terror is on every side, though the leaders are dismayed
    Those who put their faith in fire, in fire their faith shall be repaid
    Oh God, the pride of man, broken in the dust again…”

  4. Marvin Gaye’s short song, “Mercy Mercy Me” works, too in relation to environmental disasters.

    “Woah, ah mercy mercy me
    Ah things ain’t what they used to be, no no
    Where did all the blue skies go?
    Poison is the wind that blows
    From the north and south and east

    Woah mercy, mercy me, yeah yeah
    Ah things ain’t what they used to be
    Oil wasted on the ocean and upon our seas
    Fish full of mercury
    Oh Jesus yeah mercy, mercy me ah
    Ah things ain’t what they used to be, oh no

    Radiation under ground and in the sky
    Animals and birds who live nearby are dying
    Hey mercy, mercy me oh
    Ah things ain’t what they used to be
    What about this overcrowded land
    How much more abuse from man can she stand?

    Oh, na na na
    Ohh baby hey ooh”

  5. Leon Russell Stranger in a Strange Land 1970/71
    Used a Moog on it.
    At 2:40 he goes into a lil rap like thing.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tV6u97beANs

    How many days has it been
    Since I was born
    How many days until I die
    Do I know any ways
    That I can make you laugh
    Or do I only know how to make you cry

    When the baby looks around him
    It’s such a sight to see
    He shares a simple secret
    With the wise man

    He’s a stranger in a strange land
    Just a stranger in a strange land
    Tell me why
    He’s a stranger in a strange land
    Just a stranger in a strange land

    How many miles will it take
    To see the sun
    And how many years until it’s done
    Kiss my confusion away in the night
    Lay by side when the morning comes

    And the baby looks around him
    And shares his bed of hay
    With the burrow in the palace of the king

    He’s a stranger in a strange land
    Tell me why
    He’s a stranger in a strange land
    Just a stranger in a strange land

    Well, I don’t exactly know
    What’s going on in the world today
    Don’t know what there is to say
    About the way the people are treating
    Each other, not like brothers

    Leaders take us far away from ecology
    With mythology and astrology
    Has got some words to say
    About the way we live today
    Why can’t we learn to love each other
    It’s time to turn a new face
    To the whole world wide human race

    Stop the money chase
    Lay back, relax
    Get back on the human track
    Stop racing toward oblivion
    Oh, such a sad, sad state we’re in
    And that’s a thing

    Do you recognize the bells of truth
    When you hear them ring
    Won’t you stop and listen
    To the children sing
    Won’t you come on and sing it children

    He’s a stranger in a strange land
    Just a stranger in a strange land

  6. Almost. 4got my favorite of all, n every song is dedicated 2 awakening. Pink Floyd 😉 Few of my favorites, “Comfortably Numb”

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