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Cakewalk

Reported by Judy - August 17, 2004 -

War and music -- the combination has produced some great sounds in the past. Civil War-era songs like "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "Dixie" are still favorites of many Americans.

World War II gave us "Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy," "White Cliffs of Dover," and many others that bring back memories for my parents.

"My" war was Vietnam. The music I sang along to was "Eve of Destruction" and "Ballad of the Green Beret." (Yeah, I know that's contradictory, but that's a teen-ager for you.) In my memory, the anti-war songs far out-numbered the pro-Vietnam songs, as young people used music to express their anger at the war and to demand change.

I haven't heard much about music for this war. I admit that I've never been to a Rock the Vote concert, am not much of a radio person, and am out-of-touch with young people. (My impression is that comedians are playing part of the role of musicians this time around.) So I probably am the last person in the United States to find out about this song. Country Joe and the Fish, who gave us the "I'm-Fixing-to-Die Rag" in 1965, have applied their musical talents to the Iraq War and come up with "Cakewalk to Baghdad." The site also has a downloadable version of "I'm-Fixing-to-Die Rag" by Country Joe and a rarely heard version by Pete Seeger.

Enjoy!