Five hippy songs and why they fit into that category

What is a hippy?Before we look at a few hippy songs, we need to know what a hippy is and why such a subculture was created.

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"Wait!" you exclaim. "Why do I have to know this? Why not just post the lyrics and let me have some fun,
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Learning isn’t fun? I don’t write articles just to have fun. Well . . . some of them are full of fun facts some people really might not care to remember or study. But I believe a worthwhile goal is to teach while having fun. Besides, a lot of the younger crowd hears the word "hippy" and the only thing they think of is a bunch of people with long hair, wearing tie dye shirts, smoking "weed", and having unbridled sex. There’s more to being a hippy than that. There, "hippy" is defined as "a person whose behavior,
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Sure, a lot of hippies fit right into that definition; however, not all of them were into sex and drugs. Other than the manner of dress, all hippies were tied together by their value of peace and love. Most people remember the hippy slogan of "Make peace, not war". We have people in the world today who feel the same way, but they often look just like everyone else around them.

The hippy subculture is best described as a counter culture. The people involved in the movement rejected the mores as established by mainstream America in the 1960s and ’70s. In a way, the hippies wanted people to return to a simpler way of life where people would reach out and help their neighbors.
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The five songs I’ve chosen I believe represent the ideologies of the hippy culture. By understanding the words of the songs, you may better understand the young people who chose them as anthems. I haven’t included the lyrics. You can look them up online if you’re not familiar with the songs.

"Peace Train"Peace Train was recorded by Cat Stephens in 1971 and, almost immediately, became an anthem for the hippies.

This isn’t your typical train song in which Peace Train is the name of an actual vehicle like in songs with titles such as The Wabash Cannonball or Sunset Limited. The train in this song isn’t a train running on a track. You couldn’t buy a ticket, wait at the local train station, hop on board, and ride it to a specific city or town. In this case, it’s more like a "train of thought". Better still,
Wholesale NFL Jerseys, it could be called a "train of ideology" or a "train of a good way to live".

The lyrics are a call in the quest for peace and the power of community living. The people who listened to this song and adopted it as their motto wanted people to learn to make peace with other people regardless of what was going on around them. While the prospect of a world living in complete peace and harmony is more of a dream that will never exist in reality, the young people wanted to make the attempt by starting with the people around them. Like a train building up a head of steam and picking up passengers along the way, they hoped peace would spread to the entire world.

This is still a valid goal today. We may never be at peace with everyone, but we should at least attempt to make that peace a reality in our limited area of influence.

"Where Have All the Flowers Gone?"Where Have All the Flowers Gone? was recorded by many artists. Peter, Paul,
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The song follows a progression of questions. The answers tell of girls picking the flowers and ends with graveyards returning to fields of flowers. What do flowers and graveyards have to do with one another other than the obvious that people leave flowers at gravesites? I guess the simple answer is that if a cemetery isn’t well cared for, it will resort back to a more natural state where wildflowers are the first plants to move back in. But this section isn’t about the proper care of cemeteries.

Through the course of the song, we hear about girls falling in love with young men who become soldiers. Those men go away to war,
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We don’t need a better illustration of history repeating itself. Not only were the hippies against war, they knew that learning to live in peace would be the only way to break that cycle. This song is a way to mourn the fact that kind of peace doesn’t exist and war is an ever present fact of life.

"Get Together"Get Together was recorded by The Youngbloods in 1967. Some people use a full line from the some as the title and so call it Everyone Get Together and Love One Another Right Now. That’s a mouthful so Get Together is a much better title.

I think reading a verse from this song may be helpful to understanding it better.

You hold the key to love and fear

All in your trembling hand
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Just one key unlocks them both

It’s there at your command.

Some people think it’s hard to love other people. They’re afraid to show love because they fear they’ll be misunderstood or rejected. Still other people (the government in the eyes of hippies) use fear as a way to force people to live by their standards instead of using love as a gentle nudge. People will also live in fear of an enemy because they don’t want to form any bond (friendship or actual love) in order to get to know the other person.

We don’t need anyone to tell us who we should hate and fear or love and live at peace. Each individual needs to make the decision for him or herself. We hold the key to what is right and wrong for us as individuals. Will we love or fear? I believe this is the point of the song. We could all live more peaceful lives if we use our key to open love and use it as the tool for peace instead of using weapons and words (created through fear) to keep our enemies at bay.

"Sound of Silence"Sound of Silence was recorded by Simon and Garfunkel in 1964.

This is one of those songs that doesn’t sound like a hippy song, but has been adopted by them. You might be wondering what the words of the song have to do with a counter culture of peace and love. The lesson lies in what it takes to build a foundation of peace. It also addresses the concerns of the young people that no one is listening to what they have to say. They feel their opinions and beliefs are being ignored.

I see it as a song of hopelessness among the young. The older generation and the young people who follow their example are shutting out anyone who is different. The same thing is happening today. People are so wrapped up in the "me first" attitude and trying to get what’s best for them that they forget they should be reaching out and helping people around them.

People talking without speaking

People hearing without listening

Sound familiar? Every have that happen to you? Some people have a lot to say, but nothing which really adds to society. It’s like they say, "They talk just to hear themselves speak". And how many times have you talked to someone and they nod in all the right places, but still have no idea what you just said? They hear you, but they’re not really paying any attention.


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