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What Did They Know?

by survivingsurvivalism.com

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.

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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)

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

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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. )

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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.)

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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”


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