By: Eleanor Goldfield
Music and politics have a rather dysfunctional relationship. From pro-government to anti-government to the current back and forth between engaged and underground sneak-arounds, the body politic has cemented a love/hate relationship with music. Looking at our country’s history, the early years were ripe for political music– from our National Anthem and the manifest destiny ditty, “My Country ‘Tis of Thee”, to the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”; politics has danced through people’s lives with catchy and infectious melodies.
“Over There,” a rip-roaring nationalistic marching song, the lesser known WWII classics, “Stalin wasn’t Stallin,’” or “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition” – a patriotic musical response to Pearl Harbor – all manifested the inseparable relationship that existed between music and politics during WWII. Indeed; up until WWII – and even during the Korean War – it seemed that music bolstered the political agenda and pushed it along with a musical propaganda that rallied civilians and troops alike.