Music of the 1960’s
The 1960’s, like almost every decade throughout history, had many social and political conflicts. Like every decade, these conflicts forced people to make difficult decisions about their core values and morals, as well as take action to protect these beliefs. Music, just like literature, reflected the issues present in the 1960’s. It helped the younger generation express their feelings and ideas, as well as unite them against a common enemy. Using their music as a shield they battled the generation gap, the war in Vietnam, and segregation.
During the 1960’s the generation of young people felt like the morals and way of life that was enforced by the older generation was the wrong way to live their lives.The children thought that they had been lied to about the values that America was built on, which caused a generation gap. Their parents had built their lives on materialism, discrimination, and conformity, and the younger generation couldn't understand that they did this because they had lived through the dust bowl, and were afraid of its return. In the song, “The Times They Are A-Changin’” by Bob Dylan, he sings, “Come mothers and fathers/ Throughout the land/ And don’t criticize/ What you can’t understand/ Your sons and your daughters/ Are beyond your command/ Your old road is/ Rapidly agin’”(34-31). The lyrics are stating what everyone in the younger generation is feeling and saying. They want their parents to support their decisions to help change society for the better, but if they don’t support them they will stubbornly change it without them.
The younger generation also witnessed segregation in the 1960’s. They were being taught that African Americans were second class citizens, and it did not agree with what they were told about America. They heard the Pledge of Allegiance every day telling them that they were “...one country under God, indivisible, with liberty, and justice for all.”, but they were not seeing liberty and justice for all in their everyday lives. They listened to “Blowin’ in the Wind”, by Bob Dylan, which only validated their ideas. He sang, “Yes, ‘n’ how many years can some people exist/ Before they’re allowed to be free?/ Yes, ‘n’ how many times can a man turn his head,/ Pretending he just doesn't see?” (19-22). Using the song he points out that African Americans are no different than whites and should be treated as so. This pushed the younger generation of white people into action, using peaceful protests as well as sit ins, they helped integrate schools, as well as