More than a song an antiwar anthem


In 1967, at the Monterey Pop festival during the Summer of love which took place in San Francisco, the epicenter of the hippie movement and a progressive place, Country Joe and The Fish sang a song entitled « I feel like I’m fixin to die ». And today we’ll focus on this song.

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The song was created during the Vietnam War, this was one of the most popular war protest songs.

Country Joe and the Fish were involved in the fight against the Vietnam war that’s why they sang a kind of « antiwar anthem» like other singers such as Bob Dylan with “Blowin’ in the wind” or Nina Simone with “Backlash Blues.”  Indeed they protested against the war since many young Americans who couldn’t afford to go to university and many Afro Americans were drafted and Country Joe and the Fish aimed to stop it.

They wished they could have a better world and they dreamt of living in a world based on peace and love. Here are the lyrics of the song:

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This is a satire in which the singer blames the American government for their involvement in the war with an ironic tone. Moreover, the song denounces the government, the military commanders, the arm manufacturers, and even    American patriotism as lots of people were proud of their sons who were dying at war in order to defend their homeland.

The lyrics of “I feel like I’m fixin to die” are dark and gloomy therefore there is a gap between the rhythm which is joyful and cheerful and the lyrics. This song became famous thanks to some astonishing events such as the Monterey Pop festival in 1967, and Woodstock in 1969.

In a nutshell, the song attempted to make people react about the awful situation of most of young Americans who were drafted and addressed the horror of the Vietnam War by denouncing the behavior of the American government which was involved in the war and sent its young people to war.

To conclude, we can suppose that this song led young people to protest against this dreadful war.



Aminata & Jack Blaise

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