It's time to start marching
June 30, 2006
Download "I've Got A Feeling I've Been Here Before"
Download "Where is the Rage?"

For those of us who came out of the Vietnam era, these are troubling times in two ways. The invasion of Iraq, and all its ramifications of deaths overseas and while domestic policy fails is one thing. But it's also troubling to many that so few people are willing to express their outrage over the war.

Perhaps it's because there is no draft, and the troops who are dying are "volunteers" - although serving in Iraq is likely not the college education or one-weekend-a-month, two-weeks-a-year they had in mind when they signed up.

Perhaps it's because the government does a better job these days of controlling the media, limiting access into and content coming out of the war zones.

But maybe it's because we're missing the music. There just don't seem to be any protest songs around any more. Before we can start marching we need to get our feet moving, and nothing does that better than music.

Enter Pat Scanlon of Andover, MA. He's a Vietnam vet turned environment and peace activist. And he's a musician, who over the years has used his talents to support his causes. In the 1980s he issued an album (a REAL album - a 12-inch, 33 and a 1/3 RPM record, remember them?) with the Black Water String Band called "Songs for Future Generations." It was issued in collaboration with GreenPeace's work on issues of environmental protection and halting the nuclear arms race. In the 1990s he got heavily involved in the recycling movement, and issued his first CD, "We Can Do It," which helped raise money for the National Recycling Coalition.

Following the 2004 election he was, like many of us, depressed. So he wrote a new song, "Blue State Liberal," and issued a new CD under that title, which promoted The Progressive democrats of America, Democracy for America, and, all web-based groups helping liberals and progressives return this nation to its core democratic values.

Now Scanlon come forward again, with two new songs designed to inspire more active protest of the Iraq war. The first song, "I've Got A Feeling I've Been Here Before," will certainly ring true to those who experienced the Vietnam war - whether in the jungles of Vietnam or in the streets of America.

The second song "Where is the Rage?" asks why it is that when so many Americans oppose the Iraq war, so few are actively working to end it.

Pat Scanlon has given these songs to all of us. You are free to download and distribute them.

Download "I've Got A Feeling I've Been Here Before"
Download "Where is the Rage?"

Where is the Rage?
By Pat Scanlon (Vietnam - 1969)
Every day my stomach turns in knots when I hear the latest news report of another fallen soldier in Iraq, a war that did not have to be. War is ugly, horrifying, terrifying and very personal for the soldiers, their families and friends. During the Vietnam War we saw the tragic images of flag draped caskets returning home. Today, we are not allowed to see those images. During the Vietnam War we heard stirring protests songs on the radio, but not today. During the Vietnam War parents and students felt personally threatened by the draft. Today the vast majority of students are not in the streets protesting because the war does not directly affect them. It is poor kids who have their boots on the ground. Today the absence of images, sounds and the draft contribute to a sense of separation and insulation from the war.

I wrote "Where is the Rage" to help people feel a connection to this war, a connection to the experience of the soldiers and their families. In order to end this war it has to become personal for all of us.

I am connected to war. I am a Vietnam Veteran, a graduate of the U.S. Army Intelligence School. In 1969 I held a Top Secret Clearance, and served in J2 (Intelligence), Targets Division, Bomb Damage Assessment (BDA), B52s, MACV Headquarters in Saigon.

The picture on the cover of the CD is of the casket of my best friend from high school, PFC Timothy McHugh USMC, as he arrived home from Vietnam at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia in March of 1968. This is the image we are not allowed to see today.

I've Got a Feeling I've Been Here Before
Eric Kilburn-Bass, Guitar; Billy Novick-Penny Whistle; Pat Scanlon-Lead Vocal, Banjo

Where Is the Rage?
Willie Sordillo-Guitar; Eric Kilburn-Mandolin; Matt Galser-Fiddle; Dennis Pearn-Bass; Holly Gettings-Back up vocals; Pat Scanlon-Lead Vocal

All lyrics and music composed by Pat Scanlon, Recorded at Wellspring Sound, Acton, MA
Engineer: Eric Kilburn, Producers: Pat Scanlon/Willie Sordillo

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