Anti-war songs: four of the best from across different genres

By Florian Pock

“You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.”

Jeannette Rankin, US politician

With this quote in mind, here are four of the best pro-peace songs from across different genres and eras!

Boom! by System of a Down – (alternative) metal

System of a Down is known for their political lyrics. This song is a powerful statement against the war in Iraq. The music video supports the message with clips of the global demonstrations in 2003, with protesters giving statements or reading out parts of the lyrics.

Ode an die Freude by Ludwig van Beethoven (and lyrics by Friedrich Schiller) – classical music

The instrumental version of this song is the official hymn of the European Union, which is, besides many other things, a very ambitious peace project. The lyrics by the German poet Schiller talk about joy, love, being joined instead of being divided and all men becoming brothers.

Imagine by John Lennon – pop music

“Imagine” is one of the best known songs of the peace activist, artist, and former Beatle John Lennon. He talks about the roots of most wars (nationalism, religion and greed) and invites us to imagine a world where all the people are “living life in peace”.

No More Trouble by Bob Marley – reggae

The peace advocate and best-known reggae musician Bob Marley states in this song to “Make love and not war”. As a committed Rastafari an, he also sings “Lord knows, we don’t need no trouble!”

London-based postgraduate student in Gender & Sexuality Studies. On the side: playing ukulele, exploring, cinema!

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