The Framing of Political Dissatisfaction in Music by Neil Young during the Vietnam War and the War in Iraq.
Neil Young has been an inspiring artist for decades. He does not hesitate from discussing political matters in his music. He does this as a solo artists as well as a member of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (CSNY). This essay will make a distinction between the Vietnam War era and the era surrounding the war in Iraq, the 2000s. In these two eras, political dissatisfaction was abound. This was related to events such as the ongoing Vietnam War, the Kent State Shootings, and the war in Iraq. Young did not only use specific events as a subject of his songs, he also incorporates criticism towards political figures, and other types of authority, in his songs. He criticizes president such as President Nixon and President Bush. Both Presidents continued a war that should not have taken place in the first place. Lyrics will be the focus point for analysis in this essay, a variety of theoretical background, such as Deena Weinstein’s dimension of protest songs, Beate Kutschke’s theory shows strategies for using music effectively and John Street’s theory that shows how musicians can successfully get their message across. The first chapter includes a theoretical background on the origins of folk and rock music, combined with their relation to protest music. The second and third chapter are related to either the Vietnam War or the war in Iraq. Both chapters start with a theoretical background related to politics and music and this is followed by an analysis of songs by Neil Young. The fourth and final chapter will investigate how the reaction of the audience, towards Young’s music, has changed over time. In contemporary music, this is now again relevant, because the current president, President Trump, is causing unrest in the country. My hypothesis is that Young uses various forms of political unrest and dissatisfaction in his protest songs. Keywords: Neil Young, CSNY, protest music, Vietnam War, War in Iraq, dissatisfaction, rock music
Faculteit der Letteren