Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray, "South Pacific", Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio
Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, television, North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe
Rosenbergs, H-Bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom, Brando, "The King And I", and "The Catcher In The Rye"
Eisenhower, vaccine, England's got a new queen, Marciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye
Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, dacron, Dien Bien Phu Falls, "Rock Around The Clock"
Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn's got a winning team, Davy Crockett, "Peter Pan", Elvis Presley, Disneyland
Bardot, Budapest, Alabama, Kruschchev, Princess Grace, "Peyton Place", trouble in the Suez
Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac, Sputnick, Chou En-Lai, "Bridge On The River Kwai"
Lebanon, Charles de Gaulle, California baseball, Starkweather homicide, children of thalidomide
U2, Syngman Rhee, Payola and Kennedy, Chubby Checker, "Psycho", Belgians in the Congo
Hemingway, Eichmann, "Stranger In A Strange Land", Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs invasion
"Lawrence of Arabia", British Beatlemania, Ole Miss, John Glenn, Liston beats Patterson
Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British politician sex, JFK, blown away, what else do I have to say
Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon, back again, Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock, Begin, Reagan, Palestine, terror on the airline, Ayatollolah's in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan
"Wheel of Fortune", Sally Ride, heavy metal suicide, Foreign debts, homeless vets, AIDS, Crack, Bernie Goetz, Hypodermics on the shores, China's under martial law, Rock and Roller Cola Wars, I can't take it anymore
One of the more interesting last half of the 1980's (influenced by the success of both Band-Aid and USA For Africa) social commentary songs has to be Billy Joel's late 1989 #1 hit, "We Didn't Start The Fire". Born out of two things Billy Joel heard from two different type of audience members, teachers saying they couldn't figure out how to teach children history post 1950 with so many changes occurring from that year in what seemed almost every minute, and children (mainly teenagers) telling Billy Joel they couldn't figure out why history was so important to learn (Joel's thought going into writing the tune was that it is important for students to learn history to learn from it, to not repeat the same mistakes if possible), Billy Joel wrote this dity about the history from 1950 to 1989 that contains so many references to various events, people who made that history and even countries and places in the news of that history it is hard to repeat all of them. Upabove is transcribed the 1st to 4th verse, 6th to 10th verse and 12th to 17th verse that contain references to several real places (the 5th and 11th verse do not). The places in the verses are: the country of China, South Pacific (also a name of a book by James A. Michener and a Broadway and Hollywood musical from Rodgers and Hammerstein), the countries of North Korea and South Korea, Panmunjom (where an interesting skirmish between the North Korean communists and the U.S. military took place in 1954 on the Korean penisula, after the Korean War that would set the boundary lines between the two countries to this day), England, Dien Bien Phu Falls (a 1954 Vietnam battle that the French colonial rulers lost that set the tone that would drag the U.S. into the prolonged Vietnam War), Brooklyn, New York, Disneyland out in Los Angeles, Budapest, Hungary, the U.S. state of Alabama, Suez in Egypt, Little Rock, Arkansas, the River Kwai (that is in Burma-Siam and an important and interesting World War II incident took place that had a book and a movie made about it), the country of Lebanon, the U.S. state of California, the country of Belgium (through Belgians), the country of the Congo (otherwise known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo), Berlin, Germany, Bay of Pigs in Cuba, Arabia (what Saudi Arabia was called in the past), Britian (twice, through the word British), the U.S. state of Mississippi (as Ole Miss), Ho Chi Minh would have a city named after him, Kennedy and Reagan have both had several places named after them, the moon (the Earth's only known natural satellite), Woodstock, New York, Watergate references the breakin by aides to President Nixon at the Democratic headquarters in the real Watergate hotel in the summer of 1972 and the events of scandal and Congressional hearings that ensued afterwards, the state of Palestine, the country of Iran, the country of Russia (through Russians), the country of Afghanistan, and China, yet again. History teachers did use and some still use Billy Joel's song to help teach the history between 1950 and 1989.
Submitted by: Peter
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