Monday, September 29, 2014

Music Monday ~ 2014, Still Contemplating the Eve of.....

I must first give a tip of my hat to Avedon's Sideshow for reminding me, at the weekend, of an old song from the 1960s, causing a rumage among my archived posts. I found what I was looking for, it is repeated below. The song is still highly relevant in 2014, a few names and places, more recently in the news, could easily replace the originals.

My post from August 2010

The Eve of Destruction, Billboard No 1 hit in 1965, was played by Tim Rice the other day in his current BBC Radio series. The shows feature musicians from, or songs about, some of the 50 states of the USA, state by state. Oklahoma was up - so I listened on the i-player. Oklahoma-born Barry McGuire's version of the hit song was on the playlist.

The song was always a favourite of mine, way back when, in the 60s, the big guns at BBC censored it from their airwaves as being unsuitable for the delicate ears of their listeners. Barry McGuire sang the song and sang it very well.

Real credit for Eve of Destruction ought properly go to its writer, P.F. Sloan, a prolific songwriter for many famous names of the 60s. On his website Mr Sloan tells how he came to write the song.

The song "Eve of Destruction" was written in the early morning hours between midnight and dawn in mid-1964......... I was 19 years old. The most outstanding experience I had in writing this song was hearing an inner voice inside of myself for only the second time. It seemed to have information no one else could've had. For example, I was writing down this line in pencil "think of all the hate there is in Red Russia." This inner voice said "No, no it's Red China!" I began to argue and wrestle with that until near exhaustion. I thought Red Russia was the most outstanding enemy to freedom in the world, but this inner voice said the Soviet Union will fall before the end of the century and Red China will endure in crimes against humanity well into the new century! This inner voice that is inside of each and every one of us but is drowned out by the roar of our minds! The song contained a number of issues that were unbearable for me at the time. I wrote it as a prayer to God for an answer.

The lines:
"Think of all the hate there is in Red China then take a look around to Selma Alabama.
And marches alone cannot bring integration when human respect is disintegrating"
are about racial un-harmony issues.

"Hate your next door neighbor and don't forget to say grace",
simple hypocrisy but it made me feel angry.

"You're old enough to kill but not for voting"
was about the injustice of using youth in the army to defend the country but they had no say in its policies. More hypocrisy!

"You don't believe in war so what's that gun you're toting!"

"The pounding of the drums the pride and disgrace"
were written in relationship to the powerful Kennedy assassination.

Without a time of birth Moon's exact degree can't be established, but it would have been between 5 and 19 degrees of Aquarius and quite probably forming a harmonious trine aspect to Aquarius's ruler, Uranus in Gemini. Both Aquarius and Uranus connect to social conscience, radicalism, rebellion and futuristic thinking. I'd guess that the Moon's position had a lot - in fact everything - to do with the subject matter of P.F. Sloan's hit song. Lyrics are shown at end of this post. Mr Sloan's natal chart also reveals Sun and Mercury in Virgo (ruled by Mercury the writer's planet); Jupiter and Neptune tightly conjoined in Libra (sign ruled by Venus planet of the arts), indicating expansive creativity, imagination, and perhaps a feel for philosophy (Jupiter in Libra).

P.F. Sloan's 2006 album Sailover contains the song with re-worked lyrics, according to this THIS USA Today article, which also mentions that Sloan spent most of the past three decades battling mental and physical illnesses. Barry McGuire, now a Born Again Christian, has also recorded some up-to-date lyrics, not sure whether these are different from those on Sailover. See them at THIS website.

We were not, as it turned out, on "the eve of destruction" in 1965, and we're not now. Even so, it's very useful to have these lyrics repeated, "again, and again, and again, my friend"...because if we don't get our act together quick-sharp, we could well find ourselves on that dreaded brink, unexpectedly.

Sticking with P.F. Sloan's original lyrics and the Billboard No 1 hit version by Barry McGuire:

Further information available on both the songwriter and the song at Wikipedia.
The song's original lyrics, in full, can be read at THIS WEBSITE.


Jefferson's Guardian said...

If Barry McGuire sang prophetically of an "eve" of an impeding day, could not the day be upon us? Time is relative, after all.

I continually ask myself, what is it going to take to get our "act together"? What, exactly, will the tipping point be where the majority see what's going on? Has this "slow-motion" coup d'etat anesthetized us to the danger and peril we face?

Only a collective consciousness will prevail.

mike said...

A walk down memory lane here. Why, it seems like only yesterday that I heard "Eve of Destruction" and so many others from that period. I looked at the top 100 from 1964 and 1965 just now and it's a very diverse listing of mental memorabilia. The beatnik was transitioning to hippie, Bealtemania was sprouting, assassination, Cuban missile crisis and the Vietnam War made the cold war a potential nuclear hot war.

Interesting how Sloan describes the inner voice without acknowledging schizophrenia! My mother suffered with schizophrenia and "the voice(s)" were never doubted or viewed as peculiar. She thought she had a special gift...LOL. Interesting too, how so many religious leaders have professed to receiving special communication from gods or angels only heard by them. Often the case with murderers, too.

As you indicate, his Moon stands out, particularly as the handle of a tight bucket. Beside the probable aspect to Uranus, there may be an inconjunct or yod with the Cancer-Virgo planets. The Moon as the bucket handle would have placed considerable emphasis on his emotional status, and the Moon in Aquarius is inconjunct by sign as ruler of his Cancer planets.

mike (again) said...

@Jefferson's Guardian - I agree with you! We humans are self-centered and contemplate our own survival without much consideration for the vast number of species we've deleted from the planet. The eve of destruction has come and gone for many creatures.

"No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee."
John Donne

Twilight said...

Jefferson's Guardian ~ The day could be dawning, yes, I agree. The majority of "we the people" continues to snooze, switches off the alarm and turns over.

I can only imagine that it will take some kind of calamity of vast proportion, to ignite collective consciousness.

Twilight said...

mike ~ It's interesting, too, that in the 1960s songs such as this could become widely recognised, even in spite of stations banning them. Today, I suppose there are similar songs (or rap thingies) going on - but who, other than a fringe minority, knows of them?

The anger and frustration in Barry McGuire's voice is what we ought to be hearing now, from a present day artist, singing a similar song - or even this one with updated lyrics.

Maybe it wasn't really "a voice" Sloan heard, but simply his intuition giving him a nudge.

Sloan's Wiki page tells us also that:

Due to its line "You're old enough to kill, but not for votin'", "Eve of Destruction" was used as a rallying cry by supporters of the Twenty-sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which changed the voting age from 21 to 18 as of 1971

James Higham said...

You've had a few years to contemplate it, Twilight.

Twilight said...

James Higham ~ More than most, yes.