"What's going on" By: Marvin gaye

Play from 0:16 to 0:46.

This song was released on May 21, 1971.

Another famous song he sang was "Ain't no Mountain High Enough," with Tammi Terrell.

Lyrics: Mother, mother

There's too many of you crying

Brother, brother, brother

There's far too many of you dying

You know we've got to find a way

To bring some lovin' here today - Ya

Father, father

We don't need to escalate

You see, war is not the answer

For only love can conquer hate

You know we've got to find a way

To bring some lovin' here today

Picket lines and picket signs

Don't punish me with brutality

Talk to me, so you can see

Oh, what's going on

What's going on

Ya, what's going on

Ah, what's going on

I think this song is protesting the Vietnam War. In the first stanza "Mother, Mother/There's far too many of you crying" refers to the mothers who lost their sons in the war. The lines "Brother, Brother... There are far too many of you dying" is referring to the young and old soldiers who were dying in the war. The Vietnam War was particularly difficult for families to come into terms with because of the draft which forced men to serve in the war. When men died in the war it was difficult for their mothers and families to accept their death because they had not voluntarily chosen to serve in the war. They were forced to. There were lots of soldiers who were barely out of their teens and had to serve in the war before they had a chance to live and experience life, and many of them lost their lives. "Picket lines and picket signs/Don't punish me with brutality," in the third stanza, is referring to the protesting during the war. People who were against the war were beaten by police officers even though they were not causing harm or rioting. Marvin Gaye is saying that what those officers and others were doing to the peaceful protestors was wrong.

In this time period the US was still involved in the Vietnam War, which resulted in the deaths of many Americans. This led to a lot of protests across the US. Also, hippie culture was getting popular around this time as well and because there was so much death, many people believed that instead of war peaceful methods should be used. They stressed the importance of kindness and love and the similarity among humankind.

Through this song Marvin Gaye was trying to get the messages across that war is a killer that tears families apart so peaceful methods of resolving conflicts should be used and also that people have the right to peacefully protest and that by suppressing that right America was going against the ideals that it was founded upon. This is also what he meant when he sang "What's going on?"

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