Handsome Johnny- Richie Havens Emmeline Kuoch

Artist: Richie Havens

Song: Handsome Johnny

Released: 1967

Richie Havens also sings "I Can't Make It Anymore" and "High Flyin' Bird"

"Hey, look yonder, tell me what you see

Marching to the fields of Vietnam?

It looks like Handsome Johnny with an M15,

Marching to the Vietnam war, hey marching to the Vietnam war.

Hey, what's the use of singing this song, some of you are not even listening.

Tell me what it is we've got to do: wait for our fields to start glistening,

Wait for the bullets to start whistling."

The song reflects the ongoing war in Vietnam, earlier military conflicts and the civil rights movement. Handsome Johnny represents every single soldier and young man, going to fight for what he believes in and wants every responsible person to have a duty like him. Whether its for equality or fighting to stop Communism etc. In the lyrics, he describes his journey going into war through the fields of concord, Gettysburg, Dunkirk, Korean War, and Birmingham, a campaign for the civil rights movement. In his final lines, he mentions "What's the use of singing this song, some of you are not even listening." He is trying to say that we should be standing up to support our country, but we're not. We must find a way for war to end. The overall message is that "If you believe in something strongly, you have the duty to defend it."

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