"Handsome Johnny" was a song released in 1967 during the height of the civil rights movement, by Richie Havens, on his Album "Mixed Bag." Other known Richie Havens songs include "Follow" and "High Flying Bird." Appearing on the U.S Top 200 list at #182, this folk tune was meant to reflect on the many wars in which African Americans participated in throughout American History, and how despite this, the black man was not yet free.
"Marching to the Birmingham war, hey marching to the Birmingham war. Marching to the Birmingham war, hey marching to the Birmingham war" Those lines reflect on the fact that eventually, after fighting all of these wars, "Johnny" will stand up for his rights over his country. "Johnny" symbolizes the black man who is tired of oppression. At the end of the song, Havens sings "Here comes a hydrogen bomb: I can almost hear its whistle" showing that America will be affected by the civil rights movement, which is being protested. This song's true message is to warn the american people of the fight coming from the civil rights movement.