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									By Edwin Starr
  War, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
      Uh-huh
  War, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
 Say it again, y'all

War, huh, good God
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
   Listen to me
    Ohhh, war, I despise
Because it means destruction
     Of innocent lives

      War means tears
To thousands of mothers eyes
 When their sons go to fight
     And lose their lives

      I said, war, huh
      Good God, y'all
     What is it good for
     Absolutely nothing
         Say it again
        War, whoa, Lord
       What is it good for
       Absolutely nothing
          Listen to me

        War, it ain't nothing
        But a heartbreaker
War, friend only to the undertaker
           Ooooh, war
  It's an enemy to all mankind
The point of war blows my mind
      War has caused unrest
 Within the younger generation
   Induction then destruction
Who wants to die
 Aaaaah, war-huh
  Good God y'all
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it, say it, say it
     War, huh
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
   Listen to me
 War, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
      Uh-huh
 War, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
 Say it again y'all
War, huh, good God
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
   Listen to me
      War, it ain't nothing but a
              heartbreaker
        War, it's got one friend
         That's the undertaker
     Ooooh, war, has shattered
    Many a young mans dreams
Made him disabled, bitter and mean
 Life is much to short and precious
 To spend fighting wars these days
            War can't give life
        It can only take it away
 Ooooh, war, huh
  Good God y'all
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
   Say it again

 War, whoa, Lord
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
   Listen to me
    War, it ain't nothing but a heartbreaker
       War, friend only to the undertaker
        Peace, love and understanding
   Tell me, is there no place for them today
 They say we must fight to keep our freedom
But Lord knows there's got to be a better way
  Ooooooh, war, huh
     Good God y'all
   What is it good for
        You tell me
Say it, say it, say it, say it

       War, huh
    Good God y'all
  What is it good for
 Stand up and shout it
       Nothing
Edwin Starr
   He was born Charles Hatcher on January
    21, 1942 in Nashville, Tennessee. He was
    the cousin of soul music performer Roger Hatcher, but grew
    up in a non-musical household. He enlisted in the U.S. Army
    and was transferred to Europe. While in Europe, he
    performed in numerous clubs between Berlin and
    Amsterdam, honing the style that would eventually bring him
    fame when he returned to the United States. When Edwin
    returned to the U.S., he was invited to join Bill Doggett’s
    band as a featured vocalist. Shortly after, he formed a new
    band called the Future Tones. His most popular song was
    “War”, which he first sang in 1968. Edwin Starr died of a
    heart attack in England in 2003. (Walker)

                                                                  Back
Vietnam War
   The Vietnam War was a conflict that
    took place in Vietnam, Laos, and
    Cambodia. The main purpose of this war
    was stopping the spread of communism.
    Most U.S. citizens did not like this war at
    all. There were many anti-war protests
    against the U.S. involvement in Vietnam.
    It was a very unpopular war and many
    people thought it was useless. (“The
    Vietnam War”)
                                                  Back
Theme
   “Absolutely nothing” is a good
    theme for this song because
    the main idea is about anti-war.
    In the song, Edwin Starr asks
    the question, what is war good
    for? He goes on to say that it is
    good for absolutely nothing.
    When he says this, he is
    showing the anti-war theme
    that was popular during his
    time.

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Destruction
   There were over 2.5 million men and women that
    served in the Vietnam War. Almost 60,000 of these
    soldiers were killed. More than 800,000 continue to
    suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders which
    have resulted in many suicides, incarcerations, and
    in alcohol and drug abuse. As you can see, when
    Edwin Starr was talking about destruction, he wasn’t
    joking. This goes along with the theme of anti-war
    and how war can lead to bad things. (Laurent)




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Innocent Lives
   In the Vietnam War, there was an
    incident called the My Lai Massacre.
    It was a plan by an angry group
    soldiers in the U.S. army to go into a
    small Vietnamese village and kill
    everyone in it. Most of these people
    were unarmed citizens including
    women, children, and the elderly.
    The song says that in war, there are
    innocent people killed, and the My Lai
    Massacre is a good example of that.
    (“The My Lai Massacre”)
                                             Back
Rhyme Scheme
   A rhyme scheme is a regular pattern of
    rhyme, one that is consistent throughout
    the extent of a song or poem. In this
    particular verse, the rhyme scheme is
    AABCDC, which means that the first line
    rhymes with the second line, and the
    fourth line rhymes with the last line. The
    third and fifth lines do no rhyme with
    anything.

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Undertaker
   An undertaker is another name for a
    funeral director. In this song, it says that
    war only has one friend, and that’s the
    undertaker. This is just saying that the
    only thing war does is take away lives.
    This is also talking more about the anti-
    war theme and how there is really no
    point to war.



                                                   Back
Metaphor
   A metaphor is a comparison between two
    things where one thing is said to be
    another. In this song, Edwin Starr says that
    war is “an enemy to all mankind.” When he
    says this, he means that because of all the
    killing, war could potentially end human life.
    By comparing war to an enemy of mankind,
    Starr reminds us of how anti-war protests
    were a big part of the Vietnam War.

                                                     Back
Repetition
   Repetition is a technique in which a sound,
    word, phrase, or line is repeated for effect
    or emphasis. In this verse of the song, the
    phrase “say it” is repeated three times. The
    artist is just indicating how important the
    previous lines are. This is also
    emphasizing the importance of war being
    good for nothing. (“A Glossary of Terms”)




                                                   Back
Allegory
   Allegory is a symbolic representation. It is
    when an object, person, or action in a
    narrative is equated with a meaning
    outside the narrative itself. In this case,
    “heartbreaker” can be a representation of
    how the war had broken many people’s
    hearts. It can be literally breaking soldiers’
    hearts when they die in battle, or if
    someone back at home has a broken heart
    because of someone they lost in the war.
                                                     Back
Disabled, bitter, and mean
   In this song, it says that the war has shattered
    many of young men’s dreams, and that that it
    made them disabled, bitter, and mean. This is a
    good explanation of how the war changed
    people’s lives. After the war, soldiers came back to
    the U.S. very different from when they left. They
    had many physical and also psychological
    difficulties that resulted from being in war. Life was
    not the same for the returning soldiers, which
    made many people angry that we even fought in
    the Vietnam War. (Romo, Zastrow, and Miller)

                                                             Back
Peace, love, and understanding
   These three words are the main
    ideas for this song. They are
    examples of what the anti-war
    movement was all about.
    Because of all the anti-war
    protests and ideas, the U.S. was
    taken out of Vietnam. Songs like
    this were a major part of the anti-
    war movement and they helped
    get the U.S. out of Vietnam.(“The
    United States”)
                                          Back
Citations
Walker, Bruce. "Edwin Starr Biography." Musician Guide. Net Industries, n.d.
        Web. 18 May 2010. <http://www.musicianguide.com/biographies/1608004259/
        Edwin-Starr.html>.

"The Vietnam War." The History Place. The History Place, 1999. Web. 31 May 2010.
        <http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/vietnam/>.

Laurent, Pauline. "Vietnam: An Overview." Grief Denied: A Vietnam Widow's Story.
       N.p., n.d. Web. 31 May 2010. <http://www.griefdenied.com/
       overview.html>.

"The My Lai Massacre." American Experience. PBS, 29 Mar. 2005. Web. 31 May 2010.
       <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/vietnam/trenches/my_lai.html>.

Literary Devices. Online Learning Centre, Saskatoon Public Schools, 2008. Web.
         31 May 2010. <http://olc.spsd.sk.ca/de/resources/litdevices/
         index.html>.

"A Glossary of Terms for Literary Analysis." Wallkill Central School District.
       N.p., n.d. Web. 31 May 2010. <http://www.wallkillcsd.k12.ny.us/
       glt.htm>.
Citations
Romo, Barry, Pete Zastrow, and Joe Miller. "History of the U.S. War in Vietnam."
      Vietnam Veterans Against the War. N.p., 2002. Web. 31 May 2010.
      <http://www.vvaw.org/about/warhistory.php>.

"The United States Antiwar Movement and the Vietnam War." Study World. Oakwood
       Publishing Company, n.d. Web. 31 May 2010. <http://www.studyworld.com/
       Antiwar_Movement.htm>.

Vietnam War Helicopters. N.d. JPG file.

Edwin Starr. N.d. GIF file.

Vietnam War Protest. N.d. JPG file.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial. N.d. JPG file.

Anti War Movement. N.d. JPG file.

Stop War. N.d. JPG file.

								
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