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Songs That Refer To Historical Events

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Songs That Refer To Historical Events

There are many songs that are based on actual events. Some are more accurate than others.

I'll start with The Rising by Bruce Springsteen

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Child In Time - Deep Purple

 

The Cold War era and Viet Nam war

 

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” - Jimi Hendrix
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Roulette:  Bruce Springsteen (Three Mile Island meltdown)

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Creek Mary’s Blood, Nightwish

 

Trail of Tears

 

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” - Jimi Hendrix
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God moves on the water, Blind Willie Johnson

(The Titanic)

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Indian Sunset:  Elton (American Indians forced relocation)

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Higher And Higher:  Moody Blues (Apollo moon land)

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Fortunate Son:  CCR (About Vietnam)

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Face The Fire:  Dan Fogelberg (about Chernobyl)

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When Johnny Comes Marching Home: Adam Faith, Pete Seeger, Patti LaBelle, others.  (Civil War)

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Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On  - Jimmy Buffett

 

Hurricane Katrina

 

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” - Jimi Hendrix
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Enola gay, OMD (Bombing of Hiroshima)

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Burn On:  Randy Newman (1969 Cuyahoga River fire in Cleveland)

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Black Friday:  Steely Dan (9/24/1869)

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Avalon Of The Heart:  Van Morrison (King Arthur legend)

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Give peace a chance, John Lennon

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Wind Of Change, Scorpions

 

The fall of the Iron Curtain

 

 

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” - Jimi Hendrix
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Following in the steps of Iron Maiden is the Swedish metal band, Sabaton.

Like Maiden, their songs are almost all based on historical events, They even have a YouTube channel, Sabaton History, dedicated to the historical significance behind each song. It’s been used by teachers in classrooms for history study.

 

The Great War

WWI

 

Christmas Truce

WWI, 1914, a brief cease fire observed on the Western Front where both sides sang Christmas carols to each other. It’s a tear jerker, for sure.

 

The Lost Battalion

WWI, the nine companies of the US 77th Division that were surrounded by German forces in the Argonne Forest, 1918.

 

Bismark

The legendary German battleship of WWII and it’s eventual demise

 

…and there are many more

 

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” - Jimi Hendrix
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Iron Maiden:

 

Alexander The Great

Historical biography

 

The Trooper

1854 Crimean War, Charge of the Light Brigade

 

Aces High

WWII

 

Run To The Hills

Plight of Native Americans

 

Death Of The Celts

Roman conquest of Britain

 

… for openers

 

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” - Jimi Hendrix
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Snoopy vs. The Red Baron: The Royal Guardsmen  (the song refers to the real-life WW I German flying ace Baron von Richthofen)

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The British are coming, Weezer

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Ballad Of Spring Hill:  Peter, Paul & Mary (mining disaster)

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Birmingham Sunday- Joan Baez (The Bombing of the Black Church where 4 little girls died). Released 1964

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Strawberry fields forever, Fab 4️⃣

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Black Day In July:  Gordon Lightfoot (1967 riot in Detroit)

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Mull of Kintyre, Wings

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Garden Party: Rick Nelson   (His response to having been booed at MSG in 1971).

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Chicago, Graham Nash (Vietnam War, among

other things)

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Eight miles high, Byrds (British Invasion, among

other things)

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The Way It Is:  Bruce Hornsby (Civil rights movement)

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