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Peace Out!

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October 13, 2004

St. Louis theatre producer and playwright Joan Lipkin is my special guest for a program of songs about war and peace in celebration of Peace Out! An Artistic Resistance to War, a festival of anti-war performances based on texts by the group Poets Against the War, among other things.

Selection Source Performer(s) Comments
Mission Accomplished GOP Party Monsters (2004) Wayne Lammers and Pete Levin A stirring paean to the end of major combat operations (and the beginning of the sand trap).
There's Something About a War A Stephen Sondheim Evening (OC 1983) Cris Groenendaal, Bob Gunton, George Hearn, Steven Jacob Miles Gloriosus arrives with his troops. The song was written for and then cut from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. This live recording was made at a special one-night-only Sondheim tribute concert
I Didn't Raise My Boy to be a Soldier Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition (1977) Morton Harvey, studio orchestra Recorded in the fall of 1916, this is a reminder that the anti-war movement in this country didn't just pop into existence in the 1960s. Harvey was a popular singer and this number was a hit until America entered the war in April of 1917, at which point RCA Victor - in an act of corporate cowardice that has contemporary resonance - withdrew it from circulation. Harvey's recording career ended that same year but he continued as a vaudeville headliner and eventually retired to manage a radio station in Oklahoma.
Main Theme World War I (OS 1965) Orchestra conducted by Morton Gould Gould provided the score for this CBS documentary series, which aired in 1964 and 1965. The main theme is mournful and martial in equal parts, as befits its topic.
Imagine Imagine John Lennon Joan brought this one in and it seemed appropriate.
This Bus Won't Go to War Fighting Clowns (1980) The Firesign Theatre Another live recording, this time from a mostly anti-war cabaret act presented at Hollywood's Roxy Theatre.

Acronyms and other mysteries defined:

OC: Unless otherwise indicated, the Original Cast recording of a Broadway show, along with the date.

OS: Unless otherwise indicated, the Original Soundtrack recording of a film, TV show, etc.

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