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100 Best Songs About War and Peace

I have been an online writer for over six years. I am passionate about books, philosophy, music, and the music industry.

Yoko Ono in 2001: "It’s not like he thought, ‘Oh, this can be an anthem.’ ‘Imagine’ was just what John believed: that we are all one country, one world, one people. He wanted to get that idea out."

Yoko Ono in 2001: "It’s not like he thought, ‘Oh, this can be an anthem.’ ‘Imagine’ was just what John believed: that we are all one country, one world, one people. He wanted to get that idea out."

In every decade of music, singers and songwriters have conveyed varied sentiments about war and peace. It’s a known fact that wars only cause destruction and ravage lives and finding a means to end wars with peace is a solution process nations need to take seriously in their stride. Through songs a number of bands and artists have highlighted the harsh realities of war and the pain and suffering families go through.

The list below showcases a diverse collection of songs that essay different aspects of war and peace. If you feel a song associated with war and peace is not mentioned, feel free to make mention of the song you feel strongly about in the comments section. Your thoughts and opinions about war and solutions for peace are valuable and may well lead to a new beginning towards a world without war.

Top 10 Best Songs About War and Peace

1. “Imagine”—John Lennon

2. “Blowin’ In the Wind”—Bob Dylan

3. “Song of Bangladesh”—Joan Baez

4. “Fortunate Son”—Creedence Clearwater Revival

5. “All These Things That I’ve Done”—The Killers

6. “Give Peace A Chance”—Plastic Ono Band

7. “Bulls On Parade”—Rage Against the Machine

8. “Sunday Bloody Sunday”—U2

9. “Eye of Destruction”—Barry McGuire

10. “The Fiddle and The Drum”—Joni Mitchell

Impact Of Anti-War and Protest Songs

Many anti-war songs that speak about peace also lament on aspects of physical and psychological destruction caused by warfare to soldiers, civilians, and humanity. In certain songs, songwriters highlight various aspects of greed that leads to war.

Brutally honest lyrics have made anti-war songs anthems in their own right, causing a global revolution. The atrocities of war have been poetically brought to life through compelling lyrics that make listeners think. Numerous songs that talk about different ways to find solutions to peace have had a profound effect on listeners.

While war songs are not written by songwriters to attain commercial acclaim, few among the many war songs have become anthems for peace movements. Certain tunes have gone onto earn the distinction of being protest songs that paved new beginnings in protest movements for a cause.

#11—20

11. “War Pigs”—Black Sabbath

12. “One”—Metallica

13. “Born in The U.S.A.”—Bruce Springsteen

14. “Civil War”—Guns N’ Roses

15. “The Gunner’s Dream”—Pink Floyd

16. “Bomb’s Away”—The Police

17. “The Gates of Delirium”—Yes

18. “For Whom the Bells Toll”—Metallica

19. “The Ghost of You”—My Chemical Romance

20. “Eve of Destruction”—P.F. Sloan

Anti-War Songs Can Spark Social Change

The lyrics in war songs paint an honest picture of happenings through various incidents associated with war. The reflective lyrics in anti-war songs take listeners on a reflective journey that maps logical decisions to prove a point through peace. A number of songs associated with war and peace have a philosophical outlook and let the listener decide right and wrong through lyrical storytelling.

When lyrics about different aspects about war connect on a personal level, the collective result from understanding and belief becomes a movement for something you stand for. Lyrics from anti-war songs, protest songs, and peace songs have become the weapons of choice for crowds at marches and silent protests. At anti-war protest rallies individuals often hold banners with lyrics of songs that talk about peace and stopping wars.

Rage Against the Machine (pictured in 2007) wrote brutally honest lyrics about greed leading to war and destruction (e.g. "Know Your Enemy" and “Bulls on Parade”).

Rage Against the Machine (pictured in 2007) wrote brutally honest lyrics about greed leading to war and destruction (e.g. "Know Your Enemy" and “Bulls on Parade”).

#21—40

21. “War”—Edwin Starr

22. “Revolution”—The Beatles

23. “Heal The World”—Michael Jackson

24. “If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next”—Manic Street Preachers

25. “The Dogs of War”—Pink Floyd

26. “Peace Sells”—Megadeth

27. “I Ain’t Marching Anymore”—Phil Ochs

28. “John Brown”—Bob Dylan

29. “Billy Don’t Be a Hero”—Paper Lace

30. “I Drive Your Truck”—Lee Brice

31. “Us and Them”—Pink Floyd

32. “The Unknown Soldier”—The Doors

33. “Bring The Boys Home”—Freda Payne

34. “For What It’s Worth”—Buffalo Springfield

35. “Two Tribes”—Frankie Goes to Hollywood

36. “I Don’t Want to Be a Hero”—Johnny Hates Jazz

37. “One Tin Soldier”—The Original Castle

38. “Ghost Town”—The Specials

39. “Hell Broke Luce”—Tom Waits

40. “Rooster”—Alice in Chains

Revolution of Change: Folk Music and the '60s

While every decade has essayed the subject of war through songs, the ‘60s was a decade that started a revolution of change. The folk movement in the decade had many musicians who were free thinkers. Musicians inspired by the revolutionary folk movement expressed what they felt about war through their songs.

While bands and artists singing songs about war and peace in the ‘60s gave the world something to think about, they also inspired a new generation of poets, thinkers, and activists across genres. While bringing about a change with music was often deemed possible, the ‘60s through its inspiring songs actually brought about a change in mindsets leading to a new way of thinking for solutions to peace.

To this day, songs about war and peace are being written by singers and songwriters to start a new awakening. Are you a part of the awakening? If you are, someday wars will end. Peace and cheers!

The '60s folk movement, led by Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, inspired a generation of poets, thinkers, and anti-war activists.

The '60s folk movement, led by Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, inspired a generation of poets, thinkers, and anti-war activists.

#41—60

41. “Too Young to Die”—Jamiroquai

42. “War Ensemble”—Slayer

43. “This Is War”—Thirty Seconds to Mars

44. “Peace Train”—Cat Stevens

45. “Lucky Man”—Emerson, Lake & Palmer

46. “American Idiot”—Green Day

47. “Yours Is No Disgrace”—Yes

48. “Butcher’s Tale (Western Front 1914)”—The Zombies

49. “When The Children Cry”—White Lion

50. “Hammer To Fall”—Queen

51. “Zor and Zam”—The Monkees

52. “A Pair of Brown Eyes”—The Pogues

53. “Games Without Frontiers”—Peter Gabriel

54. “How Does the Grass Grow”—David Bowie

55. “Hands Held High”—Linkin Park

56. “I’m Your Captain (Closer to Home)”—Grand Funk Railroad

57. “Just A Dream”—Carrie Underwood

58. “Travelin’ Soldier”—The Dixie Chicks

59. “Zombie”—The Cranberries

60. “Fussing and Fighting”—Bob Marley and the Wailers

#61—80

61. “21st Century Schizoid Man”—King Crimson

62. “Alternative Ulster”—Stiff Little Fingers

63. “Too Many Puppies”—Primus

64. “When The President Talks to God”—Bright Eyes

65. “Scream Aim Fire”—Bullet for My Valentine

66. “Roads to Moscow”—Al Stewart

67. “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy”—Pete Seeger

68. “Tranquility”—311

69. “With God on Our Side”—Bob Dylan

70. “Child in Time”—Deep Purple

71. “Holy Wars… The Punishment Due”—Megadeth

72. “Masters of War”—Bob Dylan

73. “I Was Only 19”—Redgum

74. “The War”—Angels & Airwaves

75. “Goodbye Blue Sky”—Pink Floyd

76. “Peacekeeper”—Fleetwood Mac

77. “Radio Baghdad”—Patti Smith

78. “The War is Over”—Phil Ochs

79. “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)”—Melanie Safka

80. “And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda”—Eric Bogle

#81—100

81. “The War Song”—Culture Club

82. “Sky Pilot”—Eric Burdon & the Animals

83. “Good Vibes”—Rebelution

84. “Run To the Hills”—Iron Maiden

85. “Where Is the Love?”—The Black Eyed Peas

86. “Sullivan”—Caroline’s Spine

87. “Oliver’s Army”—Elvis Costello and the Attractions

88. “Rock The Casbah”—The Clash

89. “The “Fish” Cheer/I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die Rag”—Country Joe and the Fish

90. “On Battleship Hill”—PJ Harvey

91. “Sunshine”—Jonathan Edwards

92. “Goodnight Saigon”—Billy Joel

93. “Red Sector A”—Rush

94. “I Should Be Proud”—Martha and the Vandellas

95. “One Day”—Matisyahu

96. “Fire in the Sky”—John Butler Trio

97. “Army Dreamers”—Kate Bush

98. “All Together Now”—The Farm

99. “Feel it Still”—Portugal. The Man

100. “Hello Vietnam”—Johnnie Wright

Other Notable Songs About War and Peace

  • “The General”—Dispatch
  • “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)”—George Harrison
  • “Hero Of War”—Rise Against
  • “La La Peace Song”—O.C Smith
  • “Coachella – Woodstock in My Mind”—Lana Del Ray
  • “When We Stand Together”—Nickelback
  • “A Little Good News”—Anne Murray
  • “Road To Joy”—Bright Eyes
  • “We’ve Had Enough”—Michael Jackson
  • “Alice’s Restaurant Massacre”—Arlo Guthrie
  • “There but For Fortune”—Phil Ochs
  • “I’d Love to Change the World”—Ten Years After
  • “Mandatory Suicide”—Slayer
  • “Over There”—Bill Murray
  • “Killing In the Name”—Rage Against the Machine
  • “City Of Angels”—Miguel
  • “All Quiet on The Western Front”—Elton John
  • “Innuendo”—Queen
  • “Harry Patch (In Memory Of)”—Radiohead
  • “Spanish Bombs”—The Clash
  • “What’s Goin’ On”—Marvin Gaye
  • “The Great Compromise”—John Prine
  • “Nuclear”—Mike Oldfield
  • “Some Mother’s Son”—The Kinks
  • “Children’s Crusade”—Sting
  • “Not Now John”—Pink Floyd
  • “Handlebars”—Flobots
  • “Freedom”—Rage Against the Machine
  • “2 Minutes to Midnight”—Iron Maiden
  • “Pipes of Peace”—Paul McCartney
  • “Ohio”—Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
  • “Another Brick in The Wall (Part 1)”—Pink Floyd
  • “Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World Is Today)”—The Temptations
  • “1916”—Motorhead
  • “Washington Bullets”—The Clash
  • “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”—The Band
  • “Invisible Sun”—The Police
  • “The Battle of Ira Hayes”—Johnny Cash
  • “Guns, Guns, Guns”—The Guess Who
  • “Angel of Death”—Slayer
  • “Holiday’—Green Day
  • “Civilian Ways”—Rancid
  • “Buffalo Soldier”—Bob Marley
  • “Orange Crush”—R.E.M.
  • “New Year’s Day”—U2
  • “One Tin Soldier”—The Original Castle
  • “Psycho”—Muse
  • “Brighter Than a Thousand Suns”—Iron Maiden
  • “Take No Prisoners”—Megadeth
  • “Love Vigilantes”—New Order
  • “Front Line”—Stevie Wonder
  • “Stoned Love”—The Supremes
  • “Peace on Earth”—U2
  • “Belfast Child”—Simple Minds
  • “Corporal Clegg”—Pink Floyd
  • “Still in Saigon”—Charlie Daniels Band
  • “It’s a Mistake”—Men At Work
  • “Children of the Grave”—Black Sabbath
  • “More Than a Name on the Wall”—The Statler Brothers
  • “Ripples”—Grateful Dead
  • “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, Understanding”—Nick Lowe
  • “Easter”—Marillion
  • “The Door”—George Jones
  • “Soldier Side”—System of a Down
  • “Wooden Ships”—Crosby Stills & Nash
  • “Yes Sir, No Sir”—The Kinks
  • “Seconds”—U2
  • “Student Demonstration Time”—The Beach Boys
  • “Through the Barricades”—Spandau Ballet
  • “Out in the Fields”—Gary Moore and Phil Lynott
  • “Please”—U2
  • “Copperhead Road”—Steve Earle
  • “Two Suns in the Sunset”—Pink Floyd
  • “Crazy Train”—Ozzy Osbourne
  • “Uncommon Valor: A Vietnam Story”—Jedi Mind Tricks
  • “Come Away Melinda”—Harry Belafonte
  • “When The Tigers Broke Free”—Pink Floyd
  • “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”—Tears for Fears
  • “Straight to Hell”—The Clash
  • “19”—Paul Hardcastle
  • “Machine Gun”—Jimi Hendrix
  • “No Man’s Land”—Eric Bogle
  • “Breathing”—Kate Bush
  • “The Saints are Coming”—The Skids
  • “Give Ireland Back to The Irish”—Wings
  • “At Mail Call Today”—Gene Autry
  • “Military Madness”—Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
  • “There Were Roses”—Tommy Sands
  • “Where Are You Now My Son”—Joan Baez
  • “The Town I Loved So Well”—Phil Coulter
  • “Holiday in Cambodia”—Dead Kennedys
  • “The Grave”—Don McLean
  • “Paper Sun”—Def Leppard
  • “Fight Fire with Fire”—Metallica
  • “Devils & Dust”—Bruce Springsteen
  • “1999”—Prince
  • “There Is a War”—Leonard Cohen
  • “Gimme Shelter”—Rolling Stones
  • “Woodstock”—Joni Mitchell
  • “Drone Bomb Me”—Anohni

© 2019 Ansel Pereira