Murakami plays anti-war songs on the radio to protest the Ukrainian war

TOKYO – Playing James Taylor’s “Never Die Young” and returning to songs that marked the anti-war movement in the 1960s, author Haruki Murakami added his voice to the anti-war protests in Ukraine with a special edition of his Japanese radio program.

“Does music have the power to stop the war? Unfortunately, the answer is no,” Murakami said. “But it has the power to make listeners believe that war is something we should stop.”

For Friday’s 55-minute program “Music to End the War,” which airs all over Japan on Tokyo FM, Murakami chose 10 tracks from his album and CD collections at home that “in my mind best fit our theme.” “.

Some were simpler anti-war songs and others “songs that deal with the importance of human life, love and dignity, can be considered anti-war songs in a broader sense.”

“Lyrics will play an important role in tonight’s show, so make sure you keep your ear open,” Murakami reminded his listeners. “At the end of the show, I have a feeling you’ll be more inspired to end the war. Time will tell.”


For some songs he rehearsed passages from the lyrics he translated into Japanese in his own words, adding historical backgrounds that included racial and social disparities while conveying the message of anger, sadness, and love.

Songs against the war of the 1960s included “Cruel War” by Peter, Paul & Mary, which he used to play as part of a high school folk song band, and “Unknown Soldier” by the Doors, which he remembered always playing on the radio. in his college days.

With his youthful years superimposed on the anti-war movement, his words — and the choice of songs — gave a deeper meaning and relevance to the conflict in Ukraine.

He opened his show with “Never Die Young” by James Taylor, a song aimed at young people in the city who lose their lives to drugs and crime.

“Here’s a clear connection to the young men sent to war,” he said. “In a war started by an older generation, it is the younger generation that gives up their lives. It’s been a long time coming, and it’s really heartbreaking. “


While playing “Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream,” written by folk singer Ed McCurdy in 1950, he remembered the year the Korean War began, the Cold War was over, and the threat of a nuclear war intensified. Murakami chose the version performed by the Weavers, whose records were banned on the radio for their anti-war message.

Murakami provided his Japanese translation of passages from “Living on the Front Line” by reggae singer Eddy Grant, explaining that the front line was also about “a society on the brink of destruction.” Grant primarily wanted African tribes to stop killing each other, but “their sensible lyrics could be applied to any war.”

He chose “Blowin ‘In The Wind,” which Stevie Wonder sang for Bob Dylan’s 30th birthday concert in 1992, and summed up what Wonder, before performing, told the audience: that despite the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War, the world’s problems are not. ‘t finished and the song was still relevant.


After interpreting John Johnson’s “Imagine” by Jack Johnson, Murakami said the lyrics sounded “quite optimistic” because they were written in 1971, when “we could still believe in the future, when we still had our ideals.”

Finally, Murakami quoted Martin Luther King Jr. saying in his speech that “Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.” so.

He never explicitly mentioned Russia or President Vladimir Putin.

But he noted that many people, frustrated by representative democracy, approach authoritarianism. “This may sound efficient, but it’s important to remember that if things take a turn in a dark direction, where we get to is really dangerous, so be careful.”

“I hope there is some peace in our world.”

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Murakami plays anti-war songs on the radio to protest the Ukrainian war

Source link Murakami plays anti-war songs on the radio to protest the Ukrainian war

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