The more I read and watch the news lately, the more a certain song from the sixties pops into my head. In 1965 folk-singer and New Christy Minstrels member Barry McGuire had a huge hit with a song called Eve of Destruction. Written by P.F. Sloan, the protest song highlighted many of the problems facing America and the world at that time, including racism, trouble in the Middle East and violence. By September the song was #1 on the Billboard chart in the U.S. and had climbed to #3 in the UK, a place that was producing some pretty good music at that time. McGuire’s gruff voice with a military dirge-like drum back-beat pounded the song’s refrain into the minds of a generation – Ah, you don’t believe, We’re on the eve of destruction.
Well as we all now know we didn’t destruct, however I’m sad to say, it would seem that we have not really come a long way since McGuire sang half a century ago. Below is a report card of sorts. With the exception of lowering the voting age to 18 in 1971, not many of the issues raised in the song have been remedied.