It’s now the day after Thanksgiving and I felt inspired to follow Wednesday’s post of Rhode Island DJ Songs of Thanks with Rhode Island DJ Songs of Peace. The title to every song on this list includes some version for he word “Peace”. There are a few versions of the same songs that stand out like Cat Stevens “Peace Train” and Elvis Costello “What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love and Understand”.
Rhode Island DJ Songs of Peace
The song was originally released in 1974 on the album The New Favourites of… Brinsley Schwarz by Lowe’s band Brinsley Schwarz and released as a single; this version was included on Lowe’s 2002 compilation Anthology (along with the Elvis Costello version), and his 2009 compilation Quiet Please… The New Best of Nick Lowe, as well as 1991’s Surrender to the Rhythm: The Best of Brinsley Schwarz, 1996’s Naughty Rhythms: The Best of Pub Rock 1970-1976, and 1998’s Pub Rock: Paving the Way for Punk.
The Elvis Costello & The Attractions version was first issued as the B-side of Lowe’s 1978 single “American Squirm” credited to “Nick Lowe and His Sound”. At the time, Lowe was Costello’s producer, and he produced this track as well. When the song became a hit, it was quickly appended as the last track to the U.S. edition of Costello’s album Armed Forces. It has appeared on most of Costello’s “Best of” compilations over the years, as well as on the soundtrack to the film “200 Cigarettes”. Live versions appeared on Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Volume 7: 2002-2003, and 2012’s The Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook, both by Elvis Costello and the Attractions. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked this version of the song as the 284th best song of all time.
In 2004, “(What’s So Funny ’bout) Peace, Love and Understanding” was regularly performed as an all-star jam on the “Vote for Change” tour, which featured a rotating cast of headliners. The October 11 concert at the MCI Centre in Washington DC was broadcast live on the Sundance Channel and on radio. This version of the song featured Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, the Dixie Chicks, Eddie Vedder, Dave Matthews, and John Fogerty with Michael Stipe, Bonnie Raitt, Keb’ Mo’, and Jackson Browne.
When discussing how he wrote “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)”, George Harrison states in his 1980 autobiography, I, Me, Mine: “Sometimes you open your mouth and you don’t know what you are going to say, and whatever comes out is the starting point. If that happens and you are lucky, it can usually be turned into a song. This song is a prayer and personal statement between me, the Lord, and whoever likes it.” “Give Me Love” continued the precedent set by Harrison in his 1970 single “My Sweet Lord“, where he blended the Hindu bhajan with Western gospel tradition, and the song repeats another Harrison hit formula by using a three-syllable lyrical hook as its title, like “My Sweet Lord”, “What Is Life” and “Bangla Desh“. In a further similarity with those earlier songs, he wrote “Give Me Love” very quickly; Harrison biographer Alan Clayson describes it as having “flowed from George with an ease as devoid of ante-start agonies as a Yoko Ono ‘think piece'”.
Harrison had embraced the theme of karma and reincarnation in the songs “Run of the Mill” and “Art of Dying“, both released on his 1970 triple album All Things Must Pass. With “Give Me Love”, the “starting point” that Harrison refers to in I, Me, Mine led to a statement expressing the singer’s vision for life in the physical world, a life devoid of the karmic burden of rebirth:
Give me love, give me love, give me peace on earth
Give me light, give me life, keep me free from birth
Give me hope, help me cope with this heavy load
Trying to touch and reach you with heart and soul
“Give Peace a Chance” is a song written by John Lennon in Montreal, Canada (originally under the moniker Lennon–McCartney), released as a single in 1969 by the Plastic Ono Band on Apple Records, catalogue Apple 13 in the United Kingdom, Apple 1809 in the United States. It is the first solo single issued by Lennon, released when he was still a member of the Beatles and became ananthem of the American anti-war movement during the 1970s. It peaked at number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 2 on the British singles chart.
Is there any Rhode Island DJ Songs of Peace that need to be included? What is your favorite Rhode Island DJ Songs of Peace?
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