Some songs - 'Vietnam' by Bobby Jameson and 'Bring Them Home' by Pete Seeger - were very upfront about their opposition to the war, while others - as in the Monkees' 'Last Train to Clarksville' - carried a more subtle message. It is notable that no outright anti-war songs were big sellers that year. On the other hand, the war-glorifying 'Ballad of the Green Berets' was the biggest-selling single of 1966.
Perhaps the most immediate songs were those from the perspective of young, black men (see below for 'He'll Be Back', 'I'm Glad You Waited', 'I Believe I'm Gonna Make It', 'Greetings (This is Uncle Sam)', and 'Hymn No.5')
Not all war-themed songs were necessarily written with the Vietnam conflict in mind, but it was easy to place tracks such as Roy Orbison's 'There Won't Be Many Coming Home' - written for a movie with a US Civil War backdrop - in the context of the Vietnam War. The late Jim Reeves' big-selling 'Distant Drums' - about the anxiety of lovers soon to be parted by the call to war - was another in this category.
Ten notable and/or decent songs from 1966 that could be linked to the Vietnam War are listed below in alphabetical order:
- Ballad of the Green Berets (Barry Sadler)
- Bring Them Home (Pete Seeger)
- He'll Be Back (The Players)
- Hymn No.5 (The Mighty Hannibal)
- I'm Glad I Waited (The Players)
- Last Train to Clarksville (The Monkees)
- I Believe I'm Gonna Make It (Joe Tex)
- Greetings (This Is Uncle Sam) (The Monitors)
- There Won’t Be Many Coming Home (Roy Orbison)
- Vietnam (Bobby Jameson)