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Barry McGuire / Lyrics

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"Eve Of Destruction" Lyrics

Genre:Ethnic/Folk, Rock
Rank:356 (−43) history »
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The eastern world, it is exploding
Violence flarin', bullets loadin'
You're old enough to kill, but not for votin'
You don't believe in war, but what's that gun you're totin'
And even the Jordan River has bodies floatin'

But you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don't believe
We're on the eve
of destruction.

Don't you understand what I'm tryin' to say
Can't you feel the fears I'm feelin' today?
If the button is pushed, there's no runnin' away
There'll be no one to save, with the world in a grave
[Take a look around ya boy, it's bound to scare ya boy]

And you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don't believe
We're on the eve
of destruction.

Yeah, my blood's so mad feels like coagulatin'
I'm sitting here just contemplatin'
I can't twist the truth, it knows no regulation.
Handful of senators don't pass legislation
And marches alone can't bring integration
When human respect is disintegratin'
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin'

And you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don't believe
We're on the eve
of destruction.

Think of all the hate there is in Red China
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama
You may leave here for 4 days in space
But when you return, it's the same old place
The poundin' of the drums, the pride and disgrace
You can bury your dead, but don't leave a trace
Hate your next-door neighbor, but don't forget to say grace
And, tell me over and over and over and over again, my friend
You don't believe
We're on the eve
Of destruction
Mm, no no, you don't believe
We're on the eve
of destruction.
  • submitted by rebekah
  • corrected by joe lewis on May 19th, 2014

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  •  guest says:
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    Like 011-07-2012 05:34
    If you want to hear a REALLY sobering Vietnam era protest song, try Don Mclean, on his American Pie album, a song called "The Grave"
     wiseoldowl says:
    Like 019-05-2011 14:50
    I was a teen in the 60's when Eve of Destruction was first recorded. This song in timeless. Have you read your history books lately? The 60's was the root for a great deal of change. We didn't just speak to the world - WE YELLED and take a look at all the changes that were produced from that. It only takes one individual to cause corruption so yes there are rotten eggs in my generation as you will have in your generation. Bin Laden was also born in the 50's. We also had to blend with the world in order to change it and some of us lost the fight. We are a generation teaching the next generation and you will do the same. Hopefully you youngsters will be smarter than us. Before the 60's, many things were swept under the carpet and people speaking up were silenced. The uneducated can become a bunch of puppets doing what they are told. How does one person become so powerful that they can lead a group of people and the one individual that speaks up gets silenced by the group? "Animal Farm" written in 1945 is another timeless book. Flower Children from the 60's did change the world for the better and it is the next generation's job to continue. Read the words in "Desiderata" written in the 1920's - timeless. Learn from the past to change the future and actions speak louder than words.
     LoveOfChrist says:
    Like 003-03-2011 11:52
    Leon, it's sad to say that I have to agree with what you said. Those same people that mistrusted the "establishment" in the 60's and 70's now ARE the establishment; the bankers that led their banks into bankruptcy, then have the nerve to go to Congress with their hands out. Getting involved in Iraq, Afghanistan are so reminiscent of our involvement in Vietnam. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." ~ George Santayana
     leontrotsky says:
    Like 007-02-2011 20:44
    This is a great song that represents well the frustration and hope of an idealist generation. It's too bad the real meaning of what a violent and divided society does to its people has never really shaped thinking for that generation and the subsequent ones. Most of those idealists of the 60's are paunchy stockbrokers and rednecks moving to the sunbelt and their kids and grandkids don't know or care what happened in Selma or the Mekong Delta. (Show me I'm wrong)
     Lloham says:
    Like 010-12-2010 07:47
    When Barry McGuire wrote Eve of Destruction he wrote a song that is timeless. The song applied then and applies now. I recently seen him in concert, all I can say is what a show, what a performer.
     winered15 says:
    Like 004-04-2010 17:21
    Littlemissmo, I would like you to know that I am 17 years old and I have been listening to this song since I was at least 12 or 13 by my personal choice. I think that it is an incredibly moving song and the lyrics mean a lot to me. I do not mean to seem like I'm attacking you, but is it not a bit ignorant to suggest that a young person made those negative comments about this song? I am simply trying to point something out in a civil manner. In case you have not noticed, the older generations in America can be just as under-educated and naive as the youth. There are probably plenty of people who lived through that time and hate the song. Just because someone does not like this song, does not mean that they are stupid or that they do not understand what the song is talking about. It is a simplistic song musically, which is what makes the lyrics so powerful (similar to Bob Dylan's music). I strongly agree that the lyrics are terrifyingly true, but that is just my opinion... as it is your opinion and as it is the other people's opinions that this is a bad song. It is unfair to stereotype my peers and me by implying we are just ignorant little kids who do not understand the hardships people have faced. It is not just our schools that allow us to be sheltered, by the way. The news has become a source of entertainment in the American household rather than a source of actual news.

    As for the song, I adore Barry McGuire's voice and the hauntingly beautiful descriptions of war both overseas and in our own country. He sings of the communist threat and of the fight to end segregation and gain equal rights here in our own country. This song is not simply about the hot wars in Korea or Vietnam, but it hints at issues from the Cold War as well.
     havregryn says:
    Like 005-06-2009 18:41
    i like it
    Like 023-02-2009 12:57penalty
    I cant believe ANYONE with half a brain could ever say EVE OF DESTRUCTION sucks unless of course they are too stupid to understand the lyrics!!! Are you too young or just stupid as I have already said.The words of this song were scary to me as a child and I still find them horrific to this day. They are horrific because the are TRUE! If you knew anyone that had lived through (or fought for yes, even YOU)any of the wars mentioned, or understood the implications, then I am sure you would change your mind. As a peace loving person (and Im sure I am in the majority, non of this suicide bombing and other acts of terrorism (COWARDICE...lets not gloryfy the culprits),) the lyrics have more meaning than ever before. Too bad schools dont make idiots sit and watch actual footage of just some of the horrors that took place and then make you imagine that the bodies in the pits AFTER the gas chambers are members of their own families! Listen to the song AGAIN and TRY with your small brain to understand it!
     chelbie says:
    Like 001-05-2007 18:51
    hey.. i have to use this song for an history project, and i was wondering if anyone could give me a site or any help on what this song really means, like about protest and things? just let me know...thanks c
     aussiepete says:
    Like 022-12-2006 13:08
    If you like this song you should check out the version by The Screaming Jets (check limewire if you can't find it where you live - they are an Aussie band).
    Guitar work is better than the original in my opinion, and although I like the vocal, the original still has more "edge".
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