Analysis of the Song '21 Guns' and Anti-War Protests

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The thing with today's society is that when people listen to a song, they don't think twice about what the song really means. For decades there have been different social issues going on in the United States, one example of a social issue is from ‘21 Guns’. Unfortunately, the USA has not been thinking outside the box of using peace during a war instead of just sending an army. The song '21 Guns' by Green Day was released on May 25, 2009, through Reprise Records. It was number 22 on Billboard Hot 100 and it sold over 2,151,000 copies.

The song ‘21 Guns’ is about people protesting for having to apply the anti-war efforts to stop all the violence around the world After all the fighting that has happened in the past. I believe that the song ‘21 Guns’ relates to the past fighting and mostly the shooting in battles or even fights in society since the song is called ‘21 Guns’. The song ‘21 Guns’ relates to the war protests that happened years after the Vietnam War ended. The song symbolizes the call for peace between the United States of America and North and South Vietnam. One example is from the lyrics, “Do you know what's worth fighting for, when it's not worth dying for?”, which means doubting whether the military cause to fight in war is worth the struggle or the action to fight. The song came out in 2009, and that is when the United States of America was at war with Iraq. The war between the United States and Iraq is related to this song. Since the USA has been engaged with a war against Iraq the artists Green Day made a song about world peace and nonviolent actions and protests. The song ‘21 Guns’ mainly relates to anti-war protests, but specifically what the soldiers had to go through in the war. An example from the song: “One, twenty-one guns lay down your arms give up the fight”, which symbolizes the 21-gun salute, which the soldiers shot 21 times into the air as a specific honorable salute to an important person who is either a fellow cadet, fallen general, or an important soldier who died with noble. It is an important salute still used to this day. Another example is: “Give up the fight, one 21 guns”, which means laying down guns and surrendering, which has an effect on the individual soldiers in the military and an effect of war on the terrors that happens between conflicts.

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The social issue of preventing war has been happening to this day after years of preventing conflicts between nations. Such as citizens in the USA are trying not to be in war with South Korea. After all the protests there are still no laws that have been passed by the government to prevent such actions. As The Washington Post reported, “There is a rising tide of activism; a burgeoning national anti-war movement that is gaining momentum by the day… They talk of protesting by people who have never protested before”, which means that there have been so many people in the United States who want there to be laws, but the situation is that the government doesn't want to start any peace because the heads of the government all have the militaristic mindset. Another way that the protests of anti-war efforts are significant is because of all the unnecessary deaths that occur during war that affects the society. “In the use of free fire zones, harassment interdiction fire, search and destroy missions, the bombings, the torture of prisoners, all accepted policy by many units in South Vietnam. That is what we are trying to say. It is part and parcel of everything”. This proves that war was very disturbing with so much violence, explosions. and killing without any laws to prevent it. Another example from the song is: “When you burned down the house and home? Did you stand too close to the fire?”, which means that during war and chaos the United States of America has not been giving peace a chance in the middle of any conflicts they have been engaged in.

In summary, the song ‘21 Guns’ is about people protesting to make an anti-war effort to stop all the violence around the world after all the fighting that happened in the past. I believe the song refers to past combat and mostly shooting in combat or even fighting in society. I do not think music is an effective choice to protest for preventing wars around the world with the United States. Songs do not bring a lot of awareness during any conflict since there is so much going on with other situations around the world.

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Analysis of the Song ’21 Guns’ and Anti-War Protests. (2023, March 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 19, 2024, from
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