Bruce Springsteen: ‘War’ (1986)


Edwin Starr’s 1969 Motown hit War, covered in the mid-1980s by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Springsteen and his manager decided to cover War as a protest against the Reagan administration’s aggressive foreign policy in central America. Initially played live, Springsteen’s version of War reached the US top 10.

Lyrics

War! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing
War! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing

War is something that I despise
For it means destruction of innocent lives
For it means tears in thousands of mothers’ eyes
When their sons go out to fight to give their lives

War! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing
Say it again
War! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing

War! It’s nothing but a heartbreaker
War! Friend only to the undertaker
War is the enemy of all mankind
The thought of war blows my mind
Handed down from generation to generation
Induction destruction… Who wants to die, in a

War! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing
Say it again
War! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing

War has shattered many young men’s dreams
Made them disabled bitter and mean
Life is too precious to be fighting wars each day
War can’t give life it can only take it away

War! It’s nothing but a heartbreaker
War! Friend only to the undertaker

Peace love and understanding
There must be some place for these things today
They say we must fight to keep our freedom
But Lord there’s gotta be a better way
That’s better than

War! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing
Say it again
War! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing