Song Lyric Sunday – War: What is it Good For?

The theme from Jim Adams is songs that mention Army, Soldier, War.
The song must contain a reference to the prompt in the title or the lyrics.
If the song does not meet these criteria, please explain why you chose it.


Today, I’ve chosen what I consider to be the best protest song ever written. Below are the video and lyrics for War by Edwin Starr.

War, huh, yeah
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing, uhh
War, huh, yeah
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing
Say it again, y’all
War, huh (good God)
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing, listen to me, oh

War, I despise
‘Cause it means destruction of innocent lives
War means tears to thousands of mother’s eyes
When their sons go off to fight
And lose their lives

I said, war, huh (good God, y’all)
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing, just say it again
War (whoa), huh (oh Lord)
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing, listen to me

It ain’t nothing but a heart-breaker
(War) Friend only to The Undertaker
Oh, war it’s an enemy to all mankind
The thought of war blows my mind
War has caused unrest
Within the younger generation
Induction then destruction
Who wants to die? Oh

War, huh (good God y’all)
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing
Say it, say it, say it
War (uh-huh), huh (yeah, huh)
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing, listen to me

It ain’t nothing but a heart-breaker
(War) It’s got one friend that’s The Undertaker
Oh, war, has shattered many a young man’s dreams
Made him disabled, bitter and mean
Life is much too short and precious
To spend fighting wars each day
War can’t give life
It can only take it away, oh

War, huh (good God y’all)
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing, say it again

War (whoa), huh (oh Lord)
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing, listen to me

It ain’t nothing but a heartbreaker
(War) Friend only to The Undertaker, woo
Peace, love and understanding, tell me
Is there no place for them today?
They say we must fight to keep our freedom
But Lord knows there’s got to be a better way, oh

War, huh (God y’all)
What is it good for? You tell me (nothing)
Say it, say it, say it, say it

War (good God), huh (now, huh)
What is it good for?
Stand up and shout it (nothing)

Songwriters: Barrett Strong / Norman Whitfield
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

And here’s the original version by The Temptations…

13 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday – War: What is it Good For?

Comments are closed.