Song Of The Day 5/31/2013: The Spokesmen - "The Dawn Of Correction"

Answer Songs Week: Those of you who have followed this blog since 1956 know that one of my favorite #1 songs to make fun of is Barry McGuire's "Eve Of Destruction." It proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that as inspirational a figure as Bob Dylan was, if you tried to copy him, you'd most likely show only that you picked up the wrong lessons while listening to him. You can't just make a phrase complicated and then shout, "Aha! Dylan has consecrated me with the gift of his spellbinding lyricism!" Especially when you're reaching for imagery as hard as McGuire, or more accurately songwriter P.F. Sloan, did:
Yeah, my blood's so mad, feels like coagulatin'
I'm sittin' here just contemplatin'
I can't twist the truth, it needs no regulation
Handfuls of Senators don't pass legislation
Two gas pumps don't make a filling station
One lobster claw don't make up a crustacean
A dead honeybee can't do no pollination
If you don't read my leaflet you'll get constipation
Your head will become a spherical aberration
That rash on your thigh becomes an inflammation
And you tell MEEEEEE....
I got those lyrics from a kick-ass Russian site. Anyway, as annoying as "Eve Of Destruction" remains, it inspired three patriotic lads going by the sultry name of The Spokesmen to pen their more optimistic response, "The Dawn Of Correction." Two of The Spokesmen had earlier written a couple of brazenly political manifestos: Danny & The Juniors' "At The Hop" and Lesley Gore's "You Don't Own Me." Aside from pointing out that "The Western world has a common dedication/To keep free people from Red domination," the song itself isn't overtly right- or left-wing.

But it takes the conceit of McGuire's fatal third verse, the one with all those "-ations," and plants them throughout the entire song. It is shock-and-awe with a fusillade of suffixes. It is taxing. It is the thing that is the expressly political '60s rock song, the type of song that Dylan did exactly zero times.*

Surprisingly, "The Dawn Of Correction" made it to #36 on the Billboard charts. We eventually matured as a pop culture and let Giorgio Moroder voice our deepest concerns.

*Except for maybe "Masters Of War." But only maybe.
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