Great For Habs Fans…Not So Great Elsewhere

The summer of 1965 was a fine time for Habs fans. The team had captured the Stanley Cup that spring by beating the Chicago Black Hawks four games to three, and Jean Beliveau became the very first winner of the Conn Smythe trophy for playoff MVP.

Joyfully, at least for Habs fans, the team would win the Cup again in the next year when Henri Richard scored the overtime winner in game six over Detroit.

Yes, it was a good time to be a fan of the Montreal Canadiens.

It was a good time in many ways. Jobs were plentiful in Canada and the US. One could conceivably quit a lousy gig on Monday and grab maybe a better one on Tuesday. And if Tuesday’s job sucked, then just find another on Wednesday.

Music was bursting at the seams at this time. The Beatles were in full throttle, as were the Rolling Stones and the rest of the British Invasion, and the Americans donated the Beach Boys, Simon and Garfunkle, and the sounds of Motown to the pop charts.

Unfortunately, beneath the rosy, smiling setting of mid-1960’s lay a rotting, ugly underbelly. And it stunk to high heaven.

The Cold War reminded us daily that the Russians could obliterate us at any time unless we did it to them first. Vietnam was as brutal as any war in the history of wars. And blacks were treated as third-class folks, sometimes strung from trees, which led to protests and demonstrations which often began as peaceful and quickly turned deadly. Hatred and racism oozed from the pores of those who never knew they had it.

In July of 1965, just when Habs fans were savouring a Cup win and preparing for another, with Jean Beliveau the toast of the town and Henri Richard soon to be, a songwriter in Los Angeles, PK Sloan, penned a tune to describe the times, singer Barry McGuire recorded it, and just like that, an unknown and his song were filling the airwaves.

This is what we listened to at our dances and on our radios as we made our way through the summer of ’65. We even sang along. Take it as a reminder that although now is a deadly and depressing time, other years were too. But sometimes things change and get better if we’re patient and work at changing.

It’s Called “The Eve of Destruction,” and these are the lyrics.

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.

8 thoughts on “Great For Habs Fans…Not So Great Elsewhere”

  1. i don’t recall, i’m not as old as you but didn’t he have a follow up song called the dawn of correction or some stupid thing like that? i seem to recall some weird story behind that………… maybe he was referring to the habs recapturing the cup after the fluke of ’67.

  2. It’s always a good time to be a fan of the Montreal Canadiens IMO, Dennis. Love that pic! I miss the Cup and the guys, but I don’t miss the cold war. Also, don’t miss that song. 😉

  3. Shame shame Hobo, Numerio #17 Jean Guy Talbot, but of course! Peroit has solved the mystery using his little grey cells!
    Les Canadiens Toujours!!!!
    I know, I know you don’t watch TV. Hope all is well & the big project is progressing & the light is now clearly seen at the end of the tunnel!
    Cheers from the East!!!!

  4. a slight lapse of memory mike. i would have googled it or something like that but went right to the expert instead.

  5. p.s.
    mike , i have 4 tv’s roughed in the new place. there will be no more lapse of memory and i will be on equal footing with the rest of you reality types.

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