Learn American History through 50 pop songs

The Seventies Song


The Seventies, was the decade that started on January 1, 1970 and ended on December 31, 1979. In the United States social progressive values that began in the 1960s continued to grow. The environmentalist movement began to increase dramatically in this period. Industrialized countries experienced an economic recession due to an oil crisis caused by oil embargoes by the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries.


© Copyright 2010 by Mr. and Mrs. Gillenwater

The 1960’s ended on the moon
Vietnam could not end too soon
In ’73 a cease fire was met
But Vietnam still wound up communist

Still we hoped we could warm the frigid cold war
Nuclear fears had shaken both sides to the core
Nixon made history with his policy détente
Talking to Soviets about needs and wants

His trip was successful in many ways
Both sides established treaties and trade
Détente eased tensions of the cold war a bit
Ford and Carter followed Nixon’s détente trips

Everything seemed to be working
Government churning
Everyone learning
Ending the war
Fighting for peace
In our world of the 1970’s

A lot going on foreign diplomacy
But also things happening right in our own country
President Nixon resigned amidst a scandalous Watergate
And the Supreme Court saw a case called Roe versus Wade

The Watergate apartments, the Democratic Party
Campaign headquarters, a break-in and burglary
Nixon assured us he knew not of this incidence
But secret recordings would nearly mean his impeachment

In Roe v. Wade the nation stood at deep division
On the rights of women, their bodies, and abortion
The Supreme Court ruled only women could choose
And to this day this ruling is as divisive lit fuse

Everything seemed to be changing
Integrity wavering
Trust in government fading
Promises broken
Untruths spoken
Our world of the 1970’s

Here at home on American soil
We were learning the price of our dependence on oil
In ’73 stations said “Sorry, no gas today”
And a new power grab game was about to be played

Cause the whole world’s oil was in a far away land
A land different from ours, Middle East sands
The birthplace of Islam, Judaism, Christianity
Violence and turmoil had reigned there for centuries

The US supported Israel since 1948
When they established their own Jewish state
But this put us in a terrible spot
Whenever one side was happy, the other side was not

Everything seemed so fragile
Long gas lines now normal
Inflation just horrible
The planet in turmoil
Bloodletting oil
Our world of the 1970’s

To show Arab states had one upper hand
An oil embargo cut deep into oil demand
Cause in the Yom Kippur War the US gave Israel supplies
Till Kissinger got Israel to pull out from the Sinai
And later on Carter, with no guns or swords
Went even further with Egypt and the Camp David Accords

Everything seemed so fragile
Long gas lines now normal
Inflation just horrible
The planet in turmoil
Bloodletting oil
Our world of the 1970’s

Everything seemed to be changing
Integrity wavering
Trust in government fading
Promises broken
Untruths spoken
Our world of the 1970’s

Everything seemed to be working
Government churning
Everyone learning
Ending the war
Fighting for peace
Our world of the 1970’s


“The 1960’s ended on the moon”— The American spaceship Apollo 11 was the first manned mission to land on the Moon on July 20, 1969

“’73 a cease fire was met”— The Paris Peace Accords on "Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam" were signed on 27 January 1973, officially ending direct U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.

Cold War— An escalation of arms and rhetoric as the United States and the Soviet Union each sought to be recognized as the dominant superpower after World War II.

Nixon— Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994) was the 37th President of the United States from 1969–1974 and was also the 36th Vice President of the United States (1953–1961).

Détente— Détente is the easing of strained relations, especially in a political situation. The term is often used in reference to the general easing of relations between the Soviet Union and the United States, a thawing at a period roughly in the middle of the Cold War.

Ford— Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr. (July 14, 1913 – December 26, 2006) was the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977, and the 40th Vice President of the United States serving from 1973 to 1974.

Carter— James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. (born October 1, 1924) served as the 39th President of the United States from 1977 to 1981.

Watergate— The Watergate scandal was a political scandal in the United States in the 1970s, resulting from the break-in into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. Effects of the scandal ultimately led to the resignation of the United States President Richard Nixon on August 9, 1974.

Roe versus Wade— Roe v. Wade, a pivotal case decided by the United States Supreme Court on the issue of abortion, is one of the most controversial and politically significant cases in U.S. Supreme Court history.

Impeachment— Impeachment is a formal process in which an elected official is accused of unlawful activity, and which may or may not lead to the removal of that official from office.

“In ’73 stations said no gas today”— The 1973 oil crisis started in October 1973, when the members of Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries or the OAPEC (consisting of the Arab members of OPEC, plus Egypt, Syria and Tunisia) proclaimed an oil embargo.

Yom Kippur War— The Yom Kippur War was fought from October 6 to October 26, 1973, between Israel and a coalition of Arab states backing Egypt and Syria.

Kissinger— Henry Alfred Kissinger (born May 27, 1923) is a German-born American political scientist, diplomat, and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as Secretary of State in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

Sinai— The Sinai Peninsula or Sinai. It lies between the Mediterranean Sea to the north, and the Red Sea to the south.

Camp David Accords— The Camp David Accords were signed by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on September 17, 1978, following twelve days of secret negotiations at Camp David. The two agreements were signed at the White House, and were witnessed by United States President Jimmy Carter.

Tiered Questions

Tier 1 Questions

Discuss 3 events that happened in the seventies.

Tier 2 Questions

Compare and contrast the sixties to the seventies.

Tier 3 Questions

Compare the oil shortage of the seventies to the rising price of gas today. Politicians have been talking for decades now about reducing America’s dependency on foreign oil. What steps have been taken and has there been any progress?

Test Prep Questions

1) President Richard Nixon’s foreign policy of détente was an attempt to

  • (1) resolve Middle East conflicts
  • (2) improve relations with the Soviet Union
  • (3) defend United States interests in Latin America
  • (4) increase the power of the United Nations Security Council

2) What is one reason for the increases in worldwide oil prices since the 1970s?

  • (1) construction of the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline
  • (2) political unrest in the Middle East
  • (3) promotion of conservation efforts by Unite States oil companies
  • (4) doubling of tariffs on oil imports by the United States government

3) The primary purpose of President Richard Nixon’s policy of détente was to
(1) expand United States military involvement in Southeast Asia
(2) assure an adequate supply of oil from the Middle East
(3) ease tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union
(4) maintain a favorable balance of trade with China

4) Which term is most commonly used to describe President Richard Nixon’s foreign policy toward the Soviet Union?

  • (1) collective security
  • (2) détente
  • (3) brinkmanship
  • (4) neutrality

5) The Camp David Accords negotiated by President Jimmy Carter were important because they

  • (1) reduced tensions in the Middle East
  • (2) renewed diplomatic relations between the United States and China
  • (3) slowed the pace of the nuclear arms race
  • (4) provided for cooperation with the Soviet Union in the exploration of outer space

6) Which situation in the 1970s caused the United States to reconsider its dependence on foreign energy resources?

  • (1) war in Afghanistan
  • (2) oil embargo by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
  • (3) meetings with the Soviet Union to limit nuclear weapons
  • (4) free-trade agreements with Canada and Mexico

7) The cartoon is most closely associated with the controversy over the

  • (1) Watergate affair
  • (2) war on drugs
  • (3) Arab-Israeli conflict
  • (4) Iran hostage crisis

8) A major effect of the Watergate scandal of the 1970s was that it

  • (1) led to the Arab oil embargo
  • (2) reduced people’s trust in government
  • (3) resulted in term limits for elected officials
  • (4) increased presidential power

9) In the Camp David Accords (1978), President Jimmy Carter succeeded in

  • (1) returning the Panama Canal Zone to Panama
  • (2) suspending grain sales to the Soviet Union and China
  • (3) providing a foundation for a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel
  • (4) freeing hostages being held in Iran

10) Which foreign policy agreement had the most direct influence on the Middle East?

  • (1) Kellogg-Briand Pact
  • (2) Yalta Conference declaration
  • (3) SALT I Treaty
  • (4) Camp David Accords

11) The policy of détente was used by President Richard Nixon in an effort to

  • (1) decrease tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States
  • (2) improve relations with Latin America
  • (3) promote democratic government in China
  • (4) create stronger ties with Western Europe

12) “I think it will be a safer world and a better world if we have a strong, healthy United States, Europe, Soviet Union, China, Japan, each balancing the other, not playing one against the other, an even balance.”

— Richard Nixon, 1972

President Nixon put this idea into practice by

  • (1) expanding economic relations with communist nations
  • (2) abandoning his policy of détente
  • (3) declaring an end to the Korean War
  • (4) ending collective security agreements

13) What was a major result of the Watergate controversy?

  • (1) Presidential veto power was expanded.
  • (2) The president resigned from office.
  • (3) Congressional power was reduced.
  • (4) The Supreme Court was weakened.

14) The easing of Cold War tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union during the 1970s was called

  • (1) containment
  • (2) neutrality
  • (3) détente
  • (4) isolationism

15) Which presidential action best represents the policy of détente?

  • (1) John F. Kennedy’s order for the Bay of Pigs invasion against Cuba
  • (2) Lyndon B. Johnson’s escalation of the Vietnam War
  • (3) Richard Nixon’s Strategic Arms Limitations Talks (SALT) with the Soviet Union
  • (4) George Bush’s military action to remove Iraqi forces from Kuwait