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Protest Songs

PostPosted: May 21st, 2012, 10:58 pm
by mtbturtle
I thought about posting this in the Can Art and Literature be Political? thread, but decided Protest Music deserved a new thread being such a rich part of US and World History and the current political global unrest brewing.

Bill kicks us off with 21 Protest Songs

Full Show: Tom Morello, Troubadour for Justice
A Twenty-One Protest Song Salute
May 18, 2012

Singer and activist Tom Morello says it’s his job as a musician “to steel the backbone of people on the front lines of social justice struggles, and to put wind in sails of those struggles.” Here’s a list of 21 songs that have done just that — from Woody Guthrie’s This Land is Your Land to Public Enemy’s Fight the Power.

I am going to go with Green Day American Idiot lyrics

What was your favorite song? from the list or your own.

Green Day American Idiot - Official Music Video

Re: Protest Songs

PostPosted: May 21st, 2012, 11:30 pm
by Lomax
Sort of an honorary protest song, although not actually an anti-war song as people often think: I love For What It's Worth - Buffalo Springfield.

Good to see Gill Scott Heron on the list. My personal choice would be Work For Peace.

Re: Protest Songs

PostPosted: May 21st, 2012, 11:41 pm
by Lomax
Oh, and I read Joanna Newsom's beautiful What We Have Known as an anti-war song (or at least an anti-draft song, but I don't know why a modern American would bother to write an anti-draft song). With her typical Nabokovian lyricism and unusual imagery, some bits make me shudder.

Ladies breathe deep against your whalebones
When your children come back made of stone

Re: Protest Songs

PostPosted: May 22nd, 2012, 9:48 am
by CanadysPeak
Great thread. I can only think of a few,

Hallelujah! I'm a bum. Utah Phillips
Silent Night. Simon and Garfunkle
Are they gonna make us outlaws again? Hazel Dickens
Here's to the State of Mississippi. Phil Ochs
We shall overcome. Guy Carawan (possibly with Candie and Evan)
There is power in a union. Billy Bragg
We shall not be moved.
This little light of mine.
Battle hymn of the Republic.
(sung at a very slow tempo, perhaps 60)
The above three by any Black gospel group circa 1960 - Mavis Staples in a pinch
Take this job and shove it! Johnny Paycheck

Re: Protest Songs

PostPosted: May 22nd, 2012, 11:51 am
by Marshall
CanadysPeak wrote:Great thread. I can only think of a few,

Are they gonna make us outlaws again? Hazel Dickens

Spunky lady! Thanks for the introduction. I'm glad to be acquainted with her.

Here is a YouTube of another great Hazel Dickens song: They'll never keep us down.

(1936-2011) How do you get another one like that?

Re: Protest Songs

PostPosted: May 22nd, 2012, 11:57 am
by newyear
Phil Ochs, I Ain't Marchin' Anymore

Oh I marched to the battle of New Orleans
At the end of the early British war
The young land started growing
The young blood started flowing
But I ain't marchin' anymore

For I've killed my share of Indians
In a thousand different fights
I was there at the Little Big Horn
I heard many men lying I saw many more dying
But I ain't marchin' anymore

It's always the old to lead us to the war
It's always the young to fall
Now look at all we've won with the saber and the gun
Tell me is it worth it all

For I stole California from the Mexican land
Fought in the bloody Civil War
Yes I even killed my brothers
And so many others But I ain't marchin' anymore

For I marched to the battles of the German trench
In a war that was bound to end all wars
Oh I must have killed a million men
And now they want me back again
But I ain't marchin' anymore


For I flew the final mission in the Japanese sky
Set off the mighty mushroom roar
When I saw the cities burning I knew that I was learning
That I ain't marchin' anymore

Now the labor leader's screamin'
when they close the missile plants,
United Fruit screams at the Cuban shore,
Call it "Peace" or call it "Treason,"
Call it "Love" or call it "Reason,"
But I ain't marchin' any more,
No I ain't marchin' any more

As much as Dylan helped shape US ideas with his protest songs, the above sums up everything in a simple song.

Re: Protest Songs

PostPosted: May 22nd, 2012, 2:52 pm
by Marshall
sums up everything...
except undermining representative democracy and middle class by Big Money

Re: Protest Songs

PostPosted: May 22nd, 2012, 8:43 pm
by weakmagneto
Beds Are Burning - Midnight Oil

The classic - War - Edwin Starr
War! What is it good for? Absolutely nuthing!

We're Not Going to Take It - Twisted Sister (catchy tune, makes me wanna go out n protest with fist held high)

Zombie - The Cranberries

One - Metallica (one of my favourite songs)

Re: Protest Songs

PostPosted: May 24th, 2012, 7:21 pm
by mtbturtle
Smash Mouth
Walkin' on the Sun

Re: Protest Songs

PostPosted: May 26th, 2012, 5:45 am
by anc0de
@ weakmagneto, you sure know your rock music :p I had forgotten the lyrics of the video version of One since I have the album version engrained in my mind.

Here is some to add to the list:

Sublime - April 29, 1992
John Lennon - IMAGINE
U2 - New Year's Day (not really sure if this counts)
A Perfect Circle - Annihilation
A Perfect Circle - Counting Bodies Like Sheep To The Rhythm Of The War Drums
System of a Down - Soldier Side (from Hypnotize album; it's an amazing song)

Nearly everything by Rage Against The Machine including Killing in the Name, Renegades of Funk, Freedom, Bulls on Parade.