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Protest Song Thread
#1
What are your favorite protest songs? From your generation, or from any generation. Include title, artist, and year of release. The angrier, the better.

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#2
This is the classic one. When I road the train into D.C. in January 2017 for the Women's march, all of the riders in our train car started singing this song. It was pretty amazing. The spirit of the 1960s was still alive. The generations on the car ranged from Boomer on down (maybe some Silents but I can't recall).



Steve Barrera

[A]lthough one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation. - Hagakure

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#3
I always liked this one because of how well it expresses the Silent generation experience:

"They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom,
For trying to change the system from within.
I'm coming now, I'm coming to reward them.
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin."



Steve Barrera

[A]lthough one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation. - Hagakure

Saecular Pages
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#4
This one from the Boomers is one of my absolute favorites, for its raw sound, virtuoso rock n roll musicianship and that authentic pissed off Boomer energy.



Steve Barrera

[A]lthough one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation. - Hagakure

Saecular Pages
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#5
Then when you get to the punk era the Boomers (who invented punk rock) are still sounding pissed off but less like they are trying to change the world so much as have a good time.



Steve Barrera

[A]lthough one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation. - Hagakure

Saecular Pages
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#6
Gen X arrives and they are definitely here for a good time. The Beastie Boys sang "You gotta fight for your right to party" but I like this song better and I think it captures the same spirit.



Steve Barrera

[A]lthough one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation. - Hagakure

Saecular Pages
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#7
Here a Gen X band observes that the culture of the protest movement has been coopted and lost its original meaning, and warns their generation about the dangers of dropping out completely.





It ain't no joke, I'd like to buy the world a toke
And teach the world to sing in perfect harmony
And teach the world to snuff the fires and the liars
Hey, I know it's just a song but it's spice for the recipe

This is a love attack, I know, went out but it's back
It's just like any fad, it retracts before impact
And just like fashion, it's a passion for the with it and hip
If you got the goods, they'll come and buy it just to stay in the clique
So don't delay, act now, supplies are running out
Allow if you're still alive, six to eight years to arrive
And if you follow, there may be a tomorrow
But if the offer is shun, you might as well be walkin' on the sun

Twenty-five years ago, they spoke out and they broke out
Of recession and oppression and together they toked
And they folked out with guitars around a bonfire
Just singin' and clappin', man, what the hell happened there?
Some were spellbound, some were hell bound
Some they fell down and some got back up
And fought back against the melt-down
And their kids were hippie chicks or hypocrites
Because fashion is smashin' the true meaning of it

So don't delay, act now, supplies are running out
Allow if you're still alive, six to eight years to arrive
And if you follow, there may be a tomorrow
But if the offer is shun, you might as well be walkin' on the sun

And it ain't no joke when our mama's handkerchief is soaked
With her tears because her baby's life has been revoked
The bond is broke up, so choke up and focus on the close up
Mr. Wizard can't reform, no God-like hocus-pocus
So don't sit back, kick back and watch the world get bushwhacked
News at ten, your neighborhood is under attack
Put away the crack before the crack put you away
You need to be there when your baby's old enough to relate

So don't delay, act now, supplies are running out
Allow if you're still alive, six to eight years to arrive
And if you follow, there may be a tomorrow
But if the offer is shun, you might as well be walkin' on the sun
Steve Barrera

[A]lthough one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation. - Hagakure

Saecular Pages
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#8
(09-26-2020, 08:21 AM)sbarrera Wrote: This is the classic one. When I road the train into D.C. in January 2017 for the Women's march, all of the riders in our train car started singing this song. It was pretty amazing. The spirit of the 1960s was still alive. The generations on the car ranged from Boomer on down (maybe some Silents but I can't recall).




Heart 
Love Pete Seeger!

Thanks for the selections, sbarrera. I'm putting together a playlist to help get me through these times (maybe it can help others, too), and while I've already got a pretty long list I'm always on the lookout for songs I hadn't heard before, or good ones I'd forgotten to add.

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#9
Sam Cooke, "A Change is Gonna Come" (1964)




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#10
Neil Young, "Rockin' in the Free World" (1989)




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#11
When it comes to angry protest songs, it doesn't get much angrier than the political rap of the 80s and 90s. I remember when I first heard this song--on the college radio station I listened to, the DJ decided to throw this one in amid the Soul Asylum and Jesus Jones songs.




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#12
(09-26-2020, 10:26 AM)gabrielle Wrote: When it comes to angry protest songs, it doesn't get much angrier than the political rap of the 80s and 90s. I remember when I first heard this song--on the college radio station I listened to, the DJ decided to throw this one in amid the Soul Asylum and Jesus Jones songs.

Agreed! The Boomer generation invented rap as well as punk, though we tend to associate it with GenX. Public Enemy was late wave Boomers and early wave Xers (Generation Jones as they are sometimes called).



Steve Barrera

[A]lthough one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation. - Hagakure

Saecular Pages
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#13
Ok, this counts. This one had a big impact on my cohorts; I would have been 15 years old when I first heard it. This is protest music you listen to tin the dark in your bedroom.



Steve Barrera

[A]lthough one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation. - Hagakure

Saecular Pages
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#14
Bob Dylan is still the best, by far. Quality of melody and lyrics as well as "anger" makes it classic. Dylan does is artfully. And still completely relevant.









Blowin' In The Wind
Peter, Paul & Mary

How many roads must a man walk down
Before they can call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
How many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they're forever banned?

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind

How many years must a mountain exist
Before it is washed to the sea?
How many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free?
How many times can a man turn his head
And pretend that he just doesn't see?

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
How many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
How many deaths will it take 'til he knows
That too many people have died?

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind

The answer is blowin' in the wind

Songwriters: Bob Dylan
Blowin' in the Wind lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Audiam, Inc
℗ 1963 Warner Records Inc.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#15
1964




1966


"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#16
2019



"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#17
Bob Marley: Get up Stand up, Stand up for your rights! Don't give up the fight.





Get up, stand up, stand up for your right
Get up, stand up, stand up for your right
Get up, stand up, stand up for your right
Get up, stand up, don't give up the fight

Preacher man don't tell me heaven is under the earth
I know you don't know what life is really worth
Is not all that glitters in gold and
Half the story has never been told
So now you see the light, aay
Stand up for your right. Come on

Get up, stand up, stand up for your right
Get up, stand up, don't give up the fight
(Repeat)

Most people think great God will come from the sky
Take away ev'rything, and make ev'rybody feel high
But if you know what life is worth
You would look for yours on earth
And now you see the light
You stand up for your right, yeah!

Get up, stand up, stand up for your right
Get up, stand up, don't give up the fight
Get up, stand up. Life is your right
So we can't give up the fight
Stand up for your right, Lord, Lord
Get up, stand up. Keep on struggling on
Don't give up the fight

We're sick and tired of your ism and skism game
Die and go to heaven in Jesus' name, Lord
We know when we understand
Almighty God is a living man
You can fool some people sometimes
But you can't fool all the people all the time
So now we see the light
We gonna stand up for our right

So you'd better get up, stand up, stand up for your right
Get up, stand up, don't give up the fight
Get up, stand up, stand up for your right
Get up, stand up, don't give up the fight

1973
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#18
This one from Nov.2010 is often accepted as a protest song, and it's the most brilliant pop song since 1973. Co-written and arranged by The Messengers (Nasri Atweh of Magic!). A bit different direction from my previous post though.



"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#19
Quote:This one from the Boomers is one of my absolute favorites, for its raw sound, virtuoso rock n roll musicianship and that authentic pissed off Boomer energy.

Good one, Steve.

Now, what is really the first protest song in history? I don't know, but these qualify. Beethoven's opera Fidelio (1806) was a protest song, much like those by The Who later on like Ball and Chain and Won't Get Fooled Again. A woman dresses up like a man and rescues his lover from a political prison. The prisoners struggle up towards the light.





"Fidelio" a play OPERA by Beethoven is a timeless monument to Love, Life and Liberty. A celebration of Human Rights, of the Freedom to Speak out, to Dissent, a Political Manifesto against Tyranny and Oppression, a Hymn to the Beauty and Sanctity of Marriage, an exulted affirmation of Faith in God as the ultimate Human Resource...(Leonard Bernstein)

CHORUS OF PRISONERS

Oh what joy, in the open air

Freely to breathe again!

Up here alone is life!

The dungeon is a grave.

FIRST PRISONER

We shall with all our faith

Trust in the help of God!

Hope whispers softly in my ears!

We shall be free, we shall find peace.

ALL THE OTHERS

Oh Heaven! Salvation! Happiness!

Oh Freedom! Will you be given us?


And the Leonore Overture #3 from Fidelio puts all the concern, protest and passion of the opera into razzamatazz and screaming, orchestral power. Music for our times! Performed at the Amnesty International concert by Bernstein and Bavaria orchestra.





Note how most of these songs I posted not only express protest, but aspiration for deliverance.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#20
But deliverance is the objective and revolution (in the most desperate situations) is the means.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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