Protest Songs I – Introduction
In America, we have sung of protest since the Revolutionary War. We have seen songs of liberation, abolition, slavery to today’s hot topics such as civil liberties, civil rights, women’s rights, economics, politics, and war.
Music has always been able to unify and galvanize us. When dealing with social and political issues, they bring attention to a problem often overlooked. A song can become a call-to-action like Band Aid’s “Do they know it’s Christmas” which raised millions for the people affected by the Ethiopian famine. Even (right or wrong) a song can be a call-to-arms like “Fuck the Police” by NWA.
The protest song may never be so relevant as it is in today’s global political and social crises. Thanks to the polarization of Trump’s America, the need to voice an opinion is becoming more relevant. Naturally, there are already songs about Trump, to be expected for a man with so little grey area in his policies. A Tribe Called Quest released “We the People” to express their frustration with America. Fiona Apple recorded “Tiny Hands” to parody the president during the women’s march in Washington, DC.
Here are ten great protest songs in the first part of a multipart post. There is no particular order of presentation. Regardless of your side on any issue, music combined with action can change the world. Well, that is my optimistic belief.