Songs As Political Protest

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Lex, Jun 28, 2007.

  1. Lex

    Lex
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    We are in a time where we have not seen this high an amount of musicians using their artistic talents to spread and incite political debate and protest. The only recent time I can think of would have been the 60s and 70s. Iraq is clearly the Vietnam of my lifetime.

    DC DEEP, Bubba and I talked about this over breakfast a few weeks ago. We all wondered if (a) the artists spoke to the younger members of our generation and (b) If the current generation of music listeners realizes what the songs are supposed to inspire them to do?

    Here are some lyrical and musical examples:

    Linkin Park: "Hands Held High"

    Sick of the dark ways we march to the drum and

    Jump when they tell us that they wanna see jumping
    Fuck that I wanna see some fists pumping

    Risk something, take back what's yours
    Say something that you know they might attack you for

    Cause I'm sick of being treated like I have before
    Like it's stupid standing for what I'm standing for

    Like this war's really just a different brand of war
    Like it doesn't cater the rich and abandon poor

    Like they understand you in the back of the jet
    When you can't put gas in your tank

    These fuckers are laughing their way to the bank and cashing the check
    Asking you to have compassion and have some respect

    For a leader so nervous in an obvious way
    Stuttering and mumbling for nightly news to replay

    And the rest of the world watching at the end of the day
    In their living room laughing like "what did he say?"


    Amen
    Amen
    Amen
    Amen
    Amen


    In my living room watching but I am not laughing
    Cause when it gets tense I know what might happen

    World is cold the bold men take action
    Have to react or get blown into fractions

    Ten years old it's something to see
    Another kid my age drug under a jeep

    Taken and bound and found later under a tree
    I wonder if he had thought the next one could be me

    Do you see the soldiers they're out today
    They brush the dust from bullet proof vests away

    It's ironic at times like this you pray
    But a bomb blew the mosque up yesterday

    There's bombs in the buses, bikes, roads
    Inside your market, your shops, your clothes

    My dad he's got a lot of fear I know
    But enough pride inside not to let that show

    My brother had a book he would hold with pride
    A little red cover with a broken spine

    On the back, he hand-wrote a quote inside
    When the rich wage war it's the poor who die

    Meanwhile, the leader just talks away
    Stuttering and mumbling for nightly news to replay

    And the rest of the world watching at the end of the day
    both scared and angry like "what did he say?"

    Amen
    Amen
    Amen
    Amen
    Amen

    With hands held high into a sky so blue
    As the ocean opens up to swallow you



    P!nk: "Dear Mr. President"

    Dear Mr. President,
    Come take a walk with me.
    Let's pretend we're just two people and
    You're not better than me.
    I'd like to ask you some questions if we can speak honestly.

    What do you feel when you see all the homeless on the street?
    Who do you pray for at night before you go to sleep?
    What do you feel when you look in the mirror?
    Are you proud?

    How do you sleep while the rest of us cry?
    How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye?
    How do you walk with your head held high?
    Can you even look me in the eye
    And tell me why?

    Dear Mr. President,
    Were you a lonely boy?
    Are you a lonely boy?
    Are you a lonely boy?
    How can you say
    No child is left behind?
    We're not dumb and we're not blind.
    They're all sitting in your cells
    While you pave the road to hell.

    What kind of father would take his own daughter's rights away?
    And what kind of father might hate his own daughter if she were gay?
    I can only imagine what the first lady has to say
    You've come a long way from whiskey and cocaine.

    How do you sleep while the rest of us cry?
    How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye?
    How do you walk with your head held high?
    Can you even look me in the eye?

    Let me tell you 'bout hard work
    Minimum wage with a baby on the way
    Let me tell you 'bout hard work
    Rebuilding your house after the bombs took them away
    Let me tell you 'bout hard work
    Building a bed out of a cardboard box
    Let me tell you 'bout hard work
    Hard work
    Hard work
    You don't know nothing 'bout hard work



    Green Day: "American Idiot"

    Don't want to be an American idiot.
    Don't want a nation under the new media
    And can you hear the sound of hysteria?
    The subliminal mind fuck America.

    Welcome to a new kind of tension.
    All across the alien nation.
    Where everything isn't meant to be okay.
    Television dreams of tomorrow.
    We're not the ones who're meant to follow.
    For that's enough to argue.

    Well maybe I'm the faggot America.
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda.
    Now everybody do the propaganda.
    And sing along to the age of paranoia.

    Welcome to a new kind of tension.
    All across the alien nation.
    Where everything isn't meant to be okay.
    Television dreams of tomorrow.
    We're not the ones who're meant to follow.
    For that's enough to argue.

    Don't want to be an American idiot.
    One nation controlled by the media.
    Information age of hysteria.
    It's calling out to idiot America.


    I wonder how our parents and grandparents would respond if they were young and had musicians attempting to inspire them to action?
     
  2. b.c.

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    Great selections, Lex. As for your question, I know how we (your) parents did respond (to the Vietnam and Watergate debacles)...

    How our offspring choose to respond (or not to) is pretty much up to them.
     
  3. Lex

    Lex
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    B.C.-- good to see you as always. I sometimes wonder if people even REALIZE they are listening to songs about protest?!?
     
  4. b.c.

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    That's a good question. I think a factor in whether or not they know (or even care for that matter) is that there are divergent elements to our lives now, too many to allow one to stay focused on any one thing for long.

    You have to remember that back during the Vietnam conflict there were only three (major) television networks. If sources of news didn't come from there, they came either in the form of newspapers, radio, or magazines. There were also more limited forms of entertainment and other media. There were no VCR's, CD's, cell phones, internet, home computers, Playstation, XBox, music videos...

    With all of these various forms of information and entertainment, one's attention span gets pretty much spread out, the messages from numerous sources (sources sometimes of no repute) quite varied or garbled...

    It all can get confusing I guess. And by the time one begins to figure it out, something new takes its place.
     
  5. whatireallywant

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    Great selections! I hadn't heard the Linkin Park song before (I'd heard some of their other songs), but I have the Pink and Green Day songs.

    Here's my contribution: "BYOB" by System of a Down (I have this one, too)

    YouTube - System Of A Down - B.Y.O.B

    "B.Y.O.B."

    WHY DO THEY ALWAYS SEND THE POOR!
    Barbarisms by Barbaras
    With pointed heels.
    Victorious, victories kneel.
    For brand new spankin' deals.
    Marching forward hypocritic
    And hypnotic computers.
    You depend on our protection,

    Yet you feed us lies from the table cloth.
    La la la la la la la la la,
    Everybody’s going to the party have a real good time.
    Dancing in the desert blowing up the sunshine.

    Kneeling roses disappearing,
    Into Moses’ dry mouth,
    Breaking into Fort Knox,
    Stealing our intentions,
    Hangars sitting dripped in oil,
    Crying FREEDOM!

    Handed to obsoletion,
    Still you feed us lies from the table cloth.
    La la la la la la la la la,
    Everybody’s going to the party have a real good time.
    Dancing in the desert blowing up the sunshine.
    Everybody’s going to the party have a real good time.
    Dancing in the desert blowing up the sunshine.

    Blast off, it's party time,
    And we don't live in a fascist nation,
    Blast off, it's party time,
    And where the fuck are you?
    Where the fuck are you?
    Where the fuck are you?

    Why don’t presidents fight the war?
    Why do they always send the poor?
    Why don’t presidents fight the war?
    Why do they always send the poor? [X4]

    Kneeling roses disappearing,
    Into Moses’ dry mouth,
    Breaking into Fort Knox,
    Stealing our intentions,
    Hangars sitting dripped in oil,
    Crying FREEDOM!

    Handed to obsoletion,
    Still you feed us lies from the tablecloth.
    La la la la la la la la la,
    Everybody’s going to the party have a real good time.
    Dancing in the desert blowing up the sunshine.
    Everybody’s going to the party have a real good time.
    Dancing in the desert blowing up the sunshine

    Where the fuck are you!
    Where the fuck are you!

    Why don’t presidents fight the war?
    Why do they always send the poor?
    Why don’t presidents fight the war?
    Why do they always send the poor? [X3]
    Why, do, they always send the poor [X3]
    They only send the poor [x2]


    [Thanks to Farley_ohio@hotmail.com for these lyrics]
    [Thanks to turbo_pantz@hotmail.com, canada_snowboarding@hotmail.com, Yankeefan1422@yahoo.com, yinyangray25@hotmail.com for correcting these lyrics]

    [
    www.azlyrics.com ]
     
  6. snoozan

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    What scares me is that for every artist writing intelligent songs, it seems like there are five more Britney Spears out there bringing the collective awareness further towards zero. I just took a look at iTunes and not one of the 10 most downloaded songs today are anywhere near what I'd call socially aware.

    I fear that we're in a culture where a song like "For What It's Worth" wouldn't make in into the top 10 as that particular song did in 1967.
     
  7. IntoxicatingToxin

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    Here's one of my favorites...

    YouTube - When The President Talks To God

    "When The President Talks To God"

    When the president talks to God
    Are the conversations brief or long?
    Does he ask to rape our women’s' rights
    And send poor farm kids off to die?
    Does God suggest an oil hike
    When the president talks to God?

    When the president talks to God
    Are the consonants all hard or soft?
    Is he resolute all down the line?
    Is every issue black or white?
    Does what God say ever change his mind
    When the president talks to God?

    When the president talks to God
    Does he fake that drawl or merely nod?
    Agree which convicts should be killed?
    Where prisons should be built and filled?
    Which voter fraud must be concealed
    When the president talks to God?

    When the president talks to God
    I wonder which one plays the better cop
    We should find some jobs. the ghetto's broke
    No, they're lazy, George, I say we don't
    Just give 'em more liquor stores and dirty coke
    That's what God recommends

    When the president talks to God
    Do they drink near beer and go play golf
    While they pick which countries to invade
    Which Muslim souls still can be saved?
    I guess god just calls a spade a spade
    When the president talks to God

    When the president talks to God
    Does he ever think that maybe he's not?
    That that voice is just inside his head
    When he kneels next to the presidential bed
    Does he ever smell his own bullshit
    When the president talks to God?

    I doubt it

    I doubt it
     
  8. b.c.

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  9. whatireallywant

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  10. nudeyorker

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    I have alot of faith, For every Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Bob Marley, that we had, we have many talented artists today that will be revered and remembered. Brittnay and Paris et al will be forgotten, just like the bubblegum bands of the sixty's and seventies...people will say Oh yeah I remember that, but remember how profouned_______ was during the war!
     
  11. SpeedoGuy

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    Collective consciousness? That's for chumps. Consumerism is our primary shared value as you all should well know by now.

    I mean, have you see Sony's new models of wide screen TVs?
     
  12. SomeGuyOverThere

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    A fav of mine: YouTube - Black Sabbath-War Pigs (set to political footage)

    Black Sabbath: War Pigs

     
  13. B_ScaredLittleBoy

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    I don't like this new music. It's too loud for me (Green Day, System of A Down etc).

    What I will say though is that Fortunate Son by CCR is a good song :smile:
    There are no sons of senators that go to war. They are the fortunate sons...

    PS I agree there are a lot of shit songs and not so artistic artists out there. Which is why I don't listen to much current stuff...
     
  14. whatireallywant

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    I find Pink interesting because she actually started out being "bubblegum" (but good bubblegum, I must admit), but then had some really socially conscious songs like "Dear Mr. President" and "Stupid Girls".
     
  15. whatireallywant

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    I must admit that System of a Down and Green Day are two of my favorite bands. Yeah, I like the loud and heavy stuff, although I am 44 years old and supposedly "too old" for that sort of thing. :biggrin1:

    But, I also like CCR! Definitely...love "Fortunate Son" and "Bad Moon Rising"! I also really like Simon & Garfunkel. So go figure...
     
  16. b.c.

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  17. Lex

    Lex
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    Thanks to everyone for linking to other songs!

    While I may not always like a band/artist, I can always appreciate a socially conscious song.
     
  18. Shelby

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    from back in the day...

    Steppenwolf - Monster

    Words and music by John Kay, Jerry Edmonton, Nick St. Nicholas and Larry Byrom

    (Monster)
    Once the religious, the hunted and weary
    Chasing the promise of freedom and hope
    Came to this country to build a new vision
    Far from the reaches of kingdom and pope
    Like good Christians, some would burn the witches
    Later some got slaves to gather riches

    But still from near and far to seek America
    They came by thousands to court the wild
    And she just patiently smiled and bore a child
    To be their spirit and guiding light

    And once the ties with the crown had been broken
    Westward in saddle and wagon it went
    And 'til the railroad linked ocean to ocean
    Many the lives which had come to an end
    While we bullied, stole and bought our a homeland
    We began the slaughter of the red man

    But still from near and far to seek America
    They came by thousands to court the wild
    And she just patiently smiled and bore a child
    To be their spirit and guiding light

    The blue and grey they stomped it
    They kicked it just like a dog
    And when the war over
    They stuffed it just like a hog

    And though the past has it's share of injustice
    Kind was the spirit in many a way
    But it's protectors and friends have been sleeping
    Now it's a monster and will not obey

    <A name=SUIDE>(Suicide)
    The spirit was freedom and justice
    And it's keepers seem generous and kind
    It's leaders were supposed to serve the country
    But now they won't pay it no mind
    'Cause the people grew fat and got lazy
    And now their vote is a meaningless joke
    They babble about law and order
    But it's all just an echo of what they've been told
    Yeah, there's a monster on the loose
    It's got our heads into a noose
    And it just sits there watchin'

    Our cities have turned into jungles
    And corruption is stranglin' the land
    The police force is watching the people
    And the people just can't understand
    We don't know how to mind our own business
    'Cause the whole worlds got to be just like us
    Now we are fighting a war over there
    No matter who's the winner
    We can't pay the cost
    'Cause there's a monster on the loose
    It's got our heads into a noose
    And it just sits there watching

    <A name=AMICA>(America)
    America where are you now?
    Don't you care about your sons and daughters?
    Don't you know we need you now
    We can't fight alone against the monster
     
  19. SpeedoGuy

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    Change In The Weather


    Lyrics: John Dawson
    Music: John Dawson



    Played by the New Riders of the Purple Sage in the late 1970s.
    I used to know the flow of the river
    I used to know the shape of the sand
    I used to know the face of a winner
    I used to trust the shake of a hand

    I should have seen the change a-coming
    I could have seen the signs in the sky
    I should have heard the songs of the women
    I could have seen the grown men cry

    And there's a change in the weather
    Change in the wind
    Change in the weather
    It's changing again

    Now do you remember '63
    When Doctor King had that dream
    So long ago in Washington
    That everyone should be free

    Whatever happened to the way we were
    And what about the way things should be
    What about the times when we were so sure
    We could put an end to poverty

    And there's a change in the weather
    Change in the wind
    Change in the weather
    It's changing again

    Yes now on the horizon
    There's a dark cloud rising
    It's gathering strength and height
    And there's nowhere to ride
    So we'll just have to hide it out
    When the great storm arrives tonight

    And there's a change in the weather
    Change in the wind
    Change in the weather
    It's changing again

    Now do you remember '63
    When Doctor King had that dream
    So long ago in Washington
    That everyone should be free

    Whatever happened to the way we were
    And what about the way things should be
    What about the times when we were so sure
    We could put an end to poverty

    And there's a change in the weather
    Change in the wind
    Change in the weather
    It's changing again

    And there's a change in the weather
    Change in the wind
    Change in the weather
    It's changing again

    Oh Lord, it changing again
    I said it's changing again
     
  20. Shelby

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    In college I ate this stuff up.

    Gil Scott Heron

    I was hoping to put up 'A Poem for Jose Campos Torres' (my favorite of his) but couldn't find it. If anyone out there has it it would be a great favor to me if you youtubed it or something.
     
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