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  • Protest Songs

    "Compared to What" comes to mind. "For What It's Worth" usually comes up in discussions. "Big Yellow Taxi" was top of a list for Earth Day songs. "What's Going On?" is an obvious choice.

    Have any of you considered putting together a set of protest songs with the goal of playing out at rallies, protests, marches, etc.?

    I've found a few youtube videos of songs that have been written recently with our current political situation in mind. Surely there are more, but I haven't figured out how to find them.




  • #2
    Holiday by green day is about as close as we get to any protest songs.
    PA Unity15's over LS800p's. YX15's, YX12's IPR power, RM32AI

    LightsMartin Minimac Profiles, Chauvet Intimidator Spot Duos, Blizzard 3NX, Fab5, Hotbox

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    • #3
      Eve of Destruction.
      I just play what the voices in my head tell me to play.

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      • #4
        One of my Facebook musician friends was talking about old protest songs that he thought would apply to todays political climate. I got the impression he was looking to put together a protest band, and I wondered if others around the country might have had the same idea.

        I also thought someone might have heard some songs inspired by the current "situation".

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        • #5
          Originally posted by senorblues View Post
          One of my Facebook musician friends was talking about old protest songs that he thought would apply to todays political climate. I got the impression he was looking to put together a protest band, and I wondered if others around the country might have had the same idea.

          I also thought someone might have heard some songs inspired by the current "situation".
          I don't think modern music is as political. Neil Young and some other older artists might have some new protest songs but other than that? Idk.

          I thought might see a ressurange in protest and political songs during the wars and after the financial crisis but all we got seemed to be more "escapist" fare.

          Maybe that's a good thing?
          ______________

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          • #6
            Protest music in the 60s made a positive contribution to the progressive agenda. Yeah, Iraq and the financial crisis were seminal events, but you would think that the current administration would inspire songs more than any event in the last fifty years. But as has been pointed out in this forum more than once, music doesn't have the same cultural importance now that it did then. I heard a female vocal group singing a song that was cleary composed with the recent women's march in mind, but that's about it.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by senorblues View Post
              Protest music in the 60s made a positive contribution to the progressive agenda. Yeah, Iraq and the financial crisis were seminal events, but you would think that the current administration would inspire songs more than any event in the last fifty years. But as has been pointed out in this forum more than once, music doesn't have the same cultural importance now that it did then. I heard a female vocal group singing a song that was cleary composed with the recent women's march in mind, but that's about it.

              Maybe as time goes on the current administration will inspire more music. It's still fairly early.

              But I agree probably not. Music isn't the cultural focus point it once was. More likely to see an Anti-Trump App released than a hit song.
              ______________

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              • #8
                right on cue . . .
                 

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                • #9
                  Most people that care about political songs are younger - and young folks are so addicted to their cell phones, I don't think they'll even notice when the hammer drops. I hope I'm wrong though.

                  Anyway, I did a union rally a few years back and on the fly changed the words to Taking Care of Business to make it pro union. I also changed the words to Evil Ways, and made it about a a current political leader. The mayor of the city and a few other dignitaries were there so it made it on the TV news. Doubt if I could find the clip though.

                  Sadly, I think the only protest songs folks would be interested in these days would be protest songs against high internet or cell phone bills.

                  But if you're still looking, I like Do Re Mi by Woody Guthrie, Country Joe's Anthem, and The Wall. Oops, almost forgot Little Boxes and Strange Fruit.

                  Gotta go, I need to reread the Handmaid's Tale and Fahrenheit 451
                  Last edited by Shaster; 05-05-2017, 03:24 AM.

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                  • #10
                    The demographics of folks who attend rallies, protests, marches, etc. are all over the map, but they certainly include a lot of people who remember and might well have participated in marches of the sixties.

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                    • #11
                      I suppose you might not get far with a protest song band, but maybe a catchy protest song might get you some play. A song like United Breaks Guitars could give a boost to a career. It doesn't even have to be a protest song, it could be a novelty song, like Gaye Delorme's Rodeo Song - Warning Language!!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAp7FvZ5Opw

                      Gaye was a very talented composer, singer and guitarist, and a very funny guy. He was instrumental in the formation of Cheech and Chong.

                      Side story, I know someone that got a request for the Rodeo Song. They played it and were fired for doing so. Some managers don't have a sense of humour...

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                      • #12
                        Yeah, I'm not a fan of gratuitous profanity.

                        Given today's political climate, if you're going to play any protest tune as part of your regular gig, you run the risk of alienating half the crowd . . . maybe more, but a well chosen protest song that will play pretty much anywhere would be the way to go. I wish I'd worked harder on rolling my own over the years, along with covering everybody else's tunes.

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                        • #13
                          Feel Like I'm Fixing to Die Rag (Country Joe)
                          Drug Store Truck Driving Man (Joan Baez)
                          Coming Into Los Angeles (Arlo Guthrie)
                          Signs (Five Man Electrical Band)
                          Woodstock (CSN&Y)
                          War (The Temptations)
                          What You Gonna Do About Me (Quicksilver Messenger Service)

                          Side Note: In the '60's I played a lot of protest rallies. Gigs like SDS, sit ins, anti-war stuff...) I got a call from agent to go play an event and he gave me an address that turned out to be a HS auditorium. I got ready, walked out on stage, with lights in my eyes of course. I hear lots of people but can't really see them. I played most of these songs, and thought it went well except I never got any real applause. Polite clapping when I walked off. I looked from edge of curtain when house lights came on....yea, every guy had a hat that said VFW on it. Doomed from the start....)

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                          • #14
                            I sent a FB message to a politically active guitar player to see if he was interested in getting something together. Definitely yes, so we've scheduled a meeting. He's a local, so should have a pretty good idea of the political leanings of good players. I'm hoping to avoid a Craigslist ad . . . .

                            Here's a list I like:
                            Big Yellow Taxi
                            Compared to What
                            Everyday People
                            For What It’s Worth
                            How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live
                            It’s Money That Matters
                            People Make the World Go Round
                            Respect Yourself
                            Stand By Me
                            Taking it To the Streets
                            The Times They Are a Changing
                            This Land Is Your Land
                            What’s Going On?
                            Why Can’t We Live Together?
                            You Haven’t Done Nothing

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                            • #15
                              These are from the 20th century, so I guess "recent" is relative.
                              Oxford Town
                              Talkin' World War III Blues
                              Masters of War
                              What's So Funny About Peace, Love, and Understanding?
                              Where Do We Go From Here? - Chicago
                              Everybody is terminally ill.

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