Yesterday in this space I asked the question, “Where are the Protest Songs?” Is the genre dead and gone or just not in my musical sphere? After all I am in my 60’s. It’s likely I might not be tuned into the hip stuff.
Several of my readers came to the rescue with titles of modern protest songs. I was familiar with a couple of them, but honestly, I didn’t realize they actually WERE protest songs. Too much listening to loud rock and roll in my youth might’ve impacted my ability to hear the lyrics. But now that I’ve been pointed in the right direction, I can hear these songs for what they are.
First, here’s a video clip from the Australian group, Midnight Oil, called Beds are Burning. My blogging friend Barbara at https://balindseyblog.wordpress.com/ brought it to my attention.
Barbara provided this information: “Beds are Burning is arguably the most resonantly subversive artistic gesture ever made by Australians. Released by the country’s biggest rock group just months before Australia marked, on 26 January 1988, the 200th anniversary of the first fleet’s arrival in Sydney, it ensured that the dominant soundtrack of our bicentennial year would be a song which reminded that the country we were celebrating was founded on pillage and genocide.”
Another blogging friend, Marty at snakesinthegrassblog.com pointed me in the direction of musician Steve Earle’s The Revolution Starts Now, released in 2004.
Both of these songs fill the protest song bill, and they both remain relevant.
My blogging friend Zoolon at zoolonhub.com is a talented musician who shared one of his original pieces, Sunlight and the Dust. It’s a mighty fine song of the protest genre and deserves a listen. By the way, Zoolon does all the instrumentation as well as the vocals. I told you he was talented.
I’m going to continue scouting out more protest songs. If you know of one that speaks to today’s issues please pass it along. We need anthems. We need rallying points. We need righteous anger set to music.