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Protest Music

A Song to Sing with My Brothers and Sisters

Susanne Mentzer | Posted 01.31.2015 | Arts
Susanne Mentzer

I saw at an early age that through singing one could stand up for the rights of the many. What I realize now is that I longed to do something for the greater good through singing and that this was a part of what the folk movement and protest song genre accomplished.

As Germans Mark 25 Years Since the Fall of Berlin Wall, a Famous Anthem Takes Center Stage

Greg Mitchell | Posted 12.23.2014 | Politics
Greg Mitchell

In that Christmas season trip to Berlin, Bernstein would famously conduct two performances of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with an international orchestra and chorus assembled from the four countries that once shared the city -- the U.S., Russia, England and France. And he would change one word, so that the "Ode to Joy" became the "Ode to Freedom."

Tragedy and Art: The Power of Sam Cooke's 'A Change Is Gonna Come'

Robert F. Darden | Posted 12.01.2014 | Arts
Robert F. Darden

On the surface, "A Change is Gonna Come" doesn't sound particularly challenging, especially in light of the defiant freedom songs that rocked the movement in 1964. It quickly became one of the anthems of the movement and music historian Dave Marsh said that "A Change is Gonna Come" "ranks with Martin Luther King's best speeches as a verbal encapsulation of the changes black perspective underwent in the Sixties."

Music and Movements: The Tradition Continues

Peter Dreier | Posted 07.24.2014 | Politics
Peter Dreier

The 1960s folk music scene was a chapter in a long story, one that began decades earlier and that continues today as a new generation of singers and songwriters connect -- directly and indirectly -- to the burgeoning progressive movements that are rippling across the country.

Music and the Politics of Resistance

Barrett Martin | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Barrett Martin

Music in the United States has led directly to environmental action, the equality of our citizens, a movement against war and violence, and it has raised the voices of the working American. We now need to point it toward direct political action.

The Prophetic Joan Baez

Kristin M. Swenson, Ph.D. | Posted 08.12.2013 | Religion
Kristin M. Swenson, Ph.D.

Just as in those fresh days from decades ago, Baez continues to sing out injustice, the challenge and responsibility to be decent in a world bent on bending goodness into greed and simple pleasure into perversity. It brought to mind the prophet Ezekiel.

Pete Seeger: Changing the World One Song at a Time

John W. Whitehead | Posted 07.06.2013 | Entertainment
John W. Whitehead

Before the Beatles or the Rolling Stones, Jim Hendrix, Bob Dylan and others, there was Pete Seeger. With his five-string banjo in hand, Seeger helped to lay the foundation for American protest music.

Eve of Destruction 2.0

Doug Bradley | Posted 12.29.2012 | College
Doug Bradley

It's a pipe dream, but what if our leadership was responsible for being on the lines instead of just signing off on the next battle?

Marines and Vietnam: Waist Deep in the Big Muddy

Doug Bradley | Posted 11.26.2012 | College
Doug Bradley

Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes is a war novel set in 1969 Vietnam. The book presents a very real look into the misery endured by United States Marines during the war.

Dylan, Death and the Ia Drang Valley

Doug Bradley | Posted 11.25.2012 | College
Doug Bradley

As the author described his experience wounded in the dark of the jungle, waiting for either help or death, I could not help but wonder what was going through his head after he had accepted his imminent fate.

The Music, Media and Mayhem of Vietnam

Doug Bradley | Posted 11.19.2012 | College
Doug Bradley

As a Vietnam veteran, I am convinced that we will argue about Vietnam until all of us baby boomers are dead and gone. But there is a way to cut through all the commotion, and that's though music.

DNC Rally Song -- 'It's About Time!' (Video)

Dusty Wright | Posted 11.06.2012 | Arts
Dusty Wright

I wrote and recorded this song for freedom fighters everywhere. It was inspired by Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land" and the simple phrase -- "it's about time" -- uttered by NYC-based filmmaker/video director Ernie Fritz about the Occupy movement.

Draft Hillary for 2016 Bid

Brent Budowsky | Posted 06.19.2012 | Politics
Brent Budowsky

Re-elect Barack Obama in 2012 and draft Hillary Clinton for 2016 to achieve an era of reform and realignment that will powerfully change history.

Rock Music's Political Thump Turns to Thud

Jason Schmitt | Posted 01.18.2012 | Home
Jason Schmitt

The apathy of the last decade seems to have lifted. And truth will emerge, the way it always has, through the murky waters of social critique. We need more leaders. We need more anthems.

Under the Bridge You'll Find Us Waiting, Under the Bridge We'll Sing a Song (Audio)

Jill Sobule | Posted 01.09.2012 | Home
Jill Sobule

To all the good folks pitching tents at OWS, this song's for you. We support you, hope you keep warm this winter, and ask you to keep a spot open in your tent for us.

Denver Hip-Hop Artist’s Song About Ben Bernanke

The Huffington Post | Matt Ferner | Posted 12.10.2011 | Denver

Denver-based artist and indie hip-hop legend Sole, also known as Tim Holland from the famed Anticon collective, has been deeply involved in the Occupy...

Raging Against The Machine: Tom Morello's Nightwatchman Persona

Michael Gilmour | Posted 08.21.2011 | Religion
Michael Gilmour

With all the rhetorical force and righteous anger of the prophets, the Nightwatchman's biblically literate activism rails against the individuals and institutions responsible for the plight of the needy

The Political Bob Dylan

Peter Dreier | Posted 07.24.2011 | Politics
Peter Dreier

Bob Dylan's off-and-on engagement with politics is intriguing. But his peace and justice songs have had a life of their own.

Will Charlie Ever Get Off That Train?

Peter Dreier and Jim Vrabel | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Peter Dreier and Jim Vrabel

Since the Kingston Trio's self-censored version became a hit fifty years ago, "M.T.A." has become a part of American folklore.

Changing the World, One Note at a Time

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Craig and Marc Kielburger

Michael Franti's music is meant to rally the public and raise awareness. But, he wanted to take the music further. To protest the world's injustices, he needed to experience them, so, he headed to Baghdad.

Lollapalooza, Day One: When Push Comes to Shove

Karen Stabiner And Sarah Dietz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Karen Stabiner And Sarah Dietz

We're at Chicago's Lollapalooza music festival, two of thousands of sweaty fans with but a single purpose on Day One: To be as near as possible to the huge AT&T stage for Radiohead's evening performance.

Recreate 68, the DNC and the Urgent Need to Reinvent Our Political Language

Roberto Lovato | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Roberto Lovato

"Recreate 68" sounds more like something more appropriate for Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young reunion concert than for a movement of our troubled times.