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To recognize the power of protest music, acknowledge its role in creating a culture of dissent and how musicians translate social issues and systemic problems into song, The Dissenter has launched a daily feature that highlights a protest song every weekday.

A band from Northern Ireland, The Twenty, sent a song they wrote and recorded called, “No More No.” It is a song the group says was originally inspired by the actions of Mohamed Bouazizi, who set himself on fire in Tunsia in December 2010 in protest at his treatment by officialdom. The act is widely acknowledged to have helped spark the wider Arab Spring.

The chorus is a volley of nos and the simple line, “No more no.” Society, according to the song. drugs people to rest in their head. “Take back your TV/Your friends in the press/The corporate whores you’d like to fuck in your bed.”

Later in the song, “Are you going to tell me/That you’re really here for me?” Because, “I don’t want your promise or your pomposity.” The politicians do not care for the disaffected in society. “You’d love to beat me right out of here” (presumably, with police in riot gear).

The music is a blend of alternative and punk. It draws from the huge sense of dissatisfaction and anger that many groups of people all over the world feel right now. As The Twenty explain, these groups have risen as a result of “perceived corruption and hypocrisy seemingly endemic in our systems of government. This has of course manifested itself in protest movements such as Occupy and other anti-austerity/anti-capitalist demonstrations, as well as in explosive eruptions of anger such as the London Riots and the dissent so evident to government cuts in countries all over the world, from Greece and throughout the European Union to the United States.”

“No More No” is a song for the disenfranchised—the “ordinary man” who is “no longer willing to accept ‘his lost’ while political and corporate elites act consistently without integrity and seemingly in order to protect vested interests and private wealth.” It is an anthem for those in society at a tipping point and also a raucous acknowledgment that many have already reached a tipping point and they should not turn back.


If you have requests for songs that should be featured or if you have a protest song you recorded, which you would like to see featured, email dissenter@shadowproof.wpengine.com.

And all previous Protest Song of the Day selections can be found here.

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."