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Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Thoughts And Prayers’ By Drive-By Truckers

The post originally appeared at Ongoing History Of Protest Songs.

Art is often a product of the political climate. This truth is reflected in the music of the
veteran southern rock band Drive-By Truckers.

Their 2016 album “American Band” was by far their most political, heavily influenced by the 2016 presidential election. On

On January 31, the band releases their the follow-up, The Unraveling. “Armageddon, “Back in Town,” “Babies in Cages,” and “Grievance Merchants” are some of the tracks that show the band is not backing away from social commentary.

Initially, it wasn’t the band’s intent to make another political album, but President Donald Trump’s administration has left the band feeling another was necessary.

“It was hard to figure out what to write about,” frontman Patterson Hood stated in a Billboard interview. “I figured we would follow [‘American Band’] up with something pretty different. That’s generally how we operate. We didn’t want to repeat ourselves and keep saying the same shit. But I don’t think it occurred to us that things would take the turn they have taken nationally and politically, and shit kept happening that kept inspiring us to write those kinds of songs—even just for our own sanity’s sake.”

“Thoughts and Prayers,” the second single from the forthcoming album, addresses the endless cycle of gun violence—senseless mass shootings, followed by thoughts and prayers, which is then followed by a failure to take any meaningful action.

“Stick it up your ass with your useless thoughts and prayers,” Hood sings, clearly
rebuking politicians, the NRA, and any others who present barriers to confronting gun violence.

Hood also expresses optimism that the current wave of youth activism will eventually be
the generation to end the cycle.

“The powers that be are in for shame and comeuppance when Generation Lockdown has their day.”

Listen to “Thoughts & Prayers”:

CJ Baker

CJ Baker

CJ Baker is a lifelong music fan and published writer. He recently started a website chronicling the historical developments of protest music: ongoinghistoryofprotestsongs.com, and can be found on Twitter @tunesofprotest