19 Apr 2016

Protest Song Of The Week: ‘The Trouble With Normal’

Singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn wrote in his memoir that his songs are “multi-faceted.” Not only are they about “war, injustice, and exploitation,” not only do they deal with faith and grace, but they are also about “mystery, beauty, love, pain, [and] joy.” They are about the power of a “wild place”

11 Apr 2016

Protest Song of Week: ‘(Don’t Worry) If There’s Hell Below, We’re All Going To Go’

In the late 1960s, black Americans in inner cities rioted and rebelled against poverty and oppression. Black Americans demanded more investment in black communities to alleviate the conditions contributing to widespread despair. There was also a fierce crackdown by authorities on the Black Panthers, which attempted to empower black Americans

04 Apr 2016

Protest Song Of The Week: ‘5 Million Ways To Kill A CEO’

In this comical funky dance tune, The Coup imagines several ways in which a CEO might kill himself. All of the ideas in the song prey upon a CEO’s weaknesses, taking advantage of how easy it is to bait a CEO into committing sinful or sleazy behavior. The chorus for

28 Mar 2016

Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Under The Bridge’ by Jill Sobule & John Doe

Written by Jill Sobule before the height of the Occupy movement but dedicated to the 99 percent, this is Shadowproof’s “Protest Song Of The Week.”

21 Mar 2016

Protest Song Of The Week: ‘The Comin’ Round Is Going Through’

On singer-songwriter and guitarist Bonnie Raitt’s latest album, there is a foot-stomping tune, which takes aim at the influence of money on politics and the politicians and media pundits, who defend a system rigged against the people. As Raitt told the San Diego Union Tribune, “I had the idea for

14 Mar 2016

Protest Song Of The Week: ‘America’ by The Nice

Keith Emerson, a progressive rock pioneer most famous for his work with Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, committed suicide at the age of 71. He had muscular pain and nerve issues in his right hand that were getting worse, and it is believed he could not handle the fact that he could

07 Mar 2016

Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Factory Girl’ by Rhiannon Giddens

Rhiannon Giddens has a concert of protest songs, which is touring called “Swimming in Dark Waters—Other Voices.” One of the songs she is performing in her set is an Irish ballad called “Factory Girl.” As Giddens says in the introduction, social progress often comes from disaster. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire

29 Feb 2016

Protest Song Of The Week: ‘T.H.U.G.S.’ by Mysonne

The “Justice For Flint” concert benefit was exceptional counter-programming to the Academy Awards on Sunday night. From Janelle Monae to Vic Mensa to Ledisi to Robert Glasper, there were some incredible performances. It also featured young poets and local residents, who came up on stage to share their stories about

22 Feb 2016

Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Fuck The NRA’ by Jamie Kilstein & The Agenda

More than seven thousand children are killed or injured by gun violence every year in the United States, but the National Rifle Association, America’s foremost gun lobby group, believes in targeting kids when marketing guns. “Start them young,” as one foundation put it. And, in some cases, parents are very

15 Feb 2016

Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Who Will Survive America?’

“Will you survive in the heat and fire of actual change? I doubt it.” From Black poet Amiri Baraka’s 1972 album, “It’s Nation Time,” this song relies on a question-and-answer format to make a statement about who will survive a Black revolution. It opens with a bass line, and then