In the protest anthem, “Freeway,” singer-songwriter David Rosane sings, “Sorry for the inconvenience. We’re just trying to change the world.” It is premised around an apology-but-not-an-apology to those upset they cannot get anywhere in their vehicles because people are clogging the streets while protesting. Also, grassroots struggles are on a
Indigenous singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie sings, “And me I watched it grow: corporate greed & a lust for gold & coal & oil and, hey, now uranium.”
In the days of slavery and Jim Crow, there was a type of work song commonly sung by black Americans known as the hammer song. Blues singer Huddie Ledbetter, better known as Leadbelly, popularized this particular tune. The work song is constructed in the following form—a line repeated three times for a
The Canadian government is investigating whether a scientist violated the public service’s “ethics code” when he wrote and performed a protest song against Prime Minister Stephen Harper. As reported last week by the Toronto Star, Tony Turner was put on leave with pay. Turner is a longtime employee, who has
For this week’s protest song, Alec Hall submitted a piece created as a comment on the criminalization of black bodies in the United States and how black life is often erased from American culture and society. The 11-minute string quartet composition, “28 Hours,” is the first reader-submitted protest song featured here at Shadowproof.
J.B. Lenoir’s “Alabama Blues” is a rather well-known blues protest song. It stands out because, by the 1960s, it was increasingly rare for blues musicians to sing about poverty, despair, and social injustice. And, fifty years since the tune was recorded under the supervision of Chicago blues master Willie Dixon, its lyrics still carry a deep resonance.
It was the anniversary of the death of Mike Brown, the black teenager in Ferguson who was gunned down by Officer Darren Wilson. To mark the event, a concert of revolutionary musicians called “Ferguson Rocks” was held in St. Louis. The lineup included Tom Morello and the Freedom Fighter Orchestra,