Use this post to add YOUR list of top 5 greatest protest songs. The winner (according to my judgement and comment responses) will get a free download of my new live comedy album “Pepper Spray The Tears Away.” You’ll get extra points for creativity.
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“We’re living in a bad dream,
they’ve forgotten all about mankind,
and you were the one they backed up to the wall
all those years ago.
You were the one who Imagined it all
all those years ago.”
~ George Harrison
“So don’t delay, act now, supplies are running out!
Allow, if you’re still alive, six to eight years to arrive.
And if you follow, there may be a tomorrow,
but if the offer is shunned, then you might as well be walkin’ on the sun.
Twenty-five years ago they spoke out and they broke out
of recession and oppression and together they toked
and they folked out with guitars around a bonfire
just singin’ and clappin’… Man, what the hell happened?!”
~ Smash Mouth
“People of the world all had it together
had it together for the boys and the girls
and the children of the world looked forward to a future…
Remember: tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, people,
time’s ticking away.”
~ Stevie Ray Vaughan
1 “Hard Times in the Land of Plenty” – Omar and the Howlers
2 “Send Me Your Money” – Suicidal Tendencies
3 “Which Way Are You Goin’?” – Jim Croce
4 “Tell Me Why” – P.O.D.
5 “Excuse Me, Mr.” – Ben Harper
“I sat alone in the dark one night, tuning in by remote
I found a preacher who spoke of the light, but there was brimstone in his throat
He’d show me the way according to him in return for my personal check
I flipped my channel back to CNN and I lit another cigarette
I take my chances. Forgiveness doesn’t come with a debt.
I take my chances. I take my chances every chance I get.”
~ Mary Chapin Carpenter
“I am not an island! I am not alone!
I am my intentions trapped here in this flesh and bone!
And I need to move, I need to wake up.
I need to change, I need to shake up.
I need to speak out, something’s got to break up.
I’ve been asleep and I need to wake up now.”
~ Melissa Etheridge
Will you stand and watch while the seeds of hate are sown?
Pete Seeger – Solidarity Forever
Woody Guthrie – All You Fascists
Billy Bragg – The Internationale
Tracy Chapman – Talkin’ Bout A Revolution
Dead Kennedys – Kill The Poor
We need to to this every week.
1) The Universal Soldier (Buffy St. Marie)
2) Swimming to the Other Side (Pat Humphries)
3) The Times They Are A-Changin’ (Bob Dylan)
4) What’s Goin’ On (Marvin Gaye)
5) We Can’t Make It Here Anymore (James McMurtry)
I could also make an entire list of Gil Scott Heron songs (Quite possibly the most brilliant musical genius in modern history)
1 We Almost Lost Detroit (anti-nuclear power)
2 Winter in America (anti-establishment)
3 Johannesburg (anti-apartheid)
4 Did You Hear What They Said? (anti-war)
5 The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (Pro-power to the people)
1 Agent Orange – Pharoahe Monch (anti-war)
2 Ghost of Tom Joad – Bruce Springsteen (anti-poverty)
3 Maggie’s Farm – Rage Against the Machine (pro-worker’s rights and anti-slavery/sharecropping)
4 Change – Self Scientific (anti-war and anti-establishment )
5 Trail of Lies – Jedi Mind Tricks (anti-unattainable standard of beauty for women)
Jefferson Airplane – Volunteer
The Temptations – Ball of Confusion
The Beatles – Revolution
Megadeth – Peace Sells
Rage Against the Machine – Testify
Sacred Reich – The American Way
And I could go on and on …. 🙂
6.) Dear Mr. President by Fitz and the Tantrums
tough choices for top 5
1.) Chicago by Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young
2.) For What it’s Worth by Buffalo Springfield
3.) Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival
4.) Which Side Are You On? By Pete Seeger
5.) Ohio by Crosby,Stills, Nash & Young
Constant Movement – Kill The Autocrat
Fuck The Police – N.W.A
Freedom – Rage Against The Machine
One Big Union – Mathew Grimm
One Day Longer – Kill The Autocrat
Oops did I do that wrong? Oh fucking well. I was so eager to post my preferences I couldn’t just pick 5 😉
But if I must…k…let’s see…needs to be protesty not revolutionary…hmm
Well, FUCK THE POLICE – RATM
PRISON SONG -SOD
DEER DANCE – SOD
RICH MAN’S WORLD (1%) – IMMORTAL TECH
NATURAL BEAUTY – IMMORTAL TECH
Country Joe McDonald – I Feel Like I’m Fixin to Die Rag
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young – Ohio
War – Edwin Starr – War
Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On
Tim Buckley – Once I was a Solider (some think this is a love song, I think it is about the war in Viet Nam
Working Class Hero – John Lennon
Electioneering – Radiohead
Mosh – Eminem
Rebel Music – Bob Marley
Legalize It – Peter Tosh
Freedom- Rage Against The Machine
I Don’t Need Society- D.R.I.
War Pigs- Black Sabbath
American Idiot- Green Day
BOOM!- System Of A Down
Dylan’s Masters of war
1. Anti-Flag – Ranks Of The Masses Rising
2. Woody Guthrie – All You Fascists Are Bound To Lose
3. Rage Against The Machine – Know Your Enemy
4. Rise Against – Hero of War
5. The Nightwatchman – The Road I Must Travel
Ranks Of The Masses Rising was the theme for my May Chicago trip for NATO. All You Fascists was one of the songs that got me hooked on Woody. Know Your Enemy is THE primer track for getting into Rage and one of those that are most endearing to my activist side. Hero Of War speaks for itself, and The Road I Must Travel is anthemic about how we must all walk our own path, and to not walk towards a better world is to wither and die. Even when we can’t see the outcome, we must walk!
Turncoat – Anti Flag
Give it All- Rise Against
Lotus- Cage the Elephant
Weatherman- Dead Sara
Our Ethos: A Legacy to pass on – Set your Goals
Billie Holiday-Strange Fruit
Woody Guthrie-What are we Waiting on
Phil Ochs -I ain’t marching anymore
Public Enemy -Fight the Power
Black Sabbath -War Pigs
John Lennon -John Sinclair
Zombie by Fela Kuti (Fela was one of the first musicians whose political career may well have eclipsed his musical)
Tin Soldiers by CSNY (after Kent state, this song was written, produced, and on the radio in fewer than two weeks, a billboard record)
Us and Them by Pink Floyd (this song protests war, though it is very abstract about it)
Fuck Da Police by NWA (the standard for songs about the criminal justice system)
Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd (this is the only song I know of to protest an actual protest song; it was written specifically as a rebuttal to Neil Young’s Southern Man)
Dude, the first 5 songs of A Perfect Circle’s album of protest song covers, eMotive.
Day After tomorrow- Tom Waits
Testify- Rage Against the Machine
London Calling- The Clash
Vietnam Rag- Country Joe and the Fish
This Land is your Land- Woody Guthrie
Here’s my thoughts on good protest songs, keeping in mind that I’m Dutch, and am not too familiar with all the protest songs out there. Then again, maybe I can surprise you.
5. Slipknot by Woody Guthrie
4. Banks are made of marble by Pete Seeger
3. I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night by Joan Baez (originally written by Alfred Hayes as a poem, put to music by Earl Robinson).
2. Two good men by Woody Guthrie
1. Welterusten, meneer de President (goodnight mister president)
Dutch protest song by Boudewijn de Groot, written for president Lyndon B. Jonhson. In the song Boudewijn tells the president not to worry too much about all the killing so he can sleep. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xj6vG3LEaVc
“Mister President, goodnight,
Sleep tight in your pretty white house
Don’t think about those far off coasts
Where your boys are far away from home”
Bonus-song: On a protest march in Amsterdam a few years back, we sang “We hangen je op Jan-Peter” (we’ll hang you, Jan-Peter) to the music of “Hang down your head, Tom Dooley” to our (former) Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende. I think this moment will stick with me for the rest of my life.
“white people for peace” -against me!
“renegades of funk” -rage against the machine
“dead end” -middle class rut
“drones in the valley” -cage the elephant
“the state” -porter robinson
hope you enjoy, and keep up the good work!
Fuck the police- Rage against the machine (cover)
Darkness of Greed- Rage against the machine
Revolution- Tool and Rage Against the Machine
BYOB- System of a Down
Take the Power Back- Rage Against the Machine
I think every revolution needs a healthy dosage of rage and hate.
Also I would like to say fuck pacifism, or atleast dogmatic pacifism i think we need to keep all our options open and strike strategically with nothing being off limits, for those who say violence doesn’t accomplish anything i think those in power would disagree violence is extremely effective, and to quote Derrick Jensen- “Do you really think monsanto is going to stop monsantoing if we ask nicely?”
Gene Burnett “Jump you fuckers”
Katie Goodman “I didn’t fuck it up”
Sorry had to include these after I reread my post, John Mayer? what was I thinking, damn Smirnoff Ice
1.) Linkin Park “Wretches and kings”
2.) Muse “Uprising”
3.) Rage against the machine “No Shelter”
4.) John Lennon “Imagine”
5.) John Mayer “Waiting on the world to change”
Oh you said protest, not revolution, my bad…
Rage Against the Machine – Renegades of Funk, Bulls on Parade, Wake UP!, Fuck the Police
Switchfoot – Dark Horses
Fear Factory – Slave Labor, Drones
System of A Down – Prison Song, Deer Dance, X, Attack, Vicinity of Obscenity, U-Fig
Immortal Technique – The entire “Martyr”CD
Incubus – Megalomaniac
Green Day – Holiday
Rage Against the Machine – Bulls on Parade
Cage the Elephant – Judas
Incubus – Made for TV Movie
Some songs that I love that are not mentioned above,
Incubus – Megalomaniac (the official video to this is as amazing as the song)
Incubus – Made for TV Movie
Incubus – Agoraphobia
(all those are from the same album, A Crow Left of the Murder)
Cage the Elephant – James Brown
Cage the Elephant – Judas
Green Day – Holiday
oh and how about Rage Against the Machine – Bulls on Parade
Got to throw another vote out for Neil Young – Rockin’ in the Free World and the Pearl Jam performance of Masters of War on David Letterman
Protest is great when it comes from the heart and soul, but don’t let it be an end unto itself. Be at war with ourselves.
In no order:
The American Ruse – MC5
Zombie – Fela Anikulapo Kuti
At Home He’s a Tourist – Gang of Four
Rockin’ in the Free World – Neil Young
The Ballad of a Thin Man – Bob Dylan
thats how grateful we are-chumbawamba
battle of the beanfield-the levellers
radical dance faction-free martin foran
the specials-ghost town
gil scott heron-johannesburg
Black Flags (1st ed. feat. Boots Riley / Anonymous)- Atari Teenage Riot
War- Edwin Starr
Freedom- Rage Against the Machine
Pet- A Perfect Circle
Because I liked my list, here’s a repost from Facebook. I’m having a hard time excluding the Dylan song, but the other ones seem like the artists were previously listed for other songs…
“Outside of a Small Circle of Friends” by Phil Ochs (against apathy)
“Whitey’s on the Moon” by Gil Scott Heron (privilege and priorities – even though I like the space program that was made an example of)
“Spanish Bombs” by The Clash (Civil war – and how quickly atrocities are papered over)
“Strange Fruit” by Billie Holliday (Anti-lynching; protecting a minority against a violent element in a majority)
“Masters of War” by Bob Dylan (The classic anti-profiteering track)
All the best
Which side are you on?
Not only is it a protest song, It’s a love song.
1) Fortunate Son
2) For What It’s Worth
Don’t care about 3-5.
born in the USA- bruce springsteen
the bravery of being out of range- roger waters
we shall overcome- mahalia jackson
bury my heart at wounded knee- buffy st marie (covered by the indigo girls
rockin in the free world- neil young
I can’t narrow it down to 5, so here is 10.
1. We Can’t Make it Here Anymore – James McMurtry (Most people have never heard this song, but listen to it. Trust me on this one! Absolutely bone chilling.)
2. Masters of War – Bob Dylan
3. With God on Our Side – Bob Dylan (One of the lesser known Dylan songs. I love the meaning of this song)
4. Blowin’ in the Wind – Bob Dylan
5. The Ghost of Tom Joad – Bruce Springsteen (preferably the live version with Tom Morello)
6. Give Peace a Chance – John Lennon
7. A Change a Gonna Come – Sam Cooke
8. Ohio – Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young
9. Simple Song of Freedom – Bobby Darin
10. Fortunate Son – CCR
My 10 cents:
For What It’s Worth (Stills, Buffalo Springfield)
Eve of Destruction (Sloan, McGuire)
Fortunate Son (CCR)
So Long Mom (Lehrer)
We Shall Overcome (gospel, Seeger)
One Tin Soldier (Lambert, Potter; Coven)
Revolution (Lennon, McCartney; Beatles)
Won’t Get Fooled Again (Townshend, Who)
Peace Train (Cat Stevens)
Joe Hill, We were There, Golden Ribbons, This Land is your Land, We shall Overcome
Well, I spent all night making video collages to 4 of my protest songs from my one man band “THE LAST DITCH STAND” Comedian Paul Provenza tweeted the first song to his 10,000 followers a few months ago & the next day Youtube deleted my account. So I’m using this opportunity, to win a copy of your new album, to re-launch the songs publicly.
Please one & all… listen/watch them here: http://www.youtube.com/iamthelastditchstand
1) Please Bro Don’t Tase Me
2) Empires Crumble but the Fool Plays on
3) Peace Mongering Thought Criminals
4) LADIDA (a song for children)
and for my 5th song I choose BUFFY SAINTE MARIE’s “My Country Tis of Thy People You’re Dying”
“Breads and Roses”
Revolution by the Beatles
Xavier Rudd,, “Spirt Bird” he posts what the song is about and how it came togeather,,
Making of his song
Lords Of The New Church – Open Your Eyes
21 guns by Green Day
Queensryche – Revolution Calling
John Lennon-Give Peace A Chance
Marvin Gaye-What’s Going On
Genesis-Jesus He Knows Me
Pink Floyd-Another Brick In The Wall
No Doubt-Just A Girl
Pink-Dear Mr. President
Tom Waits-Day After Tomorrow
Temptations-Ball Of Confusion
Green Day-American Idiot
Randy Newman-Political Science
Weird Al Yankovic -Frank’s 2000″ TV
Also Weird Al-Why Does This Always Happen To Me
Rage Against The Machine: Killing In The Name Of
Actually those 2 Weird Al songs aren’t really protest songs, more like observations about consumerism & being apathetic & docile.
There are many many other protest songs that I LOVE but if I try to narrow it down even more I’ll be here all night.
1 Iris Dement- Waestland of the free
2.Otis gibbs- The peoples Day
3.Creedence Clearwater- Fortunate son
4.The Bettles ( : Talking about a revolution
5.Gil Scott Heron- The revolution will not be televised
Get up, Stand up by Bob Marley & the Wailers The times they are a- changin by Bob Dylan Lives in the Balance by Ritchie Havens Imagine by John Lennon Where is the love by the Black eyed peas
The Dirty Fuckin’ Hippies Were Right by @joeyess http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8964iLV2M6w
Give Peace a Chance by John Lennon & Yoko Ono
The Times They Are a Changin’ Bob Dylan
Ohio Neil Young
The Point of No Return – Immortal Technique
Warn Them – Welfare Poets
Uncle Sam Goddamn – Brother Ali
Gangsta Rap Made Me Do It – Ice Cube
Riot – Three Days Grace
which side are you on?
we shall not be moved
bread and roses
and of course solidarity forever
1. ‘Waiting Room’ – Fugazi
2. ‘CIA Man’ – The Fugs
3. ‘Marching Song of the Covert Battalions’ – Billy Bragg
4. ‘Fight The Power’ – Public Enemy
5. ‘We Shall Overcome’ – Pete Seeger
(in no particular order.)
1. phil ochs – “love me, i’m a liberal”
2. sinead o’ connor “black boys on mopeds”
3 bob dylan “only a pawn in their game”
4. joe hill “the preacher and the slave”
5 phil ochs “i ain’t a marching anymore”
Ida Jo’s “No, We Won’t Take It” – Fabulous song I wish everyone would learn to sing at rally’s. You can download it for FREE here http://www.wisconsinprotestsongs.com/
Not part of my 5, but just another one for fun. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpSyc_wtunA
Anti-Flag – You can kill the protester but you can’t kill the protest
Anti-Flag – Underground Network
Metallica- …And Justice For All
Rise Against- Blood-red white &blue
Bjork — My Favorite Things
Masters of War Eddie Vedder live acoustic my favorite version best protest song of all time
The big muddy any version
Immortal Technique the 1%
File transfer prototypical the 99%
I can’t believe no one has mentioned CCR’s “Fortunate Son.”
Dave Van Ronk “Luang Prabang”
“Now” I do not know who sang but you can find it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEs-nNw4-yQ&list=UUd3582WHReGzua5XJv9u7jQ&index=1&feature=plcp
“Minority” Green Day
“We’re Not going to take it” Twisted Sister
“I ain’t marching anymore” Phil Ochs
Love old school Gil Scott-Heron, but am going with Junkyard Empire’s Purveyors of Violence
Rebel inc- killing the future
Chris geo- mad world
Jordan Page- listen
Aimee Allen- I’d start a revolution
Payday Monsanto- what’s life worth
5. California Über Alles – Disposable Heroes Of Hiphopris
4. Joe Hill – Traditional (but the Billy Bragg version is just tough)
3. Your Next Bold Move – Ani Difranco
2. Tramp the Dirt Down – Elvis Costello (Margaret Thatcher make Elvis MAADDD!!!)
1. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – Gil Scot mutherfuckin’ Heron (R.I.P.)
nina simone ~ revolution
rage against the machine ~ killing in the name of
david Bowie ~ rebel rebel
pink floyd ~ vera lynn (THE WALL)
holy!holy!holy! ~ fuck shit up
Marvin Gaye: “What’s Going On?”
Woody Guthrie “This Land is your Land”
Edwin Starr: “War”
CCR “Fortunate Son”
Bob Marley “Get Up Stand Up”
Sex Pistols “God Save the Queen”
Billy Bragg “The Price of Oil”
Bob Dylan “Master of War”
Black Sabbath “War Pigs”
Bruce Springsteen “Born in the USA”
Stick Magnetic Ribbons on Your SUV
by the Asylum Street Spankers
Street fighting man – Rolling Stones
my fav. protest song….written in 1939 ;]
“Heaters” – Ill Scarlet
They are ‘cool beans’…yup I just embarrassed myself for this thread!
Keep on Fightin Lee!
01. ain’t nobody gonna turn me around [updated: ain’t no bankster …]
02. which side are you on
03. bread and roses [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWkVcaAGCi0]
04. i didn’t fuck it up [katie goodman]
05. We Are the 99% (as we gather together) [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qZDtjJpFrI
Here’s to the state – Phil Ochs. With a nod to Eddie Vedder’s version.
Talking about a Revolution
The revolution starts now
WAR! What is it good for!
Lives in the Balance
Gil Scott Heron – “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”.
I’m not going for winners in the most obvious sense of the definition; these are the songs that inflame my passions for causes enough that just relistening to them refocuses my efforts. If you haven’t heard one of the ones I’m listing, I suggest you do. You’re a smart guy and will appreciate them.
1 – I’m Not Marching Anymore – Phil Ochs
2 – R.E.S.P.E.C.T. – Aretha Franklin
3 – My Youngest Son Came Home Today – Eric Bogle (but Billy Bragg’s version makes me cry every time.)
4 – Ballad Of Hollis Brown – Bob Dylan (Not a protest song as such but one hell of an indictment)
5 – Self Evident – Ani Difranco
Fuck it, I’m not trying to win. Just check these out if you haven’t already.
6 – Yesterday’s Men – The Fureys
7 – They Took The Children Away – Archie Roach (About the Aboriginal stolen generations; children taken from blacks as part of Australia’s government policy to raise them in white Christian homes between 1869 and 1969. Yes… 1969!)
8 – Red Flag – Billy Bragg again (Look, everything Billy does is brilliant, even his reworking of classics.)
9 – This Land Is Your Land – Woody Guthrie (Really should have had this higher up the list)
10 – Gold Watch Blues – Donovan
If you’d like to know another couple of hundred, let me know. Sorry.
Keep up the awesome work.
I’m taking a pretty straight shot at this, especially since the Vietnam War produced a shit-ton of protest songs, many of which have been forgotten or surpressed. Some of the best made this list. Shit, actually 80% of it is Vietnam War protest songs. Who would believe today that Stevie Wonder wrote and recorded one of the best anti-war songs of the 20th century? Listen to it and you’ll be sad for the disappearance of that talent from today’s pop world.
5) For What It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield
4) The Medal – Ruth Copeland (http://www.maxilyrics.com/ruth-copeland-the-medal-lyrics-0fc9.html)
3) I Can’t Write Left Handed – Bill Withers (http://youtu.be/O4RyYtkifTM)
2) There is Power in a Union – Joe Hill
1) Front Line – Stevie Wonder (1982 version http://youtu.be/DKRqzxeJ0bc)
The Harder They Come- Jimmy Cliff
Redemption Song- Bob Marley
Assimbonanga- Johnny Clegg & Savuka
Get Up Stand Up- Peter Tosh
Biko Drum- Christy Moore
Hey Lee, Makana did this Woodie Guthrie tribute with contemporary political focus las t year. He backed it up with a protest of the President’s APEC dinner in Honolulu. The associated links to the video give the background. Thanx for your work. Wise Up & Rise Up!
Country Joe and the Fish – I Feel Like I’m Fixing to Die
Sam Cooke – A Change is Gonna Come.
Bob Dylan – Blowin in the Wind.
John Lennon – Give Peace a Chance.
Crosby Stills Nash & Young – Ohio.
Get up stand up from bob marley