Time to Ponder Protest Songs

Long ago in America without internet or cell phones, song moved a generation to take action. Music united generations, gave people a voice and served as a undeniable call to action. Vietnam war protests of the 60s and 70s, Mississippi blues of the 20s and 30s, civil rights marches in the 50s,  great depression in the 30s – all were defined by songs of protest. Protest music served to comfort and unite, it was a call to action, a rallying cry, a means of letting us know we were part of something.

Muddy Waters, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Woodstock, fade into obscurity. The power of protest songs lost on a generation of gamers and tweeters. Ponder outcomes of the “occupy movement” if they were able to put rage into song. Music has become an obsolete tool for change. I’m not saying political music /artists don’t exist, but  state with conviction – tweets will never touch the soul. Facebook posts, comments on reddit can’t match the power of music. The world is a different place from the era when thousands of voices sang in unison, not hoping for change, but expecting it.


Pete Seeger



4 thoughts on “Time to Ponder Protest Songs

      • I’m a decade behind you, 42, so our “protest songs” were (according to my sisters) by the Bay City Rollers, and from my brother (thankfully) the Who, Jethro Tull, Police, Genesis (the early version), Clash… and according to me, Stiff Little Fingers and the Pogues 🙂

  1. Go Pogues, and thumbs up to Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.Listened to Carpet Crawler about an hour ago. Weird. I’m a huge fan of Woody Guthrie, and old Mississippi delta blues. Now there’s a protest! Muddy Waters refers to the great Mississippi flood in the 20s. Black share croppers rounded up at gun point and forced to wallow on a failing levy. Holy crap.

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