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Protest songs are united by the fact they all have something to say, something to dispute, or something to rile against, whether it be political, social, or personal. Story Behind the Protest Song features 50 of the most influential musical protests and statements recorded to date, providing pop-culture viewpoints on some of the most tumultuous times in modern history. Among the featured: songs about the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement, the most recent upheaval over policy in the Middle East, as well as teenage rebellion, animal rights, criticisms of mass media, and even protest songs that lambaste other protest songs. This indispensable guide tackles it all: the behind-the-scenes stories of the most influential protest songs in American popular culture, examining the subjects they address, the legacy they left, and the fabric of the songs themselves. Chronically arranged entries cover nearly 70 years of music and offer an expansive range of genres, including rock, punk, pop, soul, hip-hop, country, folk, indie, heavy metal, and more. Each entry discusses the songwriter(s); the inspiration behind the song; and the social, cultural, and political context in which the song was released. Following a detailed musical and lyrical analysis, the entries explain the songs' impact and relevance today. Among the featured: * The Unknown Soldier (The Doors) * Masters of War (Bob Dylan) * Say It Loud-I'm Black and I'm Proud (James Brown) * Get Up, Stand Up (The Wailers) * Big Yellow Taxi (Joni Mitchell) * Their Law (Prodigy) * American Idiot (Green Day) * Sweet Home Alabama (Lynrd Skynrd) * Born in the USA (Bruce Springsteen) * Southern Man (Neil Young) Entries are accompanied by further readings and a select discographies as well as a comprehensive resource guide at the end of the book. A must-read for students of music, history, and politics, this volume offers a unique reflection on the most significant and moving protest songs in American history.
For people of African descent, music constitutes a unique domain of expression. From traditional West African drumming to South African kwaito, from spirituals to hip-hop, Black life and history has been dynamically displayed and contested through sound. Shana Redmond excavates the sonic histories of these communities through a genre emblematic of Black solidarity and citizenship: anthems. An interdisciplinary cultural history, Anthem reveals how this "sound franchise" contributed to the growth and mobilization of the modern, Black citizen. Providing new political frames and aesthetic articulations for protest organizations and activist-musicians, Redmond reveals the anthem as a crucial musical form following World War I. Beginning with the premise that an analysis of the composition, performance, and uses of Black anthems allows for a more complex reading of racial and political formations within the twentieth century, Redmond expands our understanding of how and why diaspora was a formative conceptual and political framework of modern Black identity. By tracing key compositions and performances around the world--from James Weldon Johnson's "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" that mobilized the NAACP to Nina Simone's "To Be Young, Gifted & Black" which became the Black National Anthem of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)--Anthem develops a robust recording of Black social movements in the twentieth century that will forever alter the way you hear race and nation.
Music was integral to the profound cultural, social and political changes that swept the globe in 1968. This collection of essays offers new perspectives on the role that music played in the events of that year, which included protests against the ongoing Vietnam War, the May riots in France and the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. From underground folk music in Japan to antiauthoritarian music in Scandinavia and Germany, Music and Protest in 1968 explores music's key role as a means of socio-political dissent not just in the US and the UK but in Asia, North and South America, Europe and Africa. Contributors extend the understanding of musical protest far beyond a narrow view of the 'protest song' to explore how politics and social protest played out in many genres, including experimental and avant-garde music, free jazz, rock, popular song, and film and theatre music.
Popular music has traditionally served as a rallying point for voices of opposition, across a huge variety of genres. This volume examines the various ways popular music has been deployed as anti-establishment and how such opposition both influences and responds to the music produced. Implicit in the notion of resistance is a broad adversarial hegemony against which opposition is measured. But it would be wrong to regard the music of popular protest as a kind of dialogue in league against 'the establishment'. Convenient though they are, such 'us and them' arguments bespeak a rather shop-worn stance redolent of youthful rebellion. It is much more fruitful to perceive the relationship as a complex dialectic where musical protest is as fluid as the audiences to which it appeals and the hegemonic structures it opposes. The book's contemporary focus (largely post-1975) allows for comprehensive coverage of extremely diverse forms of popular music in relation to the creation of communities of protest. Because such communities are fragmented and diverse, the shared experience and identity popular music purports is dependent upon an audience collectivity that is now difficult to presume. In this respect, The Resisting Muse examines how the forms and aims of social protest music are contingent upon the audience's ability to invest the music with the 'appropriate' political meaning. Amongst a plethora of artists, genres, and themes, highlights include discussions of Aboriginal rights and music, Bauhaus, Black Sabbath, Billy Bragg, Bono, Cassette culture, The Capitol Steps, Class, The Cure , DJ Spooky, Drum and Bass, Eminem, Farm Aid, Foxy Brown, Folk, Goldie, Gothicism, Woody Guthrie, Heavy Metal, Hip-hop, Independent/home publishing, Iron Maiden, Joy Division, Jungle, Led Zeppelin, Lil'Kim, Live Aid, Marilyn Manson, Bob Marley, MC Eiht, Minor Threat, Motown, Queen Latifah, Race, Rap, Rastafarianism, Reggae, The Roots, Diana Ross, Rush, Salt-n-Pepa, 7 Seconds, Roxanne Shanté, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Sisters of Mercy, Michelle Shocked, Bessie Smith, Straight edge Sunrize Band, Bunny Wailer, Wilco, Bart Willoughby, Wirrinyga Band, Zines.
Angela Davis's book is a complete revelation to me and a serious re-education.' Toni Morrison From the author of 'Women, Race & Class' comes a brilliant analysis of the blues which provides the historical, social and political contexts with which to reinterpret the performances and lyrics of Gertrude 'Ma' Rainey, Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday as the articulation of a black, working- class, feminist consciousness at odds with mainstream American culture.'
No other form could capture the history of the labor movement better than the songs sung in times both bitter and courageous by coal miners and textile workers, railroad men and steelworkers, farmers, seamen, and cow-hands as they worked to supply the nation's needs and as they worked to defeat political and industrial tyranny, child labor, hunger, poverty, and unemployment. This collection includes a hundred songs of the people, as they have been sung at one time or another on the workers' long road toward freedom and justice, together with the stories of the genuine situations from which they sprang.They are straight trade union songs and ditties; specific songs of miners, textile workers, steel, and railway workers and farmers; typical working songs of sailors, canalers, lumberjacks, and cowboys; songs of the hardships that working men and women have to face during times of depression; philosophic songs and ironic comments on the economic system; songs that grew out of the fight against slavery; and songs expressing the dreams of people of many lands throughout the ages. Often set to tunes of familiar folk songs, popular songs, and gospel hymns, these are the songs by which unions organised and which the members of each labor group sang out. They are songs sung to words by itinerant wanderers, unlettered farmers, and factory hands; songs by Joe Hill, Ralph Chaplin, Joe Glazer, Merle Traive, Woody Guthrie, the Almanac Singers; songs by famous poets such as Burns and Blake. Most of the songs are American in origin. A few, drawn from England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany, Israel, and the Philippines, remind us that the fight for freedom knows no boundaries. The songs are presented with simple piano accompaniments and guitar chords to encourage their use in group singing.The songs of work and the songs of protest are, in a very important sense, the songs of the New World, capturing the stirring sounds and deep emotions of people over hundreds of years on the march to build a better world. Whether you are looking for material for singing or whether you are looking for material on the struggles of the labor movement, there will be much in this important collection for song and for thought.
The activist anthem "We Shall Not Be Moved" expresses resolve in the face of adversity; it helps members of social movements persevere in their struggles to build a better world. The exact origins of the song are unknown, but it appears to have begun as a Protestant revival song sung by rural whites and African slaves in the southeastern United States in the early nineteenth century. The song was subsequently adopted by U.S. labor and civil rights activists, students and workers opposing the Franco dictatorship in Spain, and by Chilean supporters of that country's socialist government in the early 1970s. In his fascinating biography, We Shall Not Be Moved, David Spener details the history and the role the song has played in each of the movements in which it has been sung. He analyzes its dissemination, function, and meaning through a number of different sociological and anthropological lenses to explore how songs can serve as an invaluable resource to participants in movements for social change.