Archive for July, 2011

26 July, 2011

100 songs of protest, rebellion and direct action for earth-animal-human liberation (P5/5)

A collection of songs, across a range of musical genres and many liberation movements, the oldest song is from the 17th century, the most recent is 11 July 2011… no deep meaning, just to entertain and inspire, mostly though, to entertain.
If I have missed any that you think should be here please let me know.
(I’m going to say, probably Not Safe For Work
Also possible that some songs may be blocked in some countries)

part 1part 2part 3part 4

81. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

The Revolution will be Live

82. The Revolution

Chris de Burgh’s song of Revolution and the fight for Freedom, because sometimes wanting things to change isn’t enough, you have to fight for change

83. These Things Are Worth Fighting For

An early 90s electonica song from UKs Gary Clail, about growing inequality in society, and the loss of dignity and self respect, it’s “No longer, one law for the rich and another for the poor, these things are worth fighting for”

84. This Note’s For You

Does anyone really need another song where the artist talks about how much money they have, their private jets, their brand of shoe, their brand of car, their brand of alcohol, how they are just regular people “from the block” (Dear J-Lo, I is not buying it that you is a regular girl).
This 1988 song by Neil Young, calling out artists for their “selling out” predicted the rise in the genre of music which is little more than a list of brandnames strung together with some interesting music behind it (due to Neil Young’s opposition to the commercialism of his music, it is difficult to find a better version of this song)

85. Took The Children Away

Details what it was like being a member of the “Stolen Generations” when it was official government policy to take the children of Indigenous people from their parents and families who were not neglected, abused or mistreated, and foster them with white families or in church run orphanages (the use of the word “Stole” in this context goes back to 1915)

86. Transformation

Nona Hendryx, Pam Grier & Betty performed this version of the song on The L Word in the 3rd season. “Transformation… Change your mind, Change your skin, Change your sex… It’s a sister thing, It’s a w-o-m-a-n thing

87. Two Tribes

A 1984 UK dance pop song from Frankie Goes To Hollywood, a song about nuclear war (the eighties artists seemed a bit preoccupied with issues of nuclear war), although, the tribes could represent any paired adversaries that go to war
“When two tribes go to war, one is all that you score”

88. US Forces

A 1983 rock song by Midnight Oil, denounces the United States Armed Forces’ involvement in foreign affairs, particularly that of USAmerican military bases in Australia. It was written over the concern for nuclear disarmament.

89. V For Vendetta

hardcore Anonymous Zeitgeist Australia, “Hate is all you know, Fear is always sold, Lies war and death” with a video clip that covers issues of privacy and #Anonymous

90. Vincent

Sometimes known, erronously, as Starry, Starry Night, by Don McLean. Not a protest song as such, but describes Vincent Van Goghs battle with depression. Putting into what what some people experience, in their daily battle of life.

91. (And The Band Played) Waltzing Matilda

by Joan Baez, a song about the fulity of war, and a young Australian soldier maimed during the Battle of Gallipoli (1915) during the WW1; written by Eric Bogle

92. John Williamson

this version of And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda

93. War

War, what is it good for, absolutely nothing…. (unless your in business of selling weapons, and get a no-bid contract then war is very profitable, but) it means the destruction of innocent lives
Two versions, the original 1970 Edwin Starr version, and a 1985 version by Bruce Springsteen, who says in the introduction to his song “Blind faith in your leaders – or in anything – will get you killed”
Edwin Starr

94. Bruce Springsteen

95. Wasteland Of The Free

Iris Dement, just one woman and her guitar, performed this bluegrass song in 1996, about the effect of lobbyist cash on the politicians who make the laws, the inequality in a society that rewards CEOs for cutting jobs then fighting to lower the minimum wage, and the effect that has in a country “where poor people are treated like the enemy” (this song so enraged a Florida USA republican politician that he got the funding pulled for a radio station that played it)

96. What Are You Fighting For?

Phil Ochs recorded this pop folk song in possibly 1964, which questions the futility of war, especially of those who most desire war. … (Warning: Contains images of BillO, George W and Rummy)

97. When Did Jesus Become A Republican

By the anti-folk singer Cindy Lee Berryhill, is a look at the US Republican party using religious imagery, that bares no relation to the Jesus that is in that bible book “when did Jesus… start throwing stones at the helpless when you can’t get health insurance… instead of sharing with lepers, start selling shares in Haliburton”.

98. Which Side Are You On?

Originally written by Florence Reece during the 1931 Miners Strike in Kentucky, this version is by Rebel Diaz, the political hip-hop (according to wikipedia) trio, who take a traditional workers protest song and an put some updated music and lyrics behind it

George Galloway MP, sets the record straight about wiping fascism, communism and zionism off the map

100. Your Racist Friend

Alternative band They Might Be Giants, released this anti-racism song in 1989, saying that “I know that politics bore, but I feel like a hypocrite talking to you and your racist friend”, whereas previously people might have laughed along with racist people at parties, but now it is time to say: I will not listen, I’m walking away.

Inspiration from

Greatest Eighties Protest Songs

Nation Readers’ Top Ten Protest Songs

– @EileenLeft

Protest Song

Top 20 Political Songs

26 July, 2011

100 songs of protest, rebellion and direct action for earth-animal-human liberation (P4/5)

A collection of songs, across a range of musical genres and many liberation movements, the oldest song is from the 17th century, the most recent is 11 July 2011… no deep meaning, just to entertain and inspire, mostly though, to entertain.
If I have missed any that you think should be here please let me know.
(I’m going to say, probably Not Safe For Work
Also possible that some songs may be blocked in some countries)

part 1part 2part 3part 5

61. Parade

A 2006 pro-strike, pro-industrial action song by Pretty Girls Make Graves (PGMGs are describe by wikipedia as “Post-punk revival”, but this sounds like a pretty pop song to me)

Out of the fields and the factory lines
Tell your brother and your sister, Tell your auntie and your uncle too
Tell your mother and your father, Your friends and your cousins and we need you
We’ve walked so far, But we can walk all night
We’re marching from the shipyards, We’re marching from the hospitals
We’ll take it to the town hall, We’ll take it to the capitol
(There is no good quality version of this on youtube or vimeo, this is a link to grooveshark
Parade on grooveshark, radio)

62. Political Prisoners

This 1996 industrial rock song by Insurge (written as iNsuRge), takes about how the law is used to punish arbitrarily. Private property crimes are the state protecting the rich from the poor, and that most laws are for the same reason: “I see no criminals, I see political prisoners”. Incarceration for drug crimes are not about the health of the user, but to protect the profits of the pharmaceutical / tobacco companies for the “oligarchy of the few”

63. Reconciliation Day

South African song by Koos Kombuis, a protest song, with the lyrics “Our streets run with blood, every day a funeral procession, they steal all our goods, on Reconciliation Day.” (included to show diversity of protest songs, not just about ending apartheit or the Vietnam war, but I am happy to be corrected by someone who speaks the language, I don’t want to let my ignorance stand in the way of a songs inclusion)

64. Redemption Song

Written in 1979 by Bob Marley when he knew he was dying, this song contains lyrics which are based on a 1937 speech by Rights activist Marcus Garvey. “We are going to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery because while others might free the body, none but ourselves can free the mind.”

Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros, has a spoken word piece at the beginning, (“people can change anything they want to, and that means everything in the world…”) recorded shortly before Strummers own death

“The man who is not able to develop and use his mind is bound to be the slave of the other man who uses his mind”
Bob Marley

65. Respect

Aretha Franklin’s 1967 demand for respect, especially for her sexuality, the repeated line by the back up singers of “Sock it to me” is about “respect for her sexual needs” (as wikipedia says, yeah, I don’t get it either: Clearly who ever edited that article never heard “Shave Em Dry” Lucille Bogan 1935, “You’ve Got To Give Me Some” Bessie Smith 1928, “I’m Wild About That Thing” Bessie Smith 1929), and if She, that Aretha sings about, didn’t get that respect, her man might come home to find her gone.

66. Revolution

“free your mind”.
The Beatles, it might be old, but it still kicks it.

67. Roll On

The Living End: a rock song about the 1988 Australian Waterfront Dispute, when the Federal Government backed private companies against the workers “We’ll protest in peace, keep the whole thing quiet, last thing needed is a wage fuelled riot”
(Due to copyright restrictions only live versions are available)

68. Seattle Was A Riot

Punk rock song from Anti-Flag, about the civil protests in Seattle against the WTO, in 1999, sometimes called “The Battle Of Seattle” by sub-editors who like rhyming headlines, because the word “demonstration” takes up too much space

69. Settle For Nothing

A rock song released by Rage Against The Machine in 1992

If we don’t take action now
We settle for nothing later
Settle for nothing now
And we’ll settle for nothing later

70. Stand

Alice Cooper and Xzibit from 2004
“If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything…. Stand Up”

71. Straight To Hell

This 2003 acoustic cover of a Joe Strummer The Clash song. Covers a broad range of topics, the loss of working class jobs in Northern England, alienation and racism felt by immigrants, the abandonment of children left behind by USAmerican troops returning home from Vietnam war, and people becoming disconnected from each other

72. Sun City

Artists United Against Apartheid (Kool DJ Herc, Grandmaster Melle Mel, Ruben Blades, Bob Dylan, Herbie Hancock, Ringo Starr, Zak Starkey, Lou Reed, Run DMC, Peter Gabriel, David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks, Darlene Love, Bobby Womack, Afrika Bambaataa, Kurtis Blow, Jackson Browne, Daryl Hannah, U2, George Clinton, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, Bonnie Raitt, Hall & Oates, Jimmy Cliff, Big Youth, Michael Monroe, Peter Garrett, Ron Carter, Ray Barretto, Gil-Scott Heron, Nona Hendryx, Pete Townshend, Pat Benatar, Joey Ramone, Miles Davis) came together in 1985 for this protest song written by Little Steven Van Zandt, as a statement by prominent artists that they would not play in the resort of Sun City in apartheid South Africa. It celebrates a very public boycott of racism.
These songs might be old, are the fight to end apartheit is over for South Africa, but it can show how in the space of only a few years, movements can have huge impacts.

73. Sunday Bloody Sunday

By U2 in 1983, about an incident in Derry (or Londonderry depending on your politics) in 1972, when British troops killed 14 unarmed civil rights protestors and bystanders.
Although U2 has said it is more than just about the Irish and the British, it is about anywhere that people are killing each other

74. Sunshowers

By UK alternative dance/grime artist M.I.A, this 2004 song has been heavily censored for various reasons, ranging from the video representing the side of the Tamils in the Sri Lanka civil war or the line “You wanna go? You wanna win a war? Like P.L.O I don’t surrender”. It is a song about the media dividing the world into bad terrorists (anyone we don’t like) and the good guys (the side you are on), and the former British PM Blair talking about violence at home, while declaring war on others.

75. Sweet Neo Con

Critical of George W Bush, USAmerica’s foreign policy of expensive wars for oil and prisons without trial. The Rolling Stones used this 2005 song to show the hypocrisy of Neo-Conservative politics, and how war is good for business.

76. Take ‘Em Down

A 2011 song by Dropkick Murphys (described as “celtic punk”) dedicated to the striking workers of Wisconsin, USA, during the long running industrial disputes in that state.
“When the boss comes calling, stand your ground”.

77. Takin’ It To The Streets

Thanks to @EileenLeft for the inspiration for this, it was her tweeting of this song that inspired this list
“Are you…telling me the things you’re gonna do for me, I ain’t blind and I don’t like what I think I see” and what happens when you don’t like poverty’s despair and living in hell, it’s time for …
“Takin’ it to the streets (takin’ it to the streets)”

78. Talkin’ bout A Revolution

“Poor people gonna rise up, take what’s theirs” Tracy Chapman

79. Tell Me What Democracy Looks Like

Not a song, but a protest chant, led by Mahlon Mitchell, president of the Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin, during the 2011 public union busting in Wisconsin.

80. The Revolution

From electronic artist, BT, 2001, takes Gil Scott Heron’s famous phrase that “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” (below) and says that it WILL be televised, on tv screens, satellite beams and phone lines, cable modems… “The Revolution will be fought in all forms of media, and wage war by whatever means necessary”

Inspiration from

Greatest Eighties Protest Songs

Nation Readers’ Top Ten Protest Songs

– @EileenLeft

Protest Song

Top 20 Political Songs

26 July, 2011

100 songs of protest, rebellion and direct action for earth-animal-human liberation (P2/5)

A collection of songs, across a range of musical genres and many liberation movements, the oldest song is from the 17th century, the most recent is 11 July 2011… no deep meaning, just to entertain and inspire, mostly though, to entertain.
If I have missed any that you think should be here please let me know.
(I’m going to say, probably Not Safe For Work
Also possible that some songs may be blocked in some countries)

part 1part 3part 4part 5

21. Conflict Diamonds

This 2010 Kanye West song, with featuring Nas, Lupe Fiasco, Jay-Z, and Dame Shirley Bassey, highlights the issue of “blood diamonds” or “conflict diamonds”, that are mined by children and sold to buy weapons, which goes into the subject deeper than the original “Diamonds Are From Sierra Lione” – Everyone wants diamonds without the bloodshed

22. Cows With Guns

This 90s alternative rock song by Dana Lyons, is one that every vegan or vegetarian has probably heard at least once in their life. When the cows have given up waiting for humans to stop eating them, and they have given up waiting for the liberationists to rescue them, they decide to go all Che Guevera on the meat-death industry and save themselves, with a little help from their friends, sharp shooting Chickens In Choppers

23. Dear Mr President

An open letter from Pink (accompanied by The Indigo Girls) in 2006 to George W. Pink is talking to a President who sees the world divided into the “Haves” and “Have Mores”, who thinks he got everything he did by hard work (and not daddy’s money), and by that logic, poor people are only poor because they don’t work hard.
Also references Cheney, Dick, and his anti-gay stance, even though his daughter is gay

24. Don’t Kill The Animals

Nina Hagen and Lene Lovich team up for this song in the early 80s. Although they talk about only going “vegetarian” (rather than vegan), it does feature a raid on an animal testing lab within the song

25. Don’t Stop

This 1976 Fleetwood Mac song, written by Christine McVie about moving on after her marriage break up, it can also be a song that no matter how bad things get as activists “Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow”, you can’t worry about yesterday, “yesterday’s gone”, you just keep moving forward

26. Dream Team

Spearhead re-imagines 10 African Americans to represent America, rather than just athletes, but people from all fields, and Rosa Parks gets the first seat on the bench

27. Express Yourself

A song against conformity and censorship, especially against urban artists at that time, and in favour of freedom of speech. …

In 1989, Triple J, an Australian radio station played the song on continuous loop for 24 hours (360 times) as a protest strike against censorship. When they were forced to stop playing > NWA’s “Fuck tha Police” <, {a protest song against racism in the Los Angeles police department} after playing it for the previous six months (the only station in the world at that time playing the song

And the message is, basically,
Express Yourself, if you have something to say, Say it.

28. Eve Of Destruction

Barry McGuire originally recorded this song in 1965, he performs this LIVE in 2008, and as he says at the end “when will we ever learn”, 45 years later and many of the themes are still current, that the world was on the edge of an self-created apocalypse, no matter how much some people want to deny it

29. Fight Song

Good Charlotte with The Game, in 1998 released this Fight Song, one of the targets was George Bush, it’s about the price of life, valued a little more than cannon fodder for politicians to send to war, or in every day life, sometimes the people stand up and say:
“This is our fight… We say ‘No!’ we don’t want that shit. We say ‘No!’ we can’t take that shit… This is a fight, this is a fight”

30. For What It’s Worth

By Buffalo Springfield in 1967, is a protest song, on behalf of young people (“hippies”) for their right to drink and go clubbing against a repressive curfew, and how they challenged the police (the “Man”) in a street riot, and if they wanted to continue to resist the curfew, the end result would be “You step out of line, the Man come and take you away” (ok, I’m doubtful about this explanation, where I live its used in investment commercials, but this is the explanation given by wikipedia

31. Fortunate Son

This 1969, Creedence Clearwater Revival song is about the Vietnam war, when USAmerica conscripted kids to go fight, exemptions were made for college students, which meant large numbers of soldiers were the working class and poor, not the Senators Sons, they were not the Fortunate Ones, like George W Bush, who could buy their way out.

When the rich wage war, it’s the poor who die. Jean-Paul Satre

32. Free Me

Ska-punk band Goldfinger’s, 2001 song explicitly about animal rights….. GO VEGAN, watch the video and have your heart broken about what we, as human beings, inflict on the other living beings on this planet

33. Freedom (Song For Egypt)

by Wyclef Jean, in February 2011, for the people of Egypt…. a peoples Revolution for Freedom, Equal Rights and Justice

34. Freedom For Palestine

OneWorld (a collective of musicians from UK and around the world), supported by Bishop Desmond Tutu and Alice Walker, released this song in july 2011. This song is so controversial, that simply including the link on your facebook page is considered abusive

35. Get Up, Stand Up

Bob Marley – “Get up, stand up, Stand up for your rights” (good point Mr Marley: They’re your rights, if you don’t stand up for them, why should someone else, so Stand up for YOUR rights)

36. Gimme Shelter

The Rollings Stones didn’t always sing about Mick getting some satisfaction, this song was written in 1969 in response to the Vietnam war, and the violence at that time.
The female vocalist, Merry Clayton, is unbelievably amazing.

Oh, a storm is threat’ning, My very life today; If I don’t get some shelter, Oh yeah, I’m gonna fade away
War, children, it’s just a shot away, It’s just a shot away…
Love, sister, it’s just a kiss away, It’s just a kiss away…
Rape, Murder, it’s just a shot away, It’s just a shot away

37. Give Peace A Chance

John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band, ask us to just give peace a chance. Its a catchy tune, that can easily be chanted or sung without accompaniment, which is a good characteristic of a protest song. (This is a video clip I created for this song to celebrate Liberation, Peace, and Social Justice)

38. Guns Of Brixton

1979 English reggae influenced punk rock from the Clash “When they kick at your front door, How you gonna come? With your hands on your head, Or on the trigger of your gun. When the law break in, How you gonna go? Shot down on the pavement, Or waiting on death row.”

39. Have You Been To Jail For Justice?

This political folk song from Anne Feeney, and her guitar – “If you’ve been to jail for justice, then you’re in good company… Laws were made by people, and people can be wrong… Rotten laws stays on the books, til folks like us defy it”

40. Heartland

“This is the 51st state of the U-S-A”, perhaps there are a lot of countries that feel that way, usually it is a dystopian vision, (although some may embrace it) this one is about life in Thatcher’s Britain, in 1986 by The The
The way this country is divided to fall,
So the cranes are moving on the skyline–
Trying to knock down–this town
But the stains on the heartland, can never be removed,
from this country, that’s sick, sad, and confused.

Inspiration from

Greatest Eighties Protest Songs

Nation Readers’ Top Ten Protest Songs

– @EileenLeft

Protest Song

Top 20 Political Songs

26 July, 2011

100 songs of protest, rebellion and direct action for earth-animal-human liberation (P3/5)

A collection of songs, across a range of musical genres and many liberation movements, the oldest song is from the 17th century, the most recent is 11 July 2011… no deep meaning, just to entertain and inspire, mostly though, to entertain.
If I have missed any that you think should be here please let me know.
(I’m going to say, probably Not Safe For Work
Also possible that some songs may be blocked in some countries)

part 1part 2part 4part 5

41. Homo-sapiens

From Pete Shelley of the Buzzcocks in 1982, this song was banned by the BBC for references to gay sex, but the message of the song is it doesn’t matter who you are, who you love or what you do… We are all homo-sapiens

42. Hunger Strike

Temple Of The Dog with Eddie Vedder, a song of injustice, especially injustice of food distribution, and the amount of starvation in the world, with two main actions of protest featured. Civil disobedience in the stealing bread to feed the poor, and civil defiance of going on hunger strike as an act of solidarity with those unable to eat.

Protest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy; it is absolutely essential to it.~Howard Zinn

43. Hurricane

I needed a Dylan song somewhere in this list, as many of the articles on protest songs mention him, so this is Bob Dylan: about the racism, police corruption and imprisonment of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter.

44. I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free

“Say it loud, say it clear for the whole round world to hear”, this song has served as both an anthem for civil rights and a brown-carbonated-cola-beverage commercial.
This song has come to be associated with the case of Gary McKinnon in recent years as he waits his fate at the hands of the UK Home Office, in what looks like a malicious, vindictive prosecution.
For more information about the persecution of Gary McKinnon….

45. Ich Bin Ein Ausländer

The title of this 1994 Alternative song translates as “I am a foreigner”, written in response to anti-immigration attacks that were occurring throughout Europe against migrants “When they come to ethnically cleanse me, will you speak out, will you defend me, trampled underfoot by the Right on the Rise”, you don’t defeat racism and racial violence by hoping it will go away “if the answer isn’t violence then neither is your silence”.

Phil Ochs: “A protest song is a song that’s so specific that you cannot mistake it for bullshit”

46. La Marseillaise

Yes, the French National Anthem. Aux armes, citoyens (To arms, citizens) . . . used by revolutionaries and rebels for two centuries. This version by Placido Domingo.

47. Liberation

As Lippy Lou sings in this 90s song, “if you’re in the closet… come out! … we are lesbian”, there is practically no information about the artist or this song anywhere, but its a joyous song of liberation (I think), and as Emma Goldman never quite said: “If I can’t dance, it’s not my revolution”, this, is the song you can dance to, for liberation

48. Little Boy Soldiers

An anti-war song by The Jam, in 1979, about politicians that only want to know you at election time (“our only contact was a form at the election”), but when voters plead for peace, these same politicians are deaf to those pleas. They are quite happy to send kids into war “we killed and robbed the fucking lot, but we don’t feel bad, it was done beneath the flag, of hypocrisy” (now, if it was soldiers who sent politicians into war, perhaps there would be more debate before we invaded other countries)

49. Malcolm, Garvey, Huey

By Dead Prez featuring Divine in 2010, this song takes it title from Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey and Huey Newton, “If you want to make it, study Malcolm, Garvey, Huey” and “organise”

“Free Mumia!”

50. Mass Destruction

Faithless, UK electronic band, in 2004 released their response to the mad leadership and unfettid ego of George W Bush’s war that destroys families. And while the media was obsessed with the search for non-existent weapons of mass destruction there were other WMDS. Racism, fear, greed, inaction, Haliburton, Enron are also weapons of mass destruction, but so is courage and education.

51. Meat Kills

By Consolidated from Friendly Fa$cism, and, uh, meat kills…. go vegan. This song makes the case that meat kills, not just the animals, but the people who eat them and the planet

52. Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)

Originally written Marvin Gaye in 1971, about human-made environmental destruction, this version was performed again in 2007 by UK soul singer Corinne Bailey Rae & John Legend, and as Bailey Rae says, not much has changed since it was written.

53. Motor City Is Burning

A 70s garage rock song by MC5 that looks at the Detroit (USA) Riots of 1967, when Motor City burned, the role of the National Guard and The Black Panther Party, soldiers, snipers and firebombs “I’d just like to strike a match for freedom myself”.

54. (Free) Nelson Mandela

Variously known as Nelson Mandela or Free Nelson Mandela, released in 1984 by The Specials AKA, this danceable-ska track is singing to Free the future South African president from prison.
And if songs like this become old, history, and no longer relevant, then good. It means the battle was won. They show that things can change… But the struggle for justice goes on

55. Never Buy The Sun

This 2011 song by Billy Bragg, is a celebration of a 22-year Boycott, by Northern Englanders against the Murdoch newspapers in Britain. When people are “crying out for justice” not buying a product can be a form of protest ….(This song is also available for Free legal download from

56. No Shelter

This 1998 song from Rage Against The Machine, “Make you think that buying is rebelling” when corporations sell you what you think you need, “the thin line between entertainment and war” is just buying other peoples misery, and hyper consumption, when you view the world “behind American eyes”

57. Not Ready To Make Nice

A 2006 country-pop song by the Dixie Chicks, written in response to death threats members of the group received for speaking out against the Iraq War. A song of defiance against hate.
“I’m not ready to make nice, I’m not ready to back down
I’m still mad as hell and I don’t have time to go round and round and round”

58. Nothing To My Name

This song by Chinese-Korean, Cui Jian, was considered China’s first rock song, Cui’s song was popular with protesters in Tiananmen Square, with its themes of disaffected youth and its sense of rebellion

59. Ohio

I found numerous references to this CSNY (Crosby Stills Nash Young) song from 1970 about the massacre of students at Kent University by the National Guard. It protests the actions of the soldiers and the oppression and repression in a pro-war culture that was the Nixon government – “Soldiers are cutting us down” and “Four, why? Why did they die?… How many more?”. The scenes in this video, from a 40 year old incident, look so much like the protests that occur now against the WTO and G8 conferences or the Austerity and Uncut protests, when governments refuse to listen to the people.

Different wars, same oppression.

60. Out In The Field

By Gary Moore and Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy, this 1985 rock song talks about the religious turmoil of Ireland.
“No colour or religion… No flag or uniform ever stopped a bullet from a gun”, no matter how many people keep dying day after day, nothing changes.

Inspiration from

Greatest Eighties Protest Songs

Nation Readers’ Top Ten Protest Songs

– @EileenLeft

Protest Song

Top 20 Political Songs

26 July, 2011

100 songs of protest, rebellion and direct action for earth-animal-human liberation (P1/5)

A collection of songs, across a range of musical genres and many liberation movements, the oldest song is from the 17th century, the most recent is 11 July 2011… no deep meaning, just to entertain and inspire, mostly though, to entertain.
If I have missed any that you think should be here please let me know.
(I’m going to say, probably Not Safe For Work
Also possible that some songs may be blocked in some countries)
Rebel Diaz: Music is resistance, it is the voice of the poor

part 1part 3part 4part 5

1. Unity Of Oppression

many, many brilliant Consolidated tracks to choose from, but this alternative dance/industrial spoken word style piece, from the 1991 album, Friendly Fa$cism, talks about the unity of oppression – Speciesism = Racism = Classism = Sexism = Capitalism = All-isms, and shows that it can’t be compartmentalise oppression, because it all comes from the same place

2. 99 Luftballons

The 80s German pop song (in the original German) by Nena is an anti-nuclear war and cold war military paranoia protest, back when the world believed they were 4 minutes to Midnight on the nuclear (“nuke-u-lar”) clock.

3. 16 Military Wives

This 2005 indie folk rock song from The Decemberists is an anti-Iraq war protest song, not just about USA Foreign policy, but also the media treating war as entertainment for the masses.

4. 1984

David Bowies’ 1973 song, was influence by Orwell’s novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, when people outsource their thinking to Big Brother who will “split your pretty cranium and fill it full air”.

Protest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy; it is absolutely essential to it.~Howard Zinn

5. A Change Is Gonna Come

Sam Cooke wrote this in 1963, and explimified why people continued to struggle, in their fight for civil rights in the 60s in the United States, when you want to give up, and the fight seems to huge for one person to make a difference . . . .
“It’s been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will”

6. Ain’t Done Nothing If You Ain’t Been Called A Red

Faith Petric and Mark Ross. From Rebel Voices: Songs of the Industrial Workers of the World.
In the style of 60s rebel songs – one woman and her guitar and a crowd sing-along, and the ability to be sung or chanted by others can give a protest song its power.
“well I kept on agitatin’, cause what else can you do? you gonna let the sons of bitches walk all over you”.

7. All She Wants To Do Is Dance

During the Greed-Is-Good 80s, Don Henley wrote this 1984 song, critical of the US Government involvement in the Nicaragua-Contra Rebel scandal, when the CIA and NSA were selling arms for drugs to fund one side over the other, meanwhile, the party girls in US, all they want to do is dance and drink molotov cocktails.

8. All You Fascists Are Bound To Lose

Originally written in the early 40s, by Woody Guthrie, this 1997 version is by Billy Bragg: “I’m gonna tell all you fascists you may be surprised, The people in this world are getting organised, You’re bound to lose, you fascists are bound to lose”.

9. Another Brick In The Wall

Beloved of school children, this protest against schools, books, teachers and “thought control” by Pink Floyd in 1979, has been adopted by peace protesters on both sides of the Israel / Palestine conflict, with the slightly changed lyrics of “We don’t need no occupation. We don’t need no racist wall”

10. “B” Movie

Gil Scott-Heron in 1981 talking about life in America under a B-movie actor for a president, and how politics has become show business

11. Bankrobber

The Clash, singing that sometimes life in prison for bankrobbing, but “never hurt nobody” isn’t as bad as a lifetime as a wage slave in a factory – “A lifetime serving one machine, Is ten times worse than prison”.

12. Ballad of John Henry’s Hammer

There were many versions of this song, but this is the Johnny Cash version (the video clip shows what steel driving is). John Henry was a folk hero of USAmerican labourers, and in the Ballard is worked to death in a battle against machines.

13. Bloodsport For All

Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine, early 90s UK indie rock that attacked the racism, abuse and bullying in the army, (and not animal rights), released at the start of the first Gulf War and banned by the BBC

14. Bloody Revolutions

1980 song from UK anarcho-punk bank Crass
“Well, freedom has no value if violence is the price
Don’t want your revolution, I want anarchy and peace”

15. Blowing In The Wind

Written by Bob Dylan in 1963, this song was a protest about war, ignorance, peace and freedom, and was a favourite during the struggle for civil rights in the USA during the 60s. Songs like this which were chanted during the Vietnam War protests, were dusted off during the Iraq war protests, which suggests that the themes of war, peace, and protest for social change haven’t changed in 40 years, it may also suggest that its time for more new songs. This version is Joan Baez from 1976

16. Burn Hollywood Burn

Public Enemy, Ice Cube and Big Daddy Kane 1989’s Burn Hollywood Burn, While I would never advocate burning a city to the ground, certainly not an entire city, as an act of protest (an insect might get injured), I do agree with the idea of not supporting something, in this case, refusing to pay to see Hollywood movies due to the use of stereotypes. Sometimes economic boycotts are the only thing that big corporations will listen to

17. By The Time I Get To Arizona

Public Enemy’s 1991 response to Arizona and New Hampshire refusing to honour Martin Luther King’s birthday

18. California Über Alles

Originally by the Dead Kennedys, this version is The Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy 1992, is about increasing repression from politicians, and envisions a fascist future for California, with references to Germany under Nazis and George Orwell’s 1984

(The Dead Kennedys California Über Alles and Gil Scott-Heron’sThe Revolution Will Not Be Televised (included below under T) two well known protest-awareness songs, mashed up into Revolution Über Alles)

19. Chains

DLT and Che Fu
Anti nuclear testing in the Pacific by the French “a picture of me in the dictionary under French fry” and breaking the chains of life in the city, all of which is just another day in the life of a New Zealander

20. Come Out Ye Black And Tans

An Irish rebel song from the 1920s in their fight to end the British colonial oppression of their country “Come out you black and tans! Come out and fight me like a man! Show your wife how …the IRA made you run like hell away”. This version by the Wolfe Tones.

Inspiration from

Greatest Eighties Protest Songs

Nation Readers’ Top Ten Protest Songs

– @EileenLeft

Protest Song

Top 20 Political Songs