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


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