What songs reference events in U.S. History?
January 13, 2014 12:56 PM Subscribe
Please help me create a comprehensive list of songs that reference events in U.S. History! I teach high school U.S. History courses, and each day between classes I try to play a song that references what we'll be studying that day - students try to guess who the song is by and how it relates to what we're studying as they come into class.
posted by leitmotif to Education (107 answers total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
Some eras (Vietnam, Civil Rights, etc.) are much easier to come up with songs for than others. The songs don't have to be *about* the event - it's fine if the event is simply referenced in one line of the song. I do try to incorporate a variety of genres, but lean towards more modern music (because students get more excited when it's music they recognize). It would be awesome to know the name of the song, the artist, and what event it relates to.
Here are some examples:
-Strange Fruit (Billie Holiday) - Lynching
-Buffalo Soldier (Bob Marley) - African-American soldiers in the Spanish-American War
-Death of Emmett Till (Bob Dylan) - Emmett Till & Civil Rights
-Rosa Parks (Outkast) - Rosa Parks
-Ohio (Neil Young) - Kent State
-99 Problems* (Jay-Z) - 4th Amendment
-An Amendment to Be (Simpsons) - Bill of Rights
-Power to the People, Free our People (Black Panther Kids) - Black Panthers
-Born in the USA (Bruce Springsteen) - Vietnam War
*I have to find 'clean' versions of songs with swearing in them, or just play a clip of them. I can work with that.