Political Protest Songs
January 28, 2005 5:45 AM   Subscribe

Best semi political protest songs? I'd like for them to be fairly recent if possible. Somehow relating to freedom of speech, etc.
posted by damnitkage to Society & Culture (23 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Hm. Discussed on MeFi here and here.
posted by Miko at 6:05 AM on January 28, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks Miko. Thought it might be but my wee brain (along w/the rest of my body) is a bit ill today and didn't have the patience to search...

Thanks again.
posted by damnitkage at 6:21 AM on January 28, 2005

Try the track 'oxygen' by Willy Mason from the album 'where the humans eat' .
posted by john-paul at 6:22 AM on January 28, 2005

Glad to help, and I'll take yet another opportunity to plug Phil Ochs, the master.
posted by Miko at 6:26 AM on January 28, 2005

"Okie from Muskogee," by Merle Haggard.

(Heh heh, sorry, couldn't resist. It really is a great song, though.)
posted by koeselitz at 7:10 AM on January 28, 2005

Billy Bragg - Accountability -

A year or so ago I went to a concert on the Tell Us the Truth tour. They all (Billy Bragg, Steve Earle, Tom Morello, Mike Mills) sang that song at the end, and I can't remember everything else they did, but the point of the tour was protesting corporate media control, so you might want to find a copy of the CD, which I see does exist.

Was a great concert, too!
posted by mygothlaundry at 7:24 AM on January 28, 2005

Not about First Amendment issues, but check out the song "Thanksgiving 1969" by Thomas Pace. It's on iTunes Music Store. There's one awkward line in it, but otherwise it's a great song. Draws a deft comparison between Vietnam and Iraq: both the military action and the tension between supporters and dissenters.
posted by AgentRocket at 7:31 AM on January 28, 2005

The Last Superpower AKA Rapscallion [mp3] by Primus
posted by sciurus at 7:32 AM on January 28, 2005

Steve Earle was mentioned in both past discussions, but his F the CC in particular is free-speech related.
posted by transient at 7:36 AM on January 28, 2005

Special Delivery from MC Frontalot
posted by Hands of Manos at 7:37 AM on January 28, 2005

When the President Talks To God by Bright Eyes is neat... and available for free download on iTunes at the moment.
posted by skylar at 7:43 AM on January 28, 2005

Freedom by Ellis. There's a sample mp3 linked from the track listing on the page.
posted by ursus_comiter at 7:48 AM on January 28, 2005

I tend to be partial to Pledge of Allegiance and Alert Status Red by Matthew Good.
posted by oaf at 8:16 AM on January 28, 2005

Jesse Don't Like It by Loudon Wainright III
posted by donpardo at 8:19 AM on January 28, 2005

Sleater-Kinney, "Combat Rock," off of One Beat, released in 2002.
posted by letourneau at 8:37 AM on January 28, 2005

How about anything by Rage Against the Machine.
posted by spicynuts at 8:39 AM on January 28, 2005

Very recent: R.E.M. -- "Final Straw" and "I Wanted to Be Wrong", both from their most recent album, Around the Sun.
posted by gramschmidt at 9:06 AM on January 28, 2005

Minnie Lou by John Flynn is one of my favorites.

"The Hall of Justice vestibule in front of your pedestal
Mr. Ashcroft did commence with his weekly press conference
The Attorney General boiled 'cause his photo ops were spoiled
By the sight of statues' lewd alabaster pulchritude"

posted by The White Hat at 9:46 AM on January 28, 2005

le tigre's 'get off the internet' and 'new kicks' are both pretty swell. jim white's 'if jesus drove a motor home' is subtle, but good.
posted by msconduct at 10:06 AM on January 28, 2005

Talking Heads - The Democratic Circus
An oldie but a goodie.
posted by Hanover Phist at 10:29 AM on January 28, 2005

Speaking of Bright Eyes, the Conor Oberst spin-off band Desaparecidos is generally more political, I find the song and the lyrics of "The Happiest Place on Earth" (from Read Music / Speak Spanish) to be particularly catchy. It can be downloaded here.

As for classics, Country Joe and the Fish have a great anti-Vietnam song, 'Fixin to Die Rag' that is pretty applicable today.

Sorry, neither of those are particularly about free speech.
posted by tweak at 12:10 PM on January 28, 2005

Eric Idle: FCC Song
posted by obloquy at 3:13 PM on January 28, 2005

Bobby Conn's Homeland lp. Especially the incisive "We Come in Peace" and "Home Sweet Home".

The Thermals' "God and Country" touches on freedom of speech. ("It's my flag, it's my flag!")

Sonic Youth's "Peace Attack"
Yo La Tengo's cover of Sun Ra's "Nuclear War"
Red Hot + Riot -- reworkings of Fela Kuti songs.

But I don't understand how a protest song can be "semi political".
posted by hydrophonic at 11:13 PM on January 28, 2005

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