Ever wondered what soundtrack would go perfectly with that mass rally you’ve just so happen to be planning. Adam Kearney has got all the answers
‘Born in the USA’ – Bruce Springsteen.
Mistaken as a patriotic, flag-waving anthem to the point that it was used in Ronald Reagan’s re-election campaign – but listening to any of the lyrics other than the chorus, it’s clear that The Boss is venting his anger over the Vietnam War.
‘Fuck tha Police’ – NWA
Protest in the form of gangsta rap doesn’t come much finer than NWA’s seminal classic. Decrying institutional racism within the police force is surely a noble cause, however, the frequent references to killing police officers makes it a little harder to sympathise with Dr Dre and co.
‘Hurricane’– Bob Dylan.
‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ is possibly the best known of all protest songs, but ‘Hurricane’ is just a tad more interesting. We find Dylan defending boxer Rubin Carter and claiming he was wrongly accused of murder. Looking back, it would seem Carter might just have been guilty after all, but it’s still a nice tune.
‘Let Me Hold You, Little Man’ – Dewey Cox.
Dewey Cox has faced a lot of criticism throughout his career, being called a carbon copy of Johnny Cash and at times Bob Dylan. Some critics have even had the nerve to call him a fictional character in a spoof biopic, but nobody can deny the work this song has done in improving the lives of short people worldwide.
‘Killing in the Name’ – Rage Against the Machine.
Whether it is corporate greed, racism or even X Factor, Rage Against the Machine have just the song to kick start the revolt. Politically charged and inflammatory, RATM are truly the sound of the revolution regardless of which revolution that is.
‘Fight the Power’ – Public Enemy.
It’s disappointing that there’s now a whole generation who only know Flava Flav as a goofy reality TV star, but Public Enemy brought rap to the mainstream with revolutionary songs such as this one.
‘Street Fighting Man’ – The Rolling Stones.
The Stones most political song, it’s a call for revolution in London, which was quiet at the time compared to Paris and the US references to playing the game of ‘compromise solution’ captures the unrest felt amongst those because of the Vietnam War.
‘One’ – Metallica.
Inspired by the novel Johnny Got His Gun, this anti-war song is one of Metallica’s most popular. If the opening montage of clips hasn’t alerted you to its message, its downbeat chorus certainly will.
‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ – U2.
Bono bangs on about poverty, inequality and other such pressing issues so much so that it gets hard to stomach his self-righteousness after a while. However, when he express his message in songs as good as this protest against violence in Northern Ireland, it’s worth listening to.
‘Anarchy in the UK’ – Sex Pistols.
Poster boys of the punk revolution, protest doesn’t come much more rotten than the Pistols. The line ‘no future’ encapsulated the atmosphere of the time perfectly.
‘Where’s My Jumper?’ – Sultans of Ping FC.
It’s widely known that the jumper in question is a metaphor for social equality and harmony and the disco is the crazy world we live in today. So, Mr. Kenny, where is my jumper?