Saturday, May 22, 2004

War Songs

Over in the UK, Jonathan Duffy wanted to know where have all the protest songs gone? This was written in 2003, but it is still a valid point. There are no rallying songs or anthems to catch the spirit of the crowds. (Though the Bomb Iraq song is pretty good.)
This is not from a lack of trying. Here is a list of 10 songs made specifically about the war.

Last week, my brother and his girlfriend went to see Ani Di Franco in New York. Though I lived in Ani's hometown of Buffalo for a year, I was not exposed to her political songs until a DePauw student played one for me about two years ago. Her combination of poetic imagery, blatant political ranting, and catchy grooves made her a good addition to the fine tradition of protest songs.

Eric Idle has a new song about Iraq, the president, and the FCC. Warning, this contains one of George Carlin's seven words, repeated quite often.

Willie Nelson wrote the second protest song of his life, "Whatever Happened to Peace on Earth?"

The problem seems to be in the corporate structure of commercial radio. James Sullivan writes about the songs that you won't get to hear, thanks to Clear Channel. But we are not constrained to radio anymore. Bloggers and MoveOn should link to protest songs whenever possible. Air America should air these songs whenever possible. (I should say that I haven't been listening to Chuck D's show, has he been playing these songs?)

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