Protest Music

  • Slave Songs

    Slave Songs
    Between 1619 and 1865, slaves turned spiritual songs into protest songs. Spirituals served to express many values suchs as: democracy, community solidarity, protest, coded communication, inspiration, and motivation.
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    Protest Music

  • American Liberty Song

    American Liberty Song
    This song was written as a protest against economic oppression by Britain before the start of the Revolutionary War as a statement of dissent towards the Townshend Acts.
  • Revolutionary War

    Revolutionary War
    Once the Revolutionary War began, anti-war songs became patriotic songs.
  • Freedom's Anthem

    Freedom's Anthem
    This song promotes political equality for men and women. It is included in The Suffrage Song Book, a collection of songs from the suffrage movement. It declares that there is no freedom until there is equality
  • The Preacher and the Slave

    The Preacher and the Slave
    This song by Joe Hill was a protest against factory owners and those who preached "work hard and you will be rewarded" but wouldn't help out now. This song calls for worker solidarity and it is a critique of class structure.
  • Follow the Drinking Gourd

    Follow the Drinking Gourd
    "Follow the Drinking Gourd" is a song that gave directions to slaves to follow the big dipper to the north. Although it was used to give directions pertaining to the underground railroad, it was not published until 1928. Slaves were able to use songs that used metaphors as directions so that owners would not know what was going on.
  • Which Side Are You On

    Which Side Are You On Written by Florence Reece in 1931 and later sung by Pete Seeger, this song is a call of union support. After a series of violent assaults during the Harlan County War, this song was created to promote a union organization.
  • Strange Fruit

    Strange Fruit Strange Fruit was written by a school teacher who was horrified by lynching. This song protests Jim Crow laws and violent acts upon African Americans.
  • A Change is Gonna Come

    A Change is Gonna ComeA Change is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke is an optimistic song about the Civil Rights Movement. It encourages supporters to keep working because equality is close by. It has a message that says "don't give up until we've got it."
  • Born in the USA

    Born in the USA Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" is a song that highlights the poor treatment of our Vietnam veterans.
  • Same Love

    Same Love- Grammy's 2014 marriages This song, created by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert, is about marriage rights for same sex couples. It argues against the negative stigmas associated with being homosexual.