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Thread: Protest Songs

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  1. #1
    Registered User SkinnyDevil's Avatar
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    Protest Songs

    One of my students wants a bunch of protest songs, but is not certain which songs. I'm thinking plenty of 1960s stuff (Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, etc.) as well as some newer stuff, but I'm no expert on protest songs. A quick on-line perusal shows more people talking about songs, but not what those songs are.

    So, if you had to pick, say, 5 pre-1975 songs and 5 post 2000 songs, what would they be?

    So far I've got "Give Peace a Chance" and anything by Dylan (hahaha!!!). Any other ideas?

    Thanx in advance!
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    David M. McLean
    Skinny Devil Music Lab
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  2. #2
    In the woodshed rmuscat's Avatar
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    you got me here skinnydevil ...

    try U2 or Bruce Springsteen maybe don't know -- although i don't know any date related info, so my post might be just redundant ...


    edit: p.s. i'm not so sure about springsteen never digged his stuff i'm talking out of documentaries i might have seen
    Last edited by rmuscat; 12-22-2004 at 07:30 AM.
    Edwin Land: Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.

  3. #3
    Registered User ashc's Avatar
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    Alabama - Neil Young (Harvest). ..the one that gave us Skynyrd's tongue in cheek response.

  4. #4
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    CCR - Fortunate Son as a break from all that Dylanesque strumming.

    Post-1975: Bruce Cockburn -- If I had a Rocket Launcher, If a Tree Falls. Neither is a big guitar tune but if he wants to come up with an arrangement....

  5. #5
    Fender Freak doctorvetsill's Avatar
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    Fish Cheer/Fixing-to-Die Rag by Country Joe McDonald
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  6. #6
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    Ahhh, finally someone on this forum I can actually help .


    Okay, I DO happen to know a brand new song, although the actual artist isn't all that popular yet.

    Silvertide- 'Foxhole JC' (There hit song right now is 'I Aint Coming Home' just in case you're wondering)

    This one is more about the soldiers than the current government though.

    Some other ones I can think of at the moment

    Neil Young- 'Ohio'
    Spirit- 'Natures Way' (about pollution)
    Spirit- 'Fresh Garbage' (another pollution song)
    Ten Years After- 'If I Could Change the World' (this is a good one)


    Also a lot of Bob Dylan (as has been suggested) as well as Lou Reed songs would work. Lou Reed was in Velvet Underground and Buffalo Springfield (I think) as well as a solo career so plenty of stuff there. There's a Buffalo Springfield song that would work but I can't quite remember the actual name of...

    "Stop now whats that sound?
    Everybody look what's goin down"

    Okay, It was going to drive me nuts so I looked up the lyrics and the song title is "For What It's Worth"

    Hope that helps you out some. Personally, I'd start out with "For What It's Worth" and "If I Could Change the World"...or something by Dylan...but it's up to you so Good Luck.

  7. #7
    Groovemastah DanF's Avatar
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    Don't forget War Pigs by Ozzy :P
    "In improvised music you easily can tell who is a guitar player and who is a musician." - Maarten (fellow IBMer)

  8. #8
    Registered User SkinnyDevil's Avatar
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    Wow! Great suggestions!

    I should note that she plays acoustic guitar and will be playing these songs as the sole guitarists with several people singing.
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    David M. McLean
    Skinny Devil Music Lab
    www.skinnydevil.com

    "...embrace your fear..."

  9. #9
    Modally Challenged!!!! mattblack850's Avatar
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    How come no-one's mentioned the godfather of all protest songsters???????

    Woodie Guthrie?????
    Simple yet brilliant!!!

  10. #10
    Registered User Barking Pumpkin's Avatar
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    Well....If you look through Frank Zappa's discography you'll find that a whole lot of his work is protest, or at least government type satire. "Mom And Dad" is probably the type thing you're looking for. There are really a whole lot.

  11. #11
    Registered User IdViscous's Avatar
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    A Perfect Circle has that eMotive album which is like their tribute album to protest songs from over the years... I havent given it a good listen, but their Imagine cover is very eeire.

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