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Post by MtotheC's Wrasslin Biatch on Fri 04 Nov 2011, 8:16 am

As we are approaching 11/11/11 and poppies begin to sprout upon the collars of dusted down raincoats, I was wondering what people thought the greatest anti-war or protest song is? Doesn't have to be an anti-war protest, it can be any cause (Rememberance Day is simply the context in which to shoe-horn my question).

Most are truely awful, cringeworthy efforts, sure - but there are those that can stir the emotions and really make you think about a situation. Though the power of music to heal a crisis is surely a glorious ideal, it does at least have the power to make us think and then take action ourselves.

Any favourites out there?
Any that have ever hit home and made you champion a cause - perhaps a cause you had no feeling on before?

I suppose the obvious one is the original Band Aid. So I'll mention that now to make it a little tougher Smile

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Post by Cari on Fri 04 Nov 2011, 8:47 am

Radiohead - Harry Patch (In Memory Of) - written about the last surviving British soldier from WWI.
John Lennon - Give Peace A Chance.
Jimi Hendrix - All Along The Watchtower.
The Clash - Spanish Bombs.
Carter USM - Bloodsport For All.
The The - The Beat(en) Generation.

The Alarm - Merry Christmas (War Is Over) - I'd recommend their version as opposed to Lennon's because they use a male voice choir instead of kids singing in the background and it's softer without the cheesy jingle bells. It's very moving and makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.

U2 - they've done quite a few protest/pro-peace/pro-human rights songs over the years. I'd recommend One, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Mothers of the Disappeared, Bullet The Blue Sky, Walk On and When I Look At The World.

Manic Street Preachers - they've done a few protest songs over the years as well, particularly their early stuff. I'd recommend PCP, If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next and SYMM for being thought provoking and sounding great.

Vietnam in particular set off a wave of anti-war songs. Someone even wrote a whole stage musical about the hippy peace movement (Hair). Billy Bragg made a career out of writing protest songs as did Bob Dylan.

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Post by Adam D on Fri 04 Nov 2011, 9:10 am

Cari wrote:

The Alarm - Merry Christmas (War Is Over) - I'd recommend their version as opposed to Lennon's because they use a male voice choir instead of kids singing in the background and it's softer without the cheesy jingle bells. It's very moving and makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.


Slightly off topic but this reminded me of New South Wales by them with the male voice choir.

Its particularly poignant to me as my grandfather would have been in that choir that sang but died a few months before. I always loved that song due to the memories it brings back.

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Post by MtotheC's Wrasslin Biatch on Fri 04 Nov 2011, 9:17 am

The other reason this is in my head is because I saw the Manics on The Jo Whiley Show last night - and James Dean Bradfield described "Faster" as a protest song against the acceleration of society - which I thought was just an excellent soundbite.

If You Tolerate This is an interesting paradox - a protest song against Fascism, yet can also be interpreted as a pro-war song. Staggering it got to number one - it never would these days.

Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name Of" is also an interesting mix of high and low culture. Originally a protest song against American authority, now synonymous with a protest against Simon Cowell's dominance of the music charts.

A lot of System of a Down's tracks are excellent barbs at American culture and governance.



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Post by GG on Fri 04 Nov 2011, 9:20 am

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Fortunate Son

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Post by MtotheC's Wrasslin Biatch on Fri 04 Nov 2011, 9:20 am

Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip - Thou Shalt Always Kill;

Can it be classed as a protest song against inane crap and liking what you're told to? I'm taking it as being so. And as such is a favourite.

Just an absolutely brilliant and thought-provoking lyric.

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Post by ADMIN on Fri 04 Nov 2011, 9:35 am

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised:

You will not be able to stay home, brother.
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and drop out.
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip,
Skip out for beer during commercials
Because the revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
In 4 parts without commercial interruption.
The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
Blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John Mitchell,
General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat
Hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary.

The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will be brought to you by the Schaefer Award Theatre and
will not star Natalie Wood and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia.
The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal.
The revolution will not get rid of the nubs.
The revolution will not make you look five pounds
Thinner, because The revolution will not be televised, Brother.

There will be no pictures of you and Willie Mays
Pushing that cart down the block on the dead run,
Or trying to slide that color television into a stolen ambulance.
NBC will not predict the winner at 8:32or the count from 29 districts.

The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
Brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of young being
Run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process
There will be no slow motion or still life of
Roy Wilkens strolling through Watts in a red, black and
Green liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving
For just the right occasion
Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and
Hooterville Junction will no longer be so damned relevant,
andWomen will not care if Dick finally gets down with
Jane on Search for Tomorrow because Black people
will be in the street looking for a brighter day.

The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no highlights on the eleven o'clock News
and no pictures of hairy armed women Liberationists and
Jackie Onassis blowing her nose.
The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb, Francis Scott Key,
nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom Jones, Johnny Cash,
Englebert Humperdink, or the Rare Earth.

The revolution will not be televised

The revolution will not be right back after a message
About a whitetornado, white lightning, or white people.
You will not have to worry about a germ on your Bedroom,
a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl.
The revolution will not go better with Coke.
The revolution will not fight the germs that cause bad breath.
The revolution WILL put you in the driver's seat.
The revolution will not be televised,

WILL not be televised,WILL NOT BE TELEVISED.

The revolution will be no re-run brothers;
The revolution will be live.

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Post by Enforcer on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 1:55 am

Cari wrote:Jimi Hendrix - All Along The Watchtower

You can't credit Jimi Hendrix with that, it is a Bob Dylan song!

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Post by legendkillar on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 7:42 am

The Sex Pistols - god save the queen

Very much the ultimate political song in my view.


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Post by Cari on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 8:00 am

Enforcer wrote:
Cari wrote:Jimi Hendrix - All Along The Watchtower

You can't credit Jimi Hendrix with that, it is a Bob Dylan song!

But the Hendrix version is better. I should've stated that, sorry.

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Post by Luke on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 2:11 pm

U2 - Sunday bloody Sunday,
Creed - One,
Big Country - Peace in our time,
Bob Marley - Redemption Song.
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Post by dyrewolfe on Sun 06 Nov 2011, 3:27 pm

Here are a few peace / protest / anti-war tunes that spring to mind for me:

Bob Dylan - The Times They Are A Changin'
Paul McCartney - Pipes of Peace
Queen - Hammer to Fall, The Miracle, One Vision
Def Leppard - Gods of War
Rage Against the Machine - Killing In The Name
U2 - Pride (In The Name of Love)
Gary Moore & Phil Lynott - Out In The Streets
Simple Minds - Belfast Child
Green Day - Holiday
Paul Hardcastle - 19

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Post by AberdeenSteve on Sun 06 Nov 2011, 4:08 pm

System of a Down - B.Y.O.B

Absolute belter!

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Post by Cari on Sun 06 Nov 2011, 4:13 pm

Hobo - being as you mention The Alarm, they did a great version of "Bells of Rhymney". That song was originally a folk tune done by Pete Seegar with lyrics written by poet Idris Davies about the 1926 general strike and coal mining disaster. The Alarm picked up on this during the miner's strike of 1984 as the lyrics still had relevance then. More bizarrely it's been covered by American artists like Bob Seger, Cher and The Byrds too.

Apologies for the crap video quality, but it's the only one I could find...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKmG1uh61iE

Couple of other good ones:

The Byrds - Turn, Turn, Turn
Marvin Gaye - What's Going On
Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes - Wake Up Everybody

Also, I wanted to mention The Jam. They wrote some interesting political lyrics - listen to "Eton Rifles", "Going Underground" - Weller continued this lyrical trend with The Style Council's songs as well.


Last edited by Cari on Sun 06 Nov 2011, 4:28 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by dyrewolfe on Sun 06 Nov 2011, 4:25 pm

Genesis or Disturbed - Land of Confusion

...also an absolute belter.
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