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The Daily Wildcat


    The 13 best protest songs of all time

    Rowland Scherman
    Bob Dylan with Joan Baez during the civil rights “March on Washington For Jobs and Freedom” in August 1963. Dylan is known for his anti-war songs including “The Times Are A-Changin'” and “Masters of War”

    The U.S. has been fighting a war for 218 of the past 240 years it has been a country. That means, since its existence, the country has only been at peace for 22 years.

    This has affected the economy, jobs, technology and, among others, singer-songwriters. Over those 218 years, there were hundreds of protest songs written and preformed. Here are the top 13:

    1. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young — “Ohio”

    Four students were killed and nine were wounded by soldiers during a peaceful antiwar protest at Kent State University. This was recorded in response.

    2. Rage Against the Machine — “Killing in the Name”

    One of Rage’s debut songs, “Killing in the Name” is about racism, police brutality and defiance. Take it from the song itself: “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me.”

    3. Bob Dylan — “The Times They Are A-Changin'”

    You can’t have an anti war playlist without Bob Dylan on it at least twice.

    4. Bob Dylan — “Masters of War”

    See? Twice.

    5. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band — “American Skin (41 shots)”

    The Black Lives Matter isn’t too new of a movement. In 2001, Bruce Springsteen wrote this song about the death of Amadou Diallo, who was an unarmed black man shot 41 times by four police officers in New York City in 1999, according to The cops were completely acquitted.

    6. Beyoncé — “Formation”

    Beyoncé hits fans with this aggressive song about the Black Lives Matter movement, Hurricane Katrina and more. Watch the video on Rolling Stone here

    7. Ramshackle Glory — “Exploration of Coercion in Everyday Life”

    A song dedicated to gun violence and police brutality. “It’s not intelligence that keeps assholes rich, it’s fucking armies of blue rolling with full clips.”

    8. Dead Kennedys — “California Über Alles”

    Low-key written about California governor Jerry Brown.

    9. Wingnut Dishwashers Union — “Urine Speaks Louder than Words”

    “Cause urine speaks louder than words on a politician or on a prison warden.”

    10. Peter La Farge — “Take Back Your Atom Bomb”

    I bet you can guess what this one is about.

    11. Tom Robinson — “Glad To Be Gay”

    Same, Tom Robinson. Same.

    12. N.W.A. — “Fuck tha Police”

    Back when hip-hop still had some shock value.

    13. Mahalia Jackson — “We Shall Overcome”

    Before it was a Donald Trump joke.

    Follow Christianna Silva on Twitter.

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