Carole King has reworked her song and recorded it to inspire.
It’s probably the greatest protest shaggy-dog song/story ever. And Arlo Guthrie, somehow, still tells the story in his concerts. Block out a half hour. It’s worth listening, especially if you need a dose of intransigence to fuel your resistance.
Cake’s new tune features the group’s signature vocals and fuzzy guitars, but it’s far from a party tune. Proceeds from the sale of the single will benefit Doctors Without Borders.
Sweet Honey in the Rock included this tune on their 1976 self-titled album. Joanne Little was declared not guilty after she killed a guard in 1974 who forced himself on her. She became a powerful symbol for women’s rights.
Bob Dylan has never fit a mold, and when he wrote this monster of a protest song, even he was nonplussed:
From the liner notes of “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan: “I’ve never really written anything like that before. I don’t sing songs that hope that people will die, but I couldn’t help it with this one. This song is a sort of striking out, a reaction to the last straw, a feeling of what can you do?”
The lyrics are published here. Note that the song at the link leaves out a couple of trenchant verses.
Also, Dylan played the song live, as well, including this electric (in at least a couple of fashions) presentation.
Discovered that Pink isn’t afraid of a musical protest.
Jazz takes on stereotypes in a gathering of greats.
Here’s a suffragette’s hymn penned in 1910 by Ethel Smyth. Lyrics posted here come from this web site.
Shout, shout, up with your song!
Cry with the wind, for the dawn is breaking;
March, march, swing you along,
Wide blows our banner, and hope is waking.
Song with its story, dreams with their glory
Lo! they call, and glad is their word!
Loud and louder it swells,
Thunder of freedom, the voice of the Lord!
Long, long—we in the past
Cowered in dread from the light of heaven,
Strong, strong—stand we at last,
Fearless in faith and with sight new given.
Strength with its beauty, Life with its duty,
(Hear the voice, oh hear and obey!)
These, these—beckon us on!
Open your eyes to the blaze of day.
Comrades—ye who have dared
First in the battle to strive and sorrow!
Scorned, spurned—nought have ye cared,
Raising your eyes to a wider morrow,
Ways that are weary, days that are dreary,
Toil and pain by faith ye have borne;
Hail, hail—victors ye stand,
Wearing the wreath that the brave have worn!
Life, strife—those two are one,
Naught can ye win but by faith and daring.
On, on—that ye have done
But for the work of today preparing.
Firm in reliance, laugh a defiance,
(Laugh in hope, for sure is the end)
March, march—many as one,
Shoulder to shoulder and friend to friend.
After a trip to Peru, I come back to this bit of breaking news: The O’Jays of soul music fame have jumped into the political fray. AP is reporting the group is releasing its last studio album with an rhythm and blues single that leaves no doubt where its members stand.