Should artists be writing about their personal politics and releasing songs which espouse a definite political point of view?
Some artists write political songs while others never do so. Some songs are real specific; obviously left wing or right wing. Is that a good idea? Doesn’t this typecast the Artist? Won’t this alienate some of the potential fans of an Artist? It may endear the Artist to a specific group of people that hold the same or similar political views but it may also achieve the opposite effect with possible fans that don’t share those view at all.
The heyday of USA political songs was in the mid sixties early seventies. It was almost fashionable for folk and rock Artists to sing protest songs. The trend seems to be coming back.
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Shortly after the 9/11 Attacks on the USA quite a few songs came out directly about that (Neil Young, Paul McCartney, Charlie Daniels, many indie artists) and also patriotic songs were abundant of and on the Net.
The MoJo Wire’s Top 20 Political Songs
Boogie Down Productions, “Love’s Gonna Get’Cha (Material Love)”
Elvis Costello and the Attractions, “Peace in Our Time”
Frankie Goes to Hollywood, “Two Tribes”
Gang of Four, “At Home He’s a Tourist”
Geto Boys, “Mind Playing Tricks on Me”
Paul Hardcastle, “19”
Husker Du, “Turn on the News”
Los Lobos, “Will the Wolf Survive?”
Minutemen, “This Ain’t No Picnic”
Pet Shop Boys, “Domino Dancing”
Liz Phair, “6’1″”
Prince, “Sign ‘O’ the Times”
Public Enemy, “Can’t Truss It”
Lou Reed, “Strawman”
The Smiths, “The Queen is Dead”
Sonic Youth, “Youth Against Fascism”
Talking Heads, “Once In a Lifetime”
For more detailed information regarding these Artists and song go to:
The Mojo Wire’s Top 20 Political Songs
No doubt there will always be political songs of some kind. While some feel that artists should not espouse political causes, others feel it is a duty for artists to express whatever they feel that they wish to.
©2002 Phil Frazier
Phil Frazier on mp3.com
BBC Political Songs
Political Songs of Newfloundland
Songs to Comfort the Disturbed
Methinks they don’t protest enough
Songs for Political Action
Protest Songs of the 1960’s
Greatest Eighties Protest Songs