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Opinions please: Protest Singers

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kendall 02 Jan 04 - 02:06 PM
Rapparee 02 Jan 04 - 02:11 PM
Clinton Hammond 02 Jan 04 - 02:16 PM
DebC 02 Jan 04 - 02:18 PM
Charley Noble 02 Jan 04 - 02:23 PM
Kim C 02 Jan 04 - 02:31 PM
Ed. 02 Jan 04 - 02:43 PM
Cluin 02 Jan 04 - 02:46 PM
pdq 02 Jan 04 - 02:47 PM
fat B****rd 02 Jan 04 - 02:50 PM
Clinton Hammond 02 Jan 04 - 02:54 PM
Cluin 02 Jan 04 - 03:05 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 02 Jan 04 - 03:14 PM
harpgirl 02 Jan 04 - 03:17 PM
Ed. 02 Jan 04 - 03:18 PM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 02 Jan 04 - 03:26 PM
GUEST,Clint Keller 02 Jan 04 - 03:27 PM
Kim C 02 Jan 04 - 03:29 PM
Ed. 02 Jan 04 - 03:32 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 02 Jan 04 - 03:34 PM
Richard Bridge 02 Jan 04 - 03:36 PM
Amos 02 Jan 04 - 03:38 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 02 Jan 04 - 03:43 PM
Ed. 02 Jan 04 - 03:51 PM
pdq 02 Jan 04 - 03:55 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 02 Jan 04 - 04:01 PM
Cluin 02 Jan 04 - 04:09 PM
C-flat 02 Jan 04 - 04:28 PM
Cluin 02 Jan 04 - 04:35 PM
Charley Noble 02 Jan 04 - 04:43 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 02 Jan 04 - 04:56 PM
Kaleea 02 Jan 04 - 05:05 PM
GUEST,Les B. 02 Jan 04 - 05:34 PM
Mooh 02 Jan 04 - 05:43 PM
freda underhill 02 Jan 04 - 05:54 PM
SINSULL 02 Jan 04 - 06:04 PM
plum 02 Jan 04 - 06:06 PM
PoppaGator 02 Jan 04 - 06:13 PM
GUEST,Chip2447 02 Jan 04 - 06:42 PM
Alaska Mike 02 Jan 04 - 06:55 PM
Gareth 02 Jan 04 - 07:07 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 02 Jan 04 - 07:13 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 02 Jan 04 - 07:28 PM
GUEST,si 02 Jan 04 - 07:30 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 02 Jan 04 - 07:35 PM
GUEST,heric 02 Jan 04 - 08:10 PM
Mark Clark 02 Jan 04 - 08:12 PM
MAG 02 Jan 04 - 09:14 PM
Big Mick 02 Jan 04 - 09:26 PM
Fred Miller 02 Jan 04 - 09:40 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 02 Jan 04 - 10:37 PM
LadyJean 02 Jan 04 - 11:04 PM
NicoleC 03 Jan 04 - 02:07 AM
kendall 03 Jan 04 - 06:47 AM
Clean Supper 03 Jan 04 - 07:47 AM
kendall 03 Jan 04 - 10:09 AM
Jeri 03 Jan 04 - 10:59 AM
Janice in NJ 03 Jan 04 - 11:18 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 03 Jan 04 - 01:21 PM
Ebbie 03 Jan 04 - 01:35 PM
kendall 03 Jan 04 - 02:02 PM
NicoleC 03 Jan 04 - 03:59 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 03 Jan 04 - 04:23 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 03 Jan 04 - 06:05 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Jan 04 - 07:10 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 03 Jan 04 - 09:35 PM
freda underhill 03 Jan 04 - 09:43 PM
LadyJean 03 Jan 04 - 11:39 PM
Hrothgar 04 Jan 04 - 03:30 AM
Suffet 04 Jan 04 - 12:04 PM
kendall 04 Jan 04 - 01:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Jan 04 - 01:27 PM
Cluin 04 Jan 04 - 01:49 PM
Peter Woodruff 04 Jan 04 - 01:56 PM
Richard Bridge 04 Jan 04 - 03:38 PM
GUEST 04 Jan 04 - 05:31 PM
InOBU 04 Jan 04 - 05:41 PM
Cluin 04 Jan 04 - 05:50 PM
The Fooles Troupe 04 Jan 04 - 05:53 PM
johnfitz.com 04 Jan 04 - 06:08 PM
The Fooles Troupe 04 Jan 04 - 06:22 PM
tar_heel 04 Jan 04 - 06:30 PM
GUEST 04 Jan 04 - 06:37 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 04 Jan 04 - 06:59 PM
Peter Woodruff 04 Jan 04 - 07:30 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Jan 04 - 07:33 PM
Ed. 04 Jan 04 - 07:40 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 04 Jan 04 - 08:03 PM
Peter Woodruff 04 Jan 04 - 08:29 PM
pdq 04 Jan 04 - 09:54 PM
InOBU 04 Jan 04 - 10:21 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 04 Jan 04 - 11:51 PM
Kent Davis 05 Jan 04 - 12:50 AM
GUEST,The 05 Jan 04 - 08:03 AM
Barry Finn 05 Jan 04 - 10:12 AM
Barry Finn 05 Jan 04 - 11:21 AM
GUEST,The Benn Agency 05 Jan 04 - 11:29 AM
GUEST,heric 05 Jan 04 - 11:54 AM
GUEST,heric 05 Jan 04 - 12:06 PM
dianavan 09 Jan 04 - 02:09 AM
Clean Supper 09 Jan 04 - 07:52 AM
GUEST 09 Jan 04 - 11:42 AM
GUEST,ella 09 Jan 04 - 01:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Jan 04 - 02:31 PM
Nemesis 09 Jan 04 - 03:11 PM
GUEST,Cliff McGann 09 Jan 04 - 04:12 PM
dianavan 10 Jan 04 - 02:19 AM
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Bobjack 14 Jan 04 - 03:23 AM
Sandina 14 Jan 04 - 04:48 AM
saulgoldie 15 Jan 04 - 01:01 PM
freda underhill 21 Jan 04 - 11:21 AM
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Subject: Opinions please
From: kendall
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 02:06 PM

I don't know what thread heading this should be in, so, I didn't use one. My question is this:

Back in the 60's when our government was out of control, there were more protest singers than you could count. Now, as far as I'm concerned, it is even worse, yet there are no rebels to prove the pen is mightier than the sword. Why?


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Rapparee
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 02:11 PM

'Cause there's no air time, a LOT of apathy, and no money in it. Sorry if I sound a tad bitter and cynical.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 02:16 PM

More likely cause it didn't change anything then... So why would it be expected to change anything now?


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: DebC
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 02:18 PM

Hi Kendall,

There are a few. We just aren't hearing about them. Here are four names:

Joe Jencks
Anne Feeney
Chris Chandler
Steve Earl (a wee bit more well-known)

I am sure there are many others, but these are the ones that came to mind just now.

All the best,
Deb Cowan


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 02:23 PM

About the only political/satirical songs I hear are the Capitol Steps on National Public Radio, and that's pretty lite and only happens once a year. Maybe, Kendall, you'll have to write one yourself, release it, and see who shows up at your door.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Kim C
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 02:31 PM

I think they're out there - we just don't hear them on the radio. As someone else already said, it's not profitable. Supposedly.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Ed.
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 02:43 PM

Sadly, the pen isn't mightier than the sword.

Small power the word has, and can afford us
Not half so much privilege as the sword does

Anonymous Pamphleteer, 1649


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Cluin
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 02:46 PM

Because our society has ADD. Things move faster and faster; nobody stops long enough to listen and are mostly wrapped up in their own little worlds because when they look out they are blinded by all the flashy light thingies going off everwhere all the time. The centre cannot hold.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: pdq
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 02:47 PM

Rap is protest music, Kendall...I'll send you some...and some ear plugs...


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: fat B****rd
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 02:50 PM

Good point pdq, Rap seems, of all genres, to enrage some 'catters.
I think the late Joe Strummer made a good point when he said that he tried to persuade people not to vote for the wrong person and if they didn't learn then - then they're not going to now.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 02:54 PM

" The centre cannot hold."

That implies there ever was a centre...


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Cluin
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 03:05 PM

I blame the media.

And the church.

And my parents.

And Elvis.




But not William Shatner.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 03:14 PM

Rap used to be be more protest than it is now... seems like the primary protest is now that guys aren't getting enough

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: harpgirl
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 03:17 PM

Kendall, for my money, John McCutcheon fills this bill but as he notes, the songs that we call protest songs don't pay the bills because they aren't popular. But you can hear some of his wonderful Protest songs on his website.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Ed.
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 03:18 PM

Jerry,

I'm not a rap fan myself, but your comment is uninformed and prejudiced.

I'd have expected better from you.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 03:26 PM

Hey Ed

I'm informed and not really prejudiced.

Rap sucks. Jerry's right.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: GUEST,Clint Keller
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 03:27 PM

I just found out that Tom Morello, guitarist for Rage Against the Machine ("a politically charged rock band" and my grand daughter's favorite group) until they broke up and now playing in Audioslave, has recently begun performing folk songs as the Nightwatchman.

This, he says is "..an extension of my politics. Then again, some of the songs are not explicitly political... Once you prick the vein you never know what is going to come out."

Two years ago he formed Axis of Justice, an organization to "…bridge between progressive-minded musicians, fans of rock & rap music, and local grassroots organizations."

There's an interview in the January 2004 issue of The Progressive and that's where I got all this.

He says "People will read a book or pamphlet only once, but a song they can sing again and again in their heads."

Sounds to me he's on the right track; I want to check him out farther.

And it seems to me it's the men with pens who give instructions to the men with swords. For instance, all our soldiers in the Near East didn't just suddenly decide to go there on their own; our Fearless Leaders are well known to have "other priorities" than using the sword themselves. And they're dangerous.

clint


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Kim C
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 03:29 PM

I'm not going to side with Jerry or with Ed but I have to say, that most of the rap music I have been hearing on mainstream radio in my particular market (Nashville, TN) is, in fact, sex-related. (Nelly... 50 Cent... Missy Elliot) I do realize, however, that's only a small part of what's being recorded and sold.

Regarding Missy Elliot, though, it's kind of interesting to hear a woman addressing subjects that have been traditionally addressed by men. But that's another story.

Back to regular programming.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Ed.
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 03:32 PM

Rap sucks

Does it? I hate it myself, but loads of young people love it. Who are we to argue with them?


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 03:34 PM

I would also add John Flynn to the top of Deb C's list, as well as people like Rod MacDonald, SONia, Ani DiFranco as well as the "old guard" such as Tom Paxton, Kim & Reggie Harris, Utah Phillips and many others who are out there on the lines. I hear numerous "protest" or "topical" songs from a variety of artists, not all of who specialize in that type of music.

I think selective memory also tends to cloud our memories. I would turn Kendall's question around and ask "who were the protest singers in the 1960's?"    Sure I remember songs from people like Joan Baez, Phil Ochs, Peter LaFarge, Peter,Paul & Mary and Buffy Sainte-Marie, but even these artists did more than just sing. They appeared in demonstrations and worked for change.   If we think back on the 1960's, there were LESS outlets for this type of music in the media. Certainly top-40 radio wasn't playing the protest songs of Phil Ochs. The outlets were the WBAI's and college radio stations of the day, and the same outlets exist today.

I challenge that there are just as many artists today involved in such causes. Folk music may not be as "mainstream" as it once was, but there are still musicians singing about important issues.   As for the pop music world, it isn't just Britney and Justin. There are messages getting out from some artists, just as they did in the 60's.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 03:36 PM

I don't hear much rap in which I can hear the societal concerns so present in 60s protest (folk-style) music. But true I find modern rap much harder to listen to musically than I did the first steps into rap, in which, even with an outsider's ear, I could hear the rythms.

But I was going to say that I do find that one of the few things that is nice about the present UK government (and I would have guessed much the same about the US) is that so many of the songs I learned when I was first revolting ("the students are revolting") are now again very relevant.

Let's see - just a few -

Eve of destruction (change refrain to "Tony believes they had the means of destruction")

Masters of War.

We shall overcome.

(True traditional folk) Rigs of the times.

Shoop Shoop (the vote song).

Times they are a-changing.

All my trials.

Streets of London.



The venality of central government has not changed. The greed of mainstream society has not changed. Do we need new protest songs, or wil the old ones do?


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Amos
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 03:38 PM

Well the musicians in the 18-24 range that I know disdain it as highly unmusical and under-disciplined.

And I agree with them!! :>)


A


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 03:43 PM

Talk about thread drift - now we are getting on the "is rap music" thread which was talked about ad nauseum. Can't we stick to the subject and agree to disagree about rap??


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Ed.
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 03:51 PM

Ron,

I fear that you're missing the point if you wish to 'unentagle' rap and protest songs.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: pdq
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 03:55 PM

Ron...even if the subject of Rap is not always protest oriented, the attitude is. We have "protest overlaod" condition, and people are no longer listening.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 04:01 PM

PDQ - First, I have nothing against rap. I agree that rap has strong political content and attitude. I am not a fan of style, but I do appreciate what the artists are doing.

I see your point about "protest overload", but I'm not sure if I agree.   I think part of the issue is that most protest songs tend to preach to the choir.   That isn't a bad thing, but it does tend to create an "overload" of sorts.   

Ed - I guess I am missing the point because I don't understand what you are trying to say.   My "point" was that this discussion should not turn into an arguement for rap music, pro or con.   That has been discussed in other threads.   The "rap is music" discussion really doesn't have anything to do with Kendall's request for a discussion of where are the protest singers.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Cluin
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 04:09 PM

I would say more "attitude overload" rather than "protest overload".


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: C-flat
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 04:28 PM

The music business is largely concerned with youth culture and the truth is that todays youth are less politically minded than those of the days of the protest-song-era. Even without neccessarily understanding the issues, it was difficult not to get swept up in the many student movements that were around then. Maybe it was the excitement of discovering that the young actually had a voice and maybe that fact is taken for granted today, to the extent that it isn't used much.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Cluin
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 04:35 PM

It's mostly the idealism of youth needed for popular protest and they are mostly watching the T & A and washboard abs paraded about on MTV, to a mind-numbing industrial backbeat.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 04:43 PM

It's about time to clear the air here!

What rhymes with "Bush"?
What rhymes with "liar"?

Maybe it don't need to rhyme...

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 04:56 PM

If the generation from the "protest-song-era" was more politically motivated, then how did the world get so messed up? If we were really that much more involved, don't you think some of the problems we face today would have been solved a long time ago? This is a generation that protested the Vietnam War yet managed to get Richard Nixon elected president. I don't mean that as a complete knock, I am just trying to point out that apathy is not a new phenomenon in 2004.

The youth of today are doing their part. When I look at the faces in the crowds that protested the war last year, the majority appears under 25. When I see groups helping to feed the homeless, I see young faces pitching in. They are out there.

MTV? Have you watched more than just TRL?   MTV has produced some excellent documentaries dealing with important issues. Tune in January 14 to see Gideon Yago's documentaries on Iraq where he has interviewed Iraqis as well as American soldiers on how the war is affecting young people.   MTV also is heavily involved with Rock the Vote which has helped get young people to the voting booth.

Sure, those of us over 45 might not care for the music, but I don't think we are paying attention to what is really being said and rely on sterotypes that have been perpetuated.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Kaleea
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 05:05 PM

Kendall,
    You are right! The gov't is worse, world & national conditions are worse, & there does not seem to be the big thrust among our youth to protest as in the 1960's. Instead, they are taking college courses about the 60's! I have heard "protest" of sorts songs from the youth of today, and most of them have their own they-recorded-it-themselves CDs for sale on they-built-it-themselves-but-it-ain't-mainstream websites, which is good but not in the public eye. Much of it may not be within my normal musical tastes, but little current music is--due to my geezerosityness syndrome.
    While much of the music tends to be in the "drop out, tune out & turn on" genre, I have heard songs which suggest that the listener actively march, sing, petition, etc. for whatever cause. I agree that there are fewer protest marches & sit-ins & anti-whatever rallies. There tend to be more organized events inside a building, but a few are held outdoors. I have found a few websites for various peace, environmental, & special interest causes which tell of local events.
    When my nephew became active in the world peace scene, I taught him some good old protest &/or peace songs. He invited me to a regional--which led to a national--meeting of youth. The youngsters were quite receptive to this old gray gal with hippie-ish ideals of peace. I taught them some of the old protest songs & a few international songs including a couple of Chants by an (India) Indian Guru, & suggested that they ask their grandparents about the protest rallies & sit in's etc of the "olden days," & that they should ask their grandparents to participate alongside them. They shared some of their songs with me & a few hundred of our closest youthful friends. My nephew & I heard back from many of the kids that their grandparents, indeed, were willing to work side by side with the kids for the cause of peace. Amazing, huh?
    Sooooo, if you have a fav cause, talk to your kids, grandkids, nieces/nephews, kids you know, or do a search & check out the websites & get your arthritic backsides out of your recliners & find a local group & help the youngsters know the power of the pen & the guitar (or whatever) & voice! You might want to take your celebrex along.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: GUEST,Les B.
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 05:34 PM

Kendall - I suspect it's because the media isn't as enamoured with today's protestors as they were in the 60's. Back then seeing cute hippy chicks stuff flowers down the barrels of National Guard guns was a good "human interest" bit on the evening news. And, if the cameras happened to catch some earnest youngsters strummin' and singin' for all they were worth in front of a crowd of hundreds, then the protest singers got their brief moment in the sun.

Now, the station owners - radio & TV - are generally hard-nosed businessmen who'd rather have right wing mouths like "Rush" espousing business oriented issues (sometimes indirectly)


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Mooh
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 05:43 PM

Protest singers? You gotta be kidding! There are lots of them as already listed here, but corrupt-big-business-corporate-hate-and-war-mongering-polluting-thieving-imperialist-bastard-elitists have another agenda. Even the lowly Dixie Chick who makes one timid remark gets blackballed, and they're pretty establishment compared to real protest songers.

Take a look around, how many of anyone wants their greed-driven lifestyles and comfort zone threatened by outside thought?

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: freda underhill
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 05:54 PM

In Australia we have a number of choirs around the country whose purpose is to turn up to sing protest songs at rallies, marches & various community events. These include The Solidarity Choir, the Sydney Trade Union Choir, the Illawarra Trade union choir, the People's Chorus (just in NSW) & more.

The Solidarity Choir was the first of these choirs, formed in 1987, when Oliver Tambo, then President of the African National Congress, came to Sydney on a speaking tour. Sydney-based anti-apartheid activists brought together ANC members and Australian supporters to learn the anthem Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrica and other freedom songs to sing at a public meeting at Sydney Town Hall on 30 March. It was so much fun that the members decided to continue singing together. And so the choir was born!

The Solidarity choir does about 40 gigs a year, at rallies, fund-raisers for a wide range of community groups and solidarity movements, and folk festivals. Some of performance highlights over the years have been:

Our first performance in 1987, singing Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika for Oliver Tambo and the African National Congress
Performing Miguel's original choral piece 'No Wealth From War' at a demonstration protesting against the AIDEX arms exhibition in Canberra in 1991
Singing with four other choirs for Nelson Mandela's visit in 1992, at St Mary's Cathedral and on the steps of the Opera House in front of 10,000 people
Singing for Bishop Desmond Tutu's visit in August 1993
Performing at the 1994 and 1998 National Folk Festivals in Canberra - both on our own and with six other trade union choirs from around the country
Singing at Petersham Town Hall in 1994 to celebrate the election of Nelson Mandela to the South African presidency
Singing for an anti-gun rally in the Domain, Sydney, in 1996
Performing at the opening of the 1997 ACTU (Australian Trade Union) Congress in Brisbane, as part of a massed choir of more than 100 voices from eight trade union and community choirs - premiering a new composition written for the event
Singing at the Australians for Native Title (ANTAR) rally in support of the historic Wik decision, in the Domain, Sydney, in October 1997
Perfformances at the Woodford Folk Festival in Queensland (over 90,000 attended the festival)
Singing at the party for Mick Dodson, aboriginal activist and former Social Justice Commissioner, on his retirement from the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission
Closing (with the Sydney Trade Union choir) the mass rally in support of the Maritime Union of Australia at Sydney Lower Town Hall in February 1998, and singing at crack of dawn picket lines throughout the waterfront strike
Supporting the Song Company at the Sydney premiere of the 'Quito' East Timor song cycle, Newtown Theatre, in August 1998
An evening of choral music for International Women's Day, St Stephen's Church, in March 1999
Premiering Miguel's arrangement of Grandola Vila Morena at the Portuguese National Day Festival, Portuguese Club, Sydenham, in June 1999
Entertaining the participants at the National Social Policy Conference dinner, Water's Edge, Sydney in July 1999
Opening a series of citizenship ceremonies for South Sydney Council, at Paddington Town Hall and Redfern Park
The mass rally in support of East Timor, Hyde Park, Sydney, in September 1999
Supporting Kavisha Mazella at the Three Weeds, Rozelle, in September 1999
The inauguration of the Korean Tilers' branch of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), Campsie, in November 1999
Supporting Roy Bailey at the Three Weeds, Rozelle, in April 2000
Singing for the mass rally in support of East Timor, Hyde Park, Sydney, in September 1999
Singing at a midnight vigil in Sydney on the eve of the East Timorese independence referendum, September 2000
Singing at the Walk for Reconciliation across Sydney Harbour Bridge in May 2000
Touring the UK and Ireland in July 2001 -- including performances at the Tolpuddle Martyrs' Festival, the Social Policy Association conference dinner in Belfast City Hall and the Sidmouth International Folk Festival, plus other highlights too numerous to mention!
Singing at the rally in support of asylum seekers and refugees, Villawood Detention Centre, September 2001 ..and more.

these choirs are really inspirational, sing very well, and are great fun. they have been part of a social movement of music to uplift and motivate people in whatever cause they are working for. the solidarity choir went on tour to the UK in 2001 and met some similar choirs in London and Wales.
(I have to learn how to do those blue clickies)


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: SINSULL
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 06:04 PM

There is no draft. Young people forced to fight whether they agreed with the cause or not and their parents and friends and wives were a group receptive to the peace message.

How ironic that the young men with exemptions (union members whose work was critical to the war effort...the government's claim, not mine) proudly waved the flag in the faces of those who were marked to go. The middle class could take refuge in a college exemption. The poor could not. Were the draft to be reinstituted today not only would that same middle class be unable to hide their sons in colleges but their daughters would be prime meat for the slaughter as well. And then the protests would go mainstream.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: plum
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 06:06 PM

i think that the problem is that if we choose not to let it bother us, all the bad stuff going on won't affect us. For a lot of people, wars far away have no physical impact of them, a child starving in Africa has no impact on their lives, people being exploited doesn't affect them. And this may be a cynical point of view, but i think a lot more people would be protesting if it was about they themselves being hard done by. i don't see too many young protest singers in mainstream culture protesting on behalf of others. its often they are protesting for themselves, but it also happens to be an issue in other people's lives too.
I think many of us in western culture are so caught up in our problems we choose to ignore the plights of others who are much worse off. so is the question that we don't care enough anymore? Because if we don't care, how much impact will it have on you? For a lot of people, only a guilty conscience, which they will ignore as best they can.
but you know if anyone was screwing them over in even the smallest way, they'd be the first to moan and complain about it.
So to answer where are all the protest singers, and particularly the young ones, maybe they aren't bothered enogh to protest. And i know this doesn't apply to everyone, but a lot of people from my school went on the anti war marches not cos they were desperately against the war, but because they want to be some cool peace loving john lennon-esque hippy. Because lets face it, going on a march was quite a trendy place to be for a lot of young people, and their reasons for being there may not have been the best ones.
i'm not trying to say all young people are ignorant, uncaring idiots all caught up in themselves and their image, cos i'm 16 and i don't think i'm like that and i know many people who aren't either, but a fair few are and i think many children are growing up learning that they can get away without worrying about others, so they won't be protesting.

And i'm sorry it took such a long time to get that all out.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: PoppaGator
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 06:13 PM

Back in the 60s, being subject to military conscription (the draft) made "protest" extremely personal for huge numbers of young men in the US. Factor in the girlfriends, siblings and (sometimes) parents of guys who could be involuntarily inserted into a kill-or-be-killed situation, and you had a critical mass of highly concerned people.

However screwed up and and dangerous the current world situation might seem to you or me or some hypothetical young person, the same life-or-death immediacy (**MY** life or death, that is) just isn't there.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: GUEST,Chip2447
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 06:42 PM

Maybe its because the World isn't as bad as some of us think. Perhaps, the ideas and mores of society havent been offended enough to warrant protest by the general public. Maybe we've become jaded, or maybe its only a fraction of the population who feel like things are going to hell in a handbasket. Perhaps people are tired of naysaying and doom mongering and want to look on the brighter side.
Personally, I think that there is more to the situation than can easily be explained.

Chip2447(not even an amature sociologist)


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Alaska Mike
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 06:55 PM

Don't you worry Kendall. As soon as Dubya's minions reinstate the DRAFT, all those 18-25 year olds will suddenly become VERY political. Once that age group opens their eyes to the danger they are in, I believe protest songs will once again hit the TOP 40.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Gareth
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 07:07 PM

Hmmm ! - Speaking from the UK side of the pond I would dispute the statement "our Government is out of control" - Your government may be, but at least amongst all the crap, lies and direct encouragement to anti working class enactments that GWB Jnr espouses, there is one beacon of decency, the removal of Saddam Hussain.

Not that this outways his other sins.

I suggest that the removal of the draft might be a cause for the downsizing of musical protest.

But then no one, not even DougR, can claim that GWB Jnr volunteered to put his own life on the line in Viet-Nam. That is a pity for if GWB Jnr had been in that position, mixing with conscripts etc., seeing life from the fire line, his attitude might be different.

But on the subject of "RAP", I fear that I must sympathise with the views of Kin Howells MP. Any music that treats firearms as "fashion accessory" is out of order. - At least in Country & Western the young Cowboy who "took his guns to town" tended to die with his boots on, either meeting a faster gun, or dangling on a rope.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 07:13 PM

Les B. hit on a good point. In the 60's the anti-war movement (and other movements) made for good television. There were also much better spokepeople. Abbie Hoffman made for great theater. He knew how to work the media unlike many of the activists today. Whenever you hear a spokesperson or a singer today, they are USUALLY (emphasis on usually because there are no definites) very somber and try to get out as much information as possible in the brief time the camera is turned on. IT IS BORING.   As much as I detest the bile he spits out, Rush Limbaugh knows how to work his audience. The left does not have anyone like that today. Sure there are very good speakers, but I have yet to see one that can reach across an audience they way an Abbie Hoffman could. It is one thing to have an anti-war protest, but it is another to levitate the Pentagon. Are the cameras going to follow someone who is holding a placard or someone who is creating a moment.

Likewise, if you ask someone with only a casual interest in music to name an anti-war song from the 60's, I would bet the majority would first name "Feel Like Fixin to Die Rag" - even if they don't know the name of the song. It's sheer irreverance grabbed the listener and they couldn't help but join in.

Again, to get back to the original topic, I think the youth of today have things well in hand, probably better than we did at their age. All of us weren't hippies in the 60's and not everyone protested the war. We had our share of slackers and people who only cared about getting high or saving their own ass. Life hasn't changed, just the clothing. Come to think of it, even that hasn't changed radically.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 07:28 PM

Universities, which were a center of protest in the 60's, are totally different institutions nowadays. Liberal arts education in which students are encouraged to ask tough questions has largely been pushed aside by business and computer science programs. Most students today are looking for whatever job skills they need to be able to afford a BMW and a wide-screen TV, not answers to perennial moral questions. Why would today's university students want to protest against an Establishment that most of them are only far too eager to go to work for?

Bruce


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: GUEST,si
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 07:30 PM

Protest singers since the sixties? Those who spring to mind who have used their voices to express their opposition to differing issues, would be ------Elvis Costello, Billy Bragg, Joe Strummer, Bono, Peter Gabriel,John Lydon, Shane McGowan, Frank Zappa.

Maybe Zappa would count as sixties too though.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 07:35 PM

Sorry Bruce, but it was the generation that attended those universities in the 60's that made the demand for the BMW's and widescreen TV's you talk about. Who do you really think is buying them?    The universities of the 60's were only centers of protest because that is where the kids were hiding out from the draft.

Let's be honest here. Apples never fall that far from the tree. It seems that a lot of people are blaming the kids for not caring enough, but they are just emulating their parents. I think the blame that is being aimed at today's youth is coming from an older generation that is really angry at themselves for selling out.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: GUEST,heric
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 08:10 PM

I buy Ron's theory above. Further, I imagine there are more protest singers than ever, as with any item, but that the massive diversity of available products makes them less visible. Back in the day (the sixties => seventies), marketers were focusing their talents on the demographic which just happened to be the "protest" generation.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Mark Clark
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 08:12 PM

I confess I passed over this thread several times thinking of Clint Eastwood's line, in one of those Dirty Harry films, about opinions.

I understand exactly what you're asking, Kendall. I sang, and still sing, a great many of the old labor and protest songs. I was proud to march with Dr. King, I was proud to be on strike, I was proud to be a voice of dissent at labor conventions and, at the time, I felt as though we were making some progress. I didn't go to Woodstock 'cause it was only a rock festival and I thought, at 27, I was pretty well beyond that. I didn't see rock and roll as being about peace, I saw it as being about money.

The young leftists were either competing to see who could become the most radical or, like Jerry Ruben, chucked the movement and joined Wall Street. They lost track of making the world a better place and settled for just attracting attention. As Charity suggests, a lot of people joining marches may merely have been curious and not really thinking for themselves at all.

At the time, we thought we were working to make society live up to its potential. We'd been raised to think citizens had some responsibility in that area. We didn't really mind taxes, they were just the price of having this amazing country. We thought mainstream society had lost its bearings and needed some help getting back on track. The situation today is far, far worse than our worst fears of forty years ago. Begining in the '70s and lasting into the '90s our society abandoned its focus on the success of the larger group and replaced it with a completely narcissistic veneration of ego. Everyone was admonished to "do your own thing" without regard to consequences or the needs of others.

We (Kendall, me and others of our advanced age) were raised on quaint slogans like "I am third" and actually took the golden rule seriously. We thought having such amazing relative wealth also came with certain responsibilities. Today, it's everyone for himself and damn the rest.

No one today really believes that a protest will have any effect. Perhaps it began in Ohio at Kent State. It was completely unthinkable that troops would actually shoot unarmed students, but there it was. We were back in Ludlow Colorado or the 1913 Masacre. We wondered how soon people would be hanged in Haymarket Square.

Fuled by undreamed of avarice, unbridled capitalism together with organized crime has literally purchased or stolen everything on a global scale. Our governments, our representatives, our watchdogs, our media, our natural resources, our religious institutions… everything.

Forty years ago, the idea that regular folks could just make their own music was radical for most city people. We'd come out of the social straightjack of McCarthyism, we'd figured out that ducking under our desks wasn't going to protect us from a nuclear (nucular?) blast. We'd seen, through Ghandi and King, that a large mass of peacful protesters could have an effect and we were in the midst of that short period during which governments thought twice before pulling the trigger. All we had to do was remind people of their best instincts and let them see what they were condoning by inaction. Once they saw the connection, most people were, to some extent, behind the movement.

The value of protest was in how it was viewed and reported by the media. If police were photographed beating people because they wanted to vote or go to school, there was outrage among nearly every segment of society. People could be persuaded to vote for the best interests of the whole society. Today's "me first" electorate can't see beyond the two SUVs in the driveway.

I don't know how to fix any of this stuff but I keep thinking Canada and France look pretty attactive.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: MAG
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 09:14 PM

One younf reservist I know is trying real real hard to get out of it. She is of the generation that didn't yet understand the War Machine and how perpetual it is.

Now that young Americans are dying the enlistment rate is going to plunge, and then we'll see. I imagine the re-up rate will sink, too.

There is a reason I was singing Zeke Hoskin's "Freedom Toast" at every song circle in my vicinity. Humor with a point. Put Zeke on your list and no, he doesn't get any air time either.

At one song circle where I sang the song Hank Kramer was also. I greatly admire his singing and playing, and I also hate his politics.
(From his time in special ops: "Rio Coco is muddy and wide, alleluia; Sandinistas on the other side...")

The protest songs just need to be better than the flag-waving crap.

Pete Seeger's whole life is a shining example.

Oh, and all us boomers were coming of age in the 60's and    70's. We will ALWAYS be the pig in the python.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Big Mick
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 09:26 PM

Kendall, in my solo career I consider myself a protest singer. I try to peform songs and write lyrics that draw attention to injustice the way that Rick Fielding did in Voices of Struggle, Eric Bogle did in a number of songs such as Chains and Green Fields of France, etc. Anne Feeney gets a strong credit from me. There are a fair amount of social activist singers out there, but airplay is non existent. We rely on our live performances. I am trying to put the bucks aside for a CD of issue related original and others stuff, but I know it will not make any money. It will be more of a statement. That is fine.

The key, as Ron pointed out, is being more of an activist who performs than the opposite.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Fred Miller
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 09:40 PM

I'm not sure which is worse, there being no money or media attention in protest songs, or there being money and exposure in it. After all, it's not really that hard to rhyme "Bush" or "liar" (he burned his tush/his pants were on fire) and even "Osama" makes an easy rap rhyme for "yo mama." I'd rather not see again the equivalent of Rob Reiner as a hippie singing "blowin' in the wind" on an episode of Gomer Pyle, which I really did see. Rap began as a very crude, homespun and innovative style with lots of interesting artistic implications and anecedants, and its popularity has rapidly turned it into a stupid cartoon parody of itself.
My opinion is it's a good thing to be able to throw a rock and not necesarily hit a political protest singer, because it's artistically easy to fake it, to make your loose stuff look tight, and to make yourself think you're doing something important by cynically cashing in on a trend--just ask Bob Dylan about Masters Of War.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 10:37 PM

Mick - I just have to correct you on one point - "airplay is non-existent".   There are a number of radio shows that DO play socially relevant songs and protest songs. There are some radio shows that ONLY play music of that sort. Speaking for myself, my program is a mix of styles but I do include music such as you describe, and I am not alone.    The difference between 2004 and 1964 is that "folk" music is not a hip trend that is embraced by a relatively large audience. In 1964 "folk" music could be heard on commercial radio stations, but it wasn't the protest variety that you describe.

If you look at the Folk-DJ list, you will see that today there are literally hundreds of shows airing across the country, and the majority of them DO play songs of a topical nature. It may be selfish of me to ask this, but why aren't more people listening?

My father-in-law was a program director for a local radio station during the early 60's. The station used to broadcast live concerts from Palisades Amusement Park, a venue that is sadly only a memory. One night the station had booked an artist whose name everyone here would know. (I will only say it wasn't Pete Seeger.) Before the broadcast the station management made it clear to the artist that the station would pull the plug if any controversial songs were performed. This artist grudingly complied.   

I only mention this story to illustrate the constraints that were placed on musicians during the 1960's.   We often forget just how restrictive radio was during this time. The songs that did get airplay were either sugar-coated imitations of folk music, or songs that were relatively "safe" choices - such as Peter, Paul & Mary's "Blowing In the Wind" (a song that had great social significance, but was not overt in its message as many protest songs were.)    What is amazing, and a testament to the strength of the "folk revival", is that the songs we all remember were passed on largely through concerts, magazines like Sing Out! and Broadside, and communal sharing of songs in hoots and the like.   THIS is what is missing in the year 2004. Yes, Sing Out! is alive and well, but the readership is not at the numbers it was in the 60's.   There are fewer venues that present this type of music, and the audiences SEEM to be dwindling (based on attendance at several clubs in the NYC/NJ area.) There are powerful songs being written, but fewer people are getting the opportunity to hear them.   Check out some of the names mentioned - Joe Jencks, John Flynn, Anne Feeney, Ani Difranco and others. They do reach younger ears, but as we know, the strength is in numbers.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: LadyJean
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 11:04 PM

We might mention the Dixie Chicks. Long may they sing.
I think Eminem did some kind of protest rap. I really really hate rap music, so I don't know.
Here in Pittsburgh, two bands Rusted Root and Anti Flag sing protest songs. They have a fair sized following.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: NicoleC
Date: 03 Jan 04 - 02:07 AM

A modern protest thread, and no one has mentioned Willie Nelson yet? Of course, his fan base runs too deep (and he's probably beyond caring about his popularity at this point), so he doesn't risk much with his 2nd protest song.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: kendall
Date: 03 Jan 04 - 06:47 AM

I was going to mention Willy and his protest song.
Good ideas here, and probably all valid. Clinton, you may be right, but I'd like to think otherwise.
Seems to me the thing that killed the Viet Nam war was TV coverage of the "body count". All those coffins coming home with the cream of our crop of young soldiers. That's why you don't see that today; George doesn't want you to. Doug, that's a fact, not my opinion.

We hAve become a nation of greedy, myopic consumers and as long as we have that republican attitude, "Pull up the ladder, I'M aboard." We will continue to be screwed by the robber barons.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Clean Supper
Date: 03 Jan 04 - 07:47 AM

I write and sing protest songs. A living example of the continuing existence of protest singers. I am currently putting my songs on a website but it´s not up yet and I´ve recorded some. The above-mentioned Solidarity Choir sings some of them too.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: kendall
Date: 03 Jan 04 - 10:09 AM

That thing about the draft is close to the truth. If George brings that back, the shit will hit the fan.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Jeri
Date: 03 Jan 04 - 10:59 AM

Well, Kendall said protest singers. Sure, rap probably incudes a lot of protest, but I don't really see most of us learning rap songs to share with others at pubs, song circles and gigs. I REALLY don't see Morse Code doing covers of Eminem.

I think a lot of people just don't like being preached at, and that's what many protest songs can sound like. I like Tom Paxton, but even he can get preachy at times. The best songs are ones that just tell stories or show pictures. They imply protest, they make the listener think and come up with their own conclusions - a risky thing.

In the 60's, most of us were younger. We listened to Dylan, Baez, PP&M, Paxton, Seeger ON THE RADIO, and it made some of us us want to sing. That style of music just isn't popular enough to get into the Top 40 these days. Mass media doesn't inspire would-be singers to go learn how to play guitar and sing a protest song. Rap IS hugely popular, and it's what a lot of people who are now at the same place in their lives we were in the 60s listen to. It's the style that inspires them.

It's a pop culture thing, and many of us prefer unpopular music. Small record labels, hole-in-the-wall venues and local performers mean it's pretty difficult to hear or just hear about protest singers of the day.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 03 Jan 04 - 11:18 AM

To the names that Deb Cowan mentioned, let me add the following in no particular order:

Pat Humphries
Sandy Opatow
Holly Near
Alix Dobkin
Ruth Pelham
Bev Grant
Jamie Anderson
Charlie King
Karen Brandow
Luci Murphy
Joel Landy
Judy Gorman
Fred Stanton
Eliot Kenin
Si Kahn
Kim Harris
Reggie Harris
Larry Otway
Bob Blue
Paul Kaplan
Jon Fromer
Len Chandler
Patricia Shih
Collen Kattau
Utah Phillips
Rosalie Sorrels
Matt Jones
Sharon Abreu
Tom Neilson
Phil Hoose

and of course...

Pete Seeger
Peggy Seeger

I am certain other Mudcatters can add to the list!


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 03 Jan 04 - 01:21 PM

We have Janice! You've added some great ones. Most of the names mentioned have been of an older generation. Does anyone have any "under 30" musicians to add?


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Ebbie
Date: 03 Jan 04 - 01:35 PM

(Jerry R Jan 2 3:14: one could say that blues says the same thing. *G*)

I think it's important to note that in our own communities people are writing and singing and recording protest songs. In Juneau, Alaska, a number of people are known for it- in addition to their other songs. I'm thinking specifically of Buddy Tabor and of Pat Henry. Songs like 'Mr.Basketball Shoes', and 'Get Stuffed'and lots more.

AlaskaMike, I know you're a prolific writer- do you do protest songs?

It would be interesting to read - and hear- the lyrics that Mudcatters are writing.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: kendall
Date: 03 Jan 04 - 02:02 PM

I wrote one around the loss of real country music but what I had in mind was the political situation.
I repeat, rap is to music what etch-a-sketch is to art.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: NicoleC
Date: 03 Jan 04 - 03:59 PM

I'm sure classical lovers say the same of folk. And country music lovers say the same of rock. And rock music lovers say the same of Top 40 pop. Music is not an entity with a precise definition that we can hold works up to for comparison and classification.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 03 Jan 04 - 04:23 PM

"... come mothers and fathers
throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daugheters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin".

And they said Dylan's music would never stand the test of time. I guess he was writting about his own generation after all. The gift of foresight.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 03 Jan 04 - 06:05 PM

Hey, Ed:

I don't like rap, but I don't want to knock it. But, the earliest rap was really street music about fighting for equal rights. There was a lot of stuff about police brutality, which rarely gets TV airplay. I have no doubt that there is still "protest" rap being written and recorded. I don't listen to the radio that much, so my exposure is the black video channels and MTV. Every time I flip by, I stop for a moment to see what's happening. Mostly rotating buts, crotch grabbing, breast jiggling and talk about getting a ripe young thang in bed. I wonder if Electric Avenue (not rap, I realize) were released today, if anyone would play it?

Maybe that's where the protests are still alive...

Reggae, Mon.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Jan 04 - 07:10 PM

There are plenty of people writing and singing good songs about real things. Sometimes they are angry about things that could be changed, sometimes happy because the changes are coming, sometimes sad because they are the wrong changes.

A term like "protest songs" suggest that these are all the same type of songs, and implies that they are all about standing and shouting out in a temper, and that's not true, and never has been.

There are songs that belong on picket lines and rallies and marches, and they tend to come up when they are needed, and most of the time they are pretty simple and straightforward and to the point. Perhaps "protest songs" is a fair name for those kind of songs, and they can be worth their weight in gold.

But there's room for songs that don't belong there, and yet which aren't pap. And they keep on coming along all the time, even if they don't get played on the pop stations too much.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 03 Jan 04 - 09:35 PM

Good point, Kevin. People may not think of older songs like Peg And Awl,Cotton Mill Collic or Penny's Farm as protest songs, but they certainly were. One thing you find in older protest songs is a sense of humor. Very dry humor, but I love it. They could probably get their point across better by making people laugh, even while their awareness was heightened. They could laugh at themselves, too. "Serves them people, suits 'em fine, for thinking that a mill was a darned gold mine."

Protest songs now are mostly serious, man. And angry. Subtle as a brick (don't you just hate generalities?) Real People's Music books some fine talent, focusing on their activism. They are agents for Sy Kahn and Peggy Seeger, among others. Both singers I enjoy greatly. I asked the owner of Real People's Music, tongue in cheek, how he knows whether people are real or not. If there's some simple test you can do to find out, I'd like to know it. I was wondering even if I was real. Or as Pogo would say, A Fig Newton of my own imagination.
Gee, maybe I'm a guest in my own life :-)

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: freda underhill
Date: 03 Jan 04 - 09:43 PM

we have a fantastic young singer song writer in oz, paul spencer.

i even think he's>30.

he's off picking oranges in spain!


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: LadyJean
Date: 03 Jan 04 - 11:39 PM

I had an argument on Tuesday with a miss of perhaps 19, who was telling us all how wonderful China was because they had no social programs so everybody had to work or die. Those were her words not mine. The younger generation isn't what we were.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Hrothgar
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 03:30 AM

Maybe we aren't listening in the right places - of all the names Janice listed above, I've only heard of seven, and that includes the two Seegers.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Suffet
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 12:04 PM

Greetings:

I just heard Pat Humphries, Sandy Opatow, and Jon Fromer at the Peoples' Voice Cafe in New York City last night, and the place was packed to capacity. These are people who are out there, and they are being heard -- at union meetings, at conventions, at conferences, at political rallies, and at direct actions (such as the annual School of the Americas protest in Georgia), as well as in concert. But for the most part, they and the rest of the people on Janice's list, are being frozen out of the mass media. The commercial radio stations won't touch them with a 50-foot pole. TV talk shows, except for a few on public access cable, don't invite them. National Public Radio might give them some airplay -- they did a feature on one of Pat Humphries' songs two years ago, Swimming to the Other Side -- but for the most part they are afraid of offending their corporate and government sponsors. Even most college radio stations these days shy away from anything that could be construed as controvesial. Mudcatter Ron Olesko's WFDU is a notable exception. The Pacifica radio stations, such as WBAI here in New York, do have the guts to play contemporary topical-political songs, but they are only a handful.

Deb Cowan mentioned four names. Aside from Steve Earl, you may have some trouble finding them, but if you get a chance to hear Joe Jencks or Anne Feeney and Chris Chandler, then by all means do so. They are fantastic performers.

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: kendall
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 01:08 PM

That miss of 19 has never gone to bed hungry while the fat cats say "Let them eat cake."


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 01:27 PM

There've always been people who think like that young lady. You have to keep an eye on them. It's the kind of fanaticism that can end up in orchestrating famines and settimg up death camps.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Cluin
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 01:49 PM

We're all protest singers. We make sounds to protest the silence. Because we can.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Peter Woodruff
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 01:56 PM

I LOVE protest songs. When I retire I'm going to work for Walmart, not as a Walmart greeter, but a Walmart complaint department associate. That way I can get lots of raw material for protest songs about change we don't need!

Peter


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 03:38 PM

Two thoughts.

First, we seem to be short on UKprotest songwriters...

Second, the miss is not only a fascist pig but is also wrong. A material point of discussion in China today is the extent to which state banks recycle funds into loss-making enterprises precisely in order to provide a social program. It may (anathema to me) be a sort of workfare, but it is a support program for income and housing that would not be provided by western style capitalism.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 05:31 PM


First, we seem to be short on UKprotest songwriters...


Just a thought - we didn't have commedy clubs back then. Is that where the "protest" talent has gone?


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: InOBU
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 05:41 PM

THANK YOU JANIS! And yes, Steve is right, we are frozen out of the mass media, if it weren't for Rick Fielding, WBAI, and a bunch of colege statations, I'd be pissing in the wind (the answer my friend is...) Beyond that, the search for protest singers under 30 often means at rally's there is age discrimination against us old bastards.
Cheers.
Larry


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Cluin
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 05:50 PM

"Never trust anybody over 30", Larry?


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 05:53 PM

Willy Nelson has a new song out protesting the war - when asked if it might upset some people he basically said "Stuff 'em"

Robin


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: johnfitz.com
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 06:08 PM

A part of the problem might be that much of the protest music of the sixties was galvanized around the anti-war movement. That movement was driven by the sheer power of emotion. Many of the songs had that raw power as their foundation. Protest songs are now written, to a large degree, by people who sing from an ideological point of view. There is an intellectual purity and predictability that doesn't always make for powerful songwriting. People will always be drawn to a good song. I like Billy Braggs stuff. It feels real to me. I'm sure we could all point to some great protest material, but, I agree with Kendall: there certainly is not any kid of dynamic movement happening in repsonse to the political climate.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 06:22 PM

That's probably why Billy Brag was chosen to do the old Woody Guthrie stuff...

Robin


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: tar_heel
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 06:30 PM

if protedt singers depended on me to hang around and listen,they'd wait a long damn time...don't have time for such foolishness!


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 06:37 PM

Rage against the machine ? The ultimate in contemporary protest music. Though they approach issues through a rap/ rock medium, as opposed to the traditional folk music, their message is clear:

"believing all the lies that they're tellin ya,buying all the products that the're selling ya.cellular phones sellin a death tone. corporations cold, turn you to stone before you realize.no escape from the mass mind rape"...........
BULLET IN THE HEAD, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 06:59 PM

Larry, I don't think anyone is descriminating against you "old bastards", but rather looking to see who will carry on the tradition. As I've said before, there are many young singer-songwriters who are doing the job.   Those who have said the youth of today aren't doing their share are wrong and not opening their eyes in my estimation. It may not come from a "folk" singer, but there is plenty of protest in today's youth culture.   Don't forget, our generation wasn't JUST listening to anti-war songs either. There was plenty of bubblegum music in our day too.

Johnfitz, you make a very good point about the role emotion plays in the music and how intellectual "purity" and predictability make for some lousy songs.   The protest songs that the general population remembers and responds to manage to get their message across in an almost subtle way. I've found that there are two basic types of protest songs - the "over your head with a hammer" approach which mainly works on protest lines and rallies to raise spirits. Away from that environment, those songs often fail to hold the same emotion. The more skillful songs, including many of Woody Guthries songs, were written with a different approach.   I find his "Talking Dust Bowl" to be one a great example of an effective approach. He uses humor and wit to get his point across and most importantly, he makes the audience think.   He doesn't have to list the injustices that were done to the Okies during the depression but he gets the point across. I still remember hearing that song when I was young, before I ever heard about the troubles of the times. He made me think.

Some of the artists mentioned, Joe Jencks and John Flynn come to mind, write in that same style. They can rally a spirit and teach us something.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Peter Woodruff
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 07:30 PM

I read all that dustbowl stuff, but wait, Woody was then, This Woody is now. We have the same problems with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Slimey Wall Street crooks, embezelment, cheating bad guys and gals. Makes me want to join a militia.

How 'bought you?

Peter


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 07:33 PM

There's no shortage of people writing good songs which say something about the world we live in, and the problems we share in living in it. Anywhere I go where people sing (leaving aside karaoke) I hear them.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Ed.
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 07:40 PM

You do go to (I assume) a select number of places though, McGrath?

Most young people today (in the Western world) have nothing to protest against. Life for them is pretty easy. They're not scared stiff that aguements between capitalism or communism and the resultant 'bomb' are about to destroy them...


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 08:03 PM

Unless I have some sort of head trauma I doubt I will ever join a militia.   

Again, it points to the beauty of Guthrie's work.   Those issues have been with us for eons.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Peter Woodruff
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 08:29 PM

That's right Ron!

Peter


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: pdq
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 09:54 PM

Thank you, GUEST of 6:37 for stepping outside the (Cat) box. Most of us do not listen to "urban" of any type. Most of us are not able to give a example of current protest material.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: InOBU
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 10:21 PM

"Never trust anybody over 30", Larry? As a matter of fact, as a traditional musician, I didn't buy that when I was 16, or today. Pete Segar was an old guy well over 30 when he was being played by those of us who were also listening to Phil Oachs, when HE was under 30. Fact is, we have a funny sort of youth culture today, as well as a culture that allows the capitolist media choose who our spokespeople are. Steve Suffitt and Joel Landy can attest to the fact that at the last rally at which we were asked to sing, all the signed bands sang to the crowd, the sound system was turned off and then it was our turn. If Phil Oachs were alive and starting out today, I predict he would be unsigned and listened to by the likes of Steve, Joel, Janis and I, and played by Rick and WBAI... the protest music scene in the US is absoultly anemic, there is active ecconomic censorship of American music, as is witnessed by the number of stations banning music during this crime refered to as a war by the ciminals in office.
Cheers
Larry
PS I know today voices of annoyence are not in vogue, but ... well, so what.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 11:51 PM

I have to disagree with you Larry about the protest music scene in the U.S. being absolutely anemic. You are right that there are a handful of stations playing "protest" music that you refer to, but I honestly think it has less to do with content and more to do with style. I have not been pressured as to the content of the material that I play on non-commercial radio.   The fact that folk music is not a commercial style effects the number of stations where it can be played.   Back in the days when it was in vogue, FM radio was still in it's infancy in terms of the number of people who were able to listen in. AM radio ruled the roost, and Phil Ochs was not getting his protest songs played on WABC-AM.

You are probably right in the fact that Phil Ochs would probably be unsigned today, but then again most of the artists we are discussing are unsigned. Major record labels are not signing "folk" artists. However, rap music artists DO get signed by major labels and they DO get played on the radio. Granted the majority of Mudcat crowd does not listen to this music (myself included), but to dismiss their "protest" and then continue to complain about the lack of protest seems like we are trying to make the results fit our preconceived notions.

When you say that the "capitolist" media chooses our spokespeople, I would ask when this was not the case.   It is less of the media choosing the spokespeople but rather a case of spokespeople knowing how to use the media. That may be the issue today, we don't know how to make our voices heard.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Kent Davis
Date: 05 Jan 04 - 12:50 AM

I am no fan of Country music, but if it's protest songs you want, you'll find plenty on the Country charts:
"The Last Fallen Hero" Charlie Daniels Band
"Uneasy Rider '88"       "       "      "
"America Will Survive" Hank Williams, Jr.
"American Soldier" Toby Keith
"Red, White, and Blue" Lynyrd Skynyrd
"The Great Defenders" Lee Greenwood
Of course, they aren't protesting what you want them to protest, but they ARE protesting.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: GUEST,The
Date: 05 Jan 04 - 08:03 AM

Happy New Year to all our US "catters".
If you wish to hear the epitome of protest songs then you should get your very own Michael Moore and Ralph Nader to become song writers.
I doubt you could find a better catalogue of justifiable causes.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Barry Finn
Date: 05 Jan 04 - 10:12 AM

Nice Tread Kendall

There are protest singers/songwriters about but you aren't about to hear much from them. Mass media has condemed them to the scattered winds, the government buries the protester before the voice can be heard or gets to loud. The spin on what to fear is so hyped that only half a yr ago John Q Public would've lynched the protest singer. The 60's wasn't all about "trust no one over 30" it was more like "question authority" rather than today's "what's my priority".
The war & the civil rights movement had a galvanizing effect on the protest movement. It brought the Weathermen, the Black Panthers, the SDS, the Diggers, the young & old (my father marched baring his WWII Purple Heart & my sister & I walked beside him), the draft dodging org. in many cases the religious groups, it brought together the likes of Martin Luthher King, the Bergin Brothers, Abbey Hoffman, Huey Newton, Rap Brown, it crossed the color barrier, the generation gap, the Canadian border, musical styles, it crossed the country in buses & trains from the White House Plaza to Selma, Alabama, to East LA. The protests were of a size that couldn't be ignored & the riots couldn't be contained by the government. At all these places the speaker & the singer rallied around the different causes. Today there's no orginazition


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Barry Finn
Date: 05 Jan 04 - 11:21 AM

sorry hit the submit button insteaad of correcting my spelling of Today there's no 'organization' that has brought together the leadership of the groups trying to make a difference. The scope of what's gone sour in this country IMHO dwarfs the 60's so much it's an aaalmost impossible job. We don't know what we're eating & if it's healthy or not unless you grow it or you raise it. Globle warming is a greater threat than most want to know about, mass extinction gets not even a single note, the ongoing killing of the land, sea & skies is looked at as the the price we have to pay for profitt. The Secrets of our shadow government, it's tight grip on the media, it's use of fear to erode our rights, the violations of human & civil rights, it's arrogant disregard for the UN, other governments, the invasion of nations under the pretext of fear & protection & the seemingly conquest for world domination seems to make singing & writing protest songs a task that's has no starting or ending point, a daunting but not impossible job. Until we can join hands together in protest (divide & conquer) & John Q Public starts to question authority instead of swallowing the spoonfed shit he's been eating for yrs now, until we find our leadership instead of our followship we will have no effective voice in music or in protest even if the singer is singing the sound will be muffled before it gets heard. Quite cynical, yes. Are we as bad off as it's looks, worst? Are we gonna try to change things for the better, maybe? Are we waiting for the country to right it's own wrongs, probably? Will we be satisfied with using only our vote as our only means of making change, I hope not? When the songs & the protesters voices get to be heard in strength above the battle maybe then we can co-exist with the world we live in. Since the 60's we've somehow managed to lose all that we had gained & more. We've lost the wars against crime, drugs, health care, education, poverty, homelessness, discrimination of all kinds, unemployment & we've lost our collective voices.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: GUEST,The Benn Agency
Date: 05 Jan 04 - 11:29 AM

Barry,
      I repeat. Log on to Michael Moore. He has detailed in no uncertain terms much of what you are concerned about and proposes some solutions


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: GUEST,heric
Date: 05 Jan 04 - 11:54 AM

You know it just occurred to me: Whether the kids are properly focused on "the correct" issues is perhaps none of our business. Whether they "get" it is much less important than whether we have sold out or failed on the issues enumerated by Barry, above, or whatever else we personally deem important. The kids' business (now that they're of contracting age and setting the tone in media and elswhere) is theirs, as is their music (which we're not supposed to get). Our business stays the same: building a world for them to do their business in, and it looks like we are messing up in the US at least, with wealth disparity being what it is and trending as it is.

durrned kids


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: GUEST,heric
Date: 05 Jan 04 - 12:06 PM

Neil Young, by the way, has an entire tour going strong and just extended based entirely on protesting the war. It is themed on a young girl coming of age, with us old folks encouraging her onwards in the save-the-trees vein, while accepting their lack of control on those choices.

I guess we can't really get too angry at the young'ns for failing to appreciate what we're sending their way.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: dianavan
Date: 09 Jan 04 - 02:09 AM

hmmm - protest songs never made a difference Clinton? I beg to differ! The U.S. no longer drafts young men. Birth control is now widespread and abortion is available. Women have careers.
single mothers are not sinners. Segregation is against the law. Not bad for one generation!

Perhaps the messages have changed. Maybe we need songs for the environment. Maybe we need music for veiled women. Maybe we need a voice to cry for starving children, aids victims and endangered animals.

As a Canadian (born in the U.S.A) I am amazed that you give Bush so much power. Fingerprinting the innocent? Racial profiling? Please grab a brain! I thought my family participated in three generations of war so that you could be free! That means personal freedom and privacy too! "You don't know what you've got til its gone"

At least the rappers express their anger and hostility thats been born of a culture of opposition. Whats left of the U.S. is appalling. You have to have a critical consciousness to be able to protest. Unfortunately, the uneducated masses are only too happy to buy the biscuit and content themselves with a commercial world.

Maybe if we all take a week off work and do nothing but sing and dance, the politicians will get the message. They have no power but that which we give them. Maybe its time to take it back.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Clean Supper
Date: 09 Jan 04 - 07:52 AM

There´s a singer from Melbourne called Penelope Swales and her songs are about blatantly political stuff but very few of them are specifying the message. Not all of her stuff is original but she sings an attitude to life and one that is divergent from the official line, which, to me, is protest singing.

Two young American protest singers come to mind and I hope I can remeber their names now:

Dana Lyons - he writes and sings very clearly message giving songs, some of them protesting and some messages of hope or values in general. I like his music.

Casey Neil - he wrote "We´re dancing on the ruins of multinational corporations" and other songs of a kind of "punk-attitude, folk-sound". I don´t know if he wrote it, it kind of sounds older than him but he sings Hurrah for the Riff-raff.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jan 04 - 11:42 AM

Kendall, Everyone,

I'm really pleased someone started this thread. Not only has it been thought provoking, but it has been strangely comforting to find there are others with the same concerns as myself.

Looking back I don't think that the songs themselves actually changed anything. They were allied with, and used by, National Movements for political and social change that today would seem impossible. The songs were a way of making people aware of what was going on, and often (perhaps still are) a way of conveying what a singer or song writer felt about something.   When a listener is able to identify with and feel empathy for this feeling, then the song becomes an extremely powerful means of communication.

There have been several references to Michael Moore.   Moore has obviously tapped into a huge well-spring of disquiet over what is happening. not only in the US but world wide. On this basis alone it seems to me that there is already a world wide 'protest movement' that might at any moment be galvanised over an issue, particularly as today we also have the Internet.   By this means a good song could reach a worldwide audience almost immediately, and be picked up by a huge number of individual singers. It just needs that catalyst.

Perhaps too we should expect methods of protest to change. Tucked away on the BBC website is a story that "Boycotts by ethical shoppers cost big brands at least £2.6bn" I find this interesting particularly as I was not aware of anybody co-ordinating such a campaign for ethical shopping

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3299575.stm

Naturally as a 'late boomer' and veteran of various sit-ins and marches, the thought immediately struck me that if this were extended to any multi-national corporation that was seen to be supporting a particular politician or party then they could be vulnerable across the world. Much in the way that South African goods were boycotted during the Apartheid Era.   

Tell me the name of a company that supports Bush or funds his party, and I will be delighted to boycott their products on this side of the pond. I'll also be happy to write to the shop and tell them why I won't be shopping at their premises any more. Anyone care to join me?    Turn that £2.6bn into £260bn and the buggers will soon start to sweat.

Kendall, in answer to your question I think there's still plenty to protest about, and from the responses you've prompted here, there seem to be a fair few of us that are prepared to protest more than we do. Maybe we just need to update the ways we do it! Maybe the songs too have a diffrerent role   

SM


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: GUEST,ella
Date: 09 Jan 04 - 01:32 PM

Guest..I didn't know a campaign was being co-ordinated re ethical shopping either. But it is very easy to support the Fairtrade principle. Some of the big name supermarkets do stock a wide range of their produce, and it is easy to substitute some of your weekly basics for those offered by Fairtrade instead. We have been doing this with tea, coffee, fruits and chocolate for a couple of years at least.
It obviously all adds up, and maybe one day will make the big producers rethink their practices.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Jan 04 - 02:31 PM

Songs can on occasion become important for a movement - "We Shall Overcome" is the classic case. It helped people in a very direct way when they were involved in direct confrontations with authioriy which needed confronting.

But most of the time songs that get saddled with the name "protest songs" aren't doing that at all. What they can achieve is get people to think for themselves and talk to each other, and that might lead them on to doing things together, and that's a movement. A quiet process often enough, and quiet songs can often do it.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Nemesis
Date: 09 Jan 04 - 03:11 PM

This is a very interesting thread .. I'm just completing a 30 minute radio programme on the history of the protest song .. with much plagiarisation of Chuwumba Wumba "English Rebel Songs" and the like :)

The points about Rap .. of course it dominates mainstream music culture .. but you can't sing it!

A quick spin through some research I did came up with
Sting .. John Tams .. Coope, Boyes and Simpson, Tom Robinson, (Steve Knightley) Show of Hands, Martyn Joseph, Rikki Lee Jones "Ugly Man"
Chuwumbawumba of course .. although what is a protest song? An anthem for marching? (then none of those mentioned would fit .. poss some of Tams?)

I believe many people are writing protesting lyrics but these aren't the same as the songs one would hear chanted, sung on a protest.

And certainly, I believe young people are becoming more politicised - "what Tony Blair has succeeded in doing is politicising an entire generation of young people", one local 14 year old anti-war protester outside school - just before the Police came and arrested the students with the school's collusion.

What they are not interested in (I think) is mainstream politics (aside from major issues like the Iraqi war) .. they are fighting globalisation, multi-corporations, environmental, fair trade issues -

Certainly, within 2 years in our town there has been an unprecedented explosion of protest groups: activist environmental protests/ anti-road campaigners/ anti-racism/ anti-war/ anti-vivesection/ rock against racism / rock against the war .. of young people .. what they are doing is writing their own protest agenda. Perhaps, we just don't recognise it yet?


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: GUEST,Cliff McGann
Date: 09 Jan 04 - 04:12 PM

There's lots of Anti-Governement stuff out there especially outside the "folk world". I have an MA in folklore but love hip-hop and quite a bit of anti-government stuff is popping up in hip-hop today. Michael Frente and Sweat Shop Union are two of my present faves. Frente is popular in France which might tell you how anti-US hsi message is. Taleb Kwali is another great rapper as well. Its all folk music to me.

Cliff


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: dianavan
Date: 10 Jan 04 - 02:19 AM

I am so happy to hear your thoughts. The torch has been passed but the folks are still around.

All that we can and should do will be done by each of you personally. Some of you are talented enough to write songs about it. Some will write poems. Some will sing and dance. Others will e-mail.

Ethical consumerism? I started by boycotting Safeway in the 60's when they tore down housing for the elderly and built a new supermarket. I've never shopped there since.

Buy organic food. Do not buy poisoned or genetically altered food.
Do not buy shoes or clothing made in sweatshops by child labourers. Ride public transit. Refuse to eat beef from feedlots. I'm sure you can add many more tips on ethical conduct but...

Can you sing about it?


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 02:08 AM

I don't think your family did any of those things for Clinton Hammond Dianavan. Clinton's a Canuck by birth, and he lives there still.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: GUEST,Sandy Andina
Date: 14 Jan 04 - 12:49 AM

Well, I may not be famous but I'm sure getting a lot of mileage out of current events. Dr. Demento played my "Because We Can" last week; he also has my little ode to Bush called "The Shrub" (as does www.radioleft.com) and my Enron/recession ditty "Kenny Boy/www.bankrupt.com." You can go to Radio Left or drdemento.com and request any or all of 'em; and you can download a version of "Because We Can" and my serious antiwar song "We Belong to the World" at my website www.sandyandina.com (click the link that takes you to my downloads sites). Leela and Ellie Grace have a marvelous antiwar song called "Not In My Name;" and Pete Norman is fast becoming one of the social consciences of modern folk music. Finally, for those of you going to Folk Alliance 2004, I urge you to check out the Insurgent Folk showcases---all protest, all the time!


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: andymac
Date: 14 Jan 04 - 02:21 AM

Uk protest singers? Can't comment too much on the scene in other areas but certainly Glasgow still has some people singing out in protest.
How about Alastair Hulett? Check out both his "Red Clydeside" and "Sleepy Scotland" CDs for more info.

I noticed mention of the anti-war protests that took place last year. My wife's choir, the Eurydice Choir, took part and marched all the way from Glasgow Green to the SECC singing many of the protest songs mentioned previously. I was heartened to see so many young faces in the crowd that day, lots of whom were coming over to listen in and join in with the singing.

As for other protests and singers, there was also the Govanhill Pool campaign which was trying to prevent the (labour!) council from closing down the local swimming pool. A CD of protest songs appeared as a result of that. Other individuals such as John Mcreadie, Ian Davidson and Kenny Caird locally continue to write and sing songs of protest and struggle.

I still actively hunt out and sing protest songs as I feel they still have a resonance and relevancy today (le plus ca change?)

Whilst there may not be as much protest singing taking place as before, I would caution against being over nostalgic about just how active and politicised people were in the past. As has already been asked, just how did Nixon get elected if everyone was "protesting"?

Andymac


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Bobjack
Date: 14 Jan 04 - 03:23 AM

Protest singers, hmmmmmmmmm don't think osama's quaking in his boots because people may sing at him do you?


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Sandina
Date: 14 Jan 04 - 04:48 AM

Whoops.....meant Pete MORTON, not Norman......guess it's a sign that I'm up past my bedtime


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: saulgoldie
Date: 15 Jan 04 - 01:01 PM

Don't know if I am repeating; I read too slowly to puruse the whole thread. But I just heard a wonderful young woman last night named Kathy Moser who is from New Jersey. See her here:

http://www.wingsoverwater.net/

(I hope the blicky worked.) In her show she ranted about almost every evil on my list and some I hadn't thought of much lately (feeling as I do so dismally defeated on almost everything that matters I have felt, like why bother?). Add her to the list. Couldn't think of replicating her songs though, cause she plays, like complicated--tunings and fingerings and the like.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: freda underhill
Date: 21 Jan 04 - 11:21 AM

check this out - paul is one of our great young hopes in oz

//paulspencer.4t.com/


and lives the life

freda


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Azizi
Date: 06 May 09 - 05:17 PM

I just read a dailykos diary about Six Puerto Ricans artists and musicians who support Puerto Rico's sovereignty interrupted the U.S. congress today singing 'Oubao Moin' (a patriotic Puerto Rican [sic] folk song, carrying.with signs that read '111 years of Colony'' ''It's a shame: End the colony" and carrying the national flag of Puerto Rico.

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/5/6/728539/-Puerto-Ricans-disrupt-U.S.-Congress-session

Puerto Ricans disrupt U.S. Congress session
by parsley44   
Wed May 06, 2009 at 01:39:35 PM PDT

**

I was going to post this to this thread African American Protest Slogans & Songs which includes some interesting opinions as to why there appears to be so little (if any) protest singing by demonstrators at rallies and marches. But then I realized that by its name the subject of that thread was limited to African Americans. I then went looking for more appropriate thread on this topic and found this one.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Azizi
Date: 06 May 09 - 05:22 PM

There are a number of YouTube videos of Oubao Moin.

Here's a link to one that is sung and played by an acoustic guitarist:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyNRM0fZbhA&feature=related
Roy Brown - Oubao Moin


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Subject: RE: Opinions please: Protest Singers
From: Azizi
Date: 06 May 09 - 05:30 PM

Let me rephrase what I wrote:

But then I realized that by its name the subject of that thread was limited to a discussion about why there was little if any protest singing by folks who participate in African American protest marches and rallies.

-snip-

That is still a poorly written sentence since I wanted to convey that non-African Americans can and do participate in "African American" protest marches and rallies. But I think it's an improvement over my previous one .


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