Power to the People and the Beats: Protest in Song (Part Two)

Last week, I posted a listing of my 40 favorite protest songs. We’ve been spinning those choice cuts around the apartment since then, appreciating their timeless topicality. As the contents and concerns expressed in those songs continue to churn, at home and on the streets, several other great protest songs popped to my mind or were suggested by others. I’ve been adding them to a core list of a dozen or so that I’d kept off the original post in the interest of (relative) brevity. This morning, that growing list of protest songs reached the “Top 40” level again, and so I share a second collection with you, for your thought, reflection, action, and/or inspiration. The links below will take you to each of the songs online, and Marcia again made a full Spotify playlist that’s embedded at the bottom of this post for those of you who stream your music. Spin the songs in power. Good in your ear holes, good for your motivated souls!

  1. Revolution,” Arrested Development
  2. Full Metal Jackoff,” Jello Biafra and D.O.A.
  3. Rebel Girl,” Bikini Kill
  4. Say It Loud (I’m Black and I’m Proud),” James Brown
  5. For What It’s Worth,” Buffalo Springfield
  6. Beat Down Babylon,” Junior Byles
  7. Be Free,” J. Cole
  8. We Come in Peace,” Bobby Conn and the Glass Gypsies
  9. A Change Is Gonna Come,” Sam Cooke
  10. They’ll Never Keep Us Down,” Hazel Dickens
  11. Kill for Peace,” The Fugs
  12. Biko,” Peter Gabriel
  13. Mannenberg,” Abdullah Ibrahim
  14. Soweto Blues,” Miriam Makeba
  15. (Don’t Worry) If There’s a Hell Below, We’re All Going to Go,” Curtis Mayfield
  16. 16 Shots,” Vic Mensa
  17. The Big Stick,” The Minutemen
  18. Americans,” Janelle Monáe
  19. Lift Every Voice and Sing,” Melba Moore
  20. Mathematics,” Mos Def
  21. There But For Fortune,” Phil Ochs
  22. Like Really,” Oddisee
  23. Young Girls,” Princess Nokia
  24. By the Time I Get to Arizona,” Public Enemy
  25. U.N.I.T.Y.,” Queen Latifah
  26. My Country ’tis of Thy People You’re Dying,” Buffy Sainte-Marie
  27. Asimbonanga,” Savuka
  28. Where Have All The Flowers Gone?,” Pete Seeger
  29. Bristol and Miami,” The Selecter
  30. God Save The Queen,” Sex Pistols
  31. Swimsuit Issue,” Sonic Youth
  32. Free Nelson Mandela,” The Special AKA
  33. Apartheid,” Peter Tosh
  34. Sunday Bloody Sunday,” U2
  35. Hombre Gris,” Vakeró
  36. Trouble,” Josh White
  37. Better Must Come,” Delroy Wilson
  38. Shipbuilding,” Robert Wyatt
  39. Oh Bondage! Up Yours!,” X-Ray Spex
  40. Trouble Every Day,” Frank Zappa and the Mother of Invention

If someone came for you one night and dragged you away, do you really think your neighbors would even care? (See track two for the answer).

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