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Politics in Music





LumberJack
Every now and then, we have an artist or band who decides to send a message through their rhymes, and try and make an impact for their cause. Politics in music is a touchy subject, like anything in politics.

Would you prefer that politics stay out of music? I will be the first to say that it is damn annoying when they sing about something you support. In the past, outspoken songs have helped to polarize a nation, cause rifts, and even riots. However, if it is the only way to bring attention to an issue, is it not worth it? Or is it just another form of propaganda?


Some examples for me:

Recent Releases:

Flobots - Handlebars
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuK2A1ZqoWs
- Such a powerful song on so many levels, when I still listen to this song it has quite an impact, and it is damn catchy. Makes you wonder about the power and ingenuity of the human race.

Eminem - Mosh
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOLMVQa0KD8

- Last election Eminem released a controversial song that touched a hell of a lot of nerves. One message that I think most can agree on, the rest, well, that depends on you Smile


Some older, yet still inspirational songs Smile

Gimme Shelter - The Rolling Stones

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJMnES7WoT4

- Vietnam References


BULLET THE BLUE SKY U2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4LJFSCgxvk&feature=related

- Protesting US Foreign Policy in S. America


Invisible Sun - The Police
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hFydh-QhPA

- This one is for Bogger, w.r.t the N. Ireland violence in the early 1980s

Billie Holiday - Strange Fruit
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4ZyuULy9zs

- A real old one. I included this one because it was made famous by Ms Billie Holiday, and the fact that she had the courage to actually sing it, in a time where is was not in her best interests to do so.
mattyj
Politics in music is what started the whole punk movement

bands like the Sex Pistols, Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, etc...

other bands like Rage Against the Machine also have a political message in their music

The Whitlams is one of my favourite bands, and they have some really good political messages like "Blow Up The Pokies", Midnight Oil is another good australian political band
liljp617
Every now and then? Smile Try every other second!

And if you want real politics in music go back to the days of the Cold War (specifically Vietnam/Korea).
hofodomo01
It's interesting how French hip-hop is so much more politically oriented that American hip-hop (in general). They have quite a lot to say about social inequality, since many of the French rappers are African.
liljp617
hofodomo01 wrote:
It's interesting how French hip-hop is so much more politically oriented that American hip-hop (in general). They have quite a lot to say about social inequality, since many of the French rappers are African.

There's plenty of that to go around in American hip hop. It just doesn't hit the radio as often. How do you think hip hop got started here? It was (and still is to many rappers) all about racial, social inequality.
LumberJack
hofodomo01 wrote:
It's interesting how French hip-hop is so much more politically oriented that American hip-hop (in general). They have quite a lot to say about social inequality, since many of the French rappers are African.


Never listened to French Hip-hop. Just Quebecois. I wonder if it is similar (runs to youtube).
Jinx
Tin soldiers and Nixon's coming
we're finally on our own
oh, brother can you hear the drumming
four dead in Ohio

Why shouldn't music be about our world and the important events in it. Music is a form of communication, and a powerful way to spread a message.

Though I can't think of any specific examples, I'd be willing to bet the tradition goes back to Rome, if not further.
Libby
Aren't ALL songs political? Discuss. Smile
Libby
But I like this band and this song especially!! (and this one and this one... such a good band...)
liljp617
Libby wrote:
Aren't ALL songs political? Discuss. Smile

Not really.
Bikerman
liljp617 wrote:
Libby wrote:
Aren't ALL songs political? Discuss. Smile

Not really.

Let's examine that well-known polemic - Agadoo.
Quote:
Ag-a-doo-doo-doo, push pineapple, shake the tree Aga-doo-doo-doo, push pineapple, grind coffee
Perhaps it is a political comment on the unfair coffee trade, the notorious 'pineapple' drug craze, and a plea for more humane treatment of trees?
Quote:
To the left, to the right, jump up and down and to the knees
Obviously a comment on left-right wing politics and how they ultimately bring the populace to its knees.
Quote:
Come and dance every night, sing with a hula melody
Obviously a comment on our selfish amoral western lifestyle, with the 'hula' representing the circle of increasing depravity and self-destructive hedonism.
Quote:
I met a hula mistress somewhere in Waikiki
A comment on declining moral standards and the demise of the family unit.
Quote:
Well she was sellin' pineapple, playin' ukulele
A comment on worker exploitation - being forced into multiple jobs simply to make a living.
Quote:
And when I went to the girl, come on and teach me to sway
Seeking enlightenment from a female Right-Wing guru on how to change the current socio-political makeup and sway the voting populus.
Quote:
She laughed and whispered to me, yes come tonight to the bay
Clearly an invitation to join the counter-revolutionary forces at the Bay of Pigs and strike a blow against the communist regime.
mattyj
Bikerman wrote:
liljp617 wrote:
Libby wrote:
Aren't ALL songs political? Discuss. Smile

Not really.

Let's examine that well-known polemic - Agadoo.
Quote:
Ag-a-doo-doo-doo, push pineapple, shake the tree Aga-doo-doo-doo, push pineapple, grind coffee
Perhaps it is a political comment on the unfair coffee trade, the notorious 'pineapple' drug craze, and a plea for more humane treatment of trees?
Quote:
To the left, to the right, jump up and down and to the knees
Obviously a comment on left-right wing politics and how they ultimately bring the populace to its knees.
Quote:
Come and dance every night, sing with a hula melody
Obviously a comment on our selfish amoral western lifestyle, with the 'hula' representing the circle of increasing depravity and self-destructive hedonism.
Quote:
I met a hula mistress somewhere in Waikiki
A comment on declining moral standards and the demise of the family unit.
Quote:
Well she was sellin' pineapple, playin' ukulele
A comment on worker exploitation - being forced into multiple jobs simply to make a living.
Quote:
And when I went to the girl, come on and teach me to sway
Seeking enlightenment from a female Right-Wing guru on how to change the current socio-political makeup and sway the voting populus.
Quote:
She laughed and whispered to me, yes come tonight to the bay
Clearly an invitation to join the counter-revolutionary forces at the Bay of Pigs and strike a blow against the communist regime.


Fantastic post! absolutely hilarious, well done!
liljp617
Bikerman wrote:
liljp617 wrote:
Libby wrote:
Aren't ALL songs political? Discuss. Smile

Not really.

Let's examine that well-known polemic - Agadoo.
Quote:
Ag-a-doo-doo-doo, push pineapple, shake the tree Aga-doo-doo-doo, push pineapple, grind coffee
Perhaps it is a political comment on the unfair coffee trade, the notorious 'pineapple' drug craze, and a plea for more humane treatment of trees?
Quote:
To the left, to the right, jump up and down and to the knees
Obviously a comment on left-right wing politics and how they ultimately bring the populace to its knees.
Quote:
Come and dance every night, sing with a hula melody
Obviously a comment on our selfish amoral western lifestyle, with the 'hula' representing the circle of increasing depravity and self-destructive hedonism.
Quote:
I met a hula mistress somewhere in Waikiki
A comment on declining moral standards and the demise of the family unit.
Quote:
Well she was sellin' pineapple, playin' ukulele
A comment on worker exploitation - being forced into multiple jobs simply to make a living.
Quote:
And when I went to the girl, come on and teach me to sway
Seeking enlightenment from a female Right-Wing guru on how to change the current socio-political makeup and sway the voting populus.
Quote:
She laughed and whispered to me, yes come tonight to the bay
Clearly an invitation to join the counter-revolutionary forces at the Bay of Pigs and strike a blow against the communist regime.

Very Happy Clever and humorous.

But ALL songs aren't political Smile
Libby
Bikerman wrote:
liljp617 wrote:
Libby wrote:
Aren't ALL songs political? Discuss. Smile

Not really.

Let's examine that well-known polemic - Agadoo.
Quote:
Ag-a-doo-doo-doo, push pineapple, shake the tree Aga-doo-doo-doo, push pineapple, grind coffee
Perhaps it is a political comment on the unfair coffee trade, the notorious 'pineapple' drug craze, and a plea for more humane treatment of trees?


Yeah, I was mostly hoping somebody would post something like that. Smile Good job!
Bikerman
[blush mode]
Thanks for the very kind comments. Be careful, I might get carried away and do a Marxist critique of the Spice Girls.
[/blush mode]
codyb113
Yeah..All songs are political IMO.
liljp617
codyb113 wrote:
Yeah..All songs are political IMO.

Not really. Plenty of song meanings have been explained by the artist themselves and they mention absolutely nothing about politics or the state of society. And I'm sorry, but someone like Soulja Boy is too unaware of his surroundings to make any type of political statement or statement about society.
Bikerman
Even my rhetorical skills can't put any political meaning into the 'Birdy Song'
(I tried and failed.. Smile )
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