Protest Songs

So I’m wondering… what are some good protest songs? Or even like anthems that define a movement or a moment

I guess there are some standards that spring to mind;

there’s your “Blowin’ in the wind” and songs about peace, war & freedom in general

then there’s your civil rights songs like Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” and anthems like Sam Cooke’s “Change is going to come”

Then there’s a whole litany of roots reggae songs from Marley’s “Stand up for your rights” to this absolute heavenly warning from 1979

And songs like this from apartheid era South Africa about actual Police and protest and taking up arms amid chaos

And from Nigeria protesting the brainwashed nature of Government forces

Then you have a whole load of 80s songs from stadium rock giants; Peter Gabriel’s ‘Biko’, U2s ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’, a bunch of Lennon stuff as well as actual songs written for specific campaigns like ‘Artists Against Apartheid’s’ Sun City

…and then I guess a certain kind of rock journalist decried the end of the political band/protest song and all that …seemingly ignorant of the entire ‘Social consciousness’ of much of hip hop; Furious Five’s ‘The Message’, NWA’s ‘Fuck tha Police’, Public Enemy’s ‘Fight the Power’, KRS One’s ‘Sound of Da Police’, RATM … even Kendrick’s ‘Alright’ is what I’d call a protest song

So, I’m interested in all your favourite protest songs, especially feminist, LGBTQI+ and songs from movements and political periods in non-anglo countries; rebellion songs, call to arms songs, freedom songs, banned songs and so on

then there’s right now … what are the up to the minute ‘we ain’t gonna take this shit anymore’ songs? I’m thinking like Dave’s ‘Question Time’. What are the awakening songs for the kids today? Or is it all of these historical songs because everything is on the streaming services?

Hit me

Shout out to KRS One’s album from last year 'Between the Protests"

which even contains a reading list song


some off the top of my head

about the Kent State shootings

the wrongful arrests over the Broadwater Farm riots

the IRA hunger strikers

and everyone knows Bella Ciao, right?

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this is a serious thread ma0sm, no comedy answers please

Probably my 6th favourite Prefab Sprout album


some more…

the Battle Of Cable Street

Operation Solstice and police violence against travellers

rise of the National Front

SUS laws


I think this counts:

Only heard it this year when this cover got pinged to me by the algorithm:

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Two that spring to mind:

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I love Autechre’s Flutter

In an attempt to ban raves, the UK parliament passed the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 banning public performance of music “wholly or predominantly characterized by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats.” In response, Autechre issued this track, in which no two bars have the same beat. Sean Booth explained, “We made as many different bars as we could on the drum machine, then strung them all together.”


this popped up from the algorithm gods

Listened to this today at work. Wasn’t quite as good as I was expecting mainly because I wasn’t a fan of the host but, the concept of the series could be good.

Also as with every thread about protest songs the correct answers are always:

Dick Gaughan - Handful of Earth
Various Artists - Undefeated:A benefit for the miners

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Couple of Irish pro-choice anthems from recent years

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they stole my idea, this was why I made this thread

This by a band called Problem Patterns

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Pile’s The Soft Hands of Stephen Miller is a very specific but incredible one.