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We Asked Your Top Protest Song and Some of You Protested Our Asking

Quite the playlist, from Bing Crosby to Nina Simone to Iggy Pop.

David Beers 2 Mar

David Beers is founding editor of The Tyee.

We’ve been inviting readers to respond to our online poll asking: Do you have a favourite protest song? (The question keyed off Dorothy Woodend’s article about the globe-sweeping song Un Violador en Tu Camino (A Rapist in Your Path).

About 100 people shared their opinions. It turns out that 20 per cent do not have a favourite protest song. Seventy-six per cent do, and perhaps their choices will help jog the minds of the four per cent who checked “I don’t know.”

There was space, as well, to enter a note. A lot of people have shared their favourites. They included some inarguable classics like Solidarity Forever written by unionist Ralph Chaplin while covering a strike in 1912; We Shall Overcome, an African-American hymn first used as a protest song in 1945 by tobacco workers on the picket line; and sixties anthems like Barry McGuire’s Eve of Destruction and Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ in the Wind and The Times They Are A Changin’.

Among some of the more eclectic choices and comments were these:

Don’t Back Down by Tom Petty”

Brother Can You Spare a Dime” (from a Depression-era Broadway musical and sung here by Bing Crosby)

“Civil rights songs by Nina Simone Mississippi Goddamn and Go Limp, and It Isn't Nice by Malvina Reynolds — that's more than one, I know!”

“Neil Young Ohio

“Protest songs are futile”

“New Model Army’s ‘I Believe in Killing the Bastards’” (The song is actually titled Vengeance, but yes, that’s a refrain and the general thrust of it.)

“There's a better way to get things done protests are a waste of time and energy when we can figure out how to make sure we all feel like Canadians. Enough of the indifference. We all deserve to feel free and loved.”

Women’s Warrior Song (sung in protest of lack of action for missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada)

“The entire album Animals by Pink Floyd, or the more recent album Is This the Life We Really Want? by Roger Waters”

“Drop Kick Murphys Which Side Are You On?

Testify by Rage Against the Machine”

Fuck All the Perfect People by Chip Taylor & The New Ukrainians. This means all the fucking morons of the tyee…”

“There are many protest songs that I like very much.”

“Michael Franti Yell Fire

Time to Ring Some Changes Richard Thompson”

“Better yet would be Alberta and Saskatchewan leaving Canada, and letting the far left have their socialist paradise without ‘equalization’ payments made possible by ‘dirty oil’ to prop up the east. The hard working, level headed, conservative provinces that left them check in 20 years later to see how well it worked out for the leftist provinces led by their blackface painting, women groping, self declared male feminist hero who believes that budgets balance themselves. Also, I do not have a favorite protest song. I am too busy being gainfully employed, generating tax revenue that helps benefit the professional protesters who refuse to do the same.”

Home by Iggy Pop”

You can see all the comments here.

Thanks everyone for sharing.  [Tyee]

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