7 songs that inspired social change
- November 22, 2022
- Culture and Entertainment
We all speak the same language, and that language is music. Songs and music in general have the power to simplify complex topics into concepts we can all understand by appealing to our emotions, such as love, friendship, fear, or loss. In this way, music broadens our horizons and cultivates an open mind. Social justice movements have always been heavily influenced by music. It serves as the driving force for protests, serves as a source of motivation, and can give marginalized individuals a platform to tell their stories and make their voices heard. We shall look at 7 songs that have sparked social transformation in this article.
John Lennon’s Imagine was a protest song created during the Vietnam War, just like the original Eve of Destruction. One of the most well-known protest songs that have ever been released, perhaps. The song, which was released in the United States in 1971, urged people to envision a future without conflict and division.
U2’s most explicitly political song, which chronicles the atrocities of violence against unarmed civilian demonstrators in Northern Ireland, is driven by an angry guitar and a skittering march-like tempo. With the repeated pre-chorus phrase “How long must we sing this song?” the song, despite its musical rage, does not call for retaliation and is instead a plea to put down weapons and consider the human cost of conflict.
The Black Eyed Peas entered pop culture to make a political statement with the support of superstar Justin Timberlake as the shock and anguish of 9/11 morphed into military strategy and the 24-hour television news cycle. It’s remarkably prescient regarding the state of political climate after listening to it again.
The Dixie Chicks, a popular country band, disobeyed their base of southern conservatives in 2003 by publicly opposing the Iraq War while it was still strongly supported. By 2006, the war had a significant negative impact on American perception. It became obvious that WMDs would not be discovered and that this expedition had nothing to do with the 9/11 terrorist attacks as the number of dead soldiers and civilians continued to rise. The Dixie Chicks then released “Not Ready To Make Nice” to further their beliefs and advocate for anti-war sentiments on behalf of American women.
Keys is unmistakably a strong advocate for human rights and social justice. The song “We Gotta Pray” was written in response to the contentious murders of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, but it also serves as a rallying cry for everyone to stand up for what they believe in and to resist injustices in society peacefully. In light of the 21st century and in contrast to other recent combative or even dejected replies from artists, Keys’ riposte is particularly intriguing. Her arguments here are similar to those of a non-violent MLK who was firmly founded in love and optimism.
The moving song, which Etheridge wrote as an immediate reaction to the horrible shooting at the Orlando, Florida club that left 50 people dead, examines the causes of these unfathomable crimes. She sings, “How can I hate them when everyone’s got a pulse?” She has successfully completed her task by writing a song of healing that has spoken to many people who are struggling to comprehend how something as terrible as the Pulse shooting occurs.
The song seems to have become considerably more popular throughout the Trump Administration only based on its controversial title. “FDT” is progressively becoming an anthem yelled during political protests in 2017 despite lacking the name recognition and smash-hit status of the entries above. Black Americans who were evicted from a Trump rally are featured in the song, and according to YG, the Secret Service tried to prevent the song’s distribution.
Since the beginning of time, music has accompanied human civilization. Human social conduct has undoubtedly been greatly influenced by musical activity and continues to be so now. The function of music in human civilization and the processes that connect musical and social actions remain largely unresolved. The social significance of music may aid in achieving many forms of societal advancement.
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