Basic recording equipment was brought into their room for the session and there was a party atmosphere. CJ Baker (author) from Parts Unknown on April 16, 2013: Thanks for the read and comment, lorddraven2000. Of cours there are many songs that could take place in this list, but i LOVED it, So wonderfull tho see and hear country joe again, You just made my day. It's everyone's right to protest (peacefully), but I'm standing with my placard saying 'Please like my list!'. The most well-known version is Barry McGuire's 1965 version, which appeared on his album of the same name. (Donovan was a Dylan clone.) Thanks for sharing this list. Other well-known faces present, included counter culture spokesman, Timothy Leary, beat poet Allen Ginsberg and DJ, Murray the K. The rousing chorus was echoed around the world and it became the most popular chant of the anti-Vietnam War movement. This Sam Cooke soul classic is from his 1964 album Ain't That Good News. This song was officially released by John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band in 1969, following John and Yoko’s famous Bed-In to promote peace, during their honeymoon. Sometimes, it takes a powerful song to move people to act. peace, I think that these songs are very meaningful even now. It also has an undeniable intensity which is appropriate to the song's subject matter. But they tend to be a bit more underground. As to the comment that said that Ochs got a bit tiresome after a while I have to disagree with this. Yes, Ohio is a powerful song. Bob Dylan was mostly done releasing protest songs by 1965, creating a vacuum that Barry McGuire was all too happy to fill. One of the first racism protest songs to be ... 2. Masters of War could of easily been on this list. The man even took a pig (pigasus) to a protest in 1968 to show up the farce that was the presidential election process. Fantastic list! Angels are on the way to you this morning ps. Congrats on HOTD. James Brown is actually the song I'm most surprised didn't make this list – one of his signature songs, and one of the most influential black power anthems of the 60s. "A Change Is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke. This project is for National History Day. Other artists have covered the song, including fellow singer songwriter, Arlo Guthrie, son of the famous Woody. The message is that he should take personal responsibility for his actions, instead of automatically responding to orders. stella vadakin from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619 on June 15, 2015: Hi, Very good choice of songs, and remember them all. Folk artists like The Weavers and Woody Guthrie (armed with a guitar which bore a sticker that declared, "This Machine Kills Fascists") wrote songs that contributed greatly to the protest movement. The song appears on Softley’s album, ‘Songs for Swinging Survivors’, but it was Donovan who brought the song to prominence when he covered it for his 1965 UK EP, ‘Universal Soldier’. It was an intense decade and it was also the era of the best music ever written. Y/W, Annie. The original Buffie Sainte-Marie version is so much more powerful, passionate and expressive. I love all the artists mentioned except the Five Man Electrical Band – don't know them. hey i really liked the song the war drags on it helped me with my homework. One of rock and roll's most celebrated protest songs, Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son" manages, in the middle of a turbulent Americana jam, to tag money as the main corrupter of America. As a child growing up in the 70s, I listened to my parents 60s folk records over & over. Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit”. He preferred being referred to as a topical singer. The most well-known cover version is by Joan Baez. The song … It's been too hard living, but I'm afraid to die'Cause I don't know what's up there, beyond the skyIt's been a long, a long time comingBut I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will, go to the movie and I go downtownSomebody keep tellin' me don't hang aroundIt's been a long, a long time comingBut I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will. It has also been sampled by rappers. Ochs also released a folk rock version. The song, released by Sam Cooke on his album “Ain't That Good News,” became... Phil … A bunch of early 70s protest songs are also great, but miss your criteria: Joan Baez – All the Weary Mothers of the Earth (1971), The Five Man Electrical Band – Signs (1971). He pierced through it all. My personal favorite is “Sunshine” by Jonathan Edwards. Congratulations on your well deserved HOTD! The performance at Woodstock was unplanned. How could Donovan’s ‘popular’ version then compare? I, for one, would be interested in reading it. How could anyone, logically, argue against it? If playback doesn't begin shortly, try restarting your device. If there were no soldiers, doing the leaders’ bidding, the wars would cease. I shall check your list out. Hello, I am an 8th grader and i have to do a history project that has to do with protesting music in the 60’s and 70’s. Dylan was not just protesting an event, but he was taking aim at a poisonous mindset that needs to change. The song was also deeply affected by his own personal experiences of having to deal with racism and discrimination. The song was released on his 1964 album, The Times Are a-Changin', but it is was first performed at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. British singer-songwriter Donovan had a hit with the song in 1965. The 50 Best Protest Songs of All Time. For What It's Worth is actually one of my favourite songs. Great list - I, too, am glad Phil Ochs wasn't forgotten - but if you see the '60's decade as 1961 to 1670, then you could include Neil Young's very powerful "Ohio"; 'Tin soldiers and Nixon's coming ;/We're finally on our way. This is a must for anyone who lived through the late sixties and early seventies and felt the rage and fear at the destruction and insanity from sea to sea. “Nuff Said!!!”. Personally, Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” is also a good candidate for the Top Protest Songs! Sid Kemp from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach) on May 19, 2012: Great list, but I will never forget - and feel I must mention - "For What It's Worth" better known from the first line "Hey, Children, What's that Sound?" Neil Young rocks! 1. The leader in writing such songs was bobby d. Period. Try “Tin Soldier Man” from The Kinks’ “Something Else” LP from Fall, 1967. Biographics – History, One Life at a Time. I loved the list, and have no qualms, but do feel that 'Alice's Restaurant Massacre' by Arlo Guthrie must get a mention at least in the comments. The soldier in question represents every warrior throughout history, at different ages, from different religions, political beliefs and countries. The words state that there is a time for everything, including peace. Like many of the great protest songs, the lyrics sadly remain poignant today. I wasn't familiar with Fortunate Son – I listened and it's good. This 1960s protest song was written by British folk singer, Mick Softley. I do not know most of the songs because we had our own stuff going on here in South Africa. ah i cannot stand "give peace a chance" did john really believe things are that simple? They were conformists in that regard. Originally written by Al Cleveland, Marvin Gaye went on to turn “What’s Going On” into one of the most memorable protest songs of all time. Many political protest songs were crafted during a prolific period between 1963 and 1978, few of them actually address the infamous Detroit riot of 1967. This 1965 anti-war protest song is one of Phil Ochs's trademark songs and it originally appeared on his 1965 album of the same name. Donovan’s is the version I’m used to (being a Brit). It's always the old to lead us to the warIt's always the young to fallNow look at all we've won with the saber and the gunTell me is it worth it allFor I stole California from the Mexican landFought in the bloody Civil WarYes I even killed my brotherAnd so many others. Peter, Paul and Mary had several songs that *might* be protest songs: "If I Had a Hammer", "The Times They Are a'Changin'" and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone". We look back at the 7 Protest Songs From The ’60s: Thanks for some good memories. Part of what led Sam Cooke to compose "A Change Is Gonna Come" was Bob Dylan's 1963 classic protest song, "Blowin' In the Wind," which motivated Cooke to compose his own statement for change. Also, the greatest anti-war song of all time: “One Tin Soldier” by Coven. The song is everything you need in a protest anthem. In the early to mid-60s, “negro” was the preferred term for African Americans, while “Black” was sometimes taken as an insult. may arguably be the most trippy stream-of-consciousness protest song of the movement. Eve of Destruction is still relevant today…sadly. (Sing along to Bob Dylan's Voice) This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land. Those were wonderful days with high motivation and emotion. This protest song is all about individual responsibility. My personal list would be slightly different, but I can't fault you for any of your choices. One of the quintessential ’60s songs, “Time of the Season” is easily identifiable from Chris White’s simple and sturdy bass line, which gives space for Rod Argent’s psychedelic scribble. Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on June 15, 2015: Congrats on HOTD, Spartacus! Lennon was joined on acoustic guitar by comedian, Tommy Smothers. my favorite was " I Ain't Marching Anymore". It should be #1 on the list. ... “We Shall Overcome” became synonymous with the black civil rights movement of the 1950s and ‘60s. This song, which warns of a pending apocalypse, is not only anti-war but touches upon a number of social issues (including civil rights). The lead track on King Crimson's 1969 debut album, "In the Court of the... 'Bring 'Em Home': Pete Seeger. The folk rock band, The Byrds, enjoyed the most commercial success with their cover version in 1965. This song is a rallying call for anti-war protesters everywhere. Both of their "Rain" songs were subtle protest songs, too, IMHO. The protest started peacefully but tensions inevitably arose and lasted throughout the rest of the year. Videos you... “Mississippi Goddamn” by Nina Simone (1964). In fact, I’m punching myself in the face right now. The song addresses the fact that Evers's killer, Byron De La Beckwith, was not the only one to blame for the murder. There are several vids on YouTube, but the best quality is the one w/ a single photo. Absolutely. Hi again Chris As one of the members of the Woody Guthrie generation, I feel competent to comment - so I respectfully suggest that you are correct in placing Phil Ochs in the list, but you neglected to include his most outstanding and revered ditty, the outrageous and very funny Anti Viet Nam "Draft Dodger Rag". Yes, we’re old enough to remember Donovan (and I saw Buffy St Marie singing in Britain in 1965!) When I decided to do this list, I told myself that I would only include one Bob Dylan song. The lyrics are a fierce attack on the sentiment that claims a war is justified. The Byrds did a awesome job on the song but will never take the place of the original. catches the spirit of consciousness in the protest movement - to protest injustice, but to be ever wary of just being a part of the problem ourselves. It's one of those protest songs that is opposed to war, but supportive of troops. One of the key lyrics in the song is: "You're old enough to kill, but not for votin'," which fueled the decision to lower the minimum voting age to 18 (which had been the minimum age for draft eligibility). Before the Civil War, African-American slaves gave voice to their oppression through protest songs camouflaged as Biblical spirituals. Which comes first: the feeling that there's a problem with the world, or the song that voices the pain the problem causes? "For What It's Worth" is a great socially conscious song, and I must admit it was a bit of an oversight on my part (even though I'm not sure what song I would exclude from the list to include it). This protest song, written in 1965 by 19-year-old P. F. Sloan, became a modern-day protest movement standard. "Oh, I'm just a typical American boy from a typical American town, I believe in God and Senator Dodd and a-keepin' old Castro down, And when it came my time to serve I knew "better dead than red". John Lennon said "all our songs are anti-war". Pete Seeger … Nice List, check out Les McCann and Eddie Harris "Compared to what" from the album Swiss Movement, a great soul drenched tune, with a fantastic Trumpet solo from Bennie Bailey. Since Dylan wrote so many classic protest songs, and his music was so closely linked with the 1960s protest movement, it was hard to narrow it down to just one. (Sing along to Donovan's Voice) Reflections of.. (the way life used to be) (Theme of "China Beach") Blowing in the Wind. His song is from the point of view of a soldier as he is called on to fight through America’s history, culminating in the atomic bomb attack on Japan. It tells the story of Dan, a soldier who is sent to Vietnam, and who has a nightmare about a nuclear war that ends the world. What you see as lack of passion, I see as eloquence. Masters of War is a great one about fighting the war machine. (It was a nearly impossible feat to narrow it down to ten. CJ Baker (author) from Parts Unknown on June 21, 2016: Jean, I agree that it was next to impossible to pick one Dylan song. And, BTW, please…who was the vocalist on the sixties song “A Song of Freedom!!”. Oliver Stone chose Dylan’s song to play over the closing credits of his George W. Bush biopic, ‘W’. The writer doesn’t listen songs very much. The song gained stature over the years and has been covered by several artists. CJ Baker is a published writer who recently started the podcast Ongoing History of Protest Music. St. Lawrence University 1964 Yearbook, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons. And note the way the original Byrds dressed: they were so inspired by “The Beatles” that they dressed as if British. :). This is a fine example of a song that can be applied to different situations as it is non-specific and not tied in to any particular conflict. Cooke went back to his gospel roots to record a deeply moving and hopeful song which continues to give me goosebumps every time I hear it. Baez became renowned for her rendition of the tune after performing it at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and it still gives us chills to this day. But without him,how would Hitler have condemned him at Dachau?Without him Caesar would have stood aloneHe's the one who gives his bodyas a weapon to the war.And without him all this killing can't go on. Credible songs also came from Joan Baez (usually covers of Dylan), Phil Ochs (who becomes tiresome after awhile), and a few others. I take your point about Where Have All the Flowers Gone and We Shall Overcome. Of course, it was taken up as a protest song and served that function well. Again, great list. Ochs was a key figure in the protest movement, and he performed at many civil rights and anti-Vietnam War rallies. it brings a tear to my eye to know you have an interest to carry on!! This is a great collection of protest songs, thanks for sharing and congrats on Hub Of the Day !! The point is that uncritical thinking is a problem regardless on which “side” of an issue it sits. The couple had set up camp in a Montreal hotel, attended by the world’s media and celebrity visitors. Take a catchy melody, lyrics with a ring of truth, sincerity and passion, and the times will do the rest. When Ochs says YOU he means YOU as the last verse of the song clearly states “If you’ll win the wars at home, there’ll be no fighting anymore”. As long as there has been social injustice in the world, there have been people protesting those injustices. critics will always be there , ans it is cheap and easy. Where is " Sky Pilot"? Why shout your righteous anger when you could sing it with protest songs? 1. He started the ball rolling with Where Have All the Flowers Gone in 1961 and his definite We Shall Overcome from the 1963 Carnegie Hall concert does need to be squeezed into the top five. Yes, I'm an old coot). In 1969, the majority of the country thought morale was great among the troops, and like eighty percent of them were in favor of the war. Nice to hear from you. When I decided to do this list, I told myself that I would only include one... 2. Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on June 15, 2015: Well--an interesting education for me, here. Aretha Franklin's trademark hit is from her 1967 breakthrough album I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You. But it wasn’t only about my draft status, from which terror I freed myself in early 1968, which freeing me up to be even more active against that involvement. I doubt very much it was banned by the US gov’t. Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 15, 2015: I was a teenager in the 1960s and both of my brothers served in Vietnam. Crazy Facts You Might Not Know About the Normans, Expensive Items That Turned Out to be Worthless, The Largest Non-Nuclear Explosions in History, What Are the Most Important Inventions of the 20th Century, Top 10 (plus one) Knights in European History, Top 10 Great Audio Adaptations of Great Books, Josip Broz ‘Tito’ Biography: Too Tough for Stalin, Adrian Carton de Wiart Biography: The Unbreakable Soldier. '21st Century Schizoid Man': King Crimson. Bill Russo from Cape Cod on June 15, 2015: It's hard to focus on the best protest anthems. I think protest songs are still a very active part of the music scene but seem to be less heard in this day and age. The song was originally recorded for the 1967 Country Joe & The Fish album, I Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die, but I much prefer the solo acoustic version recorded live at Woodstock. Billie Holiday's 1939 anti-lynching tune, "Strange Fruit" was an important catalyst for the civil rights movement. She was a powerfully vulnerable figure on stage and this song moved me to tears. The song became an important catalyst for the feminist movement of the 70s. (True Sounds of Liberty). I shall check your list out. It would be wonderful if these songs were no longer needed one day. Email me if you have any ideas that are dying to get published on Toptenz.net. Seeger was a great foot soldier for peace and who could forget Joan Baez’s soaring voice of defiance. You definitely don't tend to hear them on top 40 radio. Anne, when are you going to write for us again? 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