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Protest Music Revisited


Protest Music Revisited

Do you still love all that acoustic music from folk to folk-rock dedicated to political awareness, state of the union, future generations, Mother Earth, etc.? If so, this is the group for you!

Members: 30
Latest Activity: Dec 29, 2014

Discussion Forum

Don't Write Me Off 'Cause I'm Old

Guess we could call this my geriatric protest song. Hope you enjoy!

Started by Lon Milo DuQuette Dec 29, 2014.

Are we ever too old to write and perform socially progressive songs?

Hello again friends.I turned 66 this summer and I'm still mad as hell and insanely optimistic about politics, war and peace and life in general. To give vent to the mad as hell part I wrote and…Continue

Started by Lon Milo DuQuette Oct 19, 2014.

Is there such a thing as protest MUSIC? 19 Replies

 Dear friends,This is not intended to be polemic, but, probably, the "protest" element in most "protest songs" is the lyrics, not the music.I became interested in protest songs during the 60's. By…Continue

Started by Luis Motta da Silva. Last reply by paul stokes Jun 21, 2014.

My New Protest Song 1 Reply

You Bet Your Ass It's Class WarfareEnjoy and please share.

Tags: Class, Warfare, Larrivee, DuQuette, Milo

Started by Lon Milo DuQuette. Last reply by Bob Crain Nov 14, 2012.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Bob Crain on July 1, 2014 at 6:24pm

Paul, nice song! Your question in respect to whether it is a protest song or not is why I prefer the term "socially conscious". The term "protest song" came along in the '60s because so many of the song were attached to physical protests against the Viet Nam war, civil rights etc....but much of it (protest music) and socially conscious songs, songwriters making a social comment through music has been around forever. Pre-Sixties it was generally referred to as "Folk Music" Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger sorta stuff many of whose songs were later attached to physical protests and became "protest songs". Is your song about the horrors of war seen through the eyes of a participant or mine about the horrors of war as seen from a point that companies and people are profiting from war "protest songs"....well since it seems that there are no physical protests being held against current wars, and the war mongers in Congress seem to be anxious to hop right in to another one and let the profits roll in....our songs can hardly be labelled as "protest songs". So I will stick with "socially conscious" trying to make a point, actually provide some meaning for standing up on stage and are welcome to use it or "protest song" as long as songwriters continue to try to get a point across it doesn't really matter what we label it.  

Comment by paul stokes on July 1, 2014 at 6:24am

Would this be classed as a protest song, its definitely anti-war but does that automatically grant it protest song status?

Comment by michael schwartz on June 15, 2014 at 9:09am

whoo hoo! My Wife got me a 1st Printing Edition of "Hard Hitting Songs for Hard-Hit People.' I'm a happy Guy! Wonderful songs with notations by Woody.

Comment by Bob Crain on June 2, 2014 at 11:58pm

Whilst the history of "protest" music is valid I disagree that there is a new generation following in the footsteps of Jackson Browne, CSN&Y, Dylan, Baez, Garcia, Mitchell, Ochs, The Jefferson Airplane, Springsteen etc. Yes the Woodstock Generation is still out there promoting causes and protesting injustice but as far as a "new generation" of artists taking up the battle they are few and very far in between from what I can see and hear. David Rovics is of course, as are many of us who still see music as a messenger, still "battling Armageddon with a piece of wood and 6 strings" but unfortunately it seems the message is completely lost on today's it's all about my feelings generation of song writers.

Comment by Luis Motta da Silva on January 29, 2014 at 2:55pm

Maybe you like this story:

A friend of mine, banjo player and Seeger fan, wrote him letters. That was the beginning of a nice friendship and, at a certain point, Seeger invited my friend to stay with him, in the Clearwater, for some days. My friend was very young and had no money, but he managed to save enough for the flights and had a very nice time playing banjo with Seeger.

Problem came when my friend caught typhoid fever and needed to stay in hospital for quite some time. Of course, our National Health Service coverage is not valid in the US, and there was a huge hospital bill to be paid. Seeger took responsibility for it so that my friend could return to Portugal and pay him back later.

Seems he was not only a great musician, but also a five-star person...

Comment by Steve Frank on January 29, 2014 at 2:27pm

Great singer and writer. Joe Hill is a classic and has been performed by many different folk singers, the first I heard to it was Joan Baez at Woodstock, but it goes back to a poem written by Alfred Hayes after Joe Hill (Hillstrom?), a Swede working in the US, was executed, very possibly wrongfully, after a couple was shot. Joe Hill, himself a writer of union songs was very well known among those who tried to unionize, some succeeding, some failing, and the poem was put to music by Earle Robinson in 1936? after he read the poem by Hayes at Camp Unity, where several people were having a tribute to Joe Hill. I had the privilege of meeting Pete Seeger twice, but would be lying if I said we were friends or hung out together. Once was when he came to buy fruit from my uncles Orchard in Upstate NY, and the other time, at the Rondout Creek in Kingston, NY, where the Clearwater was docked. Those two times, he was a perfect gentlemen, with a keen wit and I noticed he seemed very aware of all that was going on around him, taking things in, yet eager to share his experience. That was the feel I got anyway. As most, I know him much more through his music, and stories of his trips with Woody Guthrie, and all he did, always fighting the good fight. Rest In Peace Pete Seeger, although there will never be another, his music and deeds have influenced so many, that his legacy is in all of us.

Comment by Luis Motta da Silva on January 29, 2014 at 1:24pm

Good people,

I had the privilege of being present at Pete Seeger's Lisbon concert (1983?). Since the 60s I had admired his music and attitude. It was an unforgettable rendition, and he had an enthusiastic audience here. A Man (written with a capital initial) just died, but his lesson remains... I'm gonna stick to the Union!

Comment by Rosemary j. Lambin on January 28, 2014 at 10:23pm

Hey, Lon, thanks for posting about Pete Seeger. His death is a loss and his music is a gift that lives on.

Comment by Lon Milo DuQuette on January 28, 2014 at 12:02am

RIP Pete Seeger.

Comment by Lon Milo DuQuette on January 26, 2014 at 4:47pm

Thanks Bob! :-)


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