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No protest songs anymore?

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GUEST,Roger the skiffler 16 Mar 01 - 09:41 AM
catspaw49 16 Mar 01 - 09:51 AM
GUEST,UB Dan 16 Mar 01 - 10:08 AM
wysiwyg 16 Mar 01 - 10:10 AM
GUEST,j 16 Mar 01 - 10:14 AM
GUEST 16 Mar 01 - 01:52 PM
Bert 16 Mar 01 - 02:07 PM
reggie miles 16 Mar 01 - 05:47 PM
mousethief 16 Mar 01 - 06:13 PM
Lady McMoo 16 Mar 01 - 07:23 PM
Mr Red 16 Mar 01 - 07:39 PM
Lanfranc 16 Mar 01 - 07:57 PM
Little Hawk 16 Mar 01 - 07:59 PM
GUEST 16 Mar 01 - 08:00 PM
Ebbie 16 Mar 01 - 09:06 PM
Amergin 16 Mar 01 - 11:37 PM
katlaughing 16 Mar 01 - 11:45 PM
GUEST 16 Mar 01 - 11:58 PM
Amergin 17 Mar 01 - 12:04 AM
The Celtic Bard 17 Mar 01 - 02:29 AM
GUEST,synchronicity@supanet.com 17 Mar 01 - 03:21 AM
GUEST,synchronicity@supanet.com 17 Mar 01 - 04:11 AM
Lanfranc 17 Mar 01 - 07:13 AM
GUEST 17 Mar 01 - 04:09 PM
Amergin 17 Mar 01 - 04:38 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Mar 01 - 04:43 PM
Amergin 17 Mar 01 - 04:54 PM
The Celtic Bard 17 Mar 01 - 05:07 PM
Lanfranc 18 Mar 01 - 05:53 AM
Ebbie 18 Mar 01 - 03:52 PM
Little Hawk 18 Mar 01 - 07:21 PM
Gervase 19 Mar 01 - 07:10 AM
LR Mole 19 Mar 01 - 09:00 AM
John Hardly 19 Mar 01 - 10:18 AM
Whistle Stop 19 Mar 01 - 11:10 AM
BobP 19 Mar 01 - 11:58 AM
mousethief 19 Mar 01 - 01:17 PM
Little Hawk 19 Mar 01 - 01:17 PM
GUEST,Test Case 19 Mar 01 - 02:34 PM
Whistle Stop 19 Mar 01 - 02:49 PM
mousethief 19 Mar 01 - 03:01 PM
Lanfranc 19 Mar 01 - 07:29 PM
Lanfranc 19 Mar 01 - 07:32 PM
GUEST 19 Mar 01 - 10:54 PM
poor lonesome boy 19 Mar 01 - 11:37 PM
GUEST,Bedridden Barry 19 Mar 01 - 11:41 PM
Seamus Kennedy 20 Mar 01 - 02:15 AM
wdyat12 20 Mar 01 - 03:14 AM
wdyat12 20 Mar 01 - 03:16 AM
wdyat12 20 Mar 01 - 03:20 AM
wdyat12 20 Mar 01 - 03:24 AM
Gervase 20 Mar 01 - 08:01 AM
GUEST 20 Mar 01 - 08:19 AM
LR Mole 20 Mar 01 - 12:39 PM
mousethief 20 Mar 01 - 12:52 PM
Liz the Squeak 20 Mar 01 - 04:52 PM
Amergin 20 Mar 01 - 04:57 PM
karen jonason 21 Mar 01 - 09:09 AM
Dicho 15 Jan 02 - 06:01 PM
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DougR 16 Jan 02 - 06:53 PM
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Subject: No protest songs anymore?
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 16 Mar 01 - 09:41 AM

According to today's London Times anyway (haven't they looked at the Mudcat Song Contests?)
Story follows:
I wish to register a complaint BY STUART MACONIE There's lots to moan about nowadays so where have all the protest singers gone? In case you haven't noticed, times are bad. And you don't need to be a sheep farmer or a rail commuter or a steel worker or Vanessa Feltz to be reaching grimly for the Prozac. Look out of the window, the country is on its knees. Vast tracts of the countryside are a no-go area, where a few ulcerous sheep and mentally unhinged cows wander aimlessly around behind electric fencing. To call our railways Third World is an insult to the rather good Third World railways. Even the weather has turned biblical, suggesting God has some unfathomable grudge against us. We spent the summer under water, wringing out our mops, knee-deep in bilge, while road hauliers choked the country to death. It's surely only a matter of time before the President of Burkina Faso or Uzbekistan offers us a programme of aid.

So why isn't some long-haired rabble rouser getting up with an acoustic guitar and moaning about it. Never mind where have all the flowers gone; where have all the protest singers gone? "Hate is as nutritious as cyanide," said the great Kurt Vonnegut, "but it is a great motivator." Time was when rage, defiance, even mild irritation, was the great turbine that drove rock music. Everyone was a protest singer because, frankly, contentment was for squares. The status quo was for, er, Status Quo. "What are you rebelling against? What have you got?" replied any self-respecting rocker.

Joan Baez was like a bear with a sore head. Lennon was livid. Bob Dylan was so angry he couldn't sing properly. Punk rock (along with flushing toilets and the victory over Fascism, this was possibly the UK's greatest single contribution to world culture) was entirely the work of really grumpy people.

Look at the Clash. If the Clash couldn't find something sensible to get hacked off about, they would seize on anything. When pushed they either railed against things nobody cared about, such as the abundance of American cop shows on telly (I'm So Bored with the USA), or raked up long- dead causes such as the Spanish Civil War. If they had not split up they would probably have written songs decrying child chimney sweeps or Jack the Ripper.

British political rock in the Eighties was confined to the Labour Party's bland Red Wedge tour, but by contrast even that makes today's pop stars look like people who never leave the house without The Little Book of Calm. David Gray makes the Dalai Lama look abrasive . . . how can anyone be so reasonable? Mariah Carey likes a good strop but only really loses it if she's asked to come down a flight of stairs for a photograph as she was recently ("Ms Carey doesn't do stairs," it was pointed out testily) or finds that her flunky hasn't scattered rose petals in the loo. Even Billy Bragg has moved to Dorset and grows lobelias. Protest has become the modus operandi of fat road hauliers, bloodthirsty toffs or dreadlocked gap-year students who march against globalisation in Nike trainers sewn by toddlers in candlelight. Pop stars seem to have given up on it.

Thank God for crosspatches like Paul Heaton of the Beautiful South. In the past, he's harrumphed in broadest Yorkshire about Barratt houses (Build), Page Three girls (36 D) and affectionate couples (We Are Each Other) — have you noticed you never see him and Bernard Ingham in the same room? — or the Manic Street Preachers whose new record is an hour-long Kevin the Teenager whinge and who, in their press shots, always look like men who have just locked their keys in the car.

If it weren't for them even the once fertile carping ground of white guitar rock would have degenerated into self-absorbed whining about girls. Coldplay's lyrics, for all their metaphysical air, boil down to "She won't phone me back and she's got all my Cure albums".

And don't say we need a good war. We've still got loads of them. OK, so nothing like Vietnam, which was so traumatic that even Paul Hardcastle came up with a hit single about how frightened he was of the draft, even though he lived in Essex and the war had ended a decade before.

The Falklands gave us Elvis Costello's Shipbuilding and Billy Bragg's Island of No Return. But the Kosovo conflict has produced nary a B-side. "We" attacked the Chinese Embassy and deliberately bombed civilian journalists at a TV station and how did pop music respond? With Livin' La Vida Loca. It's good but it's not right, as Roy Walker of Catchphrase would say. The bombing of Baghdad last month caused less of a scandal in pop than Craig David not winning any Brits.

But, hold hard. Maybe it's not that pop has lost its teeth but that the rest of the world has lost its marbles. Maybe pop musicians, unlike the mad people who ring radio phone-ins, have realised that we are adrift in a godless universe and there is really nothing we can do.

Not even the members of Atomic Kitten are so dim to think that the Government can stop it raining. Evidently Richard Littlejohn and Angry of Stourport think they can. Perhaps pop's new resigned, philosophical, thoughtful outlook is progress indeed And, who knows, maybe even now Westlife are planning a ballad called Don't Incinerate Our Woolly Chums or Let Ramblers Run Free. Perhaps Steps are working out a nimble dance routine for their new single Don't Build on the Flood Plain, Baby. Now, does anyone have a rhyme for "bungled privatisation"? Copyright 2001 Times Newspapers Ltd.
RtS


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Mar 01 - 09:51 AM

Hey have I got a site for this guy...........Click Here to Complain

Spaw


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: GUEST,UB Dan
Date: 16 Mar 01 - 10:08 AM

Maybe all the protest singers are busy boycotting singing sites?


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Mar 01 - 10:10 AM

Maybe a lot of us are here, preaching to the choir.

I asked this question not long ago in a thread and it dropped with a thud.

~S~


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: GUEST,j
Date: 16 Mar 01 - 10:14 AM

look beyond the protest of dylan,baez,lennon,cash.......and u hear some great music


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Mar 01 - 01:52 PM

I agree. There's so much fodder for protest songs these days if only as reminders that these things should never have happened-think Kosovo or Columbine. The good thing about protest songs was that they kept you thinking and maybe helped to take a stand on an issue. We always need these reminders,even if they sometimes get preachy. In the rush of our daily lives it's too easy to say "Oh how sad" and move on. I kind of think that's the problem with young people today. They feel they don't have causes. They need vocal leaders and I don't mean Eminen.


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: Bert
Date: 16 Mar 01 - 02:07 PM

The songs are there in plenty - it's just that the media is not playing any folk music nowadays.


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: reggie miles
Date: 16 Mar 01 - 05:47 PM

A local, Jim Page is a wonderful protest singer. He's got a Woody G. kind of style. I entered a couple of protest songs into the Mudcat Song Book recently.


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: mousethief
Date: 16 Mar 01 - 06:13 PM

Great article. I like the writer's sense of humor.

As for the answer to the question raised therein, I think it was all summed up by Monty Python in the famous "Argument Clinic" sketch: "If you complain, nothing happens, so you might as well not bother."

Alex


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 16 Mar 01 - 07:23 PM

Certainly there are. Ani DiFranco springs to mind immediately. Perhaps it's as Bert says, the media just isn't playing much folk or "alternative acoustic" (for want of a better description) these days.

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: Mr Red
Date: 16 Mar 01 - 07:39 PM

Tom Lehrer (spelling someone?) said in an interview he had to stop writing songs because he became more liberal as he grew older and you just can't imagine his songs with even a smidgin of "maybe" or "but on the other hand". Protest songs are just as focussed.

Sorry folks we have gone soft. The young songwriters are going through a different fashion - by and large.

I wrote a protest song 15 years ago and felt the mood was wrong then, but maybe that was a musical bummer who knows.


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: Lanfranc
Date: 16 Mar 01 - 07:57 PM

Like its close relative, satire, protest singing sort of lost its point when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. (Apologies to Tom Lehrer, my hero as both protest singer and satirist.)

In the 60s, the student was in the vanguard demanding social change, justice and peace. Students today are a pusillanimous lot, all more worried about grades than protesting issues. Even if they give space to "Folk" music, it's most likely to be a comfortable invocation of a traditional rural idyll that never existed, or sanitised diddly-eye Celtic tunes. Don't bother my conscience, they seem to say, I'm more interested in material success.

Writing protest songs these days is a waste of time, anyway, 90% of the population never listens to the lyrics.

As to Kosovo, the nearest I've heard is Tom Paxton's "On the Road to Srbrenica". It's hard to sing about what you can neither spell nor pronounce.

The chickens are coming home to roost in flocks at present, perhaps that will jolt singers, songwriters and the world in general out of our comfortable impotent lethargy.

"But I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody outside of a small circle of friends."

Pass the prozac, switch off the Muzak!


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Mar 01 - 07:59 PM

There are loads of great protest songs being written and performed by folk singers. Guess what? You ain't gonna hear 'em on your radio or your TV, cos the money machine won't market them...with some very rare exceptions.

Now there's something to protest about, by golly, but they won't air it if you do.

"I beee-leeeeeeeve that my heaaaaaartttt will go onnnnnn"

Yeah. Peel me another synthetic grape, Beulah...

Ching! $85 million more dollars in the kitty! And not one of 'em has a gram of real gold behind it.

- LH


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Mar 01 - 08:00 PM

Little Hawk himself is a major writer of protest songs.


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Subject: Lyr Add: MR. BASKETBALL SHOES
From: Ebbie
Date: 16 Mar 01 - 09:06 PM

Mr. Basketball Shoes

Mr. Basketball Shoes owns a factory in China and Vietnam
Where a 12 year old girl works for nothin'; he don't give a damn
Sixteen hours a day, seven days a week
When they break her malnourished body, just throw her out in the street

When the workers try to unionize or tell him they protest
Basketball Shoes calls the military and they come out and make arrests
Take the workers to the prisons and there they're left to rot
Bad food and dirty water behind prison bars is their lot

I said:
Justice is a wheel, turns slow but it grinds fine
My mama says that wheel turns full circle in due time

Now Mr. Basketball Shoes loves money; he'll do anything to succeed
He don't care about God, love, or human decency
This man has no compassion, his heart is filled with greed
Rules from a throne of darkness and dirty evil deeds

From the carpet mills in Pakistan to the sweat shops in Mexico
This is the age of lawlessness declare the CEOs
Republicans in Washington, they all love basketball shoes
It gives them campaign money; they turn their backs on what they do

Now I had myself a dream the night my poor old mother died
I saw that Wheel of Justice come fallin' from the sky
Oh, what beautiful light! It made the darkness run
No more death, no more slavery, disease or war or guns

Buddy Tabor
Juneau, Alaska

© 1998 Blinding Flash of Light

Buddy is a local songwriter who just keeps getting better. A lot of his songs is blues but he also writes some lyrical stuff- his Canyon de Chelly is gorgeous.

I would love to see other people's work here. I often look at the Mudcat Songbook and there are wonderful lyrics there but we never hear about them here. Is it frowned on because it takes too much room?

Wistfully,

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: Amergin
Date: 16 Mar 01 - 11:37 PM

I got a few in the Songbook....not that anyone ever sings them but me....but still they are there....


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Mar 01 - 11:45 PM

Ebbie, I don't think it is frowned or a problem of space. I think a lot of people just don't know about it or, the songs stared out here, got put there and people have gobe onto focus on others.

Maybe you could do a highlight of the week of a song from there? That would be interesting and fun, IMO. Loved your friend's song. It's really good.

Thanks,

kat


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Mar 01 - 11:58 PM

If you want to hear them, you have to look (and listen) to where they can be found. There seems to be a lot of that healthy protest spirit here in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. There's a great public radio station here which plays this sort of thing, in addition to a variety of quality traditional and new music of all kinds. It's (appropriately) found on the far left of the dial at 88.5. But writing them, singing them is not enough. When we stop supporting corporate entities like WalMart, McDonalds, Nike and so many others, then we might effect some change. It's not easy, but it works if we work it. Home Depot has recently agreed (after much consumer pressure) to stop stocking lumber derived from ancient rainforest trees. Burger King stopped using beef from South America which was being grazed on land that had been converted from rainforest to pasture. There's a lot of information out there on the web about who to target and how. Some of here at the 'Cat have another weapon at our disposal...our music. Let's use it.


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: Amergin
Date: 17 Mar 01 - 12:04 AM

Well, Katdarling and Ebbie....I can always shamelessly promote my work.....there are many others here who can do the same....


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: The Celtic Bard
Date: 17 Mar 01 - 02:29 AM

While reading this thread, I found that I had to agree with most of what was said here. I listen to many different kinds of music and it is very very rare that I hear a protest song if ever. I don't think that they've gone the way of the dodo, I think that they're still there but are being ignored by "big biz" in favor of (gag!) boy bands and "my wife left me again." Granted I mostly enjoy those kinds of songs but I does lull people into a kind of fantasy world.

However the thing that really got my goat while reading this thread was Lanfranc's comments on students and how they are more worried about their grades and material success and don't give space to "Folk" music. EXCUSE ME? First of all that's stereotypical and rude and second of all, IT'S WRONG! I'm a third year college student who IS interested in issues other than my grades and if you haven't noticed by my membership here, is also "giving space to folk music"! Now granted there are a lot of students who don't do anything about the issues that need facing (especially in the university) because they figure that they don't have the time. What's the point in trying to fix the system if you're going to be out of it in four to six years? Granted at Cal Poly Pomona, where I go to school, the highest voter turnout in years was 40% and that was when they were going to raise our fees. Granted most people will walk right past a protester and not even hear a word he said. But on the other hand, we have an underground newpaper to make up for the official paper that is under the president's thumb. We have several ethnic and issue related groups that stage protests and meetings all the time. We have had students face the student government (which is also under the president's thumb), the school administration, and the president himself. Again we aren't prefect (who is?) but at least a fair number of us try. Personnally, I am involved in several of the protests that go on each year and I make sure that I vote. Now I'm not perfect either but at least I do try. Plus about this "folk" thing, I enjoy listening to, singing, and playing folk music and not just "the comfortable innvocation of a rural idyll that never existed or sanitised diddy-eyed Celtic tunes" but rebel songs and protest songs.

Normally I don't like to go off on rants like this but I felt that your worldview needed re-adjusting. Please know who you are talking about before you go stereotyping the whole group.

Thank you.

Rebecca <><


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: GUEST,synchronicity@supanet.com
Date: 17 Mar 01 - 03:21 AM

There are plenty of social comment songs being written - you just need to know where to look and where to go to hear them. How about checking out your local library for folk clubs - they do still exist. Also suggest you go to your record store and seek out Robb Johnson - he's a prolific writer and has been for years - his most recent offering is a re-recording of songs written during the reign of the Thatcher government - a CD called 'Margaret Thatcher: My part in her downfall' Irregular Records IRR042 distribution by Proper Music - go ask for it NOW in your record store. There's also a song book available - contact Robb at irregular@moosemusic.co.uk - tell him Debbie said so! Happy listening - hope you're inspired and comforted to know that there ARE still people out here who care about what those in power are doing to our Planet. Incidentally, we sing together as Synchronicity and are performing a set of subversive songs at a local secular hall meeting shortly. Other people to check out are Roy Bailey (who sings many of Robb's songs), Leon Rosselson, Si Kahn, Mick Ryan, Janet Russell ....... to name just a few. Go search them out.


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: GUEST,synchronicity@supanet.com
Date: 17 Mar 01 - 04:11 AM

Just thinking further about this protest business and why very little gets played on mainstream radio stations these days - maybe fewer people have the courage to play controversial songs - they are not bought by the mainstream, therefore make little money for the record companies who won't put money behind people who threaten to upset the status quo. However, if the songs aren't played, how do people know that they're available to buy? Do protest songs ever really change anything - or do they serve a purpose by giving people the permission to hold similar views? Surely, if enough people unite together with these views, then change will follow. We're just not standing up and being counted for what we believe in. We do have choices and perhaps we need to be exercising our right to make these choices. Take the fuel protesters - they banded together in an attempt to get the government to take notice of them. And what of the farmers in this current crisis. Why should the government slaughter disease free animals. Surely this is taking things just a tad too far! Are the farmers going to stand up to them and prevent it happening - or are the lambs going to go meekly to slaughter? I'm reminded of the lyrics of the chorus of a song written by Mick Ryan called 'I won't take that lying down' which was written about people who took a stand against being downtrodden. Where have all the brave, strong, courageous people gone? I'd love to see this become a national anthem - how about singing it out loud:

Oh I wouldn't lie down and I couldn't lie down And if I'd any pride them I shouldn't lie down I can't lie down and I shan't lie down No I won't take that lying down.

Where's all the pride and the spine gone?


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: Lanfranc
Date: 17 Mar 01 - 07:13 AM

Whew, Celtic Bard, you did your best to put an old curmudgeon in his place. OK, what I said was stereotypical, and yes, I have no doubt there are exceptions. My big mistake, posting late and tired, was to miss out the vital words "the majority of" before the word "students". With those words added, I have to confess that my other statements are consistent with my own experience.

There is another issue vis-a-vis students, in the UK at least, and that is the question of grants and money in general. If you are up to your ears in debt and/or strapped for cash, keeping a low profile (or working in McDonalds) probably seems like a good idea.

Read through your own post, Rebecca, and grant that you concede my point in a number of your comments. You sound like one of the exceptions - keep up the good work.

Here in the UK Roy Bailey and Leon Rosselson still carry the torch forward, as does Jeremy Taylor in some of his new writings, but when do they ever get a hearing on any form of mass media (medium?)? Seldom, if ever, and when they do, it's usually one of their less controversial numbers.

I'll check out the Robb Johnson material, keep an ear open for Mick Ryan and Janet Russell, and beg for the tune to the Buddy Tabor song posted above.

I'm always on the lookout for good material, protest or otherwise.

How about a Protest Song session on PalTalk sometime?


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Mar 01 - 04:09 PM

Les Barker, Nic Jones, Brian Bedford Some of today's protest songs, of course, are the opposite of earlier ones; eg protests about mines closing, when in earlier generations they were about having to work in the mines. Is this "a good thing", or not?


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: Amergin
Date: 17 Mar 01 - 04:38 PM

Jez Lowe has some very wonderful topical songs.....


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Mar 01 - 04:43 PM

...and Vin Garbutt, Colum Sands, Jez Lowe and... - the list goes on and on.

I don't like the term "protest song" myself and never have, and didn't back in theb 60s - it sounds like it's people stamping their feet petulantly, or going off in a sulk. But if you write songs about real life, a lot of them have to be about things that are wrong that ought to be fixed, and if people want to call them protest songs, fair enough.

There are probably more good songs like that being written and sung than there ever have been. If you take the mass media as your measure of what is happening such sings don't exist, of course, but the mass media is on its way down the plughole of history anyway.

I spend more time on the Mudcat these days than I do watching telly, and I seriously think that's the way things are headed. And I don't listen to many records of people I haven't heard directly, not when it comes to this type of music anyway.

What is missing in most places is a popular radical political movement for the songs to plug into, but that's not down to the music. Anytime there's a movement the songs will appear and reinforce it. (And don't quote the petrol-price thing in England last year against that, because so far as I was concerned, that was a Tory media-generated con, and if I'd ever come up against one of their picket-lines I'd have gone straight through it, and that'd have been a first for me.)


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: Amergin
Date: 17 Mar 01 - 04:54 PM

There will be tears in the eyes
Of the miners and wives
When these coal town days are done


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: The Celtic Bard
Date: 17 Mar 01 - 05:07 PM

Lanfranc, thank you for responding to my comments. I guess I was partly upset that I was stoved in a stereotypical niche and partly because a fair amount of what you said is true and I'm sick of it. I'm sick of so many people being apathetic and meekly accepting the system just because they don't have the time, inclination, or guts to change it. I have met some highly motivated young people who say "skrew the odds, we're going to try anyway" and I admire and applaude those people because that's how the world changes. However there seem to be far too many people who say "skrew trying to change things because it won't happen." That's how tyrants stay in power and how injustice continues longer than it should. I try to be in the former group.

Again, thank you for responding. Maybe I was a little too harsh but I don't regret the views that I expressed.

Rebecca <><


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: Lanfranc
Date: 18 Mar 01 - 05:53 AM

Lord, give me the strength to change what I can change, the fortitude to endure what I cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference.

For evil to flourish, it is only necessary for the good to do nothing.

No hard feelings, Rebecca.

Thanks for the pointers, Kevin and others.

I'm listening to Artisan's CD as I write, so some of Brian Bedford's songs sre likely to creep into the repertoire.

Down with apathy!

Alan


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: Ebbie
Date: 18 Mar 01 - 03:52 PM

Lanfranc, here is a site where you can listen to Buddy's songs. Mr. Basketball Shoes is one of those featured on mp3:

http://www.efolkmusic.com/viewalbum.asp?Artist=Buddy+Tabor

Buddy has written many more songs and recorded other CDs and tapes both before and since then. His most recent CD is 'Abandoned Cars and Broken Hearts'.

I push Buddy because Alaska is a paradoxically small market, although he has opened both here in Juneau and in Anchorage for many touring artists such as Iris Dement, Cheryl Wheeler and Townes Van Zandt (one of his musical heroes.

Buddy is good and getting even better all the time.

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 18 Mar 01 - 07:21 PM

GUEST - That was last year. This year I am a major writer of psychological songs about people who are incapable of letting go of the past.

- LH


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Subject: Lyr Add: COAL NOT DOLE^^
From: Gervase
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 07:10 AM

In the UK it would seem that the last event to bring the "protest song" into popular consciousness was the miners' strike of 84-85. That produced some cracking stuff - listen to the Oyster Band or Coope Boyes & Simpson doing Coal Not Dole as an example.

Coal Not Dole
It stands so proud, the wheel so still,
A ghostlike figure on the hill.
It seems so strange there is no sound
Now there are no men underground:

What will become of this pit yard,
Where men once trampled, faces hard?
Tired and weary, their shift done,
Never having seen the sun.

Will it become a sacred ground?
Foreign tourists gazing round
Asking if men once worked here,
Way beneath the pithead gear:

Empty trucks once filled with coal,
Lined up just like men on the dole.
Will they e'er be used again,
Or left for scrap just like the men?:

There'll always be a happy hour
For those with money, jobs and power.
They'll never realise the hurt
They do to them they treat like dirt:


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: LR Mole
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 09:00 AM

Phil O. said "...ah, but in such an ugly time, the only true protest is beauty." Still, that was in a liner note, and the sentiment didn't stop him from writing some of the best human songs (perhaps a better word than protest.)(Perhaps not.)ever. We aren't silent, folks. We're in tune.


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: John Hardly
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 10:18 AM

Protest songs, in order to aquire a broad acceptance have to find a culture with an innocence that still believes that changes are possible, and that there are structures to change in a meaningful way.

This is the era of true cynicism (near nihilism) that doesn't believe enough in absolutes to believe that answers are possible either.

The protests of the 60's found their stength in a culturally agreed upon notion of right and wrong and an innocent belief that if we screamed long and loud those changes could be made.

Now those same protesters have either felt that they achieved success in their little corner of the protest world (the war ended), or seen the corruption of their fellow protesters as they achieved the position of the protested against--protest and compromise are not the best of friends, and as protestors became polititians they necessarily learned to compromise--but their fellow protestors felt betrayed.

Furthermore, percieved injustices are no longer culturally agreed upon because the very culture that led the protest movement was also in the forefront of culture that insisted that everyone should believe that there is no objective right or wrong, thereby slaying themselves with their own sword.

just a thought

JH


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 11:10 AM

I think there are plenty of protest songs around now, but it's a more fragmented set of issues than might have existed in the too-fondly-remembered 1960's. Back then there were a few core issues -- anti-war, civil rights, one or two others -- about which there were clear divisions and "sides," that served as the basis for most of the protest songs people were familiar with. I'm not sure there's quite that degree of consistency in the bewildering number of issues that people might want to write about now.

With relatively few exceptions, "protest" music is not one of my favorite types. It's often an invitation to be simplistic -- longer than a bumper sticker, but with a similar black hats/white hats outlook. I'd rather listen to songs about deeper human themes, and try to relate their lessons to the issues of the day. I think some of our greatest "protest" singers (Bob Dylan, f'rinstance) have ended up thinking this way as well.


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: BobP
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 11:58 AM

Come gather roun' catters where ever you be,

An' admit that the protest song needs you & me,

We all must join voices to let the world see,

That we'll stop our complain when all the world's free.

Next verse is yours . . . Go (and never stop)!


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: mousethief
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 01:17 PM

Where have all the protesters gone,
Long time passing?
Where have all the protesters gone,
Long time ago?
Where have all the protesters gone?
Gone to gate-guarded communities, every one
Oh when will they ever learn?
Oh when will they ever learn?


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 01:17 PM

A song can be about all kinds of other stuff and still contain elements of protest that are worked in here and there. That may be a more effective technique sometimes than the straight-out, obvious form of protest song typical of the early 60's. About half of all the material I've ever written has elements of protest in it, while not necessarily being a "protest song" in the usual sense.

Give a listen to Maddy Prior doing "Heart of Stone". Now there's protest, by God, put in very personal terms.

- LH


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: GUEST,Test Case
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 02:34 PM

Okay, I gotta do this as a protest song test-case.

Folks here know Tom Paxton writes in every music style.

Is "On The Road to Sri Brinitza" a protest song or simply a statement against the horror of civil war?

What could he accomplish through protest; what thinking person would need to be convinced to oppose the inhuman behaviour described, what stonebrain would be listening to Paxton anyway?

I really would like to know:

Is it appropriate or too powerful for radio?

Does he make a case for keeping armed peacekeepers?

Are you encouraged to support solving the problem by giving each side tons of weapons and hoping the balancing act brings peace? Does it help you just to know about this stuff, regardless? and, if so, is that enough to qualify it as protest?

Should we just forget music compostion labeling?


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 02:49 PM

Come topical singers, put pen to the page Then grab your guitar and proceed to the stage Your words will move mountains, so sing out your rage! Your causes are so wide-rangin' But you're playing to indifferent kids half your age Oh the times, they are a-changin'


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Subject: Lyr Add: PEACE IS OUT^^
From: mousethief
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 03:01 PM

Peace is Out
Roy Zimmerman

We used to take a nonviolent stance
In Nehru jackets and bell-bottom pants
We even used to sing "Give peace a chance"
Man, we musta been jokin'

We used to slander the words of our prez
And praise whatever the Tao Te Ching says
We used to want to sing like Joan Baez
Jesus, what were we smokin'?

Now when someone says, "Hell no, we won't go"
What they mean is to Berkeley

Peace is out, love is out
No-one wants to hear about
Peace and love any more
Now we're fighting
In a war against poverty,
A war against crime,
Cos it's "in" to be in a war

We used to traipse around in tie-dyed tights
Droppin' daisies in enemy sights
Now we're fightin' for property rights
Musta come to our senses

We used say all we needed was love
Olive branches and sign of the dove
Now we're lookin' for something above
90k plus expenses

Now when someone says "We shall overcome"
They mean we'll be right over

Peace is out, love is out
No-one wants to hear about
Peace and love anymore
Now we're fighting
In a war against obesity
A war against drugs
Cos it's "in" to be in... a war.

All we wanna say (yeah)
Is peace.... ain't PC, it's passé.

Now when someone says "What the world needs now,"
it's a private police force

Peace is out, love is out
No-one gives a rat's ass about
Peace and love any more
Now we're fighting
In a war against violence
A war against joblessness
A war against ignorance
A war against homelessness
A war against cavities
Cos it's "in" to be in.... a war.

(as sung by the Foremen on "Folk Heroes")

------------

Alex


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: Lanfranc
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 07:29 PM

Now those who kissed others for freedom
Like Judas are taking the gold
Conditioned to pay all the dues every day
With the blood of the promises sold

Harvey Andrews


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: Lanfranc
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 07:32 PM

Yippee, it worked - Lanfranc discovers line-breaks.

A small step for anyone else, but a huge stride for a Lanfranc!

If all else fails, read the manual!

Well I'll be FAQ'd!

Normal service will be resumed, this is not thread creep.


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 10:54 PM

For a couple of good ones that remain uncannily timely, check the album, "Skin and Bones," by Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick. "Perfumes of Araby," and "What a Lovely War." Both in reference to the Middle East mess.


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: poor lonesome boy
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 11:37 PM

Whoa, John Hardly. Food for my brain tonight. I'm with you, I think... It's not that we dont' have protest singers, just look at the list on this thread, it's just that other than you, me and the Mudcatter three, nobody is listening to them anymore. I'd say Tracy Chapman was probably the last one to meet with any kind of commercial success. U2 will take a chance with protest every now and then, but not really known for it. To add on to Hardly's point though, there has not been an issue – like Vietnam – which has consolodated youthful anger. Maybe that's a good thing. Maybe the causes aren't as serious as they were and exposure of the bad are pretty damn obvious, even when the finger points back at our own societies. Liberal guilt has become a pretty powerful lobby on its own. But I've been listening to a lot of talk on the WTO lately. 'Seattle' has become a war cry. This might just be the next big thing. And if that's so, there might just be a junior Dylan out there right now ready to document it all for the masses in the coming years. Hey... you never know.


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: GUEST,Bedridden Barry
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 11:41 PM

I believe there's a very healthy & active segement of folk music today still turning out protest songs only maybe a bit harder to root out from some of the other forms of folk music. There aren't the same large scale mass galvinizing banners that we had in the 60's to all rally under but there are songwriters protesting against what things they see as injust. Some may be only pet peeves & others may it may be their own personnal causes but they're still there. I for one am happy that there is no present day Viet Nam to sing or rally against but I still write & sing about the mistreatment of children or the crime of controled & delibrate poverty or the uselessness of prisons when there's no education or the use of drugs in a war that fuels economy. But these are smaller scale injustices that many wouldn't be concerned with when they think of what they may consider injustices more important to their own heart. I think one would be very hard pressed to find protest song writers within the present day under age singer/songwriter who haven't yet had the chance to cut their teeth on a hotbed but like an underground movement they're there making waves & not looking forward to the days that may call on them to sing up a storm. Barry


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 20 Mar 01 - 02:15 AM

Tommy Sands and Dick Gaughan.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: wdyat12
Date: 20 Mar 01 - 03:14 AM

Hi Folks,

I just heard Phil Ochs sing "Here's to the State of Mississipi" on hober.com. What do you mean there are no protest songs anymore?

wdyat12


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: wdyat12
Date: 20 Mar 01 - 03:16 AM

M I S S I P P I

wdyat12


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: wdyat12
Date: 20 Mar 01 - 03:20 AM

Now there playing "Jesus Hits like An Atom Bomb."

wdyat12


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: wdyat12
Date: 20 Mar 01 - 03:24 AM

Now their playin' "Prison Blues." Tell me that ain't no protest.

wdyat12


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: Gervase
Date: 20 Mar 01 - 08:01 AM

...and what about our own Kevin McGrath?
He's probably too modest to bring this up, but I heard him sing his song about the Chinese kids asphyxiated in a container at Dover in a session at Sidmouth last year, and you culd have heard a pin drop. The reaction from everyone afterwards was a muted and rather emotional "Wow."
It's powerful stuff - and it's a protest song about something that happened just a year ago.


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Mar 01 - 08:19 AM

Today's papers report Pete Seeger is giving royalties from Turn Turn Turn to help resettlement projects in Israel.
RtS


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: LR Mole
Date: 20 Mar 01 - 12:39 PM

Billy Yeats says,"The best lack all conviction, while the worst/are full of passionate intensity." From this morning's window I think, if Kent happens again, both sides will have guns, and tanks will roll in American streets. Money doesn't even have to pretend it isn't in charge, much less be shared. I've been trying to rhyme this for an hour but there's no song in any of it.


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: mousethief
Date: 20 Mar 01 - 12:52 PM

Tin soldiers and Bush LiteTM comin'
We're finally on our own...


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 20 Mar 01 - 04:52 PM

Sang one at church on Sunday, called Rise up o People, for one of these local Broad Based Organisations, a group of local organisations that work together to improve the lot of the local people... Mosques, churches, temples, youth groups, Social centres, that sort of thing, all working together, protesting for better services (council, not church....), better facilites , more local trade/artisans used in local projects (the Millennium Dome used up to 50% local labour), living wage protests and supporting the small local businesses - keeping the big American consortium from buying up all the funeral directors in the area, that sort of thing.....

It's by a lady more known for writing church music, Bernadette Farrell, and it is bloody good, a simple, easy tune to pick up, and very stiring. Best Tolpuddle Martyrs tradition...

LTS


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: Amergin
Date: 20 Mar 01 - 04:57 PM

Gervase...I have heard that most wonderful song on Kevin's site....have been itching to sing it on PalTalk sometime....that is if you do not mind, McGrath...


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: karen jonason
Date: 21 Mar 01 - 09:09 AM

Can anyone enable me to access the sheet music for Mr Basketball Shoes? I haven't got sound so will need the sheet music scanned in. People have kindly done this for me before


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Subject: Lyr Add: NEW NATIONAL ANTHEM (from John Lomax)
From: Dicho
Date: 15 Jan 02 - 06:01 PM

I would like to know the background on this song, from Cowboy Songs by John Lomax (1910). Is it is a protest song about cattle prices? Inroads of eastern ways? What period?.

LYR ADD: NEW NATIONAL ANTHEM

My country, 'tis of thee,
Land where things used to be
So cheap, we croak.
Land of the mavericks,
Land of the puncher's tricks,
Thy culture-inroad pricks,
The hide of this peeler-bloke.

Some of the punchers swear
That what they eat and wear
Takes all their calves.
Others vow that they
Eat only once a day
Jerked beef and prairie hay
Washed down with tallow salves.

These salty-dogs* but crave
To pull them out the grave
Just one Kiowa spur.
They know they still will dine
On flesh and beef the time;
But give us, Lord divine,
One hen-fruit stir**."

Our father's land with thee,
Best trails of liberty,
We chose to stop.
We don't exactly like
So soon to henceward hike,
But hell, we'll take the pike
If this don't stop.

*"Cowboy Dude," defines Lomax (?). In Adams, salty dog is defined as one who is especially good in his line of endeavor. **pancake
@cowboy @protest


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: simon-pierre
Date: 15 Jan 02 - 11:44 PM

Darn Folksinger


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Subject: RE: No protest songs anymore?
From: DougR
Date: 16 Jan 02 - 06:53 PM

Mebbe somebody should write a protest song about the fact that nobody's playing protest songs on the radio anymore! Little Hawk?

DougR


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