Archives du mot-clé lyrics

Can Music Fight Power ?

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Across the centuries people have recognised the power of music and as a result, it has continually been used as a tool of propaganda and songs have always provided a platform for people to share their concerns about pressing economic, social and political issues that are so often swept  by those in power.

Examples of protest songs:

Public Enemy — Fight the Power

Written for Spike Lee’s film Do The Right Thing, the 1989 hip-hop song Fight the Power orders the listener to fight authority and carries the message of empowering the black community in America

Billie Holiday — Strange Fruit

Strange Fruit is a protest song against the lynchings of African Americans in 1930s America.

‘Southern trees bear strange fruit/Blood on the leaves and blood at the root/Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze/Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.’

Patti Smith — People Have the Power

‘The power to dream / to rule/ to wrestle the world from fools/it’s decreed the people rule/ it’s decreed the people rule/LISTEN

Bob Dylan — It’s Alright Ma (I’m only bleeding)

The lyrics express Dylan’s anger at hypocrisy, commercialism, consumerism, warmongers and contemporary American culture

Money doesn’t talk, it swears,’ ‘Although the masters make the rules, for the wisemen and the fools’ and ‘But even the president of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked.’

Nina Simone — I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to be Free

Simone’s 1967 recording of Dick Dallas and Billy Taylor’s song quickly became the anthem for the civil-rights movement.

John Lennon — Imagine

I just had to include a song from a native Liverpudlian, and Lennon’s Imagine continues to encourage generations to imagine a world at peace without the divisiveness and barriers of borders, religions and nationalities, and to consider the possibility that the focus of humanity should be living a life unattached to material possessions.

“Imagine there’s no countries/It isn’t hard to do/Nothing to kill or die for/And no religion too/ Imagine all the people/Living life in peace”

Bob Marley — Redemption Song

‘Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds.’

source:http://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/blogs/can-music-fight-power-try-our-protest-song-playlist

Bob Dylan: The most powerful and poignant lyrics from the Nobel Prize for Literature winner

 Bob Dylan – Blowin’ In The Wind Lyrics

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you can call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they’re forever banned?
The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

Yes, how many years can a mountain exist
Before it’s washed to the sea?
Yes, how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free?
Yes, how many times can a man turn his head
Pretending he just doesn’t see?
The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

Yes, how many times must a man look up
Before he can really see the sky?
Yes, how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind. 

About the song and its impact:

« Blowin’ in the Wind » is a song written by Bob Dylan in 1962 and released as a single and on his album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan in 1963. Although it has been described as a protest song, it poses a series of rhetorical questions about peace, war and freedom. The refrain « The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind » has been described as « impenetrably ambiguous: either the answer is so obvious it is right in your face, or the answer is as intangible as the wind ».[2]

In 1994, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 2004, it was ranked number 14 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the « 500 Greatest Songs of All Time ».

(CNN)When Bruce Springsteen inducted Bob Dylan into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he said: « Bob freed your mind the way Elvis freed your body. He showed us that just because music was innately physical did not mean that it was anti-intellectual. »

Dylan’s influence on music cannot be overstated: the way he subverted the notion that radio tunes have to be three minutes long; the way he proved that songs with overtly political themes can be commercially successful; the way his music resonates just as much today as they did when he recorded them decades earlier.
To be fair, there are quite a few songwriters whose work is still relevant, but here’s only one – Dylan — whose poetry has, at times, changed the course of history.

When he wrote this song in 10 minutes sitting in a cafe — as Dylan claims — he had no way of knowing it would become an anthem of the civil rights movement. After all, he once called it « just another song. » He sang it at a voter registration rally in Greenwood, Mississippi. Peter Yarrow sang it during the march from Selma to Montgomery. And the trio, Peter, Paul and Mary played it on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington, just hours before Martin Luther King Jr. stood before thousands and declared « I have a dream. »
NOW: Now a timeless classic, « Blowin’ in the wind » sits securely atop any list of anti-war songs. It’s the most covered of all Dylan songs. In 1997, it was the subject of a homily by Pope John Paul II, the only time a pop song had prompted such a sermon. In it, the pontiff said, « You say the answer is blowing in the wind, my friend. So it is: but it is not the wind that blows things away. It is the wind that is the breath and life of the Holy Spirit, the voice that calls and says, ‘Come!' »
To illustrate the influence of songs on people read this article :
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