Music is my ammunition; I fire down Babylon!
"It is music and dancing that make me at peace with the world."It used to be that a movement had music. Before the octopus of the music industry and media conglomerates took over the distribution of music, the songs of protest had an audience. I am old enough to remember listening to Peter, Paul and Mary’s release of “Blowing in the wind” which according to Wiki:
~ Nelson Mandela
The single sold a phenomenal three hundred thousand copies in the first week of release and made the song world famous. On August 17, 1963, it reached number two on the Billboard pop chart, with sales exceeding one million copies.In 1966 Simon and Garfunkel released Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, on which the 12th tract was; Silent Night/7 O' Clock News. I can remember cruising on Broadway and listening to it on the radio.
And in 1994, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 2004, it was ranked #14 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time".
Those are just two examples of how radio stations had the freedom of independence (read not corporate controlled) to spread the message of the movement. On a side not re: Blowing in the wind, (Wiki link above)
(It) was first recorded by the Chad Mitchell Trio, but their record company delayed release of the album containing it because the song included the word "death," so the trio lost out to Peter, Paul and Mary…
This of course was not the first time record companies and/or radio stations fucked things up, the history of Rock and Roll is filled with the repression of “suggestive” or “devil music”. That’s a topic for another day.
About the only song that gets played these days that has an anti-war message is “Alice’s Restaurant” on Thanksgiving, and that’s just because of tradition.
It may be because here in Little Beirut we only have the usual suspects when it comes to radio stations. Oldies, hard rock, country (which I never listen to), a sort of “progressive” (as in all the new music) which may play a Brett Dennen song every once in a while, but mostly pop 40 crap, etc..
Now there may be and probably is a station which plays rap, but as someone who can’t listen that fast, and gets tired of the same phrasing on every song (as Sinbad said: get a melody!”), its just not my cup of tea and also not everyone can sign along (“If you want to end war and stuff you got to sing loud.” Arlo).
One bright spot is the ongoing Wisconsin singers at the capital. If any of the radio stations in Madison had gonads (notice the gender neutral reference please), they would be playing some of the songs the singers were singing. Maybe they are, I don’t live there, correct me in comments if I’m wrong.
Occupy had lots of music but we never heard it except on Youtube, because it showed unity and that can never, ever be shown on TV.
Vetwife had a bitter sweet diary on the passing of Tom Laughlin
What was pointed out in the comments was that;
You will know those words until the day you die. (44+ / 0-)The same can be said of many songs of the movement(s). The beauty of songs like Blowing in the wind, We shall overcome, This land is your land, If I had a hammer, Solidarity forever and Down by the riverside, is that we know them on a gut level. Part of that is many of them can be sung in the call and response tradition.
There are songs that enter your mind at a certain receptive age and they will be there forever, supplanting the acquisition of new and needed knowledge.
"Go ahead and hate your neighbor!
Go ahead and cheat a friend!
Do it in the name of heaven!
You can justify it in the end!
There won't be any trumpets blowin'
Come the judgement day.
On the bloody morning after (woo hoo)
So in closing I guess what I’m trying to say is that the rat bastards who have taken over the public airwaves may try to close down our shooting range, but we still have clips, magazines and quivers full of ammunition that we can still expend.
So the next time you have the opportunity to sing along, just do it! If you can play, just do it!
On the firing line.
Occupying before occupying was cool at the Oregon Vietnam Veterans Memorial (1989)
Sitting on the Group NO W bench outside Earl Blumenauer's office.
All serious and shit at a a stop the war rally.
Be the machine