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What is your favorite political song?

Politics and songs go back a long way. Probably back to prehistory. I suspect that when Throg and Gark were competing to see who got the biggest cave, the Throg supporters and the Gark supporters had competing chants. Certainly recorded history shows us that. As soon as somebody figured out how to blow a horn, some one-percenter had him playing fanfare. From patriotic national anthems to protest songs, music and politics have always mixed. From Yankee Doodle Dandy to Horst Wessel, from Joe Hill to The Internationale, songs make statements.

Woody Guthrie's guitar
As a kid, I was immersed in patriotic songs at school and church. From The Star-Spangled Banner (which sucks, BTW), to God Bless America and America the Beautiful, I heard and sang patriotic songs. I remember the stirring marches of John Philip Sousa (which I still love) and the folksy inclusiveness of Woody Guthrie's This Land Is Your Land. (These days, This Land Is Koch's Land, but that's a different diary.)

The civil rights movement often employed song to make its point. From Billie Holiday's Strange Fruit to We Shall Overcome, the emotion that music evokes helped change the world. The protest song as we Boomers think of it grew out of the labor and civil rights movements, exemplified by Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger and Peter, Paul and Mary and the folk scene. Dylan began in that scene and produced the archetypical 1960's protest songs: Blowin' in the Wind and The Times They Are A-Changin'. By the time the Beatles matured from McCartney's love songs to Lennon's Revolution, the protest song was firmly entrenched in Top 40. We had Eve of Destruction and For What It's Worth followed by Ohio, Won't Get Fooled Again, and I'd Love to Change the World.

My own favorite political song came out of that early 1970's era. It's a light and silly song by The Byrds called I Wanna Grow Up To Be a Politician. Over four decades later, I still remember the words:

Of course, the protest songs of the 60's and 70's produced counter-protest songs like Okie from Muskogee, The Ballad of the Green Berets, and, probably my least favorite patriotic song, Lee Greenwood's God Bless the U.S.A. (blech).

There are also songs that didn't start out as political songs but were adopted by campaigns, like FDR's Happy Days Are Here Again and Bill Clinton's Don't Stop (Thinking about Tomorrow). I find it amusing that Republicans keep getting rebuffed by artists when they try to adopt a popular song.

Although the pace of production of overtly political songs seemed to slow after Vietnam, there were still a few popular social commentary songs in the 80's, like U2's Sunday Bloody Sunday, Billy Joel's Allentown, John Mellencamp's Pink Houses, and the Boss's Born in the U.S.A. But the real breakthrough was the advent of rap, which has produced political and social commentary ever since. But since I don't really listen to it, I can't identify which songs are good. Public Enemy's Fight the Power from 1989 is a great representative sample, which grew out of Gil Scott Heron's The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, a song way ahead of its time in 1970, anticipating the birth of rap and hip-hop.

The 1990's seemed to be a slow time for political songs with the exception of rap. I remember the Cranberries' Zombie and Concrete Blonde's Tomorrow Wendy, which is more religious-themed than political, I guess, but the two seem to get mixed a lot these days. One of Us by Joan Osborne was another of those. I suppose I should have defined "political song" but it's too late now.

"Killing Me Softly"
I suspect there are many great protest songs in the 21st Century, but since I am totally out of touch with the current music scene, I don't know what they are. I did enjoy the stink raised by the Dixie Chicks back in the Dubya era and this resulting song. And I really believe's mash-up of Obama's speech impacted the 2008 election. It's a little sad to hear it now in the wake of the race-based non-cooperation by the GOP that followed. But maybe you can help me out with some more recent political songs. How about it?

What is your favorite political song?

Image Credits:
American flag courtesy
Woody Guthrie's guitar courtesy
Bob Dylan courtesy
FDR courtesy
Cartoon courtesy

Latest Updates on Kossack Regional Meet-Up News Can Be Found Below the Orange Group Hug.

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Let's Build Communities!

Our team is here to provide support and guidance to new and existing volunteer leaders of each regional and state group, helping them with recruiting, organizing and executing social and action events.
We invite you to join in this effort to build our community. There are many ways to pitch in.
If there isn't a group to join near you, please start one.


List of All Existing Meatspace Groups


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Los Angeles Kossacks: Shanikka's Red Carpet Lunch 3/15 - With Pictures

by Dave in Northridgefor Los Angeles Kossacks

The LAKossacks welcome shanikka to their fair city. Many people attend. Here are few photos:

L-R: moore musings and shanikka
L-R: Former Chicagoan Now Angeleno      and      bruinkid

Please visit Dave in Northridge's diary for many MORE photos plus Food Pr0n! Enjoy! You can join Los Angeles Kossacks by sending a Kosmail to Dave in Northridge.

DC Kossacks banner
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Maryland Kossacks

Chacounne meets Kossacks from MD and DC

by mimifor Virginia Kos

The DC and Maryland Kossacks welcomed Chaucounne on her visit to attend a conference in DC. It was a last minute meet-up pulled of by mimi.

Here's one photo:

L-R: mimi, kim (wife of olliegarkey), olliegarkey, webgenie and Chacounne

Please visit mimi's diary for many MORE photos! Enjoy!
You can join Maryland Kossacks by sending a Kosmail to JamieG from Md.
You can join DC Kossacks by sending a Kosmail to NinthElegy.



Photo Diary: NYC 3/16 Meetup is PACKED! (food pr0n, too!))

by sidnorafor New York City

Thank you, sidnora, for the great photo diary recap. So many terrific photos of our NYC Kossacks and all their food pr0n. It looks like everyone had a really good time. There's still time to rec her diary.

Here's only two photos of the many that belinda ridgewood, joanbrooker and Denise Oliver Velez provided:

L-R: the camera-shy Yasuragi (yes, she weally showed up!), belinda ridgewood, kathny, malloy, Miscweant, No Exit, Son of Broccoli, jfdunphy, mightymouse, plf515, sidnora, Mets102
L-R: Ian Reifowitz, plf515, sidnora, Denise Oliver Velez, Mets102

Please visit sidnora's diary for many MORE photos! Plus massive food pr0n. Enjoy! You can join New York City by sending a Kosmail to sidnora.

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Golden Gate Bridge at sunrise with SFKossacks banner treatment
Paradise and Chico Kossacks regional event banner

Four Kossack regional groups descend on the California State Capitol
to demand that Governor Jerry Brown ban
the oil and gas production process known as fracking

by navajofor Connect! Unite! Act!

Representing Northern California, the SFKossacks, Central Valley Kossacks, Paradise & Chico Kossacks and the Silicon Valley Kossacks gathered on the mall of our state capitol in Sacramento on Saturday, March 15th to protest fracking. Governor Brown has the ability to ban the environmentally destructive, water-intensive oil extraction practice known as hydraulic fracturing in California. The state is in a severe drought and the last place our water should go is into fracking. It is estimated the protesters numbered around 4000. We endured the hot sun which sent the temperatures into the 80s as we gathered midday to make a lot of noise and get the attention of the Governor.

DailyKos banner at fracking protest
Please note red arrow pointing to our Daily Kos banner to gather all us Kossacks together!

Please visit paradise50's diary for his terrific photos!

You can join SFKossacks by sending a Kosmail to navajo.
You can join Central Valley Kossacks by sending a Kosmail to tgypsy.
You can join Paradise & Chico Kossacks by sending a Kosmail to smileycreek.
You can join Silicon Valley Kossacks by sending a Kosmail to Glen The Plumber.

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Event Organizers! Please contact wink from by KosMail to schedule airtime with them to live broadcast your Event. Wink & Justice will then promote it on The After Show radio program!
Boston Kossacks logo, 550x100 pixels.
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Saturday, April 12th

Potential Boston Kossacks Meet-up

TIME: 2:00 PM
LOCATION: Café Barada
2269 Massachusetts Ave • Cambridge

ORGANIZER: Send GreyHawk a kosmail to attend.

1. GreyHawk
2. Hawk Wife
3. Knockbally
Latest diary: Next BosKos Meetup - Sat 12 Apr at the Cafe Barada
DC Kossacks banner
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Saturday, April 19th

Inaugural DC Kossacks Potluck Picnic on
the National Mall

TIME: Noon
LOCATION: National Mall
Exact location TBD • Washington, DC

ORGANIZER: Send NinthElegy a kosmail to attend.

1. NinthElegy
2. mimi
From NinthElegy: We will meet on the third Saturday of each month at noon. Please note--  This regular Saturday meeting day and time is flexible. It was chosen as a starting point to be amended according to what is the best fit for the DC Kossacks group members. If it is not a workable regular day and time for you, suggest alternatives and let's see what we can work out.

Latest diary: [Waiting for linked diary]

Dkos Asheville
Saturday, May 3rd

DKos Asheville Kossacks Meet-up

TIME: 1:00 PM
LOCATION: The Bywater
796 Riverside Dr. • Asheville

ORGANIZER: Send randallt a kosmail to attend.

1. randallt
2. davehouck
3. Joieau
4. Gordon20024
5. SteelerGrrl
6. SteelerGuy
7. GulfGal 98
8. Otteray Scribe
9. flwrightman
10. people power granny
11. eternallyvigilant
Mr Audri
Latest diary: [Waiting for linked diary]
Golden Gate Bridge at sunrise with SFKossacks banner treatment
Tuesday, May 13th

SFKossacks Roll Out the Red Carpet
for LeftOfYou & Expat Okie

TIME: 11:00 AM, Early lunch!
Rincon Center, 101 Spear St. • San Francisco

ORGANIZER: Send navajo a kosmail to attend.

1. navajo
2. LeftOfYou
3. Expat Okie
4. side pocket
5. Justice Putnam
6. dharmasyd
7. Lorikeet
8. jpmassar
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Wednesday, July 16th

Daily Kos Detroit VA Hospital Service Project

Sara R delivers 65 quilts, hand knit scarves and hats, books, 65 teddy bears, hand made greeting cards, and phone cards from the DK Quilt Guild, WAYWO, the Readers & Book Lovers, IGTNT and individual Kossacks to the nursing home at the Detroit VA Hospital. This is a wonderful project that many people can be involved with even if they don't attend the convention. If you care about veterans in a nursing home this is your project. Please volunteer to help.

LOCATION: Volunteer Office of the Detroit VA Hospital
4646 John R St. • Detroit

ORGANIZER: Send Sara R a Kosmail to participate in making the gifts and/or deliver them.

RSVPs to help deliver gifts:
1. Sara R
Latest diary: DK Quilt Guild: What Inspires You?


Cheers and Jeers logo
Wednesday, July 16th

Annual Cheers & Jeers Dinner to Kick-Off NN14, Kossacks Only

TIME: 6:00 PM
[Address] • Detroit

ORGANIZER: Send Common Sense Mainer a kosmail to RSVP.

1. Common Sense Mainer
2. Bill in Portland Maine
3. navajo
4. Meteor Blades
5. smileycreek
6. paradise50
7. side pocket
8. Mrs. side pocket
9. norm
10. maggiejean
11. Shockwave
12. a gilas girl
13. susans
14. Sara R
15. belinda ridgewood
16. sidnora
17. Mr. sidnora
18. thankgodforairamerica
19. brillig
20. mik
21. K1
22. loggersbrat
23. Dave in Northridge
Latest diary: Connect! Unite! Act! ATTN: DC, Tucson & Seattle Meet-up Info! +Q: Roll Call, Are You Attending NN14?


Plenary Session Tables during the rest of the Convention

ORGANIZER: Send navajo a kosmail to have a seat reserved for you in the main ballroom of the convention center for the big events.

Cheers & Jeers Table:
1. Common Sense Mainer
2. Bill in Portland Maine
3. brillig
4. mik
5. K1
6. sidnora
7. Mr. sidnora
8. loggersbrat
Cheers & Jeers Table II:
SFKossacks Table:
1. navajo
2. Meteor Blades
3. smileycreek
4. paradise50
5. side pocket
6. Mrs. side pocket
7. norm
8. maggiejean
9. Jeff in CA
10. Mrs. Jeff in CA
SFKossacks Table II:
1. a gilas girl
2. belinda ridgewood
3. Sara R
4. thankgodforairamerica
5. DebtorsPrison
6. justiceputnam
Los Angeles Table:
1. Shockwave
2. susans
3. Dave in Northridge
angry marmot
northerntier's SO
navajo maintains the above event list. Kosmail her if you have any diaries
about your event or if you have changes or additions.
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EVERYONE is welcome, tell us what you're working on,
share your show and tell, vent, whatever you want.
This is an open thread. Nothing is off topic.

Originally posted to Connect! Unite! Act! on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 07:31 AM PDT.

Also republished by An Ear for Music.

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