TOP 5: PROTEST SONGS


When it came time to decide what this week’s Top 5 topic was gonna be I didn’t have to look any further than the front page of my favorite news sites.

The topic picked itself. Protest songs.
It’s pretty self-explanatory. Go!

Iris Dement – Wasteland of The Free: From Iris’s 1996 album, The Way I Should.

Otis Gibbs – The People’s Day: I see hope for our country in what’s happening in others lately. One day our whispers will be louder than their screams. The people’s day will come.

Old Crow Medicine Show – Union Maid: Originally written by Woody Guthrie in response to a request for a union song from a female point of view.

Circle Jerks – Fortunate Son: This is (obviously) actually a Creedence Clearwater Revival song but I think the Circle Jerks’ version does a better job of conveying the anger in the song. The song was inspired by David Eisenhower, the grandson of President Dwight David Eisenhower who married Julie Nixon, the daughter of President Richard Nixon in 1968. John Fogerty told Rolling Stone: “Julie Nixon was hanging around with David Eisenhower, and you just had the feeling that none of these people were going to be involved with the war…”

Public Enemy – Fight The Power: Fight The Power has largely served as the political statement of purpose for Public Enemy, and serves as their biggest single.

I wanted to include one more. I wanted to include it in my 5 but could not decide if it was a song or a spoken word piece put to music. Which ever you wanna call it, it’s one of the best protest pieces ever done:

Gil Scott-Heron – The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

JOHN FOGERTY – REVIVAL

With the unrivaled track record of eight consecutive gold singles (“Proud Mary,” “Bad Moon Rising,” “Green River,” “Down on the Corner,” “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” “Up Around the Bend,” “Lookin’ Out My Back Door,” and “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?”) and seven consecutive gold albums (Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bayou Country, Green River, Willy and the Poor Boys, Cosmo’s Factory, Pendulum, and Mardi Gras), it could be argued that any definition of rock and roll which fails to mention Creedence Clearwater Revival is, quite simply, incomplete. It could also be argued that John Fogerty was CCR. If we accept both of those arguments, then transitive logic suggests that John Fogerty is rock and roll. Personally, I am prepared to accept that.

I am in a little bit of a nostalgic mood today, and while I was listening to Bad Moon Rising, the CCR Best of collection, I remembered John had released a new record a few months back to rave reviews, so I heading on over to Amazon mp3 and bought it.

I’ve been a little let down by John’s previous post-CCR efforts, also by his steadfast intent on distancing himself from CCR and their sound. Revival, on the other hand, marks his first album since settling the long bitter feud with CCR and his third since reuniting with his former CCR label, Fantasy Records. Add all of that to seeing that there was a shout out to his own past, “Creedence Song,” on the album and my hopes were up. After a couple listens, I can emphatically say that Revival met and exceeded those expectations. I’m not gonna lie, I wanna hear John Fogerty doing that politically charged, stripped-down swamp rock he did with CCR. Fuck “Centerfield”, gimme “Bad Moon Rising”…and that is what Revival delivers in spades.

John Fogerty – Creedence Song
John Fogerty – Long Dark Night

John Fogerty’s Official Site, John Fogerty on myspace, Buy Revival