When Music and Politics Collide - From Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger to Public Enemy and Bruce Springsteen

Protest music, particularly anti-war songs, dominated an an entire era of popular music in the Sixties through the early Seventies. And then...nothing.

Hip Hop breathed new life into the genre of music designed to encourage political action, from Public Enemy's 1990 Fight the Power, Eminem's 2002 White America. But then, again...nothing. Pop culture just doesn't go there--you have to dig for it.

Pete Seeger and Joan Baez sang We Shall Overcome, The Sex Pistols sang God Save The Queen, Bob Dylan wrote Political World, Bob Marley sang One Love/People Get Ready, Neil Young's blasted Rockin in the Free World, and Springsteen said it all with The Ghost of Tom Joad:

Men walking 'long the railroad tracks

Going someplace, there's no going back

Highway patrol choppers coming up over the ridge

Hot soup on a campfire under the bridge

Shelter line stretching 'round the corner

Welcome to the new world order

Families sleeping in the cars in the southwest

No home, no job, no peace, no rest

But where are the young political voices of this era? Is it possible for music to once again become the soundtrack for change? A generational call to action? Who is this generation's Woody Guthrie? We can't logic ourselves out of our Trumpian cesspool.

Inspiration must come from the heart.

Listen to Woody Guthrie singing This Land is Your Land

This land is your land, this land is my land

From the California to the New York island

From the Redwood Forest, to the gulf stream waters

This land was made for you and me

As I went walking that ribbon of highway

I saw above me that endless skyway

And saw below me that golden valley

This land was made for you and me

I roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps

To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts

And all around me , a voice was sounding

This land was made for you and me

When the sun comes shining, then I was strolling

In the wheat fields waving and dust clouds rolling

The voice was chanting as the fog was lifting

This land was made for you and me

This land is your land and this land is my land

From the California to the New York island

From the Redwood Forest, to the gulf stream waters

This land was made for you and me

When the sun comes shining, then I was strolling

In wheat fields waving and dust clouds rolling

The voice come chanting as the fog was lifting

This land was made for you and me