Someone with screen name ‘Protest Songs‘ has accumulated an interesting collection of protest songs on YT. Anti-war songs have been grouped by decade. There are also groups under subject headings like; activists, big business, change and discrimination.
I notice the website of STOP the War Coalition is collecting anti-war songs and has a side bar devoted to songs. Although their list of British songs to inspire the fight against austerity is a bit dated and looks like it has been put together by a set-in-his/her ways 50 plus year old.
New Statesman last year updated their more obvious 2010 list of 20 ‘top’ political songs with a new, more interesting and nuanced top ten of political songs but it seems to have been updated into May this year. Interestingly it includes a selection by Deborah Levy who I once knew and by chance I’m currently reading her poetic first novel ‘Beautiful Mutants’ which still contains many satiric word images that are as potent now as they were when written in the late Eighties. Find out what song Deborah chose here:
And to finish with here’s a less Establishment list from ‘Song Facts’ that as you might imagine is much longer!
A good resource which led me to discover ‘Under Cover of the Night’, a rare political song by The Stones from 1983 with a video by Julien Temple.
This blog is to signpost news of agit disco related events and stories that come to my attention though daily media. It does not mean that I agree with he viewpoints offered. Obviously the BBC World Service tends to have a ‘benign’ paternalistic imperialism behind what it does and does not say.
I find the story of the ‘Halal Rappers’ interesting because it shows a flexible and adaptive approach to making culture rather than one that is hidebound by convention.
or try YouTube direct: https://youtu.be/4JMbqSZ42so?list=PLQesuWE5KRGxpSrOD251uO1WhBlgXcDbr
On another side of another coin are the Russian rappers which might be seen as a détournement of local racism by rapping pro Putin!
Another one of a Vietnamese rapper living in USA doing agit disco stuff:
BBC blurb “Son Nguyen A.K.A. ‘Nah’, a young Vietnamese rapper studying in the United States, has launched a scathing criticism of Vietnam’s Communist Party. ” https://youtu.be/8SNESJQ4at4?list=PLQesuWE5KRGxpSrOD251uO1WhBlgXcDbr
The world is full of contradictory tactics. Am I serving imperialism by lazily picking up on BBseize establishment voice? Maybe… I’d appreciate hearing of more direct sources!?
Gianna ‘The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh’ Ewan Macoll ‘The Times They Are a’ Changin’ Brothers & Sisters ‘Fight the Power’ Public Enemy
Worth ‘For What It’s Worth’ Stapel Singers ‘Political Science’ Randy Newman ‘I Spy (for the FBI)’ Jamo Thomas
Simon ‘Synthetic World’ Jimmy Cliff ‘Lie Down and Be Counted’ Neil Innes ‘Abraham, Martin & John’ Marvin Gaye
Marc ‘Oh Bondage! Up Yours!’ X-Ray Spex ‘Venceremos – We Will Win’ Working Week ‘Struggling Man’ Jimmy Cliff
Carmel ‘I’m Going Left’ Syreeta ‘Clean Up THe Ghetto’ Philadelphia All Stars ‘Takin’ It To The Streets’ Doobie Brothers
Gill ‘Diet’ Au Pairs ‘Little Hitler’ Everything But The Girl ‘Children of the Revolution’ T-Rex
John ‘Get Up Stand Up’ Big Youth ‘Inner City Blues’ Grover Washington Jr. ‘Funky President’ James Brown
Kim ‘Graffiti Limbo’ Michelle Shocked ‘The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down’ Joan Baez ‘You Haven’t Done Nothin’ Stevie Wonder
Sally ‘(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang’ Heaven 17 ‘News at Ten’ The Vapors ‘White Riot’ The Clash
Christine ‘Hard Times’ Human League ‘Somesay’ Wah! Heat ‘Sweet Talking Guy’ The Chiffons
Rachel ‘Part of the Union’ The Strawbs ‘I’m Alright Jack’ Tom Robinson ‘Big A Little A’ Crass Eva ‘Glad to be Gay’ Tom Robinson Band
Pete ‘Johannesburg’ Gil Scott Heron ‘Right On Be Free’ Voices of East Harlem ‘Hell’ James Brown
Billy ‘This Is Your’ Captain Sensible ‘Floating Anarchy Radio’ Here & Now ‘Kill For Peace’ The Fugs
Clive ‘How Can a Poor Man Live Such Times?’ Blind Alfred Reed ‘Outlaw’ Eugene Macdaniels ‘Mao! Mao!’ Claude Channes Maya ‘Keep On Keepin On’ Redskins ‘Babylon’s Burning’ The Ruts ‘English Civil War’ The Clash
Bryan ‘Wind of Change’ Robert Wyatt & Jerry Dammers ‘Breadline Britain’ Jimmy Sommerville ‘Handsworth Revolution’ Steel Pulse
Lisa ‘Margaret on the Guillotine’ Morrissey ‘Good Evening Mr Waldheim’ Lou Reed ‘Belfast’ Boney M
Matt ‘The more that I see (the less I believe)’ Fun Boy 3 ‘Comrades’ Test Department ‘Economics’ Bumbites
Mick ‘If a Peanut Framer can do it (so can I)’ Ed Townsend ‘Get Involved’ George Soule ‘I’m Backing Britain’ Bruce Forsythe
Wayne ‘Dirty Laundry’ Curtis Mayfield ‘Independant Intavenshan’ Linton Kwesi Johnson ‘Same Song’ Israel Vibration
Ian ‘The Last of England’ Simon Fisher Turner/Derek Jarman ‘Bonzo Goes to Bitburg’ The Ramones ‘Kennedy’ The Wedding Present
Rod ‘Nixon’s The One’ Kathryn Duffy & The Enemies ‘(For God’s Sake) Give More Power To The People’ Chi-Lites ‘Revolution’ The Beatles
Andy ‘Holiday In Cambodia’ DJ Lebowitz ‘Jerusalem’ Mark Stewart & The Maffia ‘I am the fly’ Adam Sky
Denise ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ Johnny Cash ‘Kill The Poor’ Dead Kennedys ‘Forward To Death’ Dead Kennedys
******** Extras included: ‘Elected’ Alice Cooper ‘Crazy Baldhead’ Bob Marley & The Wailers ‘I hate Hate’ Razzy & The Neighbourhood Kids ‘The Message’ Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five ‘Gonna Be a Showdown’ Archie Bell & The Drells ‘Harlan County’ Jim Ford ‘Autonomy’ Buzzcocks ‘Cunts are still running the World’ Jarvis Cocker
Their archive of past events: https://thelisteningcure.wordpress.com
Coming up to the election we have quite a few Agit Disco groups gunning for the charts:
Video above is from West London DIY Creative Collective Dovetown.
Cassette Boy + Russell Brand are putting out:
not only but also let’s not leave out:
At last! I got to hear a live set by the great Mancunian Johnny Crescendo, who was over from the uSA, in the basement of the NUT HQ in KingsX, London. Celebrating 25 years of struggle for inclusive education marked by the ILEA publication of ‘Disability Equality in the Classroom: a human rights issue’ that was put together by Richard Rieser and Micheline Mason. and first came out 25 years ago. <a href=”http://worldofinclusion.com/res/deinclass/text_only.pdf” rel=”nofollow”>worldofinclusion.com/res/deinclass/text_only.pdf</a>
Johnny was playing with his long term accompanist Ian Stanton who also doubles at being a technician as and when – sometimes quite a balancing act! Their album is on iTunes. I couldn’t find him on YouTube with good quality sound.
“Writing songs in Welsh was a natural thing for us as native Welsh speakers to do, but there was undoubtedly an element of defending and promoting our culture against those who would see it eroded. We bought a tank as a promotional tool, but it also made a stand against the civil liberties limiting the Criminal Justice Act, by making the driver/DJ immune to arrest. We joined the campaign for a nuclear-free Wales, and I still take an active interest in the campaign to see nuclear power, and its twin Trident, become things of the past.”
says Cian Ciarán in his recent Guardian article.
They are preparing a protest album with, amongst others, Steve Mason singer songwriter of The Beta Band who wrote ‘Fight Them Back’
Super Furry Animals website
Finally winning a Brit award for her last album ‘A Perfect Contradiction’ that was supercharged by Pharrell Williams and Plan B contributions. A working class hero is something (not easy) to be – Paloma has apparently hired fluffy Owen Jones to be her support act, or is it well-educated mouthpiece, in London and Brighton gigs. Jones is perhaps hoping for a return of ‘Rock Against Racism’ to turn back the tide of Ukip buffoonery . Let’s hope the suffocating world of suck-cess doesn’t shut Paloma up.
“My mum gets upset when I say I’m working class. She goes, ‘I worked bloody hard for you not to be working class! At least say you’re lower middle class!’ But if I’m looking at what has been praised in recent years there do seem to be a lot of white middle-class boys who, in my view, have it easiest in the entire world… They’re very well represented in the music industry at the moment.” from an interview with Adrian Deevoy in the Mail 14-2-15 She has said she can’t write political songs, but as we showed with Agit Disco there are ‘shed loads’ of political songs out there she could do or team up with the singer-songwriter of… So come on Paloma but your mouth where your money is. At the same time MasterCard is cashing in on her in the Brits and Paloma is an ‘ambassador’ for the Prince’s Trust who helped her out when she was younger – so success suckers you in sly sorts of ways.
Owen Jones later considers his experience in a Guardian Article
Nature Study Notes is a collection of 152 written instructions or ‘scores’ that was published as a booklet by Cornelius Cardew at the beginning of the Scratch Orchestra in 1969. The scores are called ‘rites’ and were used in many of the early Scratch Orchestra concerts. This was a music improvisation and visual performance event an hour and a half long. See photo documentation like below:
Performed by an ensemble of original Scratch Orchestra members and new performers: Jane Alden, George Chambers, Linn D, Carole Finer, John Hails, Bryn Harris, Les Hutchins, Petri Huurinainen, Eve Libertine, Robbie Lockwood, Geraldine McEwan, Christian Sancto, Matt Scott, Hugh Shrapnel, Howard Slater, Stefan Szczelkun, Emmanuelle Waeckerle & Ali Warner.
A radio programme by Carol Finer made before the event:
Photo documentation of the event at Cafe Oto:
“Our improvising, it seems to me, is a matter of entering into relation in the widest possible way: relation with our unconscious, a relation with our materials and expression, a relation with the medium of expression, a relation with imagination, a relation with the recipient of our attempted communications etc. The wider the scope of potential relation then the more possibilities there are to both come across ways in which our activity and expression is determined (by the hidden social messages in language, by the technique of virtuosity, by the closure of product) and to modify and change this determination; to maintain that the social is never fully determined, and its potential for freedom is never closed but persists as the outcome of experimentalism.” – Howard Slater.