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Breanna Coon / Her Campus

Music has been around since the beginning of time and from the beginning, artists have been using their platforms and sounds to make and stand for a cause. Here are a few old and new songs that have made a political statement.  

  1.  Zombie by the Cranberries – The song is about the political violence that has plagued Britain & Ireland and the struggle for independence.  The conflict itself involves religion & that’s part of the imagery used in the video. The song is critical of political & military leaders because it is the general population that winds up being harmed.   

  2. This Is America by Childish Gambino – This song is about the violence going on in our country to all the black citizens in America. During the music video, Gambino is portrayed walking through violent scenes involving guns and riots while he and kids are distracted by dancing. This dancing can represent the new pop culture that often distracts us from reality. In the background, you often see many chaotic scenes that represent the violence in America including the Pale White Horse that is being ridden by death.

  3. Million Dollar Loan by Death Cab –  This song calls out Donald Trump from being a “self-made man” because during his campaigning he was being interviewed and informed the interviewer of his small loan of a million dollars from his father to start his business. 

  4. American Skin by Bruce Springsteen – This song is a protest song of the unjust murder of Amadou Diallo by the New York City police. Diallo was shot 41 times by NYPD for mistaking his wallet for a gun. Springsteen believed that the shooting was an extreme example of police overreaction. In the song, Bruce Springsteen states “you can get killed just for living in your American Skin.”

  5. A Change is going to Come by Sam Cooke  – This song is a protest song that is about the civil rights movement. The song explicitly mentions jim crow and uses metaphors to emphasizes the Jordan river that separates the country’s Israel and Jordan. 

  6. Gimme Shelter by The Rolling Stones  – This song is about the political and generational tensions during the Vietnam war. 

  7. Man in Black by Johnny Cash – Cash supported the troops. He wanted Americans home in peace but he trusted Richard Nixon to end the war. Cash called himself a “dove with claws.” 

  8. Changes by Tupac – This song is a song to explain the injustices that were being placed upon black people in the 90s. 

  9. Alright by Kendrick Lamar – This is almost a modern version of the Tupac song, it mentions the injustices of African American in the modern society.

Hi, I am currently a Sophomore at the University of North Texas. My major is Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations with a double minor in Spanish and Communication Studies. Follow my journey here: Twitter: @thankmelaterr_ Instagram: @thankmelaterr
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