Music Monday: Political Songs

by Scott Lydon

 

Happy Music Monday! This week we're gonna talk about politics… no, no, no, put down your torches and pitchforks, Scott doesn't really care who you're voting for, he just cares about the music. That's why you'll be finding a wide variety of political ideas in the songs below. And if you don't like them? Add your own! Here's a nice one to start us off right:

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Sweet Home Alabama

 

If you've ever stopped the radio on a classic rock station in the South, you've heard this song. But there's a chance you don't know it was also an answer song! Ronnie Van Zant wrote the song as a reply to Southern Man by his friend, Neil Young. But take note of Van Zant's anti-racism message too. This isn't a "redneck gettin' angry at Canada" song, this is a smart Southerner making a logical rebuttal... that also happens to have some great guitar.

We got four more inside, just after the jump. And, hey, remember to use your right to vote, okay? No matter who you like.

As always remember our new Spotify playlist will be featuring a great selection from last week's Music Monday comments. The theme of the mix this time is Halloween Songs. Enjoy the spooky magic one last time! But before you start reminiscing, check out our current Music Monday. See you after the jump?

Rage Against The Machine - Killing In The Name Of (NSFW because of all the f-bombs)

 

Rage Against The Machine offers a pretty complex package. Their sound is irresistible to angry young men, but some find them too leftist in their politics. They're very anti-establishment, but they're also rich from being on a major label. Well, ultimately they're just entertainers, right? At least you gotta respect how Tom Morello makes that guitar sing.

 

Phil Ochs - Love Me I'm A Liberal

 

Here's one you might not have heard! The great Phil Ochs, contemporary of Bob Dylan and part of the '60s folk movement, explaining the trouble with liberals. Of course there's a lot of sarcasm involved (and I don't think anyone would ever think that Ochs would have voted for Nixon) but it's a point well made about the nature of hypocrisy in politics.

 

Warren Zevon - Lawyers, Guns And Money (features one NSFW s-bomb hitting the fan)

 

Think really hard about the candidate you don't like, on either side. It's always the same thing, right? Be it Ted Kennedy, George Bush, or Al Gore's son, having a rich daddy always helps when there's trouble. Warren Zevon's tribute to a crisis covers the hot spots of the Cold War very well, but it also reminds us: sometimes those "youthful indiscretions" would land a non-politician in prison. Plus this is a great song, and that's the real reason it's included.

 

Jimi Hendrix - The Star Spangled Banner

 

When Hendrix fuzzed up the National Anthem, a lot of people took offense. But today, after Roseanne's infamous mis-singing and Christina Aguilera skipping lyrics, it's hard to say Hendrix's version was anything but loving. And that's why he's our closer, to remind us that we've got plenty of room for different ideas in our nation. If we don't both agree, maybe it's not that one of us is right… maybe we're both equally wrong.

See? Politics doesn't have to be about hating each other! So come together with us in the comments and add your favorite songs from whatever political viewpoint you like, in honor of our right to free elections. Then come meet up in our Turntable.fm room for the regular Music Monday enjoyment. Also, let us just remind you: some images come from the corresponding Wikipedia page and are here under fair use.